Robotics program selected for national recognition

The Advanced Automation and Robotics Technology program at Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne Campus has been selected for the National Council for Workforce Education’s Credit Exemplary Program Award. Award recipients are chosen based on five application criteria: executive summary, description of partnerships and collaborations, potential economic impact, program results, and replication.


Advanced Automation and Robotics Technology is a 75-credit-hour degree program, making it a “super degree” at the College (most associate degree programs are 60 credit hours). Graduates are prepared to work as automated equipment technicians in nearly any industry, earning several industry certifications during their education to make them even more valuable to employers.

Pedro Ruvalcaba, front, graduated from Ivy Tech’s Advanced Automation and Robotics program in 2016. Immediately after graduation, he found employment as an automation technician at Tower Structural Laminating in Ligonier, where he had previously completed a 14-month internship. Internships are a requirement for graduates of the robotics program, which has been named an exemplary program by the National Council for Workforce Education.


“This recognition proves to the College and community that our program is an exceptional one,” says Darrel J. Kesler, School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering & Applied Technology dean. “There’s a huge workforce need for automation and robotics technicians, and we are graduating talent that fills that ever-growing need so local industry can thrive.”


This is not the program’s first recognition: In 2015, it received the Indiana Career and Technical Education Program’s Award for Excellence, which is sponsored by the Indiana Department of Education.


The award will be given at the council’s national meeting in Salt Lake City in October.


Learn more about the program at


Ivy Tech Northeast debuts food truck, announces winning name

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast’s food truck debuted at an event at Two-EE’s Winery, near Huntington, this weekend. It also unveiled its name, selected by a committee from 576 entries. Entries came from students, employees, and community members.

The Ivy Tech Northeast food truck is called Grasshopper, a name submitted by Myra Sells, a healthcare specialist student. The committee liked “Grasshopper” in part because of its nod to Ivy Tech’s green school color and because it is a term often used to reference a novice in any area: The food truck will be run as a classroom lab by hospitality administration students at Ivy Tech Northeast.

“There are a lot of students wanting a start-up business, and this is a pretty low entry-level expense,” says Jeff Albertson, interim program chair for Hospitality Administration.

Plus, there was a need in the Fort Wayne community: Food trucks are popular around the nation, Albertson says, and Fort Wayne has a low number of food trucks per capita.

“So it’s a good niche for us to get into to educate our students, the proper way of opening a food truck,” he says.

Because the truck will be run as a lab for students in Ivy Tech Northeast’s catering class, each outing will provide a different menu, though there will be staples that allow students to add their own touches to the food items: The menu will always have a burger, a bratwurst, and a bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwich made with a pound of bacon. The truck will likely offer a tray with cured meats and imported cheeses. The truck will also offer three different kinds of bread: naan, lavash (which is a crispy cracker and will serve as a break-apart-and-eat plate for the meat and cheese tray), and pretzel rolls.

Currently, the food truck is scheduled to serve at 16 events at Two-EE’s Winery this summer. To learn when the food truck will be set up, guests can visit the Kelty’s Kafé & More Facebook group, where students and instructors share photos and information about Hospitality Administration’s goings-on, at

Grasshopper is made possible through sponsors that include Glenbrook Automotive Group, Leepoxy, and Parkview Group Health.

Ivy Tech Northeast's new food truck, Grasshopper, makes its debut

Patrons visiting Two EE’s Winery, near Huntington, greeted the June 3 debut of Ivy Tech Northeast’s new food truck, Grasshopper. The classroom-on-wheels derives its name from a public naming contest that attracted 576 entries. Grasshopper’s menu will vary; however, signature items will include burgers, bratwurst, and a bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwich made with a pound of bacon.

College to debut food truck, name at Two-EE’s event

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast’s food truck will host its inaugural dinner this weekend, when the winning name will also be announced. The College invited students, employees, and the community to submit names, and a committee selected its favorite entry out of 576 submissions.

The food truck will be run by students in the College’s Hospitality Administration program, and the menu will change with each outing.

