Ivy Tech Fort Wayne massage clinic set to reopen starting Feb. 3

Healthy Essence, the student-run massage clinic at Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne campus, will open to the public this semester from Feb. 3 to May 1. Students from the Therapeutic Massage program will provide hour-long full-body relaxation massages. Requests accepted by phone beginning Jan. 23, 2020.

The following hours are available by appointment:

  • 4, 5:30, and 7 p.m. Wednesdays
  • 2:30 and 4 p.m. Thursday
  • 11 a.m., 12:30, 2:30, and 4 p.m. Friday

The clinic will be closed during Spring Break.

Spring 2020 prices and details: Massages are $30 for the community and $25 for Ivy Tech employees and students, military personnel, and those 55 and older. The clinic accepts payment in cash and credit card. Tips are not accepted, but clients who wish can donate to a charity chosen by the students.

To make an appointment, call 260-480-2094. Note: Clients are permitted to schedule two massages per month.

Visit IvyTech.edu/fortwayne/massageclinic to learn more.

José Gómez Márquez shapes his ever-changing life through Ivy Tech’s Supply Chain Program and Next Level Jobs

José Gómez Márquez knows a thing or two about taking risks and starting over. He was born in Peru (the country, not the Indiana town), but it lacked employment opportunities, so he moved from Lima to Miami, Florida in 2003.

Things were better in Miami, but only marginally so. José could get by in Miami with only understanding a little English, but there still weren’t many opportunities for someone who wanted to work in manufacturing. So he worked hard on improving his English while researching small cities in the United States that had a strong plastics manufacturing presence.

José started over yet again in 2005 when he moved to Fort Wayne to work at Mullinix. Eventually he left that company to pursue an opportunity at D&W Fine Pack, and that’s where he discovered Ivy Tech and Next Level Jobs.

To continue advancing at D&W Fine Pack, José knew he needed to continue his education. He was able to get his tuition and fees paid for while attending Ivy Tech Fort Wayne through Next Level Jobs. José completed his certificate in Supply Chain Management and Logistics in fall 2019 with summa cum laude and is continuing his education with an associate degree starting spring 2020.

While at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, José has excelled. One of his most notable accomplishments was winning first place as part of a multi-college team at the Conexus Case Competition in Oct. 2019, where he problem-solved a real-life scenario faced by the Caterpillar corporation. 

José (second to the left) with his winning team after the Conexus Competition

“The Conexus Competition was an amazing experience! Working on a real case with students from another college was challenging, but definitely enriching,” says José. “The feeling of being the winning team was so exhilarating! I was very nervous because other teams seemed so well-prepared, but thanks to the good experiences that I’ve had with my Ivy Tech instructors, I was right there with them, ready to compete at a high level.”

José has worked hard and was willing to move across the country and across the world to improve his and his family’s lives. He wrote a poem (which won first place in a competition for National Distance Learning Week) that reflects his emotional and educational journey from Peru to Ivy Tech Fort Wayne:

Virtual Reality Becomes Reality
by José Gómez Márquez

Stuck in a dead-end job
no light at the end of the tunnel
aspirations, creativity stifled
a dump truck full of ambition
poured through a small plastic funnel.
My time and my sweat daily wrung from me
hardly a moment, a drop left for my family.
Is this why I left Perú, to live in a snowy city?
Then an ad comes my way, by heavenly algorithm sent
Level up your job with Next Level
See? Your tax dollars are well spent!
I’m nervous, I’m worried
Can I handle work, school, more stress?
My kids push me towards the goal
I say “maybe,” they chorus “yes!”
Distance learning is the key, the internet is my friend
my mind catches fire, though my posture suffers
hours with a book and a laptop I spend.
The pieces fit together, good grades come my way
my confidence rises
I can finally put all my skills into play.
One more challenge arrives
the Conexus contest in logistics and supply chain
I’ll show those punks from West Lafayette
how we do things in Fort Wayne!
My team poses for the photo as we hold the big check
fifteen minutes of fame, a new job and more
courtesy of online Ivy Tech.

Listening for renewal

By Dawn Burns, Academic and Learning Resource Center Assistant

From left to right: Dawn Burns, Erica Burkhart, Sarah Wadkins, Dr. Allyn Decker

Thoughts turn to renewal at the start of a new year, but it’s happening all the time. We just have to listen.

For Erica Burkhart, a 2019 Ivy Tech Warsaw graduate, “renewal means making a better version of yourself for you and for others.”

Burkhart has lived through renewal brought on by challenging circumstances. In 2016 she was taking classes towards her associate’s degree in business administration and working full-time when she lost child support, a critical piece of her income as a single mom of two daughters.

