A very thankful Thanksgiving

We asked the college what they’re most thankful for this year. Here are some of the responses we received! Leave a comment and tell us about what you’re most appreciative for this holiday season, too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

“I’m thankful for my beautiful family!” ~Jacquelyn Clapper-Erpelding, academic advisor


“The thing that I am most thankful for is the teachers who don’t give up on me and the faith that God has in me to see me through tough times.” ~Tammy Maness, Cyber Security/Information Assurance student

“I am a retired tool and die maker after more than 30 years in manufacturing and working in many different trades. I am thankful for my health and the opportunity that Ivy Tech provides for me to work as an adjunct instructor. I teach several courses in machine tool technology at the Warsaw Site. So much training was invested in me during my apprenticeship program and the many years after I became a journeyman tool and die maker. I am thankful that I am now in a position to give back to an industry that has been good to me for so many years.

“New skilled workers are always in demand, and training helps to prepare these needed workers for their chosen fields. Ivy Tech has an important part in this future.” ~Gary Pudell, Machine Tool Technology adjunct instructor


“I’m thankful for my giant, slobbery dog, Caesar. He greats me with enthusiasm and a wagging tail every day when I come home from work, insists on snuggles before bed, and is a great gardening buddy.” ~Sandra Fouty, visual and online communications coordinator

“I am thankful for the 39 years and 345 days I had with my dad, who passed away in August of this year.” ~Brad Peters, assistant director, Academic Advising

Who’s That: Meet Cari Knuth, who’s at all the fun events

If you’re involved in Student Life in any way, you’ve likely seen Cari Knuth around campus. She’s the assistant director of Student Life, which means she works on a bunch of events on campus and for students, like last month’s Trunk-or-Treat and this summer’s trip to Washington DC.

Meet Cari!

Tell me about your job.
I literally think I have the most fun job on campus. My job is to engage students outside of the classroom with entertaining, educational, developmental, and diverse extra-curricular programming, activities, and organizations so that students can make the most of their college experience.

There’s Cari, second from left with the striped purse. She traveled with a group of students to Washington D.C. this summer. Here, she’s with Sen. Joe Donnelly rocking some Ivy Tech gear.

Where have students most likely seen you around campus?
What’s Up Weekly News Posts, WOW Wednesdays, Welcome Week, and Family Fun Nights.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?
I get to help students develop soft skills within the college community by not only offering programming, service, and enrichment opportunities, but also by fostering an environment where student interests can develop into student leadership and individual growth.

What’s your favorite event on campus, the No. 1 thing all students should be sure to stop by?
This is a tough one, because through the years we’ve had some great events. My favorites have to be our Trunk-or-Treat events. Being involved in an event that brings 1,800-plus new and old faces that include student, employee, and community members makes my heart smile.



Snapshots from this year’s Trunk-or-Treat on North Campus. Click on images to zoom.

If students want to make sure they don’t miss any great things on campus, what’s the best way to stay informed?
Ivy Life is the best place to find out what’s up on campus. Also, my weekly What’s Up emails and news posts.

Who’s That is an occasional feature on Green Light that spotlights Ivy Tech employees you’ve likely seen around campus–but you may not be quite sure who they are. Have someone you’d like to see featured in Who’s That? Email me at jgarver2@ivytech.edu.

Paws to Read honors prof for 10 years of reading

Ruth Davis and Piper have been reading to kids for 10 years.

Actually: They’ve been read to for 10 years.

Davis and her dog, Piper

Davis, assistant professor of human services at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, and her dog Piper were honored last week through the Paws to Read program. Paws to Read is a literacy program where children read to dogs. Research has shown that 100 percent of kids who participate in programs like Paws improve their reading skills. Davis and Piper have participated for a decade through the Pontiac Branch of the Allen County Public Library.

Davis says

“Piper and I have watched many kids grow up in the program. Some started reading when they were toddlers, by telling stories about the pictures in the books. I love reading and know there is an amazing world in books, so it is a joy to encourage kids to read with this program. This neighborhood is one of the most impoverished in town as well, and that keeps me going back.

“One special memory was when a young boy, probably about 10 or 11 years old, saw Piper in the library and decided that he would read to him. Piper took to this kid immediately, gave the kid kisses and kept his chin on the kid’s knee while he read. I remarked to the kid that Piper must think he is special and in need of more attention. Then the kid revealed that he had just moved into a new foster home that very day, and the foster mom had brought him to the library. The kid thanked Piper for being his friend with an extra hug. I almost cried it was so sweet, and the boy came back several more times.”

Check out the photo from the ceremony in The Journal Gazette, which also featured Piper a year and a half ago.

