Flight simulator donation brings new opportunities to Ivy Tech Fort Wayne students

Back row from left: Clark Winans, Aaron Jamison, Paul Hopkins, Sophia Layos; Front row from left: Aviation Technology instructor Dan Leonard, Chancellor Dr. Kim Barnett-Johnson, Dean of the School of Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Sciences Deborah Pitzer

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne is adding FAA-approved flight simulator training to its Aviation Technology curriculum after receiving a generous donation valued up to $200,000.

The Precision Flight Controls DCX MAX NG simulator allows students to earn some credit towards their licenses and can save them up to $200 an hour. It doesn’t take the place of actual aircraft training but serves as a safe way to gain needed experience.

“Someone who has never flown in their lifetime can safely learn the ropes while using this simulator,” says Dan Leonard, an Ivy Tech Aviation Technology instructor. “It’s a great tool for our students and community members to keep up on vital techniques and skills.”

This instrument allows users to experience a virtual reality that allows them to achieve, train, and maintain proficiency in the operation of an airplane without the risk to a person or property. Users have the ability to “fly” anywhere in the country and train through different types of weather.

“With the simulator, students can practice repeatedly to gain confidence before getting in the aircraft,” says the donor, who wishes to remain anonymous. “When you’re learning to fly, it takes you a couple months before you don’t make mistakes. This instrument allows you to learn how to not make mistakes without using natural resources. I feel students will get the maximum benefits of it with Ivy Tech.”

This simulator was donated in pieces so it could be transported to Ivy Tech. College faculty were able to put it back together and calibrate it to working condition during winter break. It’s now being used in class with students.

Dr. Kim Barnett-Johnson tests out simulator with student Sophia Layos

“Anytime we’re struggling in the air, it’s always great practice to come back down here and review what we’ve missed in the simulator,” says Paul Hopkins, student in the Aviation Technology program. “It’s the biggest help, and it saves us a lot of money.”

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

Photo from 2019 Edible Book Festival

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne is back to hosting the annual Edible Book Festival after a two-year hiatus on Apr. 3. Registration to participate is now open to the community. Applications are due by Mar. 24. Registration is only required if you plan to make an edible book.

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.

Photo from 2019 Edible Book Festival

This is the festival’s 14th year at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, and it is open to both the northeast Indiana community and Ivy Tech Fort Wayne students and employees. Participants compete to win one of three awards: Best Design, Funniest Interpretation, or Best Tasting. 

“We welcome entries from local businesses and food artists, Ivy Tech students, staff, alumni, retirees, and anyone else who’s interested,” says Liz Metz, 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 library.ivytech.edu/ebf.


Noon to 2 p.m. Apr. 3


Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s North Campus

Student Life Center Gym

3701 Dean Dr., Fort Wayne, IN 46835

Indiana students to get free FAFSA filing help at College Goal Sunday

Financial aid professionals will be volunteering at Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw and other various 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 from 2:00-4:00 p.m., February 26th, 2023, and will take place on Fort Wayne’s Coliseum Campus (3800 N Anthony Blvd.) and Warsaw (2545 Silveus Crossing).

The free program assists Indiana students in filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in one afternoon. The FAFSA form is required for students to be considered for federal and state grants, scholarships, and federal student loans at most colleges, universities, and vocational/technical schools nationwide. Due to state deadlines, the FAFSA must be filed by April 15, 2023, to be eligible for most Indiana financial aid.

“We want students to capitalize on every opportunity they can that makes going to college affordable, no matter what field or industry they pursue or where they find themselves on their educational journey,” said Dr. Sue Ellspermann, President of Ivy Tech. “Ivy Tech is proud to host events like College Goal Sunday that align with the goals of the State of Indiana and the Commission for Higher Education, as we strive to achieve a statewide FAFSA completion rate of at least 60 percent this year.”

