Inside Ivy Tech: Knowledge @ the College

Ivy Tech Community College faculty make their mark on northeast Indiana and beyond:

Automotive Author



Nicholas Goodnight has penned a textbook for community and technical college students. The assistant professor of automotive technology is co-author of Automotive Engine Repair, a part of the CDX Master Automotive Technician Series.

In addition, the North American Council of Automotive Teachers honored Goodnight with the Best New Automotive Teacher in the Nation award last July, a distinction that recognizes an outstanding automotive instructor who has been teaching for five years or fewer.

Tech Savvy

Andy Bell


Engineering department chair Andrew Bell spoke about two-year and four-year college collaborations to advance microelectromechanical system technology at the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education Principal Investigators Conference in Washington, D.C. in late October. Two of Bell’s students, Lucas Bazile and Isaiah Abel, were awarded highly selective sponsorships to join him at the conference.

Also, Bell was sworn in recently as the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering’s  vice chair for the Micro/Nanotechnology Focus Group during the organization’s annual conference in Cincinnati. The ATMAE develops technology graduates and professional who lead, innovate, and collaborate in technology-related fields.

Cyber Speak

Togashi, Darryl


Cybersecurity expert Darryl Togashi has been named to Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb’s Executive Council on Cybersecurity. Togashi is the department chair for Cybersecurity/Information Assurance, Information Technology Support, Network Infrastructure and Server Administration programs at Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus.

Togashi has joined government (local, state, and federal), private-sector, military, research, and academic stakeholders to collaboratively move Indiana’s cybersecurity to the next level. With 28 council members and more than 50 advisory members, the council will deliver a comprehensive strategy plan to Holcomb by September 2018.

Ensuring Excellence

Rula Mourad Koudsia


Rula Mourad Koudsia has been named the director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus, a new initiative launched this fall to focus on faculty collaboration, enrichment, and innovation. The center aims to provide trainings, consultations, and resources to support faculty and create a more connected campus-wide teaching culture. Departments across the College, as well as external organizations, will assist in fulfilling the center’s mission.

Koudsia will retain her existing responsibilities as associate professor and department chair for the Communication, English for Speakers of Other Languages, and Student Success programs.

Inside Ivy Tech: Alphabet Soup

Ivy Tech Community College news briefs from across northeast Indiana:

Advancing Agriculture

This spring, Ivy Tech’s Warsaw Site will begin to offer Introduction to Agriculture, with the hope to offer related classes at the site in coming semesters. These classes allow students in and around Kosciusko County to begin an associate degree in agriculture close-to-home. They can complete their course work at the Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Campus.

Agriculture is one of the largest sectors of Indiana’s economy, making a $20 billion impact annually. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2015–16 Agricultural Statistics book, Kosciusko County ranks, with regard to Indiana’s 92 counties,

  • Fifth in cattle production
  • Fifth in total land area used for farming
  • Fifth in cash receipts from farm marketing
  • Seventh in corn production

 Educational Exchange

Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus is hosting two international students as a part of the Tunisia Community College Scholarship Program: Raki Glaii and Seif Edinne Chouaya.

Through a year-long program of study in the United States, scholarship program participants develop academic knowledge and skills in their field of study. By interacting with Americans in the classroom, in the community, and through service-learning activities, participants develop a broad and nuanced understanding of U.S. values, become citizen ambassadors, and create links between Tunisians and Americans to increase cross-cultural understanding.

The program is a part of the Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by IREX, an international nonprofit organization.

Pioneering Programs

Beginning academic year 2017–18, Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus will offer five new academic programs: aviation technology–flight, biology, diesel technology, patient care technician, and psychology.

Aviation technology–flight is an associate degree program that prepares students for their journey toward becoming pilots. Students will follow a syllabus approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to become “instrument rated,” which means students will need to have at least 50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command.

Biology is an associate degree program where students can find employment as biological sciences lab technicians, forest conservation technicians, or medical laboratory technicians. Students can transfer their degree to any public four-year university in Indiana and begin as a junior.

Diesel technology is an associate degree program that places an emphasis on the analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of diesel engines. This program complements the commercial driver’s license training already provided by Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus.

Patient care technician is an associate degree program that prepares students with skills such as taking vital signs, performing electrocardiography, drawing blood, and other procedures to help with the day-to-day care of healthcare patients.

Psychology is an associate degree program where students can find employment as mental health assistants, youth counselors, home care aides, and addictions rehabilitation assistants. Students can transfer their degree to any public four-year university in Indiana and begin as a junior.

