From Ivy Tech to ivy league

Meet Genie Walters, a student at Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus studying liberal arts and criminal justice. In addition to being the Student Government Association president, she’s also a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow. As a part of the fellowship, she attend the its National Convening last month, in Boston.

She takes over Green Light to talk a little about the convention.

Here I am!

The National Convening gave myself and other fellows an opportunity to network with one another and to gain a better understanding of how the governing body functions. Walking into the lobby of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, it was a very energetic atmosphere. I was immediately swarmed by other Fellows with questions like, “Where are you from?” “What’s your name?” “What school do you attend?”

Next door the to Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum, which was one of my favorite stops. During my visit, the museum was celebrating JFK 100, a special yearlong exhibit remembering the life and legacy of the 35th president through historic milestones in his career, administration, and personal and family life. One of the more touching pieces was a letter he had received from his father regarding his poor college studies, in 1934:

Now Jack … I definitely know you have the goods, and you can go a long way … I will not be disappointed if you don’t turn out to be a real genius, but I think you can be a really worthwhile citizen with good judgement and understanding.

This advice resonated with me as a current college student. I think it is important for all students to know not everyone is going to have a 4.0 GPA, and yet they still have the ability to go on and do great things.

In addition to this amazing conference, I had a chance to sightsee around Boston. The rich history of Boston is captivating. There are many landmarks, museums, and tours – unfortunately too many for me to visit in such a short time. However, I did get to visit the

The Salem Witch Museum

site of the Boston Massacre; the site of the Boston Tea Party and the infamous “shot heard round the world,” which led to the American Revolution; the Freedom Trail; Paul Revere’s house; the New England Holocaust Memorial; Salem, Mass.; the Salem Witch Museum; the Salem Witch House; and Harvard University.

Harvard holds the title as the oldest university in the country. Not only is Harvard an academic powerhouse but also a popular destination for visitors from around the world. As I walked into Harvard Yard, I just stood in awe as I took in the classic beauty and reflected upon the centuries of history it has witnessed. I thought back to my first semester at Ivy Tech and the high standards I have set for myself. My motto has always been “From Ivy Tech to Ivy League.” And through Ivy Tech, there I stood at an Ivy League institution. Talk about the power of speaking something into existence!

View of Boston

Sadly, the campus was on fall break so it was relatively quiet. Nonetheless, I ventured around and saw some of the iconic buildings on campus. I also took the opportunity to study and submit homework due in my Ivy Tech classes, because when else would I possibly have to the opportunity to say “I studied at Harvard!”? It was a surreal experience and one of the best memories that I will forever cherish from Ivy Tech.

Are you a student or graduate who has had a fantastic experience at Ivy Tech? Would you like to tell us about it? Email your idea to, and you could get to write a Green Light blog post!

Happy December: Things to do

The semester is almost over! While you’re wrapping up your semester, finishing up finals study time (or perhaps cramming at the last minute? More on why you should avoid that here), keep in mind that there still some things to keep you busy at Ivy Tech.

Because taking a break from work is important!

Winter Meltdown: Summer Party

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 6, Student Life Center commons
Beat the winter blues with ice cream and snacks, crafts, giveaways, and games.

Classical Cuisines dinners

5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and 15, Hospitality Room, Coliseum Campus
These are the last Classical Cuisines dinners of the semester. The menu is French, the cooking techniques are French, and it’s all on campus. Get your tickets and try some French fare.

Finals at the Library

Dec. 11 to 15, Library
Need a break during finals week? Stop by the Library on Coliseum Campus! They’ll have snacks, adult coloring book stations, and, relaxing mobile apps. Plus, from 10 a.m. to noon, cuddle up with some therapy dogs, perfect for finals stress relief.

Dual-credit high school students building 11 custom homes for college credit in Fort Wayne

The Building Construction Technology program at Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne Campus is partnering with more than 16 area high school and career center classes to build custom homes for northeast Indiana residents.

Participating high school students are enrolled in dual credit classes at Ivy Tech and receive high school credit as well as college credit for their classes. Most participating high schools have also adopted the College’s new National Center for Construction Education & Research curriculum. The curriculum is a nationally recognized construction certification program that embeds industry-recognized credentials to measure both knowledge and hands-on skill.

Many partnering building trades programs have been building homes with students for more than 25 years. These partnerships are especially important, with the impact of a broadening skills gap and shortage of workers in the construction industry looming.

“With the construction labor shortage in full swing, high school building trades programs provide an excellent avenue for developing interest in the building trades among young people,” says Ryan Voorhees, building construction technology program chair.