Now in its 34th year, College Goal Sunday has helped more than 94,000 Indiana students and families complete the FAFSA 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 26th will be the first of two College Goal Sunday events ISFAA is offering this FAFSA filing season.” said Bill Wozniak, co-chair of College Goal Sunday. “We hope all Hoosiers take advantage of College Goal Sunday, file the FAFSA, and get one step closer to fulfilling their educational goals.”

What students should bring

Students should attend College Goal Sunday with their parent(s) or guardian(s), and parent(s) should bring completed 2021 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 Forms and other 2021 income and benefits information. Students who worked should also bring their income information. Students 24 years of age or older may attend alone and bring their completed 2021 IRS 1040 tax return, W-2 Form or other 2021 income and benefits information. Students and parent(s) are encouraged to apply for their U.S. Department of Education FSA IDs at www.studentaid.gov before logging in 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 www.collegegoalsunday.org

Attendees may win a scholarship from College Goal Sunday

Students may also win one of five $1,000 scholarships. Students who attend College Goal Sunday and submit a completed evaluation form will automatically be entered in a drawing for a $1,000 scholarship. The winners will be notified in spring and scholarships 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 completion, Scholars who have fulfilled the commitment and demonstrate financial need receive state funds to help cover their college tuition and fees for up to eight semesters at eligible Indiana public colleges or an equal dollar amount at eligible Indiana private colleges. To fulfill their pledge scholars must submit a completed FAFSA form on time, 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 www.collegegoalsunday.org.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne/Warsaw, General Motors team up for national initiative to impact manufacturing industry

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw was recently selected as one of just seven colleges nationwide to receive a $40,000 grant, sourced by General Motors funds, through the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) as part of a new national initiative.

From left: Ivy Tech Fort Wayne/Warsaw Chancellor Dr. Kim Barnett-Johnson & GM Fort Wayne Assembly Executive Director Gary Duff

“Over the next year, GM and Fort Wayne Assembly will work closely with Ivy Tech to learn how we can better train and attract talent for the advanced manufacturing jobs of the future – right here in Northeast Indiana,” says Gary Duff, Executive Director of the General Motors Fort Wayne Assembly Plant. “This study will benefit not just GM but manufacturing companies both in the region and nationwide.”

The grant funds a year and a half long study that shares best practices for integrating advanced manufacturing credentials into college curriculum. The seven colleges selected are located near GM facilities and will take part in the initial study that explores options that launch individuals into higher skills and higher wage opportunities.  

“The manufacturing world keeps evolving with the development of new technology,” says Dr. Kim Barnett-Johnson, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and Warsaw. “To keep pace with these advancements, this grant will help us find ways to retain high-value instructors who currently work in the industry and develop new curricula that leaves our students workforce-ready after graduation.”

Sam Barker, former Ivy Tech student & electrician at GM Fort Wayne Assembly

Ivy Tech is already working closely with other community partners to keep up with the advancements in the manufacturing industries. In 2020, Ivy Tech became the education partner for the Northeast Indiana Chapter of the Indiana Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education (NEINFAME), allowing for the creation of new programs designed to meet the needs of the region’s manufacturing employers. This grant will help guide the college to continue developing forward-focused education.

“During my time at Ivy Tech, I had a chance to slow down and dig deeper into the skills I’m using now,” says Sam Barker, an electrician at GM Fort Wayne and former Ivy Tech student. “The industry is fast-paced and always changing, so I believe this will be a big benefit to current and future students and our area’s manufacturing industry.”

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne massage clinic reopens for spring semester

Healthy Essence, the student-run massage clinic at Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne campus, will open to the public this semester from Feb. 13 to May 6. Students from the Therapeutic Massage program will provide hour-long full-body relaxation massages. The following hours are available by appointment:

First 8-Weeks (Feb. 13 – Mar. 11)

Monday- 10, 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.

Tuesday- 11:30 a.m. & 1:00, 2:30, 4:00, 5:30, 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday- 11:30 a.m. & 1:00, 2:30, 4:00 p.m.