Regional Realignment

As a part of its organizational restructuring initiative, Ivy Tech Community College recently announced that the Ivy Tech Warsaw Site will transition to the Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Campus service area. Warsaw is currently aligned with the Ivy Tech North Central service area, which includes South Bend, but the College announced a new structure earlier this year that proposed eliminating regions and moving toward a campus model.

During the 2017–18 academic year, the Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and Warsaw leadership teams will work together to ensure a smooth transition for students, faculty, staff, and the Warsaw community Ivy Tech serves. Full realignment is expected on or before July 1, 2018.


Inside Ivy Tech: Hall of Famer selected to helm Ivy Tech Titans baseball

Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus has hit a home run, launching a successful intercollegiate men’s baseball program with a 13-0 record during fall exhibition play and securing National Junior College Athletic Association Division II status.

The College announced its team intent with the Ivy Tech Titans at a press conference in late spring and named Lance Hershberger as head coach, a well-respected baseball figure in northeast Indiana.

Inducted into the Northeast Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017, Hershberger has several years of coaching experience at many levels of play, including the Wildcat Baseball Organization; Concordia, Bishop Luers, and Bishop Dwenger high schools; and Indiana Tech. At Indiana Tech, his teams appeared in five consecutive National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics World Series from 1998 to 2002.

“Under Lance’s leadership, Titans Baseball will provide a new opportunity for Ivy Tech students in northeast Indiana, allowing them to develop their potential on the field and in the classroom, as they prepare for their future,” says Jerrilee K. Mosier, chancellor of Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus.

The Titans roster consists of 26 full-time students, who began exhibition play at Shoaff Park in September. The College is providing these student-athletes with the opportunity to compete at an intercollegiate level, while also focusing on their academic studies at Indiana’s most affordable college, which makes the opportunity and experience more accessible for regional athletes.

“Fall ball is important for any college baseball program. It’s even magnified for a new program,” Hershberger says. “I liked what I saw, based on our 13-0 record, as our players got their feet on firm ground.”

The baseball program is being supported solely through sponsorships, private donors, and fundraising efforts at the College. Several donors have already made pledges to the program, such as Indiana Representative Bob Morris. Currently, the College is crowdfunding for student scholarships, and more than $18,000 has been raised to date. Donations are still being accepted to the Ivy Tech Titans Baseball Program.

The Titans face Sinclair Community College of Dayton, Ohio, during the team’s spring opener on Feb. 27.

Inside Ivy Tech: Dual credit student interns at NASA

It started, as these things do, with Star Wars.

Two years ago, Alexandra Forsythe visited Fort Wayne’s Science Central, where she saw a working R2-D2 robot.

“I am a big Star Wars fan, and I always thought it would be cool to build my own R2-D2,” she says.

So she taught herself how. Forsythe, a dual credit student at Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne Campus who keeps her working R2 in his own private garage at home, used the knowledge she gained in building the robot to snag herself an internship at NASA this summer.

Alexandra Forsythe, a homeschooled student who is taking dual credit classes at Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus, interned at NASA over the summer.

During her 12-week internship, she worked on a circuit board that will be used by a rover, allowing it to land autonomously and safely. She’s not yet sure where this NASA rover will travel—NASA hasn’t announced it yet—but she guesses it will go to the moon first, and then maybe to Mars.

This circuit board was considerably different from the boards she created for R2. For one, the rover’s board required special components, like a shielding cloth to protect it from radiation and pieces that allow it to fly in space.

Her internship wasn’t all circuit boards, however; she learned about ferrite beads (a hollow cylinder or bead made of iron oxide used to filter how much high frequency electromagnetic interference noise is found in electronic circuits) and the math that goes into assuring an object is space-ready.

“When you take an internship at NASA, it’s not so you can help with a special project,” Forsyth says. “It’s so you can learn things.”

And she taught them, too: NASA asked her to present her R2-D2 to the team. (She blogged about the presentation and shared a brief video, which you can view here.)

Forsythe is a home-schooled high school student from Huntington. Last year, she took a public speaking class at Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus—once, she presented her R2 in the class—and she’s currently enrolled in physics.

“Oh, I love it,” she says of the College. “Public speaking last year was incredible. (My physics professor) makes physics really interesting, even though it’s a five-hour class. He makes it so it’s cool, and I love that. I love it when a professor can keep my attention.”

She has also taken classes at Indiana Tech and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Her goal, she says, is to test out different colleges in an effort to figure out where to study when she graduates high school.

“I’m waiting to see how the scholarships fall,” she says. “I still want to take classes at Ivy Tech.”

To learn more about Forsythe, check out her blog.

