Ivy Tech Fort Wayne hosts lunch buffet series

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne’s Hospitality Administration students are hosting a series of lunch buffets open to the community at Coliseum Campus (3800 N. Anthony Blvd.) most Thursdays in February. It’s an opportunity to have students get a real-world restaurant experience.

The dates and their respective lunches are as follows:

  • Feb. 2 – Lunch buffet featuring pork rillette, Provençal chicken, pike quenelles, and desserts
  • Feb. 9 – Three-course tasting menu
  • Feb. 23À la carte menu

Lunches will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for $15 per person. Guests must reserve their spot beforehand. Lunches are limited to 35 people, so those interested will need to RSVP as soon as possible by going to link.ivytech.edu/lunchbuffet.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne announces student winners of annual European Competition for study abroad experience

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne hosted its annual European Competition on Friday. Ten Hospitality Administration students in culinary arts or baking and pastry arts spent the day competing for a chance to win a scholarship that would fund a trip to study culinary arts in Italy this spring.

2023 European Competition winners from left: Grant Wolfe, Natalie Wright, Ashlyn Young, Isabelle Sims, Maggie Becraft, Esther Powers, and Kattia Tarnow.

Seven students won the opportunity to travel to Italy: Grant Wolfe, Natalie Wright, Ashlyn Young, Isabelle Sims, Maggie Becraft, Esther Powers, and Kattia Tarnow.

“We’re so excited to be able to reward our Hospitality Administration students with this incredible opportunity,” says Amanda Parkinson, Hospitality Administration program chair. “It’s so hard to narrow down the winners because everyone has worked so hard the past two years. They all did amazing, and we’re really proud.”

Culinary students prepared a meal with an appetizer; an entrée with a protein, vegetable, and starch; and a dessert. Baking students prepared items including plated chocolate and fruit desserts, yeast bread and rolls, and a decorated cake.

Kitchen judges watched and rated students as they worked, paying attention to technique and ability. Floor judges blind tasted the completed meals. Judges based their scores on American Culinary Federation (ACF) criteria, and to be considered for the European trip, students must place at bronze standard or higher.

Based on students’ experiences in Italy, they will create the menu for this year’s A Reason to Taste, the College’s largest annual fundraiser. Money raised at A Reason to Taste funds scholarships for the winning students’ European trips.

“I’ve never done anything like this before and appreciate getting the chance to compete,” says Maggie Becraft. “Going to Italy was always something that I dreamed about, but I never knew I’d get to experience it while also learning new things about a subject I love. I think the fact that Ivy Tech offers opportunities like this for us is amazing.”

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne offering free Vaccine Clinic to community January 26 

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne, in partnership with local pharmacies and health departments, will offer a free walk-in vaccination clinic on Jan. 26 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at its Coliseum Campus, room CC1640 (3800 N Anthony Blvd). COVID-19 vaccines and boosters and flu shots will be available to students and the community.

No appointment is needed, but a state issued ID will be required. It is important to note, those under 18 will need to have parental consent, which can be completed while on-site. On-site COVID testing will also be available at the clinic.

For the most up-to-date information, please visit IvyTech.edu/coronavirus.


8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 26


Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Coliseum Campus (CC1640)

3800 N. Anthony Blvd.

Fort Wayne, IN 46805

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne invites students, community to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy with mural dedication

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne’s Office of Student Life is hosting a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mural Rededication Ceremony open to students and the public Wednesday, Jan. 18 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Student Life Center (3701 Dean Drive). The MLK mural was recently reimagined by the college’s Visual Communications program.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Mural in the Student Life Center

The rededication is also being made possible through efforts of the college’s Diversity Council and the new Black Student Union (BSU). BSU’s president, members of the Visual Communications department, and campus leadership will give speeches during the ceremony.

Afterwards, everyone is invited to a free lunch in the college’s Student Life Commons that includes pulled meat sandwiches (chicken, pork, and beef), chips, beans, and more. Attendees may also receive a stuffed bear with an MLK quote t-shirt.

For more about the event, you can visit Student Life’s website.


