On April 26 the American Technical Education Association (ATEA) held its annual meeting, where Ivy Tech Community College was recognized during the awards program. Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Associate Professor and Program Chair of HVAC Technology Frank Garro received the Innovation in Technical Education Award. Additionally, an Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Engineering student, Amy Taylor, was a finalist for the Outstanding Technical Student award.
“Amy is a truly excellent student,” says Cait Cramer, Ivy Tech Engineering instructor, “Ever the perfectionist, Amy is not satisfied by earning an A in a given class. Her primary interest is mastery of new concepts and skills and will put in work far above and beyond in order to achieve this.”
While instructor Frank Garro had established an innovative program before 2020, the pandemic brought his HVAC instruction to new heights. Frank collaborated with colleagues nation-wide, and ATEA featured him as a Best Practice Hero in 2020. He developed engaging virtual laboratories to limit face-to-face contact and created an innovative teaching space in his home garage.
“The pandemic induced an innovation supernova in Frank’s HVAC instruction,” says Darrel Kesler, Dean of the Schools of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, & Applied Science and Information Technology. “Frank not only sustained enrollment, but his enrollment grew. Not only was his new pedagogy valuable during the pandemic, it is also sustainable in our new normal.”
In the past few years Ivy Tech Fort Wayne has received several awards from ATEA including Program of the Year (Automotive Technology—2016 and Advanced Automation and Robotics Technology—2020), Outstanding Instructor (Robert Parker), and industry partner Steel Dynamics, Inc. was honored for our collaboration with their highest partnership award—The Silver Star of Excellence Award.