Burkhart reached out to Project Independence, a Combined Community Services (CCS) mentoring program with a stated goal of helping Kosciusko County families achieve economic independence through education. She credits Project Independence with providing an “extra boost of motivation and the extra care factor” she needed.

Project Independence case manager Abby Rank sees starting new after some kind of barrier or interruption in life as a key component of renewal and of the work she does guiding participants and their families towards self-sufficiency using one-on-one mentorship, life skill building activities, workshops, financial counseling, resource locating, and more.

In 2017 Burkhart went job hunting with a resume she had created with her case manager and landed a position at Montieth’s Best One Tire and Auto Care in Warsaw. Burkhart continues to work at Montieth’s, doing “a little bit of everything” including reconciling invoices, doing inventory management, and working the counter.

Rank claims Burkhart as a Project Independence success story: “Erica utilized every resource she was able to so that she could continue to work a 9-5 job and provide for her family, all while attending college and always with a smile on that face!”

Burkhart also credits Ivy Tech faculty, employees, student organizations, and community partnerships for her success. “I found that every professor worked toward helping me grow and complete the courses,” she says. “If people realized how helpful this campus is, I think a lot more people would attend. You have so much here for people to thrive, including the Basics Bank, caring professors, and inclusive clubs.”

Rank shares her praise for Ivy Tech’s connection to the community through direct services and referrals. “We are able to continue to support students to achieve their goals! Having that extra support and cheerleader means all the difference for many individuals and families who may not have that elsewhere.”

To those in need of renewal, Burkhart offers this encouragement. “That degree brought goodness for me but also for my children, my friends, and my coworkers who could see that if I could work full-time and get a degree, maybe they could too. And when I received my diploma in the mail, I knew that nobody could ever take that degree away from me.”

Jason Callahan elected as chair of Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s board of trustees

Jason Callahan

Jason Callahan has been elected to serve as chairman of the Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne Regional Board of Trustees, effective Jan. 1. Callahan has served on Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s board since 2018 and is currently the superintendent at Wabash City Schools.

“As the State of Indiana’s community college system, I see Ivy Tech to be a lead in ensuring that we create a legacy of opportunities for all students by providing affordable, relevant education to best prepare our students for success in the global community,” says Callahan. “The educational opportunities provided by Ivy Tech Fort Wayne will be instrumental in helping our individual students reach their fullest life potential and to help ensure northeast Indiana meets its workforce and economic development aspirations.”

Callahan was previously the principal at Wabash High School and Wabash Middle School. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Indiana State University and has his master’s degree from Ball State University. In 2015 and 2020, the Indiana Association of Public Schools Superintendents named him Superintendent of the Year. He also serves on the association’s executive committee and advisory committee. He is the president of the Upper Wabash Valley Superintendents’ Study Council and a member of the Dual Credit Advisory Council.

“Jason Callahan will be an excellent leader of the Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Regional Board of Trustees,” says Ivy Tech Fort Wayne chancellor Jerrilee Mosier. “More and more of our work is partnering with area school corporations in developing and streamlining career pathways. His experience as superintendent of Wabash City Schools will assist us in continuing and expanding this work throughout the 11 counties of northeast Indiana.”

Dr. Robert Dettmer

Callahan replaces Dr. Robert Dettmer, who has been chairman since 2009 and will remain as a member of the board. Dettmer first joined the Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Regional Board of Trustees in 2007 and has been part of numerous projects during his time as board chair including fundraising and building The Steel Dynamics, Inc. Keith E. Busse Technology Center and Aviation Center at Smith Field. More recently, Dettmer has helped develop Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s partnership with the Chain O’ Lakes Correctional Facility, where inmates are given the chance to earn welding certifications while at the correctional facility.

“Bob Dettmer has been a phenomenal leader of the Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Regional Board of Trustees,” says Dr. Mosier. “He is also a strong advocate for the Fort Wayne campus. He has great insight and a passion for our mission. I am pleased that he will continue as a member of the Regional Board.”

“We’re looking forward to Jason’s fresh ideas and perspective as he leads the board,” says Dettmer. “He has a great energy and experience, and I think his appointment as chair will be good for Ivy Tech Fort Wayne.”

College announces student winners of 23rd annual European Competition for study abroad experience

Eight hospitality administration students competed Friday in Ivy Tech’s European Competition. Six students won the opportunity to travel to Italy to study the culinary arts. The winning students are, from left, Audra Briede, Mark Steven Guivencan, Ethen Barry, Faith Peralez, Hannah Simpson, and Jeffery Akers.

Ivy Tech Community Fort Wayne hosted its 23rd annual European Competition on Friday, Jan. 10. Eight hospitality administration students in culinary arts or baking and pastry arts spent the day competing for a chance to win a scholarship that would fund a trip to study culinary arts in Italy this spring.