Thursday- None

Friday- 10:00, 11:30 a.m. & 1:00, 2:30, 4:00 p.m.

Saturday- 10:00, 11:30 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.

Second 8-Weeks (Mar. 20 – May 6)

Monday- None

Tuesday- 11:30 a.m. & 1:00, 2:30, 4:00, 6:00, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday- None

Thursday- None

Friday- 10:00, 11:30 a.m. & 1:00, 2:30, 4:00 p.m.

Saturday- 10:00, 11:30 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.

The clinic will be closed for spring break Mar. 13 through Mar. 17.

Massages are $30 for the community and $25 for Ivy Tech employees and students, military personnel, and those 55 and older. The clinic accepts payment in cash and credit card. Tips are not accepted, but clients can donate to a charity chosen by the students.

To make an appointment, call 260-480-2094. Note: Clients are permitted to schedule two massages per month.


Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Coliseum Campus (CC1739)

3800 N. Anthony Blvd.

Fort Wayne, IN 46805

A dream job from scratch: Dee Shockey’s journey in massage therapy

Searching for your dream job can be stressful, even in a field that can help alleviate stress. As Dee Shockey began exploring the world of massage therapy, she realized sometimes you’ve got to create the career you’ve always wanted from scratch. She and her husband, Jared, shared a life-long goal of being 100% self-employed. Using guidance from Shockey’s Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne education, they used the pandemic to hash out a business plan and make their dream a reality.

Dee Shockey, owner of New Leaf Massage and Bodywork; photo provided by Dee Shockey

In January 2022, New Leaf Massage and Bodywork opened its doors. It’s an affordable option for massage therapy, with a mission to spread understanding that healing touch is essential to the human wellness experience. Shockey stumbled across her passion while exploring other types of treatments. 

“I have some educational background with exercise science and always enjoyed the exposure I had to hands-on therapy, holistic wellness practices, and yoga,” Shockey says. “But I hadn’t connected with the right area of wellness for me to build a career in.”

Shockey started taking classes at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne as a high schooler. She knew friends who participated in the massage therapy program, and learning more about their experiences drew her in.

“Amazing” is how Shockey describes her teachers and staff in the program who she also credits with equipping her with everything she needed to become a professional. Shockey says she still uses her experience from the student-run Healthy Essence Massage Clinic to connect with her current clients. She also says her teachers were able to help her network and give her resources that have provided her with great opportunities.

“Education will give you everything if you show up to learn with an open mind and apply yourself. Day one after I got my license, I started my literal dream job. Ivy Tech made that possible for me.”

Growing in a field doesn’t stop after graduation. In addition to living her best life outside of work with their cat, Dwiggy, she’s also working towards furthering her education in both craniosacral therapy and myofascial release.

To anyone interested in a path as a massage therapist, Dee offers this advice: “Give a lot of massages and get a lot of massages. Experience and exposure to the practice are crucial to knowing if you’re a good fit in the field.”

Dozens of organizations sharing services at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s Community Resource Fair 

Dozens of local organizations are heading out to Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne Wednesday, Feb. 22 for a Community Resource Fair. Students and the community are invited to learn more about the services available for them including financial assistance, healthcare and substance abuse assistance, volunteer opportunities, and much more. 

More than 30 organizations will be there sharing the resources they offer including: 

Super Shot, Inc. will also be hosting a vaccine clinic during the event. It’s providing Tdap, HPV, meningitis B, flu, and Pfizer COVID vaccines. Plus, attendees can look up immunization records at its booth.  

All attendees will also be eligible to win big prizes, including a 31-Day Bus Pass and $100 Kroger gift card. No registration necessary. For questions about the event, contact CeCe Smith at csmith1606@ivytech.edu.   


11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22 


Ivy Tech Fort Wayne North Campus 

Student Life Center Gym 

3701 Dean Dr. 

Fort Wayne, IN 46805 

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