College announces Jim Merz as chosen artist for commissioned piece to celebrate 50 years in Fort Wayne

Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne campus will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. In December 2018, the College announced its plans to select an artist(s) to create an original public art installation at Ivy Tech’s Coliseum Campus, near the corner of E. Coliseum Blvd. and North Anthony Blvd.

Jim Merz

The original call asked established northeast Indiana artists to submit ideas that stand as a signature artwork of exceptional quality and enduring value that highlights the importance of community-focused higher education and reflects the identity of Ivy Tech. A committee comprised of college administration, visual communications faculty, and community volunteers reviewed the artist submissions and selected local artist Jim Merz to bring his idea to life on campus.

Fort Wayne resident Jim Merz grew up in the Detroit suburbs and received his BFA from the University of Michigan. He has worked with a variety of mediums, including wood, metal, digital, and mixed media. Merz specializes in building works at the intersection between art and science, which incorporate or evoke movement and light. He is equally at home with a welder for building his sculptures, a soldering iron for building the electronic components that drive his sculptures, and the computer for designing his own software to control the lights and motors. His kinetic sculptures have been exhibited nationally and internationally.

“The time I spent learning welding at my local community college has been instrumental in my development as an artist,” says Jim Merz. “I’m honored to be chosen to help Ivy Tech Fort Wayne mark this important milestone.”

His proposal is of an eye-catching deconstructed archway commemorating Ivy Tech and its 50 years. Arches traditionally represent history and strength, and they can be unforgettable monuments that visitors seek out. The 10-foot-tall sculpture’s interior space echoes the Ivy Tech logo while also symbolizing a transition point from one stage to the next. It is an ideal location for selfies and family photos, particularly on graduation day. The magnitude, simplicity, and boldness of this sculpture will capture the attention of pedestrians and motorists. It also provides an interactive experience. Custom lighting will make the sculpture a focal point during the evening hours.

Jim Merz’s rendering for Ivy Tech’s 50 years in Fort Wayne public art project.

“Jim’s sculpture will be a perfect mainstay at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and will commemorate the past, present, and future of our campus,” says Chancellor Jerrilee K. Mosier, Ed.D. “As we move into the future, our roots as a vocational and technical school—along with our more recent designation as Indiana’s comprehensive community college—provide us the opportunity to offer multiple career pathways for individuals throughout northeast Indiana. Our students can enter the workforce, transfer and earn a bachelor’s degree, or receive needed training to move up in the workforce. We continue to serve the education and workforce needs of our communities.”

This public art project is being funded with a $12,000 commission (all inclusive of design, materials, construction, installation) for Merz to realize his work. Private community donations and other College fundraising efforts will provide the commission.

“Through Ivy Tech’s history and strong community support, we will raise the funds by connecting with alumni, retirees, and northeast Indiana business and industry partners,” says Margaret Sturm, executive director of resource development. “Jim’s creation symbolizes what we are looking for in reflecting our mission to serve our communities and building a stronger northeast Indiana.”

 The College is seeking the community’s help in completing this lasting legacy and beautification project to celebrate Ivy Tech’s 50th year in Fort Wayne and connecting the College with the community. Donors will be recognized at the unveiling of the public art in the fall of 2019. Those interested in being part of the effort should contact Margaret Sturm, executive director of resource development, at 260-480-2010 or

College kicks off classical French cuisine dinner series in April

As part of its Classical Cuisine class, Hospitality Administration students at Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne Campus will create and serve French cuisine to the public. Students write the menu and cook the meals, which follow the principles and techniques of renowned French chef, Auguste Escoffier. There will be five dinners this semester.

To make reservations, which are required at least 24 hours before the dinner, call 260-480-2002. Dinners are $20 a person, and wine is available for purchase $5 per glass or $15 per bottle.

Visit to learn more.

Dinners start at 6 p.m., 6:15 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. nightly

  • April 4:    Normandy
  • April 11: Pays de la Loire
  • April 18: Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
  • April 25: Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes
  • May 2:    Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne Campus
Coliseum Campus, Hospitality Room 1640
3800 N. Anthony Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46805

Park in the north lot, which faces Coliseum Boulevard, and enter through door 24.