Inside Ivy Tech: Putting the ‘community’ in community college

Quality of place begins with access to broad opportunities, partnerships in action

College’s partnerships help define civic satisfaction in northeast Indiana

Ivy Tech Community College’s origin in northeast Indiana can be traced to the summer of 1969 and leased space in the former Concordia High School at 1711 Maumee Ave.

There, a small team of faculty and staff scrambled to prepare for the start of fall quarter classes.

“It was exciting. Here was a brand new school, and it provided an opportunity to get in at the ground floor. I decided to take the chance and sign on,” says Jan Geib, one of the first instructors hired who went on to teach at the College for 36 years.

Among the hundreds of events the College supports each year is the American Heart Association’s Northeast Indiana Heart Walk.

The Indiana Legislature had established the statewide institution as Indiana Vocational Technical College six years earlier, in 1963, for the purpose of addressing a large gap in vocational-type technical training for Hoosiers.

The initial class offerings were selected based on each region’s greatest employment-training needs. For Fort Wayne, that meant two programs: Drafting Technology and Secretarial Sciences.

While many things have changed since the College’s early history—most notably its expanded role as a comprehensive community college that offers career, continuing, developmental, online, transfer, and workforce-training education—one thing that hasn’t changed is its commitment to quality of place in northeast Indiana.

“Quality of place can be defined in many ways, but no matter how you define it, it’s the single most important measure of civic satisfaction,” says Jerrilee K. Mosier, chancellor of Ivy Tech Northeast. “The more appealing an area can be, the happier and more prosperous its residents will be.”

And for Ivy Tech Northeast, contributing to quality of place translates into actively embracing partnerships that promote academic, economic, and social advances for people.

“You have to develop strong relationships with the community if you want the community to support the College,” Mosier adds.

Aja Michael-Keller, in her work as director of events, enrichment, and conferencing, quantifies partnerships between the College and the community. In 2016 alone, the College sponsored more than 100 internally driven events, such as A Reason to Taste, South Side Fest, and Touch-a-Truck, where several thousand area residents benefited from participation.

In addition, the College hosted 465 externally driven events, meetings, and trainings, where 19,740 people attended campus functions scheduled by groups as diverse as the American Heart Association, Cancer Support, the Department of Homeland Security, Early Childhood Alliance, and FIRST LEGO League.

“One of the things that brings me the greatest satisfaction is seeing first-hand the myriad ways in which Ivy Tech Northeast enhances lives by being a place to gather, learn, and share ideas,” Michael-Keller says.

Pre-employment skills training benefits Easterseals Arc clients

While perfecting his fold of a buffalo chicken wrap, Wayne High School junior Santiago Norfleet paused before detailing some of the skills he’s developed at Ivy Tech Northeast’s Blue Bamboo Café.

“I’ve learned how to cook on the grill, work with the cash register, and avoid using the same gloves for more than one task because it could cause food contamination,” he says.

Wayne High School freshman Peyton Hullinger assists Norfleet in wrapping chocolate chunk cookies to sell at the College’s Blue Bamboo Café on North Campus.

Norfleet is one of eight Wayne High School students with special needs who participated in an 18-week training initiative at the College this spring made possible by a pre-employment transitional grant issued by the state’s Vocational Rehabilitation Services office.

As administrator of the grant, Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana partnered with Fort Wayne Community Schools and Ivy Tech Northeast to plan and execute the training.

The grant gave students with special needs the opportunity to learn about and enhance their skills in five areas: job-exploration counseling, post-secondary education, self-advocacy, work-based learning experiences, and workplace-readiness training.

Easterseals Arc first approached FWCS about the district’s perceived value of pursuing a pre-employment transitional services partnership. In response, FWCS officials identified Wayne High School as the school with the greatest need for such assistance.

“Our special needs students currently maintain a greenhouse, a lunch café, and a supplies store within the school,” says Wayne High School Principal John Houser. “I was excited to see this partnership with Easterseals Arc and Ivy Tech because it made the training opportunities more rigorous, more real life.”

During the training’s work-rotation schedule, the students were divided into two groups where they gained work experience through four support services at Ivy Tech Northeast: administrative services, catering/food service, groundskeeping, and janitorial/housekeeping. Students even earned Indiana’s food handler certification.

Easterseals Arc also provided the students with a small stipend to help incentivize participation while they trained.

“These experiences not only provided skills training in various areas of our campus facilities, they also provided a stepping stone for independence and self-worth,” says Kassandra Flanagan, program manager for Ivy Tech Northeast’s Workforce Alignment.

Easterseals Arc job coach Ashlyn Smith agrees.

“I’ve watched these students learn to take pride in what they’re doing,” she says. “This change in their mentality comes back around to the increased confidence they’ve gained.”