Attention readers: It’s National Author’s Day!

On the list of strange holidays you’ve never heard of that take place each year, National Author’s Day has to be one of the best (at least for this book lover).

From NationalDayCalendar.com:

“After her grandmother’s death in 1968, Sue Cole promoted the observance of National Author’s Day. She urged people to write a note to their favorite author on Nov. 1, to ‘brighten up the sometimes lonely business of being a writer.’ She also suggested flying the American flag as another way of showing appreciation for the men and women who have created American literature.”

Celebrating it is easy: Support your favorite authors by purchasing a book by them, and share about it on social media with #NationalAuthorsDay. Not sure where to start? I asked the Ivy Tech librarians to suggest some authors students should be familiar with.


  • Brené Brown: “Brené is a scholar, author, and research professor. Her books are engaging, inspiring, and will move you to live courageously. Students (or any reader) would be empowered by what she has to say. The library recently acquired her most recently published book, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone.” suggested by Nicole Treesh, library director
  • Maya Angelou: “Maya is someone everyone should know by name. She was a poet, a writer, and a civil rights activist. Her words of wisdom are timeless. The library has many of her books including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” suggested by Treesh
  • Margaret Atwood: “I know this is a trendy choice, since The Handmaid’s Tale TV series is currently so popular and critically acclaimed, but one of my reasons for picking it is because of its remarkable longevity. I’m old enough that I recall reading it when it first came out in 1985, and the fact that it’s still relevant – maybe even more relevant now – is amazing. I remember being absolutely chilled and horrified by Atwood’s vision of the future. Today’s students should read it not only because it’s a cautionary tale, but because Atwood is a darn good storyteller and the story itself will haunt them for the next 30 years – which is exactly what a great book should do.” suggested by Carol Gibbs, library assistant


  • Louise Erdich: “Her stories are about complicated characters dealing with history and the present, and although they struggle, things always work out in ways that uplift the human spirit.” suggested by Ann Morrison Spinney, librarian
  • Neil Gaiman: “I love how he usually mixes in a little mythology to his writing and presents a mixture of fantasy and suspense. A couple of spooky ones we have are Coraline and The Graveyard Book – both written for younger readers, but excellent reads for adults as well. We have his recent Norse Mythology on the shelf, too.” suggested by Liz Metz, librarian


  • Michael McGreger: “Physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. One of my favorites is How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease, the book that will change your perception of health and nutrition. I like his books because they are based on meticulously documented scientific studies that McGreger translates and summarizes for you in plain English.” suggested by Elina Puckett, librarian
  • Frank Herbert: “He writes science fiction like Tolkein does for fantasy.” suggested by Jonathan Puckett, library clerk
  • John Scalzi: “A clever writer who injects plenty of humor into his stories.” suggested by Puckett

Who are some of your favorite authors? Share them in the comments!

Happy November: Things to do

Thanksgiving is less than a month away … how did that happen?

As the end of the year looms, the time seem to speed by even faster. Don’t forget to savor the days. Here are some of the ways we’re helping you do that at Ivy Tech. Mark your calendars!

Painting with a Purpose

5 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 1, Anthony Commons, Coliseum Campus
Stop by to paint a canvas and talk diversity with American Honors & ¡GOAL y Amigos!

Free popcorn

1 to 3 p.m. Nov. 2, Anthony Commons, Coliseum Campus; and Student Life Center commons
As part of Career Development Week, stop by and get your free popcorn.

Free professional headshots

1 to 3 p.m. Nov. 3, Student Life Center room 136
Also part of Career Development Week, learn the basics of LinkedIn and get a professional headshot taken.

Fall Career Fair

1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 8, Coliseum Campus room 1640
Need a job? Bring copies of your resume and dress professionally to meet with more than 50 area businesses who are looking for employees.

Gaming developers lecture

6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 10, Coliseum Campus auditorium (room 1200)
Interested in learning about gaming development? Two professional game developers will speak about their experiences: Brianna Wu, the founder of Giant Spacekat, a Boston-based independent video game development studio, and the co-developer of the online game Revolution 60; and Casey O’Donnell, the developer of the games Kerem B’Yavneh and Sparks of Eternity and a gaming lecturer and blogger.

International Education Week

Nov. 13 to 16, Coliseum Campus, Student Life Center
As part of this international celebration, Ivy Tech is hosting a series of lectures and events.

Apprenticeship Fair

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 17, Steel Dynamics, Inc. Keith E. Busse Technology Center
National Apprenticeship Week is from Nov. 13 to 19, and Ivy Tech’s Apprenticeship Fair will let you learn all about apprenticeships. Check out live demos and meet with area  companies that have apprenticeship programs.