Go Ivy Day invites local high schoolers to visit, learn about Ivy Tech Fort Wayne

At Go Ivy Day, area high school students will have the opportunity to learn more about Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne. They will tour campus, learn about admissions requirements, meet with faculty from various program areas, get the facts on financial aid and paying for college, connect with current and prospective students, and more. Parents/guardians are also welcome to attend.

Those interested can learn more and RSVP at (click Fort Wayne). Questions? Contact Jennifer Simmons at or 260-480-2039.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 22

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s North Campus
Student Life Center
3701 Dean Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46835

College to host 10th annual Wabash Monopoly® Night fundraiser March 22

Ivy Tech Community College is hosting its 10th annual Wabash Monopoly® Night. The fundraiser invites participants to play the board game, bid on silent auction items, and raise money for student scholarships that benefit Wabash County Ivy Tech students. In the first nine years, the event has raised more than $165,000 for scholarships.

Individual tickets ($30), sponsorships, and get Get Out of Jail Free Cards can be purchased in advance on the event website. Dinner is included, and there will be a cash bar.

For more information, contact Margaret Sturm at 260-480-2010 or

6 to 10 p.m. March 22

Honeywell Center
275 W. Market St.
Wabash, IN 46992

Ivy Tech Warsaw announces Kubacki scholarship for Latinos, deadline for application is April 1

Michael and Rebecca Kubacki are partnering with Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw to fund a scholarship aimed at Kosciusko County residents with Latino heritage. The scholarship awards a recipient $5,000 for one year to be renewed for $5,000 in the second year if the student remains in good standing at the College.

“We established the scholarship because we feel education is the key to improving Latino quality of life and the lives of those in their family,” says Rebecca Kubacki. “Our hope is that the Ivy Tech graduate will stay in northeast Indiana and become a contributing member of the community and become a role model to other Latinos.”


  • Latin heritage
  • Kosciusko County resident
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 during program enrollment
  • Student must be seeking an associate degree
  • Student must demonstrate financial need
  • Preference will be given to Kosciusko County high school seniors planning to attend Ivy Tech as a first-generation college student.

Applicants who meet the initial eligibility criteria must submit their application for consideration no later than April 1 via the online scholarship at

Automotive grad accelerates his career with Tesla START program

Many Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne Automotive Technology graduates are working in cutting-edge industries, like electric car company Tesla. Our 2016 Alumni Achievement winner, Colin Zimmer, was hired by Tesla in 2013. Now, a second Ivy Tech graduate recently completed the Tesla START program and was hired as a Tesla service technician in Dec. 2018.

Chris Merle (AAS, Automotive Technology, ’18) always had an affinity for cars and motorcycles. He was riding dirt bikes by age 5 and bought his first truck at 12.

In college, he started at IPFW (now Purdue University Fort Wayne) majoring in engineering, and despite doing well in the program, Merle quickly decided he didn’t want to be an engineer. He compared automotive programs in the area, transferred to Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, and loved it.

“Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s automotive program was thorough and in-depth,” says Merle. “Every instructor had the proper training, techniques, and knowledge they needed to pass on to the students. Robert Huffman especially got me where I am today. He helps every student as much as he can.”

Huffman encouraged Merle to check out the newly formed Tesla START program, which is an additional 12-week course designed to give students the training they need to become Tesla workers. Merle applied, was accepted, and started the program in fall 2018.

It wasn’t easy.

“It’s an intense program. You have to transfer to a location and live in that location for three months,” says Merle. “You have to pay tuition. I had to pay $1,500 for this course. The people who do this, they have to move, relocate, live, survive, and pay money to be in this program.”

Despite the difficulties, Merle persisted and graduated from the Tesla START program. After graduation, he was immediately hired at the Tesla Service Center in Tempe, Arizona.

“There’s a lot of information about Tesla that I can’t give away, but one thing I can say is the company really works with you, the benefits are amazing, and there’s a very positive atmosphere. I’ll definitely stick with them for a while.”