Third-graders adopt ‘no excuses’ when it comes to pursuing college education

West Noble Elementary School student Xavier Hofmeister collaborates on a craft project with his college pen pal, Karina Vazquez, a general studies major.

April 13 proved to be a big day for Xavier Hofmeister and his classmates from West Noble Elementary School. Not only did the third-graders travel from Ligonier to tour Ivy Tech Northeast’s Coliseum Campus, they had the opportunity to meet their college student pen pals.

During the 2016–17 academic year, Hofmeister has been paired with Karina Vazquez, an American Honors student and general studies major.

“I told her my nickname is X-Man, like the X-Men movies, and she should have a nickname, too, since we’re friends,” says Hofmeister, while drawing a pond stocked with fish on a cloth square. The squares were later connected by ribbons to complete an Earth Day-inspired quilt project for display.

“It’s nice socializing with the students,” says Vazquez, coloring beside Hofmeister. “It’s easier for me to speak with children than adults sometimes.”

A national stay-in-school initiative helped make their interaction possible.

Since 2013, Ivy Tech Northeast has sponsored a third-grade class at West Noble through No Excuses University, a program that matches elementary schools with a high number of students receiving free and reduced-price lunches with higher education or military partners. The program encourages students to graduate from high school and consider attending college.

Third-grade teacher and Ivy Tech Northeast alumna Angela Beers says her students have studied the College online, learning about its statewide system and discovering that it’s a more affordable option for higher education.

“Coming here today, the students are getting a concrete, tangible experience with college,” Beers says. “Each year, my class loves to come here, see what a real college looks like, and interact with the students.”

In addition to socializing with their pen pals, the West Noble students received Ivy Tech T-shirts and swag bags filled with college-themed items.

American Honors Coordinator Krystyl Dumas says the third-graders aren’t the only ones to benefit from the No Excuses University arrangement.

“American Honors students get to stay connected to the community, and they get to feel like mentors to the younger students,” Dumas says.

Parkview Education Center to open in fall, promote streamlined career paths

Career training in healthcare is about to become more streamlined in northeast Indiana, as Parkview Health System opens the Parkview Education Center at 1919 W. Cook Road this fall.

A new three-partner consortium comprised of Parkview, Ivy Tech Northeast, and Fort Wayne Community School’s Career Academy at Anthis is expected to provide innovative and comprehensive learning experiences.

From left: Healthcare specialist instructor Shelly Dobler coaches Julia Arnold, a healthcare specialist major, in placing EKG electrodes on a mock patient. This fall, the Healthcare Specialist program will relocate to the new Parkview Education Center
at 1919 W. Cook Road.

“For participating Anthis and Ivy Tech students, the Parkview Education Center’s collaborative model will show them that healthcare is a great field to work in, and they may be inspired to become nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, and the like,” says Sue Ehinger, chief experience officer at Parkview Health. “This project is also important to me personally because it has a goal of starting some Parkview employees on the path to college. It will show them that it’s possible to advance in your career when you further your skills and education.”

Parkview will be shifting its training and new employee orientation operations to the location; Anthis will be moving its four health science programs; Ivy Tech Northeast will be relocating its Healthcare Specialist program, which provides certifications to become EKG technicians, patient care technicians, personal trainers, pharmacy technicians, and phlebotomy technicians. The program will maintain a small presence on the College’s Coliseum Campus.

Ivy Tech will use its 23,550-square-foot space to accommodate four classrooms, two anatomy and physiology labs, two computer labs, one EKG lab, one phlebotomy lab, one kinesiology lab, and the option to establish a fifth classroom and a pharmacy technician lab at a later date.

Interim Dean of Health Sciences Matt Shady says the partnership will add value on a variety of levels.

“With Anthis students, there will be a more direct line through which they can continue their education at Ivy Tech. With Parkview, in essence, its staff has a long history of helping train our students through clinical experiences. This partnership slightly turns those tables as we begin to provide training to the hospital’s employees. And from the College’s standpoint, the space where the Healthcare Specialist program is currently housed can be used to expand or launch other programs,” Shady says.

Unity Performing Arts to expand programming for its gifted students

The internationally acclaimed Voices of Unity Youth Choir will soon have a new rehearsal home on Ivy Tech Northeast’s Coliseum Campus. The choir performed at the College’s Commencement ceremony in 2016.

The performing arts are about to become a mainstay at Ivy Tech Northeast once the Unity Arts Institute begins its residency this summer.