For most programs, students are on the jobsite daily; many are currently wrapping up roofing and siding in preparation for the coming winter weather. Throughout the winter and spring months, students will continue work inside their project houses to complete mechanical, electrical, plumbing, drywall, paint, cabinets, flooring, and more.

The following high schools and career centers are currently partnering with Ivy Tech:

  • Central Noble High School in Albion
  • Fairfield Junior-Senior High School in Goshen
  • Fort Wayne Community School’s Career Academy in Fort Wayne
  • Garrett High School in Garrett
  • Heartland Career Center in Wabash
  • Impact Institute in Kendallville
  • Lakeland High School in LaGrange
  • Mishawaka High School in Mishawaka
  • Riley High School in South Bend
  • Tippecanoe Valley High School in Akron
  • Warsaw Community High School in Warsaw
  • Wawasee High School in Syracuse

Who’s That: Meet Christina O’Brien

If you’re involved in Student Life in any way, you’ve likely seen Christina O’Brien around campus. She’s the director of Student Life, which means she works on a bunch of events on campus for students, like WOW Wednesdays and Welcome Week events.

Meet Christina!

How would you describe your job?
I’m responsible for overseeing the cocurricular and extracurricular student experience, which is all the great ways students get involved and learn outside of the classroom. When you think about things like student clubs, student activities, service projects, and sports, you are thinking about Student Life.

Where have students most likely seen you around campus?
Everywhere! Usually running from one place to another with a wagon of weirdness I’m dragging around. Our department supports a lot of great opportunities for students all over campus, and those opportunities always have fun and interesting needs. You can find me giving a presentation at TRIO, or helping out at a WOW Wednesday event in the commons, or getting my diet soda fix at one of the food service areas. My home base is in the Student Life Center over by the Fitness Center and gymnasium.

Christina O’Brien and the Ivy Tech Titan mascot. From this year’s A Reason to Taste fundraiser.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?
It is always the students. I love the diverse and wonderful individuals I get to work with every year and be a part of this leg of their journey. Anytime I even mention considering a different job my husband asks “… but would you enjoy it as much?” My job always has new exciting things to work on and is never boring, but the students are what make it so fun. While they are here to learn, I feel like I end up learning so much from them during their time spent with Ivy Tech, and I look forward to the new faces I get to meet every semester, even though its hard (but exciting) to say good-bye when they graduate.

What’s your favorite event on campus, the No. 1 thing all students should be sure to stop by?
I can only choose one?! That is really hard! I’m going to cheat a smidgeon and say Welcome Week. While it’s technically a whole week of events, that first week of the semester is always so exciting, and the events are always so fun. Students should definitely stop by as many Welcome Week activities as they can and meet new people and enjoy that first week fun!

If students are interested in getting more involved with Student Life, what should they do?
They should check out IvyLife (right there on the Home page of MyIvy) and look at the different events and student organizations. Then they should just try anything out that looks interesting. Stop by group meetings, attend an event, and make time to be involved. If you are really at a loss of what to do, just stop by the Student Life Office in SL107. We can help you find some things that might interest you, and we don’t bite (unless we are hungry).

A very thankful Thanksgiving

We asked the college what they’re most thankful for this year. Here are some of the responses we received! Leave a comment and tell us about what you’re most appreciative for this holiday season, too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

“I’m thankful for my beautiful family!” ~Jacquelyn Clapper-Erpelding, academic advisor


“The thing that I am most thankful for is the teachers who don’t give up on me and the faith that God has in me to see me through tough times.” ~Tammy Maness, Cyber Security/Information Assurance student

“I am a retired tool and die maker after more than 30 years in manufacturing and working in many different trades. I am thankful for my health and the opportunity that Ivy Tech provides for me to work as an adjunct instructor. I teach several courses in machine tool technology at the Warsaw Site. So much training was invested in me during my apprenticeship program and the many years after I became a journeyman tool and die maker. I am thankful that I am now in a position to give back to an industry that has been good to me for so many years.

“New skilled workers are always in demand, and training helps to prepare these needed workers for their chosen fields. Ivy Tech has an important part in this future.” ~Gary Pudell, Machine Tool Technology adjunct instructor


“I’m thankful for my giant, slobbery dog, Caesar. He greets me with enthusiasm and a wagging tail every day when I come home from work, insists on snuggles before bed, and is a great gardening buddy.” ~Sandra Fouty, visual and online communications coordinator

“I am thankful for the 39 years and 345 days I had with my dad, who passed away in August of this year.” ~Brad Peters, assistant director, Academic Advising

Ivy Tech becomes Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship sponsor

The U.S. Department of Labor has approved Ivy Tech Community College as an apprenticeship sponsor. In this role, Ivy Tech can register companies’ apprenticeship programs with the Department of Labor. Traditionally, companies register themselves, but many companies often do not have the time and resources to do so.