Noon to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 18


Ivy Tech Fort Wayne North Campus

Student Life Center

3701 Dean Dr.

Fort Wayne, IN 46805

Ten individuals from the Chain O’ Lakes Correctional Facility to graduate with welding certificates from Ivy Tech Fort Wayne on Friday

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne is holding its 14th graduation of inmates from the Chain O’ Lakes Correctional Facility in Albion, IN. These 10 individuals will receive their welding certificates after successfully completing their training. Since the program’s inception in May 2018, more than 100 individuals have graduated with welding or CNC certificates.

“It’s gratifying to work with incarcerated individuals and see them get a second chance and a high-paying job,” said Joe McMichael, Executive Director of Ivy+ Career Link at Ivy Tech. “We look forward to building our partnership with the Department of Corrections and help strengthen the futures of underserved populations for years to come.”


1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 13


Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s North Campus

Steel Dynamics, Inc. Keith E. Busse Technology Center

3701 Dean Dr.

Fort Wayne, IN 46805

Drive and a dream: Caleb DeKeyser’s life working in luxury

Every year, two select groups of 12 people are chosen to spend six months in the Golden State with a goal of becoming certified Porsche technicians. Imagine Caleb DeKeyser’s excitement when Porsche chose him for the program—thanks, in part, to an Automotive Technology degree and guidance from Ivy Tech Fort Wayne faculty.

Caleb DeKeyser | ’21 Automotive Tech Grad; provided by Caleb DeKeyser

Caleb describes his experience at the Porsche Technology Apprenticeship Program (PTAP) as a “bootcamp” for all things Porsche. It involves spending half a year in California while living in housing the company provides and dedicating nearly every day to working on cars. He says the knowledge he gained there could’ve filled an entire year. But when you work with Porsche, it’s quality over everything else.

“It’s basically everything that’s within other car companies magnified times ten because you’re not working on a $20,000 car, you’re working on a $200,000 car,” Caleb says.

It wasn’t just luck that earned him his place in PTAP. Hard work got him to where he is today, a trait he’s carried from a young age.

As an early teen, the Michigander saved up money to buy a dirt bike. He says he and his brother liked to tinker with and modify it. From dirt bikes, they experimented with four-wheelers before moving on to cars. Caleb loved working with all aspects of it, from maintenance to performance.

“We liked going fast, the thrill of it, and when I bought cars, I’d always liked going off-roading and driving fast.”

Working with performance cars became his dream. So, when his parents moved from northern Michigan to Angola, Ind., he went off to Tennessee for college in hopes of making that dream come true. He was only there a year before he needed a change, so he opted for a school close to home: Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne.

Caleb didn’t foresee himself working with luxury cars, but he put in the work for an Automotive Technology technical certificate. Not only did he squeeze three semesters into two, but he also worked part time while commuting to and from Angola.

Porsche Technology Apprenticeship Program (PTAP) in California; provided by Caleb DeKeyser

“If you pay attention and get as much out of it as you can, then you can do some damage in the shop.”

His effort paid off as teachers took notice. Caleb credits automotive instructor Paul Wright for noticing the work he was putting in and helping him land his dream opportunity. He says Wright got him in contact with Porsche Fort Wayne, where Caleb began working with the Audi’s while continuing his education. PTAP gave him a career boost, and he’s now a fully certified Porsche technician.

At 23, he’s living a life many people dream about: happily married, a soon-to-be father, and working a job he loves while living without college debt. But Caleb’s ambition is still strong, and he hopes one day he can open his own shop.

For those pursuing a similar path, he offers this advice: pay attention in class, work hard, and don’t let buying tools bring you into debt.

80/20 LLC, Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, and the Don Wood Foundation pioneer innovative partnership expanding employee family opportunities

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne is excited to announce a new partnership with 80/20 LLC. that extends 80/20 employees’ tuition reimbursement program to their children and grandchildren for the first time in the industry. A generous grant funds this initiative from the Don Wood Foundation to Ivy Tech.

“80/20 is honored to be awarded the Don Wood Memorial Scholarship Fund,” said Vicki Cook, HR Director at 80/20. “This will allow Don Wood’s legacy to continue with the company he built and connection he had with Ivy Tech.  We are excited to give this back to the employees, employees’ children and grandchildren.”