Two-EE’s Winery
6808 U.S. 24
Huntington, IN 46750

June 3
4:30 p.m.: Food truck name unveiled
5 p.m. Dinner service begins

College will begin men’s intercollegiate baseball program

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast announced this morning it will begin an intercollegiate men’s baseball program at its Fort Wayne campus. The College has been exploring the process of becoming a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II team and has submitted a letter of intent to the association.

The College named Lance Hershberger as head coach, a well-respected baseball legend of northeast Indiana. He began recruitment efforts for the inaugural team earlier this spring. In June, Hershberger will be named to the Northeast Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame. He is currently the Executive Director of Community Impact Zone and has many years of coaching experience at many levels of play, including Indiana Tech, Concordia High School, Bishop Luers, Bishop Dwenger, and the Wildcat Baseball Organization. At Indiana Tech, his teams appeared in five consecutive NAIA World Series from 1998 to 2002. (see provided detailed biography)

State Representative Bob Morris has been involved in making this become reality, and his commitment and vision to help get the program started is an example of his support of Ivy Tech furthering the future of northeast Indiana and the state.

“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 Ivy Tech Northeast Chancellor Jerrilee K. Mosier.

Ivy Tech Northeast will be able to provide student athletes 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.




As a Division II-sponsored program, Ivy Tech would be eligible to provide athletic scholarships limited to tuition, books, fees, and course required supplies. The College is also researching the possibility of joining a conference in the region. Both Ancilla College and Vincennes University sponsor Division II baseball teams in Indiana.

Ivy Tech Northeast’s Titan baseball program will play and practice outdoors at Shoaff Park, which is home to Bishop Dwenger High School. Winter training programs and practice will be at Strikezone Training Center. The use of Strikezone is being provided to Ivy Tech Northeast at no cost thanks to the local non-profit organization Community Impact Zone.

The baseball program will largely be supported through sponsorships, private donors, and fundraising efforts at the College. Student activity fees will provide some support as part of student programming. Several donors have already made pledges to the program, such as Representative Bob Morris, who is a proud supporter of this new venture at Ivy Tech Northeast. Currently, the College is crowdfunding for student scholarships and more than $6,000 has been raised to date. Donations to the Ivy Tech Titans Baseball program can be made at

For additional information about NJCAA, visit

A few years ago, Ivy Tech Northeast’s Student Government Association and Campus Activities Board voted to name the Fort Wayne campus mascot “Titans” for the club basketball and soccer programs.

About Lance Hershberger

Lance was born and raised in Fort Wayne and has lived in Fort Wayne his entire life, other than a short stint in Kansas City after college. Lance played Little League for PAL at the Fraternal site first behind WANE-TV and then at the Elks Country Club (his dad was president of the league when they built the field at the Elks and moved). He also played Wildcat Baseball at Franke Park, where he credits his Wildcat coach there, Mark Henry, with keeping alive his passion for the game even when he wasn’t “very good.” He went on to play in high school, junior college (team was ranked in NJCAA and went to the JC World Series), and four-year college. Lance then moved back to Fort Wayne, where he played for Leo and Joe Ochoa on the Blackie’s Corral / La Margarita, Stan Musial teams. He played on the Blackie’s team that was the first Stan Musial Team from the city of Fort Wayne to win the Stan Musial State Title.

Lance began his baseball coaching career at Bishop Luers as an assistant coach in 1982. In 1984, Coach Hershberger was named the fourth head baseball coach at Bishop Dwenger High School. In 1986, the Saints went 27-4, finishing the regular season with 17 straight wins and ranked sixth in the state (still in a single-class format). Coach Hershberger was named IHSBCA Regional Coach of the Year and The Journal Gazette Regional Coach of the Year. His 1987 Dwenger team was ranked 2nd in the state preseason and went on to win a sectional championship before losing in the regional championship.

During this time coaching baseball, Lance was also a teacher, a high school basketball coach for 13 years, and a long-time Wildcat Baseball League Director at Hamilton Park in Fort Wayne. In 1988, Coach Hershberger was featured for his work in both an article on the Wildcat League in Sports Illustrated magazine and an Assignment America segment on NBC Nightly News.