The new institute will operate on the Coliseum Campus, and its programming will represent the first and second phases of a multi-phase, multi-year vision for the Unity Performing Arts Foundation, which serves children and adolescents in the greater Fort Wayne area.

During phase one, Unity is expanding its youth choral program, the internationally acclaimed Voices of Unity Youth Choir, and creative writing program, Expression, to include opportunities in dance, drama, instrumental music, and
oratory training.

Phase two represents the formal launch of the institute, where, in addition to artistic programming, youth development programming will be introduced. Opportunities will include training in character building, college and career preparation, communication and leadership, and health and wellness.

“We are excited about having access to Ivy Tech’s administrators, educators, professionals, resources, and facilities,” says Marshall White, founder and CEO of the Unity Performing Arts Foundation. “Additionally, we hope to attract Ivy Tech students to volunteer, become mentors for our young people, and become instrumental in the growth and development of our programs.”

The leased 3,119-square-foot renovation marks Unity’s first independent programming space, which is being funded by a successful 2016–17 capital campaign orchestrated by its foundation. The renovation will include computer lab, office, reception, practice, and storage areas.

“This move is a major milestone in Unity’s history,” White says. “I believe great organizations don’t just happen; they need great people to fuel, nurture, and support the potential greatness that exists. When that happens, the potential greatness comes
forth and becomes a valuable asset for the community.”

Both parties anticipate that the partnership can provide a blueprint for how educational institutions and the arts community can collaborate to ensure the success of young people.

“The experiences ahead will serve the participants well for the rest of their lives,” says Jerrilee K. Mosier, chancellor of Ivy Tech Northeast. “The College is pleased to serve as a partner with the Unity Performing Arts Foundation in providing this life-
changing impact.”

Certification agreement creates employment path for students

Paper is the traditional gift associated with one-year anniversaries, and paper it shall be—in the form of a highly respected technician certificate—for Ivy Tech Northeast’s automotive technology graduates.

One year ago, Ivy Tech Northeast entered into a partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s (FCA) Mopar Career Automotive Program, or Mopar CAP, to create a next-generation employment pipeline for Mopar-certified automotive technicians who will service Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram vehicles.

Click images for caption info and to zoom.

Mopar is the parts, service, and customer care organization within FCA.

“This partnership is a great opportunity for us because we’re working with a recognized name, and it’s great for FCA because the company’s commitment helps the local community,” says Nick Goodnight, assistant professor of automotive technology.

As a condition of the partnership, all Ivy Tech Northeast automotive technology faculty became Mopar-certified instructors, and the College benefits from free and ongoing instructor training, as well as access to cutting-edge advancements in automotive technologies made available by local FCA dealerships.

Associate-degree graduates, on the other hand, will have completed Levels 0 and 1 from the four-level Mopar CAP Technical Skill Core Curriculum, where they focus on learning dealership operations and technical aspects of vehicles.

“I think Mopar CAP coming to Ivy Tech is the best thing that could have happened to us in Fort Wayne,” says Randy Powell, service director at O’Daniel Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

Powell says his only option to train Chrysler-specific technicians in the past was to send them as far away as Dayton, Ohio, for six-month periods—a practice he says created hardships for families.

“Ivy Tech has always had a very strong (automotive) program here for more than 25 years,” he adds. “We appreciate all of the good work the College does for us and the well-rounded graduates it produces.”

Ivy Tech Northeast is one of only three Mopar CAP partners in Indiana to date, with the other partners being Ivy Tech Kokomo and Ivy Tech Southwest (Evansville).

Inside Ivy Tech: ‘I’m happy when things break down’

Workforce Alignment training options promote career advancement for incumbent workers

Advanced manufacturing companies that experience frequent equipment failures would be wise to embrace an employee like Joe Decamp.

“I’m happy when things break down because I love doing maintenance,” Decamp says. “I enjoy troubleshooting and fixing equipment.”

From left, Joe Decamp and Bruce Slazyk were both sponsored by their respective employers, Ottenweller Inc. and Fort Wayne Pools, to participate in the Industrial Maintenance Training Program established by Ivy Tech Northeast’s Workforce Alignment. Their six-month training commitment will provide them with the skills necessary to become entry-level industrial maintenance technicians.

Decamp is a paint maintenance technician with Fort Wayne’s Ottenweller Inc., a nationally based fabrication source that specializes in producing large steel parts for companies such as Caterpillar and John Deere. His primary responsibilities focus on preventative maintenance, where he changes filters on equipment and keeps production machinery clean.

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Inside Ivy Tech: Striving for STEM equality

Women in the field discuss their experiences in a field dominated by men

Debbie Pitzer grew up working on cars. Tinkering with gadgets. Taking things apart. Figuring out how they worked, what made them go.