“Ivy Tech has partnered with companies to provide the related technical instruction for apprenticeships for years,” says Stephanie Hilton, director of Apprenticeship for the College. “This was a natural fit for us.”


The College’s duties will include handling all the administrative work for these companies, collecting on-the-job learning hours, and assisting with audits with the Department of Labor.


Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus is the pilot for this statewide program, part of a national effort to increase the number of registered apprenticeships. Ivy Tech benefits by enrolling more apprentices at the College, and employers benefit because apprenticeship programs help businesses develop highly skilled employees. Apprenticeship programs may also reduce employee turnover rates, increase productivity, and lower the cost of recruitment.


Learn more about apprenticeships at Contact the College’s Apprenticeship office at or 260-480-4241.


Department of Labor signing to kick off Apprenticeship Fair

The media is invited to a special announcement and official agreement signing between the Department of Labor and Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne Campus. This will kick off the Apprenticeship Fair at Ivy Tech.

The fair will be hosted in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Apprenticeship Week, which is from Nov. 13 to 19. The national celebration “offers leaders in business, labor, education, and other critical partners a chance to express their support for apprenticeship,” according to the labor department’s website. “The weekly events highlight the benefits of apprenticeship in preparing a highly skilled workforce to meet the talent needs of employers across diverse industries.”

Learn more at

Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne Campus
The Steel Dynamics, Inc. Keith E. Busse Technology Center
3701 Dean Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46835
Get directions

Signing: 10 a.m. Nov. 17
Fair: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 17

Who’s That: Meet Cari Knuth, who’s at all the fun events

If you’re involved in Student Life in any way, you’ve likely seen Cari Knuth around campus. She’s the assistant director of Student Life, which means she works on a bunch of events on campus and for students, like last month’s Trunk-or-Treat and this summer’s trip to Washington DC.

Meet Cari!

Tell me about your job.
I literally think I have the most fun job on campus. My job is to engage students outside of the classroom with entertaining, educational, developmental, and diverse extra-curricular programming, activities, and organizations so that students can make the most of their college experience.

There’s Cari, second from left with the striped purse. She traveled with a group of students to Washington D.C. this summer. Here, she’s with Sen. Joe Donnelly rocking some Ivy Tech gear.

Where have students most likely seen you around campus?
What’s Up Weekly News Posts, WOW Wednesdays, Welcome Week, and Family Fun Nights.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?
I get to help students develop soft skills within the college community by not only offering programming, service, and enrichment opportunities, but also by fostering an environment where student interests can develop into student leadership and individual growth.

What’s your favorite event on campus, the No. 1 thing all students should be sure to stop by?
This is a tough one, because through the years we’ve had some great events. My favorites have to be our Trunk-or-Treat events. Being involved in an event that brings 1,800-plus new and old faces that include student, employee, and community members makes my heart smile.



Snapshots from this year’s Trunk-or-Treat on North Campus. Click on images to zoom.

If students want to make sure they don’t miss any great things on campus, what’s the best way to stay informed?
Ivy Life is the best place to find out what’s up on campus. Also, my weekly What’s Up emails and news posts.

Who’s That is an occasional feature on Green Light that spotlights Ivy Tech employees you’ve likely seen around campus–but you may not be quite sure who they are. Have someone you’d like to see featured in Who’s That? Email me at

Warsaw Site students to host panel for sexual assault awareness

Honors students at Ivy Tech Community College’s Warsaw Site are hosting an event for the Kosciusko County Prosecuting Attorney’s Victims Assistance Program. The event, Start by Believing, will teach about sexual assault in Kosciusko County and how to become an advocate for victims. Panelists will include representatives from the Victims Assistance Program, Beaman Home, and the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department.

The event is free and open to the public. It is hosted by the Beta Zeta Kappa chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of two-year colleges.

If you have questions, please contact Lori Roe, School of Arts, Sciences, and Education chair for the Warsaw Site, at or 574-267-5428 x7110.

Ivy Tech Community College’s Warsaw Site
2545 Silveus Crossing
Warsaw, IN 46582

6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 14

Fort Wayne Campus group to sponsor Habitat for Humanity build day

Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne Campus will sponsor a build day for Habitat for Humanity. This College-wide initiative invites students, employees, and community members to build homes at Fuller’s Landing, “a front porch community offering affordable homeownership opportunities in partnership with hardworking families,” according to Habitat for Humanity.

As of Friday morning, 20 volunteers had signed up for build day.

Fuller’s Landing
4308 W. Cook Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46818

7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Nov. 11