In 1990, Coach Hershberger started the baseball program at Indiana Tech. The Warriors showed steady improvement by increasing their victory totals each year until winning the NAIA Great Lakes Sectional and qualifying for the regional for the first time in 1996. From 1998 to 2002, Coach Hershberger’s teams won five consecutive Great Lakes Regional and Super Regional tournaments, qualifying for the NAIA World Series each of those years. These consecutive World Series appearances are more than any other Indiana college team on any level. The 1998 Indiana Tech team lost in the NAIA Championship, finishing as National Runner-up. Their second place finish along with St. Joseph’s NCAA Division II runner-up finish that same year (Indiana Tech beat St Joe 7-6 that year in a regular season game) are the highest finishes by Indiana college baseball teams in a national tournament. The 2000 Indiana Tech team finished third in the NAIA World Series.

During Coach Hershberger’s 13 years at Indiana Tech, he was named NAIA Great Lakes Sectional Coach of the Year, Wolverine-Hoosier Conference Coach of the Year four times, and NAIA Great Lakes Regional Coach of the Year four times. He also served a term as NAIA Great Lakes Regional Chairman and as an associate scout for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Under Coach Hershberger’s guidance, the Warrior Program progressed from one with no baseball facilities at all, to one that included a stadium and indoor facility. Eight former players of Coach Hershberger went on to play professional baseball. Numerous players went on to coach high school and college baseball, including Division I baseball. Coach Hershberger has won more than 600 games at the high school and college level. Coach Hershberger has served in other baseball related capacities in the Fort Wayne area. He has overseen the building or refurbishing of many baseball diamonds in the area. He founded the YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne / Coach Pitch Baseball Program. He served a term as President of the Summit City Sluggers travel baseball organization. He currently oversees the diamonds at Summit Middle School and Indian Trails Park for the Aboite Township Trustee. Coach Hershberger has coached teams from 4 year-olds in the Y coach pitch through college players who have gone on to be professional players. Lance has a daughter, Maddie (17), and a son, Grant (15).

Assistant coaches

  • Connor Wilkins: All-SAC catcher at Concordia High School; played at Indiana Tech; previous assistant coach at Northrop High School
  • Dru Sebastian: Played at Blackhawk Christian High School; played at Owens Community College; was a pitcher at IPFW
  • Todd Armstrong: Played at DeKalb High School; has been an assistant coach or head coach for various high school and collegiate teams; currently works with Summit City Sluggers
  • Mark DeLagarza: Founder of Summit City Sluggers travel baseball organization; was assistant coach at Manchester University and head coach at Southern Wells High School



College announces new vice chancellor

Kim Barnett-Johnson is the new vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast. She has filled the role in an interim position for a year and served as the College’s University Transfer Division dean previously, since 2003.



In her new role, Barnett-Johnson will oversee the academic side of the College. Her duties include working with faculty to plan, organize, and administer academic programs and services; coordinating and supervising the preparation of the regional class schedule and assigning faculty to classes; and collaborating with Student Affairs in areas such as enrollment management and student retention.


In the short-term, Barnett-Johnson plans to highlight Ivy Tech Northeast’s outstanding faculty “so our community will see that we have what it takes to help them reach their goals,” she says. In the long-term, she would like to continue to focus on Ivy Tech Northeast’s ability to offer programs that meet our region’s specific needs.


“Because we offer both technical and transfer opportunities, it allows us to create greater opportunities for collaboration with regional industry partners,” Barnett Johnson says. “We are seeing more students complete degrees while working full-time.”


The largest opportunity for Ivy Tech Northeast, she says, is through the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership’s Big Goal, which aims to increase the number of northeast Indiana residents with degrees or credentials to 60 percent by 2525.


Barnett-Johnson received her doctorate degree in educational administration from Indiana State University and her master’s degree in liberal arts from Indiana University.

College graduates nearly 1,000 at 47th annual commencement ceremony

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast celebrated its 47th annual commencement ceremony tonight at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The College graduated nearly 1,000 students in Fort Wayne and awarded nearly 1,500 associate degrees, certificates, and technical certificates.

Ivy Tech Community College statewide is awarding more than 19,000 credentials at commencements taking place from May 6 to 20.