“It’s how I got interested in technology,” she says.

Pitzer is the program chair for Ivy Tech Community College Northeast’s Machine Tool Technology program, but her bachelor’s degree is in mechanical engineering.

Debbie Pitzer works with Michael Capps, an industrial technology student, in her Introduction to Machining class. Pitzer is the program chair for Machine Tool Technology at Ivy Tech Northeast. Throughout the United States, less than 30 percent of the science and engineering workforce are women.

In her program, Pitzer is the only female faculty member. Across all science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs at Ivy Tech Northeast, she’s one of only a few female faculty members.

These numbers mirror a national stat—women make up half of the total college-educated workforce in the United States but just 29 percent of the science and engineering workforce, according to the National Girls Collaborative Project, a charitable group committed to encouraging girls to pursue STEM careers. Pitzer saw similar numbers when she was a student, too.

This spring, Olivia Koehler became the first woman to graduate from Ivy Tech Northeast’s Electrical Engineering Technology program. Koehler traveled to the University of New Mexico last year, where she gained experience working in a clean room, a space free from dust and contaminants that is often used for manufacturing electronic components.

“I was either the only (woman), or there was one other,” she says.

Olivia Koehler graduated this May from the College’s Electrical Engineering Technology program; she is the first woman to do so. Koehler says she had just one or two classes with another woman, a fact she originally found intimidating.

“I think a lot of guys felt like I was intruding in their space,” she says. “It made me want to try even harder. It made me want to prove myself.”

Father knows best

Koehler, who was homeschooled, didn’t know what she wanted to study in college. Her father pushed his field, electrical engineering, because she excelled in science, but Koehler was dubious.

So he took his daughter to work. Koehler’s father taught electrical engineering classes, and he invited her to sit in on a class.

“They were going over circuits, and I loved going through the creation process of the circuit, all the intricate details. I wanted to learn more about that,” she says.

Chris Barlow encourages women to get into STEM fields, too. Barlow, who teaches biology at Ivy Tech Northeast, encourages her female students to stick with the field. And her daughters. And the girls she works with while volunteering to help a local school’s students on their science fair projects.

“There are fundamental differences in the way males and females look at the same problem,” Barlow says. “(Women) may see it differently, may see different patterns, and (those differing viewpoints) makes science more robust.”

Chris Barlow, who teaches biology at Ivy Tech Northeast, says girls start to shy away from STEM subjects as early as fifth or sixth grade. Before then, girls are just as excited about science and math as boys.

Through her work volunteering, Barlow has noticed that girls in kindergarten to fifth grade often love science. She calls them “confident explorers, ready to discover.”

Globally, girls tend to outperform boys in science—except in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, whose mission is to improve the social and economic well-being of people around the world. Barlow thinks, at least in the United States, that discrepancy begins to occur in the sixth grade, the time when she sees girls’ confidence plummet.

“Something in our society is setting these girls up in middle school to think they’re not good at science or math,” she says.
She saw it in her two daughters, too, girls she raised to know they can do anything, to never question whether a topic of study was beyond their reach just because of their gender.

Then middle school hit, and her daughters said something they’d never before said: “I can’t do this. I’m not good at math.”

“Where did you get that?” Barlow asked.

Their friends said it.

“It’s this social awareness that blossomed when they were in middle school,” she says. “They were mimicking things they heard other girls say.”

A good job market for women

Though Koehler just graduated in May, she has already worked at Fort Wayne Metals, a medical-grade wire and cable producer, for two years.

Though just a small number of women study machine tool technology—Pitzer estimates that her classes are 98 percent men—they always find work after completing the program.

“Women are really good at it,” she says. “Every female we had who graduated gets a job, and she gets a job right away. I encourage them to go into the field because I know they are highly sought after.”

Women tend to be more detail-oriented, Pitzer says. It’s not that they’re better at the work than men, but they are often more focused on producing quality parts.

She wonders if it’s that focus on quality that stymies women from entering her field: In her experience, Pitzer says, she has seen women get discouraged when they are unable to perfect a task. And if the result isn’t perfect, they’re more likely to move to a different discipline. Men, meanwhile, will stick with it, even if they’re not perfect, she says.

Studies have proven Pitzer’s hypothesis: The book The Confidence Code shares findings that show when a professional endeavor goes wrong, women are more likely to blame themselves; when something goes right, they’re more likely to credit others for the success, reported Time magazine.

“What women don’t realize,” Pitzer says, “is they’re often doing better than their male counterparts.”