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Library accepting edible book entries for festival in April

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne will be hosting the annual Edible Book Festival on April 1. Registration to participate is now open, and applications are due by March 22.

This is the festival’s 13th year at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, and it is open to both the northeast Indiana community and Ivy Tech Fort Wayne students and employees. For students in some Ivy Tech Fort Wayne hospitality administration classes, the edible book is a class project. Participants compete to win one of three People’s Choice awards, a Best Tasting Entry award, or a new award at this year’s festival: Funniest Entry.

The Edible Book Festival is an annual, worldwide event that invites participants to create edible books to be exhibited for, then enjoyed by, festival attendees. Participants create a dish based on a book, book title, or pun of a book title.

“We welcome entries from local businesses and food artists, Ivy Tech students, staff, alumni, retirees, and anyone else who’s interested,” says Ellie Puckett, librarian at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne. “It is a wonderful opportunity for local businesses to interact with the community and promote themselves.”

Learn more about the festival and register online at



Noon to 2 p.m. April 1

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s North Campus
Student Life Center
3701 Dean Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46835

Northeast Indiana students get free FAFSA filing help at Feb. 24 event

Financial aid professionals will be volunteering at Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne (Coliseum Campus, 3800 N Anthony Blvd.)  and Ivy Tech Community College Warsaw (2545 Silveus Crossing) and 38 other sites in Indiana to help college-bound students and their families open the door to financial aid during College Goal Sunday. The event is set to run from 2 to 4 p.m. on Feb. 24, 2019.

The free program assists Indiana students in filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA form is required for students to be considered for federal and state grants, scholarships, and student loans at most colleges, universities, and vocational/technical schools nationwide. The FAFSA MUST be filed by April 15 to be eligible for Indiana financial aid. College Goal Sunday is so important since completing this required form correctly and by the deadline is sometimes perceived to be complicated and time consuming. In less than one afternoon at a College Goal Sunday event, students and their families can get free help and file the form online.

Now in its thirtieth year, College Goal Sunday has helped more than 94,000 Indiana students and families complete the FAFSA form properly and on time. College Goal Sunday is a charitable program of the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association (ISFAA).

College Goal Sunday doubles the help offered

“The event on February 24th will be the second College Goal Sunday ISFAA is offering this FAFSA filing season.” said Bill Wozniak, co-chair of College Goal Sunday. “We hope all Hoosiers who have not filed already, take advantage of College Goal Sunday events across Indiana, file the FAFSA, and get one step closer to fulfilling their educational goals.”

According to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (CHE), programs like College Goal Sunday are reaching first-generation college students. In recent years, according to CHE statistics, more single-parent Hoosier families have filed for financial aid, indicating programs like College Goal Sunday are reaching high-risk students and their families.

“Students who don’t complete their financial aid paperwork properly and on time are often very disappointed when they find out how much financial aid they lost,” said Wozniak. “This is why the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association not only continues to provide College Goal Sunday, but offers two events during the year. If our assistance gives students a better chance at higher education and less debt, we’re fulfilling our mission.”

What students should bring

Students should attend College Goal Sunday with their parent(s) or guardian(s), and parents should bring completed 2017 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 Forms and other 2017 income and benefits information. Students who worked last year should bring their income information as well. Students 24 years of age or older may attend alone and bring their own completed 2017 IRS 1040 tax return, W-2 Form, or other 2017 income and benefits information. Students and parents are encouraged to apply for their U.S. Department of Education FSA IDs at before coming to the event.

Volunteers will walk through the online form line-by-line and answer families’ individual questions as needed. All sites offer FAFSA online capabilities and many have Spanish interpreters. A complete list of sites is available at

Attendees may win educational prizes

Students may also win one of five $1000 scholarships. Students who attend any of the College Goal Sunday sites and submit a completed evaluation form will automatically be entered in a drawing for a $1000 scholarship. The winners will be notified in April, and prizes will be sent directly to the higher education institution selected by the winning students.