HONORARY DEGREE: The College awarded an honorary degree to Donna Kessler, owner of Calhoun Street Soup, Salad, and Spirits. Donna attended classes at Ivy Tech Northeast in 2006 and 2007, earning credits in hospitality administration. Before she could complete her degree, however, the opportunity to open Calhoun Street presented itself. Nearly 10 years later, what started as a small lunch spot just south of downtown Fort Wayne has grown into a complete bar, restaurant, and concert venue. Bands and acts from across the country play at Calhoun Street.



STUDENT SPEAKER: The Class of 2017’s student speaker was Olivia Koehler, who graduated with an associate degree in Electrical Engineering Technology. Koehler, who was home-schooled, is the College’s first female graduate of the Electrical Engineering Technology program. She shared her story about how she chose the program, which is also her father’s field. She was always good at science and math in high school, and a former professor, Koehler’s father invited her to sit in on one of his electrical engineering classes—she loved it.

BUD CURTIS AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING STUDENT: This year, the College begins a new tradition: awarding two Curtis Awards each year. One will reward an outstanding graduate from the College’s Career and Technical Divisions and the other, from an outstanding graduate from the University Transfer Division. This year’s winners are Rachel Chaney, who graduates with an associate degree in Advanced Automation and Robotics Technology from the School of Technology, and Karina Vazquez, who graduates with an associate degree in General Studies from the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The Bud Curtis Award winners are chosen from among the Ivy Tech Northeast Outstanding Student Awards, which are awarded to one Ivy Tech Northeast student per academic school. This year’s Outstanding Student Awards went to the following students:

  • Olivia Koehler, School of Applied Science & Engineering Technology
  • Holly Sides, School of Business
  • Jeremy Friedel, School of Computing & Informatics
  • Janet French, School of Education
  • Marianne Bay, School of Fine Arts & Design
  • Javier Hernandez, School of Health Sciences
  • Karina Vazquez, School of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Cameron Maney, School of Nursing
  • Parvielle Riggens, School of Public & Social Services
  • Rachel Chaney, School of Technology

PRESIDENT’S AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN INSTRUCTION: Erin Salyers, the College’s department chair in Visual Communications and Design Technology, received the President’s Award for Excellence in Instruction. She will serve as Ivy Tech Northeast’s nominee for the statewide Glenn W. and Mary Catherine Sample Award for Excellence in Instruction. Each of the 14 Ivy Tech regions selects a nominee to win the award, which is presented to a statewide winner.

ADJUNCT FACULTY AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN INSTRUCTION: Holly Jackson, an anatomy and physiology instructor, received the Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Instruction. She will serve as Ivy Tech Northeast’s nominee for the statewide Gerald I. Lamkin Award for adjunct faculty members. Each of the 14 Ivy Tech regions selects a nominee to win the award, which is presented to a statewide winner.

SPECIAL NOTE: Students and guests used #IvyTechGrad to discuss the ceremony and festivities on social media. Use the hashtag to see graduation photos and messages of encouragement on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

College announces 2017 New Venture Competition finalists

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast has announced the three finalists for its 2017 New Venture Competition. In its seventh year, the competition’s champion will receive at least $20,000 in start-up capital for presenting the best business plan for his or her small business.

The finalists and their businesses are as follows:

  • Kendall Riecken, business administration student
    Company: KR Designs

    “We are an automotive-based company, specializing in detailing, restoration, custom paint, and collision repair. Our customers consist of automotive enthusiasts and car/vehicle owners.”
  • Courtney Jagoda, building construction management student
    Company: Caliber Contracting

    “We build tiny houses that are affordable and allow customers freedom to customize to fit their needs/wants.”
  • Clayton Ostermeyer, business administration student
    Company: The Vault

    “The Vault is a speakeasy-themed bar with an indoors cigar lounge, located in downtown Fort Wayne.”

The New Venture Competition awards dinner is Sept. 28 on Ivy Tech Northeast’s Coliseum Campus, 3800 N. Anthony Blvd., in Room CC1640. Finalists will present their business plans, and community judges will vote on the New Venture champion at the event.

The competition has partnered with Fort Wayne SCORE, a group that grows successful small businesses across the country. The group, made of volunteer experienced business owners and managers, will provide mentorship for the finalists.

The New Venture Competition is sponsored by JB Tool, Die & Engineering and owners Dave and Mary Bear. ProFed Credit Union is the event’s dinner sponsor.