Fall break

Nov. 21 to 26
Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your time off with your family.

Paint and Plant

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 29, Student Life Center
Stop by this WOW Wednesday event and paint a planter–then fill it with your favorite plants.

Who’s That: Meet Zeke Bryant, the video guy

Chances are, you’ve seen Zeke Bryant around campus before. He might have been hiding behind a camera, but he was probably there, shooting video or taking photos of your student event. Zeke is the College’s multimedia specialist, which means he’s responsible for taking video and photographs to help promote all of your successes.

Meet Zeke!

How would you describe your job?
I manage the Media Services office for the Fort Wayne Campus. I produce video, audio, and photography for internal and external use. My productions are used to promote events, clubs, academic programs, etc. I also equip audio/visual needs for events. My area is in charge of installing and repairing projectors and audio in classrooms and specialty rooms.

Zeke Bryant is the College’s multimedia specialist.

Where have we seen you around campus?
You may have seen me taking pictures at campus or student events. Perhaps setting up for a video shoot in a classroom or lab.

What’s your favorite part about your job?
First, no day is the same as the next. Each project has its own unique needs. Second is drawing attention to a specific need or focus artistically.

What’s the best thing about documenting days and events at Ivy Tech?
The reaction from people when they learn something new about Ivy Tech.

Zeke is always looking for interns. Want a chance to work with and learn from him? You should be familiar with Adobe Premiere and Photoshop and know your way around a prosumer still camera and prosumer video cameras. Self-motivation is a must. “I am a ‘hands-on is the way you learn’ guy,” he says. “I hand projects over with deadlines or a portion of it to complete.” Email him at ebryant14@ivytech.edu. To learn more about internship requirements, contact your advisor or program chair. Interested in working with Zeke as a work-study student? Check your eligibility with the Financial Aid office in Room 118 at the Student Life Center. 

Who’s That is an occasional feature on Green Light that spotlights Ivy Tech employees you’ve likely seen around campus–but you may not be quite sure who they are. Have someone you’d like to see featured in Who’s That? Email me at jgarver2@ivytech.edu.

Don’t make these financial aid mistakes

Financial aid can be a confusing business. Deadlines and taxes and forms and … it can be a lot, especially for a new student who hasn’t dealt with having to apply for financial aid before.

Terri Vasquez, the financial aid director at Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus, and Yahoo! Finance have some tips to help you navigate:

  1. Don’t complete your forms too late. FAFSAs—Free Application for Federal Student Aid—were released Oct. 1. Filling out the forms right after the release date helps families work through the financial aid process without having to rush.
  2. Check and double check the student’s name, parent’s name, social security number, and date of birth. Too often, applicants type in wrong info, which can cause problems with the application.
  3. Not all families qualify for FAFSA, but last year, $2.7 billion in free federal aid went unclaimed because qualifying families didn’t submit their applications. Don’t assume your family makes too much money to receive aid. Learn more about your Expected Family Contribution from the U.S. Department of Education.
  4. Keep your FAFSA password handy. Many families give up on FAFSA because they lose their passwords. It can take up to three days to reset a new password, but make sure you do it. Figure out your dependency status at the education department.
  5. Be sure to check “interested in work study” on your application. This gives students on-campus work opportunities with tax benefits as a subsidy for college costs.
  6. Even if you pay your own bills, file your own taxes, and live by yourself, you may still fall into the category of a dependent student and will need to provide your parents’ financial information. Be sure to follow those guidelines.

Check out Ivy Tech’s Financial Aid info online. Questions? Email fw-financialaid@ivytech.edu or call 260-480-4136.

Tunisian student: ‘Fort Wayne is a very peaceful city’

This semester, two Tunisian students are studying at Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus as a part of the Thomas Jefferson scholarship program. The year-long program allows students to explore American culture and build Tunisia’s workforce.

Gley Raki, one of the students, attends the Higher Institute of Technical Studies in Djerba, an island off the Tunisian coast. He’s studying software development and information security. He shared a little bit about his opinions on Fort Wayne, the United States, and his program.

On the United States


“Exploring the United States is a huge part of my program. That’s why I’m visiting the maximum number of states that I can. I have been in Chicago and Ohio already, and I’m planning to visit most of the East Coast cities during the next fall break; Washington and the cities around it in the winter; and what I can from the West Coast next spring.

“Chicago is a huge city and crowded and people drive angry—not my thing. But the infrastructure amazed me. When I’ve been in Ohio, I went to Cedar Point with a couple people I knew, and that was a really funny and scary day, and the lake is fantastic, too.”