Six students won the opportunity to travel to Italy: Faith Peralez, Jeffery Akers, Hannah Simpson, Mark Steven Guivencan, Audra Briede, and Ethen Barry.

“This class represents more than two years of hard work from our Hospitality Administration students,” says Amanda Parkinson, Hospitality Administration program chair. “We’re thrilled to reward them with this trip to Italy and France. The students will have fun and enhance their education by touring wineries and creameries, participating in cooking classes, and experiencing dinners in Michelin Star Rated restaurants.”

Culinary students prepared a meal with an appetizer; an entrée with a protein, vegetable, and starch; and a dessert. Baking students prepared items including plated chocolate and fruit desserts, yeast bread and rolls, and a decorated cake.

Kitchen judges watched and rated students as they worked, paying attention to technique and ability. Floor judges blind tasted the completed meals. Judges based their scores on American Culinary Federation (ACF) criteria, and in order to be considered for the European trip, students must place at bronze standard or higher.

Based on students’ experiences in Italy, they will create the menu for this year’s A Reason to Taste, the College’s largest annual fundraiser. Money raised at A Reason to Taste funds scholarships for the winning students’ European trips. For sponsorship or ticket information contact Laura Leichty at 260-481-2243 or lleichty@ivytech.edu.

“I’m excited about going on this trip and expanding my knowledge of baking and pastries,” says Faith Peralez. “You can go to Italy on your own, but during this trip we’ll be able to see what’s happening behind the scenes in Italian restaurants. It’s really a once in a lifetime trip.”

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne announces spring 2020 schedule for Classical Cuisine dinner series

The Classical French Cuisine class at Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne has released their dinner series schedule for spring. Students in the class take turns preparing and serving world-cuisine themed meals for class credit in a project-based learning experience. The culinary students rotate through various positions in the kitchen and dining room, providing a full-service restaurant environment.

The following dinner dates have three start times: 6 p.m., 6:15 p.m., and 6:30 p.m.

  • Jan. 23
  • Jan. 30
  • Feb. 6
  • Feb. 13
  • Feb. 20
  • Feb. 27

To make reservations, which are required at least 24 hours before the dinner, call 260-480-2002. Dinners are served in the Hospitality Room (door 24, which is located on the back of the building and faces Coliseum Boulevard)on Coliseum Campus (3800 N. Anthony Blvd.) and cost $20 per person. Pay on-site with cash, check, or charge. Wine is available for $5 per glass or $15 per bottle.

Visit Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s dinner series website at IvyTech.edu/fortwayne/dinners for more information.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and Warsaw’s Cyber Security Program makes top list

A recent report by Intelligent.com, a trusted resource for online degree rankings and higher education planning, has named Ivy Tech Community College’s cyber security program in its list of Top 60 Cyber Security Degree programs for 2020. The comprehensive research guide is based on an assessment of 105 accredited colleges and universities in the nation. Each program is evaluated based on curriculum quality, graduation rate, reputation and post-graduate employment.

Ivy Tech ranked 37 and was the only associate degree granting school in Indiana to make the list. The top five on the list were: Bellevue University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Webster University, Southern New Hampshire University and Friends University. Other notable schools include: Capitol Technology University, Oklahoma State University, George Washington University and John Hopkins University.

At Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus and Warsaw Site, 41 students earned certifications in cyber security since its inception in 2014. In the 2018–19 academic year, 145 students were enrolled in the program. Ivy Tech is a National Security Agency Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Security (NSA CAE-2Y).

“Cyber Security is really growing right now because people are starting to recognize that everyone needs it, even small businesses,” says Lucy La Hurreau, Assistant Professor for Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s Cyber Security and Information Assurance Program. “Our classes are exceptional because they’re small enough to give personalized attention but can lead to great jobs or a four year degree. This is the best time to start in the Cyber Security Program at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne.”

“I started at Ivy Tech so that I could go from a career in a warehouse—where I currently am—to a career in cyber security, which has unlimited potential,” says current Cyber Security student Rafe Scott (Huntington County native and Huntington North alumnus). “The best part about the Cyber Security Program at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne is the hands-on learning and the individual attention from instructors. When I found out the company I worked for was shutting down, my instructor sat down with me and, together, we figured out the best plan for my future.”

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne offers the following credentials:

  • Digital Forensics certificate
  • Network Penetration certificate
  • Network Security certificate
  • Technical Certificate
  • Associate of Applied Science
  • Associate of Science (transfer focus)

For more information about Ivy Tech’s cyber security program, visit IvyTech.edu/cyber-security.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne announces new partnership with Lakeland School Corporation to offer classes in LaGrange County

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Lakeland School Corporation are pleased to announce the launch of the LaGrange County Community Learning Center which will bring Ivy Tech classes to LaGrange County students beginning January 14. The new partnership provides classroom space at two LaGrange County locations and allows Ivy Tech to utilize space in two recently repurposed elementary schools: Lima-Brighton Elementary (Howe, IN) and Wolcott Mills Elementary (Wolcottville, IN).