Inside Ivy Tech: A Fresh Focus

Joseph Decuis kitchen heads hail from Ivy Tech Northeast

“If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings (…) you almost don’t have to manage them.”

Jack Welch, the 20-year General Electric CEO who grew the company’s value by 4,000 percent, said those words. His tactic—letting talented people do their thing—is one the owners at Joseph Decuis seem to take to heart: They hired a new head chef late last year, and one of his first orders of business? Reorganize the kitchen completely and change the menu.

“We’ve got a good reputation, and I plan on keeping that reputation, but I want to make it better,” says Marcus Daniel, the Roanoke restaurant’s head chef and a 2006 graduate of Ivy Tech Community College Northeast’s Hospitality Administration program. “The owners put a lot of trust in me to make the best food I can.”

Marcus Daniel, the head chef at Joseph Decuis in Roanoke, is a graduate of Ivy Tech Northeast’s Hospitality Administration program. “It was a really good program to be in,” he says. “School taught me the basic foundation of cooking.”

His new menu, which changes regularly, focuses on fresh, farm-to-fork options. His goal is to see most of his menu—80 percent—come from the Eshelman farm; Pete and Alice Eshelman, who own Joseph Decuis, also run their own farm, which produces myriad produce and protein options: chickens, pigs, goats, sheep, and turkeys. According to the restaurant’s website, it is the only farm in the country to raise Wagyu beef, known for being the best tasting, healthiest beef in the world, following traditional Japanese husbandry practices.

Joseph Decuis is known throughout the region for its Wagyu beef, often considered the best tasting, healthiest beef in the world. The Joseph Decuis farm is the only one in America to raise Wagyu beef, according to the restaurant’s website.

“I haven’t ordered eggs in two months,” says Daniel, who rattles off some of his kitchen’s from-scratch offerings: pita bread, lemon rosemary biscotti, rhubarb sorbet, Mangalitza hash, a recipe he based on a dish from Los Angeles.

Daniel has worked in kitchens from California to New York, including the John Dory Oyster Bar, a New York City restaurant under April Bloomfield, a British chef known for holding a Michelin star, a mark of distinction to recognize quality of cooking, at two restaurants.

Before starting at Joseph Decuis, Daniel helped open a Fort Wayne sandwich shop on Coliseum Boulevard, Mr. Panini, where he met Nick Richardson, a fellow Ivy Tech hospitality administration graduate, who started at then-Manchester College.

“I couldn’t find anything I wanted to do,” he says, so he turned to Ivy Tech Northeast for cooking. “It was either that or barber school.”

“You were gonna be a barber?” Daniel asks.

It might seem hard to fathom: Richardson is Daniel’s sous chef, charged with serving as a liaison between the business and cooking sides of the restaurant. Richardson started at Joseph Decuis two months before Daniel, and when the restaurant needed a head chef, Richardson knew where to look.

“We complement each other really well,” Daniel says. “Nick is very organized and very structured.”

“And he’s creative,” Richardson says.

One of Daniel’s goals with Joseph Decuis is to focus on small-plate options.

“When I go out to eat,” he says, “I’d rather eat the whole menu. “I want to appeal to a younger demographic, who grew up with the Food Network, who knows about the rest of the world but maybe hasn’t had a chance to explore it.”

Inside Ivy Tech: Ambitious by Design

Alumnus’s passion for architecture, planning intersect at Ivy Tech

Ivy Tech Northeast alumnus Hau Khup replicates the master plan for The High Line, a public park built along a historic freight rail line on Manhattan’s West Side, to satisfy an assignment at Ball State University that aims to teach communicating through graphics. As a transfer student, Khup recently completed the First Year Program at Ball State’s College of Architecture and Planning.

Whether tinkering with his father’s furniture-making tools to carve wood or building shelters in the forest to stay cool and dry while hunting for mushrooms, Hau Khup has downplayed many of the lessons learned during his favorite childhood activities. He’s often regarded them as little more than innocent fun.

But now that he’s an adult studying architecture and urban planning halfway around the globe, he’s revisiting those early exercises in creativity and utility and seeing them as career influences.

“I now realize these interests played a part in leading me to my passion, my goal,” Khup says.

Khup’s 3-D model for a building concept that joins different elements together.

His path to college—beginning at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast and now on to Ball State University—has been a nontraditional experience when compared with most of his peers.

Khup’s home nation of Burma, in Southeast Asia, has been destabilized by a decades-old civil war and several military coups, which have resulted in economic hardships, widespread displacement of citizens, and human rights violations.

“Even as a child, I knew things were bad in Burma. A lot of people had no jobs or income,” Khup says.