On Fort Wayne

“Fort Wayne is a very peaceful city and calm most of the time. The people here are very nice, too. I’m a foreigner to the United States and its culture, but the community here is very diverse. You never feel as an outsider. That’s what I like about Fort Wayne.

On Ivy Tech

“Ivy Tech is like heaven for us, the software development people. The resources that it provides and the clubs concerning our major and cyber security competitions and events within clubs—that’s something rare to find in any other school, I believe. That’s what I like about Ivy Tech.

The tough part

“The hardest thing was getting to know people and communicate with them with my non-perfect English.”

On the Thomas Jefferson scholarship program

“The goal of this program is that it builds the workforce capacity of a diverse group of youth leaders from across Tunisia. Through year-long programs of study in the U.S., exploration of American culture, community service, and professional internships, participants develop a broad and nuanced understanding of U.S. values and become 21st century global citizens prepared to contribute to the economic growth and development of Tunisia.”

The benefits of regular massage

Healthy Essence has been helping the Ivy Tech and Fort Wayne communities relax for two years.

Have you been yet?

Healthy Essence is the student-run massage clinic at Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus.

Healthy Essence is the College’s student-run massage clinic. They have hours five days a week this semester, and their hour-long massages will leave you feeling refreshed and, simply, better. Two semesters ago, I started to go every two weeks. In that time, I stopped pulling my back so easily, and I no longer wake up with a stiff neck that lasts two days.

Lynsey Saylor, who oversees the clinic, shared information from the American Massage Therapy Association (25 Reasons to Get a Massage), the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (The Benefits of Massage), and the Mayo Clinic (Stress Management) websites about all the benefits of regular massage. Massage can

  • Reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.
  • Help you sleep better.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Decrease migraine frequency.
  • Alleviate low-back pain.
  • Increase joint flexibility and range of motion.
  • Improve concentration.
  • Ease digestive disorders and fibromyalgia.
  • And more.

Massage Professionals estimates that 90 percent of disease is stress-related, which means massage really can be the healthiest decision you’ve made for yourself in a while.

Massages at Healthy Essence are $20 for the Ivy Tech community, military personnel, and those 55 and older; and $25 for the public. Healthy Essence is on the Coliseum Campus, near the Door 30, which faces North Anthony Boulevard.

Make your appointment today at 260-482-9171 ext. 2751 or fw-tmsclinic@ivytech.edu. Questions? Check out Healthy Essence online.

Happy October: Things to do

Even though fall officially began last week, I’m convinced today was the first real day of fall: This past week has been too warm (as evidenced by the final pool day my family had on Saturday).

Ivy Tech has all sorts of October fun in store for you this month. Mark your calendars!

The Bakery at Kelty’s Kafé

9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 4 and 11, Anthony Commons, Coliseum Campus

This semester, Kelty’s Kafé has been a bakery, providing students and employees with breads, muffins, cinnamon rolls, and desserts for sale to sweeten their Wednesday mornings (or help out with that night’s dinner). The final bakery is Oct. 11, so be sure to stop by.

Don’t Gamble on your Future Casino Night

5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 4, Anthony Commons, Coliseum Campus
As a part of Ivy Tech’s Commit to Complete week, we’re hosting Casino Night. We’ll have plenty of resources about transferring, and we’re going to encourage you to sign a pledge that you’ll complete your education. By signing, you’ll receive even more “funds” to gamble with at Casino Night (because with your education, your earning potential increases–get it?)

Automotive Student/Employer Networking Night

5 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4, Automotive Lab, The Steel Dynamics, Inc. Keith E. Busse Technology Center

Calling all automotive technology students! Bring your resume and stop by this networking night to meet with area auto employers.

National Manufacturing Day

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 6, The Steel Dynamics, Inc. Keith E. Busse Technology Center
Attention all manufacturing students! Local employers will be set up to tell you about careers in the field and show you live demos.

Lunch With Latinos!

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 11, Anthony Commons, Coliseum Campus
Meet the students from ¡GOAL y Amigos! and have a bite to eat.

Classical Cuisines dinners

5 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 12, Hospitality Room, Coliseum Campus
Get your tickets and have a taste of the French cuisine, courtesy of our hospitality administration students.


6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 18, parking lot, North Campus
Bring your costumed kiddos and trick-or-treat with Ivy Tech. They’ll collect candy from different cars that have decorated their trunks. Complete with food, music, and more.

Barb Oakley presentation: Learning to Learn

7 to 8 p.m. Oct. 25, Auditorium, Coliseum Campus
Oakley, a national professor, author, and speaker, will teach on the topic of how to learn through her upcoming book, “Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects.”