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).

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.

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.

Who’s That: Meet Sam Bolden, the food guy

You might not recognize the name “Sam Bolden,” but I bet you’ve seen him around before–likely working in and around the Wrap ‘N’ Roll Deli on the Coliseum Campus or Blue Bamboo in the Student Life Center. Sam is the College’s Food Services manager, which means he’s in charge of on-campus catering and both campus eateries. He works with students often, either as his employees or to make sure they get the right breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

Meet Sam!

What’s your favorite thing about your job?
My favorite part of my job is working with the students. It is especially rewarding to see them grow and reach their employment goals beyond graduation. Then, we do it all over again with a new batch of students.

Sam, center, with two Wrap ‘N’ Roll workers, Keiara Robinson (left) and Rose Lee.

Goodies for the s’mores buffet

What’s your favorite event to cater on campus?
That’s a tough one. We enjoy doing them all. I guess the ones with unique menu items, like one we did recently featuring made-to-order s’mores at an action-cooking chef’s table. It included assorted flavored marshmallows, three kinds of graham crackers, and various chocolate bars. The combinations and presentation were well-received by the students and visitors. Simply FUN!

What’s the you-gotta-try-this new item this semester?
Right now we are running the Big Walking Taco, and in October, we will be featuring a stacked corned beef reuben on swirl rye.

What’s your favorite thing to order at the Wrap ‘N’ Roll?
I like the Chipotle Turkey BLT Wrap. Yum!

What about the Blue Bamboo?
I like the Spicy Chicken Quesadilla. The Blue Bamboo Burger and the Hand-Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich are standouts.

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.