21st Century Scholars benefit

21st Century Scholars are income-eligible students who sign a contract in the seventh or eighth grade promising they will graduate from high school, meet grade point requirements, fulfill a pledge of good citizenship, and apply for college financial aid. Upon high school graduation, Scholars who have fulfilled the commitment receive state funds to help cover their college tuition and fees for eight semesters at eligible Indiana colleges. To fulfill their pledge, scholars must submit a completed FAFSA form on time (every year by the April 15 deadline). College Goal Sunday can help.

Program is a national model

College Goal Sunday originated right here in Indiana, and is now a national model. Following Indiana’s example, College Goal Sunday events organized by more than 34 states have opened doors to higher education for hundreds of thousands of students all over the country.

For more information about College Goal Sunday visit

College celebrating Black History Month with upcoming events for college, community

In honor of Black History Month, Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne is hosting three college and community events next month and two additional events over the course of spring semester.


“BLACKKKlansman” screening and discussion
1 to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 6  in the Student Life Center, room 121, 3701 Dean Drive in Fort Wayne
“BLACKKKlansman” is Spike Lee’s critically acclaimed movie based on a true story. An African-American detective infiltrates the KKK with the help of a Jewish partner. Together, they try to take down the KKK (2018). Lunch will be served, and the movie will be followed by a Q/A session by Associate Professor Lisa Beringer.

“Speaking Truth to Power: Trending Topics on Diversity” with guest speaker Dr. Jodi Merriday
1 to 2 p.m. Feb. 13 in the Coliseum Campus auditorium, 3800 N. Anthony Blvd. in Fort Wayne
Dr. Jodi Merriday is a multiculturalism speaker and facilitator. Her program “Speak Truth to Power: Trending Topics on Diversity” introduces participants to five tools that cultivate social intelligence, bridge building, and inclusivity. The dialogue unpacks prejudice and will enable participants to cultivate meaningful diverse relationships.

African American Read-In
Noon to 2 p.m. Feb. 20 in the Student Life Center commons on North Campus, 3701 Dean Drive in Fort Wayne
Ivy Tech employees and students will honor famous African American authors and playwrights by reading their works. Food will be available.


Michelle Obama Book Discussion
1 to 2 p.m. March 20 on Coliseum Campus auditorium, 3800 N. Anthony Blvd. in Fort Wayne, room TBD
Participants will read and discuss passages from Michelle Obama’s new book “Becoming Michelle Obama.”

Harryette Mullen History & Poetry Tributes
Noon to 1:30 p.m. April 24 in the Coliseum Campus auditorium, 3800 N. Anthony Blvd. in Fort Wayne
Professor Steven Livley will be giving a presentation about Harryette Mullen, famous African American poet and author. Students will read self-written poems based on Mullen’s work.

College launches career pathways website, announces Feb. 13 enrollment day

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw are helping make things easier when exploring career pathways through education at Ivy Tech. Individuals can now explore and develop potential career paths while getting started on their academic journey with a new online career pathways tool along with an upcoming Express Enrollment Day for students interested in starting in March.

The career pathways tool is designed to help prospective students figure out possible career paths by choosing from nearly 50 academic programs with more than 150 degree and certificate options. The task can sometimes be overwhelming for students, but this interactive tool prompts individuals to select from various interests, choose from different types of workplace environments, and decide how long they want to attend college—all to help them narrow their selection of a certificate or degree program at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne or Warsaw.

Visit to learn more or access the interactive career pathways tool.

Ivy Tech’s Express Enrollment Day on Feb. 13 is for students who want to begin classes in March, which are 8-week classes beginning March 18. At Express Enrollment events, prospective students can work on the steps they need to start classes. Enrollment experts will be on-hand to answer questions and help attendees with enrollment steps including assessment, financial aid, advising, and more. Students should bring their most recent tax returns for financial aid review and their previous high school (if they graduated in the past four years) or college transcripts for assessment.

Prospective students can visit to RSVP and learn more.
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 13

Fort Wayne Campus
Student Life Center
3701 Dean Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46835

Warsaw Site
2545 Silveus Crossing
Warsaw, IN 46582