Welcome back, students! Mark your calendar

Happy spring 2018! (And pay no attention to the gobs of snow we got over the last four days … we still call it the spring semester.)

As you figure out your class schedule and how to navigate Ivy Tech’s various buildings, be sure to keep some of the fun things to do on campus in mind.

Here’s January’s list:

Tuesday Tie Dye

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 16, Student Life Center commons
Get a little artsy, and tie dye your own t-shirt.

Soup Social

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 17, Student Life Center hallway and commons
We’ll have a soup bar set up while you get a chance to meet some student organizations who’d love for you to join.

Coffee Connection

10 a.m. to noon Jan. 18, Coliseum Campus’s Crescent Commons
We’ll have a coffee cart set up for your choice of cappuccinos, lattes, and cocoa.

Ivy Technovation Family Fun Night

6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 19, Student Life Center gym
Bring your family and take advantage of our indoor (read: WARM!) fun with robots, Legos, science demos, food, and more.

Special Cuisines dinner

6:15, 6:30, and 6:15 Feb. 1, Hospitality Room on Coliseum Campus
OK, yes, this is technically a February thing-to-do, but Special Cuisines dinners require reservations, so if you’d like a taste of our hospitality students’ multi-course, world-themed creations, you can learn more online. Tickets are $20 each, and reservations are required.

For events happening all semester long, check out the college calendar online.

From Ivy Tech to ivy league

Meet Genie Walters, a student at Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus studying liberal arts and criminal justice. In addition to being the Student Government Association president, she’s also a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow. As a part of the fellowship, she attend the its National Convening last month, in Boston.

She takes over Green Light to talk a little about the convention.

Here I am!

The National Convening gave myself and other fellows an opportunity to network with one another and to gain a better understanding of how the governing body functions. Walking into the lobby of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, it was a very energetic atmosphere. I was immediately swarmed by other Fellows with questions like, “Where are you from?” “What’s your name?” “What school do you attend?”

Next door the to Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum, which was one of my favorite stops. During my visit, the museum was celebrating JFK 100, a special yearlong exhibit remembering the life and legacy of the 35th president through historic milestones in his career, administration, and personal and family life. One of the more touching pieces was a letter he had received from his father regarding his poor college studies, in 1934:

Now Jack … I definitely know you have the goods, and you can go a long way … I will not be disappointed if you don’t turn out to be a real genius, but I think you can be a really worthwhile citizen with good judgement and understanding.

This advice resonated with me as a current college student. I think it is important for all students to know not everyone is going to have a 4.0 GPA, and yet they still have the ability to go on and do great things.

In addition to this amazing conference, I had a chance to sightsee around Boston. The rich history of Boston is captivating. There are many landmarks, museums, and tours – unfortunately too many for me to visit in such a short time. However, I did get to visit the

The Salem Witch Museum

site of the Boston Massacre; the site of the Boston Tea Party and the infamous “shot heard round the world,” which led to the American Revolution; the Freedom Trail; Paul Revere’s house; the New England Holocaust Memorial; Salem, Mass.; the Salem Witch Museum; the Salem Witch House; and Harvard University.

Harvard holds the title as the oldest university in the country. Not only is Harvard an academic powerhouse but also a popular destination for visitors from around the world. As I walked into Harvard Yard, I just stood in awe as I took in the classic beauty and reflected upon the centuries of history it has witnessed. I thought back to my first semester at Ivy Tech and the high standards I have set for myself. My motto has always been “From Ivy Tech to Ivy League.” And through Ivy Tech, there I stood at an Ivy League institution. Talk about the power of speaking something into existence!

View of Boston

Sadly, the campus was on fall break so it was relatively quiet. Nonetheless, I ventured around and saw some of the iconic buildings on campus. I also took the opportunity to study and submit homework due in my Ivy Tech classes, because when else would I possibly have to the opportunity to say “I studied at Harvard!”? It was a surreal experience and one of the best memories that I will forever cherish from Ivy Tech.

Are you a student or graduate who has had a fantastic experience at Ivy Tech? Would you like to tell us about it? Email your idea to jgarver2@ivytech.edu, and you could get to write a Green Light blog post!

Happy December: Things to do

The semester is almost over! While you’re wrapping up your semester, finishing up finals study time (or perhaps cramming at the last minute? More on why you should avoid that here), keep in mind that there still some things to keep you busy at Ivy Tech.

Because taking a break from work is important!

Winter Meltdown: Summer Party

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 6, Student Life Center commons
Beat the winter blues with ice cream and snacks, crafts, giveaways, and games.

Classical Cuisines dinners

5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and 15, Hospitality Room, Coliseum Campus
These are the last Classical Cuisines dinners of the semester. The menu is French, the cooking techniques are French, and it’s all on campus. Get your tickets and try some French fare.

Finals at the Library

Dec. 11 to 15, Library
Need a break during finals week? Stop by the Library on Coliseum Campus! They’ll have snacks, adult coloring book stations, and, relaxing mobile apps. Plus, from 10 a.m. to noon, cuddle up with some therapy dogs, perfect for finals stress relief.

Who’s That: Meet Christina O’Brien

If you’re involved in Student Life in any way, you’ve likely seen Christina O’Brien around campus. She’s the director of Student Life, which means she works on a bunch of events on campus for students, like WOW Wednesdays and Welcome Week events.

Meet Christina!

How would you describe your job?
I’m responsible for overseeing the cocurricular and extracurricular student experience, which is all the great ways students get involved and learn outside of the classroom. When you think about things like student clubs, student activities, service projects, and sports, you are thinking about Student Life.

Where have students most likely seen you around campus?
Everywhere! Usually running from one place to another with a wagon of weirdness I’m dragging around. Our department supports a lot of great opportunities for students all over campus, and those opportunities always have fun and interesting needs. You can find me giving a presentation at TRIO, or helping out at a WOW Wednesday event in the commons, or getting my diet soda fix at one of the food service areas. My home base is in the Student Life Center over by the Fitness Center and gymnasium.

Christina O’Brien and the Ivy Tech Titan mascot. From this year’s A Reason to Taste fundraiser.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?
It is always the students. I love the diverse and wonderful individuals I get to work with every year and be a part of this leg of their journey. Anytime I even mention considering a different job my husband asks “… but would you enjoy it as much?” My job always has new exciting things to work on and is never boring, but the students are what make it so fun. While they are here to learn, I feel like I end up learning so much from them during their time spent with Ivy Tech, and I look forward to the new faces I get to meet every semester, even though its hard (but exciting) to say good-bye when they graduate.

What’s your favorite event on campus, the No. 1 thing all students should be sure to stop by?
I can only choose one?! That is really hard! I’m going to cheat a smidgeon and say Welcome Week. While it’s technically a whole week of events, that first week of the semester is always so exciting, and the events are always so fun. Students should definitely stop by as many Welcome Week activities as they can and meet new people and enjoy that first week fun!

If students are interested in getting more involved with Student Life, what should they do?
They should check out IvyLife (right there on the Home page of MyIvy) and look at the different events and student organizations. Then they should just try anything out that looks interesting. Stop by group meetings, attend an event, and make time to be involved. If you are really at a loss of what to do, just stop by the Student Life Office in SL107. We can help you find some things that might interest you, and we don’t bite (unless we are hungry).

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 greets 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.