The following College faculty and administration served as judges in determining the finalists:

  • Elaine Novak, dean, Business and Public Services Division
  • Patrick McCormick, department chair, Business and Hospitality Administration
  • Carla Quickel, associate professor, Business Administration

College to host success day for high school scholars on Saturday

At the 21st Century Scholar Success Day, scholars and their parents/guardians will learn about the 21st Century Scholarship program. The event will also include a vendor and resource fair with giveaways.

The 21st Century Scholarship provides students undergraduate tuition to participating universities and colleges, including Ivy Tech Community College Northeast. In addition to the funds, scholars receive step-by-step help to assure success in college and degree completion.

The event, for eighth to 12th graders, is for scholars in the following counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, Noble, Wells and Whitley.

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast
Coliseum Campus
3800 N. Anthony Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46805
Get directions
Park in the south or west lot, and enter through door 3.

9 a.m. to 1p.m. April 29

College selects PNC Bank exec to lead Resource Development office

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast has selected Margaret Sturm as its new Executive Director of Resource Development, and she will start May 1. In her role, Sturm will advise Chancellor Jerrilee K. Mosier in the formation and execution of fundraising strategies, grant applications, and other sources of potential development at Ivy Tech Northeast.


Sturm’s duties include

  • Maintaining a strong friend and fundraising program within Ivy Tech Northeast’s 10-county region
  • Finding potential donors for the Ivy Tech Foundation
  • Building partnerships with community groups, employers, foundations, and individuals to support students, faculty, and academic programs
  • Developing strategies to convert prospects to donors and encourage continued giving by current donors

“My immediate plans are to listen and learn about our team and culture, our vision, our programs, our processes, our strategies, our challenges, and what has been successful to date,” Sturm says. “I will be active in the community attending events, meeting friends of Ivy Tech, and developing those relationships and building on our existing relationships.”

Sturm will serve as liaison between Ivy Tech Northeast and the Foundation in the College’s Central Office in Indianapolis for coordinated projects, reporting, guideline and procedure development, and campaign structure and implementation.

“We are eager to welcome Margaret on board as part of our Ivy Tech Northeast leadership team,” Chancellor Jerrilee K. Mosier says. “We’ve been fortunate to work with her over the years in other capacities, and I am confident she brings exactly what the College needs to support student success through philanthropic giving and grant support.”

Sturm most recently has served as the Relationship Manager Institutional Asset Management/Community Affairs for PNC Bank in Fort Wayne. As a Relationship Manager, Sturm was responsible for managing relationships for all of the Institutional Asset Management clients in northeastern Indiana. Her duties included managing private foundations; providing support for grants, applications review, and non-profit site visits; and maintaining recordkeeping for private foundations, distributing $10 million annually to non-profit groups in the region.

From 2009 to 2016, Sturm was an adjunct instructor at Ivy Tech Northeast, teaching Introduction to Business and capstone courses. She served on the College’s Adjunct Faculty Advisory Board.

Sturm has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Saint Francis and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from IPFW.

Special Cuisines dinner to offer up Mediterranean menu April 27

For Ivy Tech Community College Northeast’s next Special Cuisines dinner of the semester, students will serve up a Mediterranean menu:

  • First course: Hummus served with toasted pita bread and mixed vegetables
  • Second course: Tabbouleh salad, a vegetarian dish with tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, bulgur, and onion
  • Third course: Shorba dajaj, a chicken noodle-style soup
  • Fourth course: Grilled fish with tartar sauce and red roasted potatoes
  • Fifth course: Beef kefta in tomato sauce with saffron rice
  • Sixth course: Grilled date bread served with honey lemon sauce, stuffed mascarpone date, and grilled queso fresco

Dinner is served at two times, 5 and 7:30 p.m. April 25, and there are still spots available at 5 p.m. To make reservations, which are required, visit You can also call 260-481-2243.

Dinners are served in the Hospitality Room (door 24, which is located on the back of the building and faces Coliseum Boulevard) on Coliseum Campus (3800 N. Anthony Blvd.) and run $25. Pay on-site with cash, check, or charge. Wine is available for $5 a glass or $15 a bottle.