Through the Achieve Your Degree (AYD) initiative at Ivy Tech, eligible employees and their families can receive tuition reimbursement when they enroll into programs related to manufacturing and business. Families can also apply for the $5,000 Don Wood Foundation Scholarship by contacting the human resources department at 80/20. The decision to award the grant reflects 80/20 founder Don Wood’s love for both the company and Ivy Tech, where he received his second degree and served on the Regional Board of Trustees.

“This is a wonderful program that speaks not only Don Wood’s dedication to both Ivy Tech and 80/20, but also fits squarely into his desire to help fund scholarships for people to advance in their career,” said Don Wood Foundation President and CEO Laura Macknick. “The unique approach and focus on collaborative partnerships could serve as a pilot for similar programs in the region to help fill the need for skilled employees in the manufacturing sector.”

This pilot program was constructed to support Wood’s mission of creating more opportunities for people seeking a career in industrial trades, advanced manufacturing, leadership, and innovation. He passed away in March 2019, but his legacy lives on through the Don Wood Foundation, which has long supported Ivy Tech through programs like Northeast Indiana FAME and the WorkMatters program on Ivy Tech Muncie’s campus.

“Ivy Tech is honored to play a part in extending Don Wood’s legacy further into the community by building pathways to an invaluable education,” said Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Chancellor Kim Barnett-Johnson. “This is a pivotal opportunity for 80/20 employees and their families that strengthens our mission to meet people where they are to help them create the future they want.”

In celebration of the new partnership, 80/20 and Ivy Tech are hosting a registration fair for employees and family members interested in joining the program Jan. 6 from noon to 4 p.m. at the company which is in Columbia City. Ivy Tech enrollment specialists will be there to provide general admissions and application assistance.

Upcoming Ivy Tech Fort Wayne & Warsaw holiday and extended hours

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and Warsaw will operate adjusted hours in the coming holiday weeks:

Dec. 24, 2022 – Jan. 2, 2023

  • All Ivy Tech campuses statewide will be closed for Winter Break.

Jan. 3 – Jan. 13

  • Fort Wayne & Warsaw extended student service office hours.

Monday through Thursday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Fort Wayne) and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Warsaw)

Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Fort Wayne) and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Warsaw)

Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Jan. 16, 2023

  • All Ivy Tech campuses statewide will be closed in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

This includes northeast Indiana locations.

Jan. 17, 2023

  • Fort Wayne & Warsaw spring classes begin.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne/Warsaw names Deb Pitzer new dean of the School of Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Sciences

Deborah Pitzer, Dean of the School of Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Sciences

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw has selected Deb Pitzer as the Dean of the School of Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Sciences. Along with leading and overseeing faculty and programs, she’s hoping to set new standards and create a culture of appreciation for all employees and students.

“I’m really excited because I come from the school, and I’m hoping that knowing what I know from my job as department chair, I can help students and faculty better from this position,” says Pitzer. “I want them to know they can come to my office whenever they need any help or just need someone to sit and listen. My door is open.”

Pitzer has worked with Ivy Tech full-time since 2006, filling a variety of roles including department chair of Machine Tool Technology and assistant professor. She also served the college as adjunct faculty for three years before that. Prior to lending her skills to the college, she worked for nearly 10 years as an advanced manufacturing engineer at General Electric.

“I’m excited to have Deb as our newest Dean,” says Heidi Fowler, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. “She brings 17 years of experience as an Ivy Tech department chair into the role, and I can’t wait to see how she shapes and leads the School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Sciences.”

Pitzer earned her MBA at Indiana Wesleyan University and her BS in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Purdue University Fort Wayne. She holds several certificates from the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) including Drill Press Skills, Manual Milling Skills, Job Planning, Benchwork and Layout, and Measurement, Material and Safety.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from Ivy Tech Fort Wayne & Warsaw! A special thank you to all of our community partners and alumni who made this video possible. We appreciate every chance we get to show the amazing things that are happening as a result of your hard work. Wishing everyone a great year ahead!