In fact, the need to find work divided his own family. When Khup was 5, his father and older brother, Langh, fled Burma for Malaysia, where they both found low-paying jobs in restaurants. Khup and his mother followed their lead to Malaysia when he was 12, but upon their arrival, Khup’s father and brother had already resettled in America as refugees sponsored by the United Nations.

“We would get phone calls from my father sometimes. We would discuss what was going on, and we’d wonder how we were ever going to get to come to the United States,” Khup says.

Khup spent the next 2 ½ years working as a waiter and dishwasher in Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur, while also caring for his ill mother.

While living in the Southeast Asian metropolis, Khup says he remained in awe of his surroundings; it was a dramatic contrast from the village of 400 residents where he grew up.

“I still wasn’t thinking about a future in architecture at that point, but I did have questions about how the buildings were built in that complex city, but I never found the answers,” Khup says.

His luck improved in 2010 when he and his mother earned the opportunity to immigrate to Fort Wayne where their family was reunited.

Following one year in middle school, Khup advanced to North Side High School and graduated in 2015.

The first in his family to pursue college, Khup chose Ivy Tech Northeast, where he elevated his academic performance, English proficiency, and social confidence.

“Early on at Ivy Tech, I started thinking more and more about buildings and architecture, but I realized none of those classes were offered,” Khup says.

Dawn Hammond made herself available to address his academic concerns.

Hammond, an academic advisor who specializes in working with international and ESOL, or English for Speakers of Other Languages, students, says she worked with Khup to identify the right mix of transfer classes that satisfied his needs and increased his chances of getting accepted into Ball State’s College of Architecture and Planning.

“Working with refugees, I see that immediate needs must be addressed first. Many of the refugees’ talents go unrecognized because work and family must come first. But at Ivy Tech, we are practical dreamers. We want to make sure their dreams are achieved,” says Hammond, the 2017 statewide recipient of the Ivy Tech Veteran Advisor Award.

“Dawn became my best friend at that point,” Khup recalls.

Now at Ball State, Khup has expanded his network of supporters who appreciate his conscientiousness and determination, particularly Associate Professor of Architecture George Elvin.

“Hau’s international experience could give him a richer understanding of architecture, which will serve him well in his career,” Elvin says. “And I have no doubt that his creativity and drawing skills will make him an in-demand architect.”

Since entering architecture school, Khup says he consciously spends a little more time being introspective about his life’s journey to date.

“It can be interesting to connect the dots back to your youth and see how experiences may have led you to your dreams,” he says.

Inside Ivy Tech: Professor mentors women entering IT careers

Once a truck driver and later the ninth female accepted into the U.S. Air Force Fire Protection School in Rantoul, Ill., Lucy La Hurreau knows firsthand the culture in male-dominated career fields. As assistant professor of health information technology at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast, she’s using those insights to help mentor women who wish to pursue IT careers.

Lucy La Hurreau, Ivy Tech Northeast assistant professor of health information technology, interacts with one of her program’s graduates, Celia Dull. Dull, a registered coder at Jay County Hospital in Portland, Ind., considers La Hurreau a mentor and colleague.

Lucy La Hurreau, Ivy Tech Northeast assistant professor of health information technology, interacts with one of her program’s graduates, Celia Dull. Dull, a registered coder at Jay County Hospital in Portland, Ind., considers La Hurreau a mentor and colleague.

“As I tell my students, reinventing yourself multiple times over a lifetime is OK,” she says. “I use my experiences to teach others and connect with them.”

La Hurreau’s ties to the College are more robust than that of professor alone; she’s also a graduate. Upon her enrollment in the early 2000s, she says, she was one of three women in most of her IT classes.

Little has changed with those enrollment numbers.

La Hurreau praises Joan Heise, Computer Science chair emerita, with being one of the primary influences who helped her complete her studies.

“Joan showed me that paying it forward is a way of life—not just a goal in life,” she says.

Beyond La Hurreau’s present-day teaching responsibilities and work to develop online classes for health information technology, she co-advises the IT Club, where she takes the lead for mentoring women in all computer-focused majors.

“We need to be more inclusive regarding women in IT programs,” La Hurreau says. “There’s an old adage: If we discount 50 percent of our population, we discount 50 percent of our potential.

One of La Hurreau’s recent success stories is Celia Dull, a registered coder at Jay County Hospital in Portland, Ind.

“When I felt like giving up on my studies, Lucy was the one person I could approach without feeling awkward to get some solid advice on the millions of reasons to keep going and finish strong,” Dull says. “She is a beautiful lady inside and out. I was blessed to have her as my professor and now as my mentor and colleague.”