Last spring, after low enrollment caused Lima-Brighton and Wolcott Mills to close, Lakeland School Corporation hosted town hall meetings to determine how those spaces should be repurposed. The communities expressed interest in having Ivy Tech host classes at the sites, specifically business and professional development.

Starting on Jan. 14, Ivy Tech Fort Wayne will offer an introductory business class, Team Dynamics & Today’s Workplace, which will run Tuesdays from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. at both locations.

“The partnership with the LaGrange County Community Learning Center will allow Ivy Tech Fort Wayne to expand our course offerings in community locations that will serve more residents of northeast Indiana,” says Susan Brown, Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Services. “We want to bring an accessible and affordable education to LaGrange County residents and help increase the vitality of LaGrange’s workforce.”

“Lakeland School Corporation is excited to build on our strong relationship with Ivy Tech. Our students have benefited from dual credit opportunities for years,” says Eva Merkel, Superintendent of Lakeland School Corporation.  “Now, offering locations for ongoing training for our area workforce will expand on that partnership. Establishing Ivy Tech classrooms in Howe and Wolcottville will put classes within easy reach of LaGrange County residents.”

Individuals who are interested in Ivy Tech classes at the learning centers can contact Randy Wooldridge, Ivy Tech Director of Community Engagement, at 260-480-4196, rwooldridge2@ivytech.edu or fill out an interest form at bit.ly/IvyLaGrange

Upcoming Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and Warsaw holiday hours

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw will operate adjusted hours in the coming holiday weeks:

Dec. 25, 2019–Jan. 1, 2020

  • All Ivy Tech campuses statewide will be closed for Winter Recess
    This includes all Ivy Tech locations in northeast Indiana (Fort Wayne’s Coliseum Campus, Fort Wayne’s North Campus, Fort Wayne’s South Campus, and the Warsaw Site).

Jan. 2–3, 2020

  • Fort Wayne and Warsaw student service office hours
    Thursday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Jan. 4, 2020

  • Express Enrollment Day at Fort Wayne and Warsaw locations
    Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    RSVP at bit.ly/IvyEED

Jan. 6–10, 2020

  • Fort Wayne and Warsaw student service office hours
    Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Jan. 13–17, 2020

  • Fort Wayne and Warsaw student service office hours
    Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 20, 2020

  • All Ivy Tech campuses statewide will be closed in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
    This includes locations in northeast Indiana.

Alumni Erick and Trenton Ehinger of 3E Industries, LLC, receive 2019 Distinguished Alumni Awards

(l-r) Sue Ellspermann, President of Ivy Tech Community College; Erick Ehinger; Trent Ehinger; and John Murphy, President of the Ivy Tech Foundation

Ivy Tech Foundation recently hosted its annual Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony recognizing 19 honorees from across the statewide system.

Since 1998, the Distinguished Alumni Award has celebrated the success of Ivy Tech Community College alumni by recognizing those who have made a lasting, positive contribution to the community, state or College since completing their education. As the highest honor alumni can receive, the Award is designated for individuals with outstanding professional, philanthropic or volunteer accomplishments.

The Fort Wayne campus’s awardees were Erick and Trenton Ehinger. Trent and Erick, along with their father, Ed, lead 3E Industries, LLC, located in Columbia City. 3E Industries is a celebrated lawn, landscaping, and outdoor design company in the Fort Wayne region. After pursuing their respective Ivy Tech degrees, these brothers went on to excel in their field, achieving a reputation for their strong work ethic and meticulous, creative designs.

Their work can be spotted at several notable locations, including a landscaping and water feature installation in Bunker Hill which has been featured on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Despite their many accomplishments, Trent and Erick remain dedicated to giving back to their community and Ivy Tech.

“Ivy Tech gave my life direction and acted as a guide to kickstart my career,” says Trent Ehinger. “With the help of the experienced professors I was able to focus on the direct needs of the construction industry. The least I could do for Ivy Tech is give my continued support and spread the word for those who are lost but looking to better themselves and their community.”

These outstanding graduates of Ivy Tech have been part of projects that have beautified many businesses and homes in and around Fort Wayne. Their entire family has been very supportive of Ivy Tech.

“Trent and Erick Ehinger are excellent examples of students who found the direction and the skills they needed at Ivy Tech and transferred those qualities into successful careers they love,” says Margaret Sturm, Executive Director of Resource Development. “We’re proud that our alumni often remain in northeast Indiana and, like Trenk and Erick, are dedicated to giving back to the community and to Ivy Tech.”


Learn more about all 19 statewide honorees on the Ivy Tech Distinguished Alumni website.