Vis Comm students at Ivy Tech write, illustrate graphic novel

Welcome back to Green Light! We’ll continue publishing on Fridays during the summer. Here to kick off the semester, meet the Marketing and Communications work study, Crystal.

Hi, there. My name is Crystal Monhollen, and I am a student and an employee at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast. For fun I attend a club named Ivy Art Society. It’s a great place to be surrounded by friends and build relationships with my peers.

CrystalIvy Art Society is full of Visual Communication majors who take pride in taking on special projects, and this year, we took on our biggest project yet: a comic novel called “Finding Ivy.” It tells a series of stories based in the fictional city Atropolis that literally had money that grew on trees and, best yet, machines that helped people with their work. Unfortunately, people took stuff for granted; the machines turned on them, and the city began to crumble. There were legends told of a small Ivy seed that, if planted, would restore Atropolis to its formal glory. So as this story unfolds, it’s about those who stepped up to re-learn how to control the machines and find the Ivy seed.

The cover of "Finding Ivy"


The real story, though, is the students who made “Finding Ivy” come alive—students like Kaila Shoemaker, who is the author of “Finding Ivy.” Shoemaker said the first step of the process for “Finding Ivy” was planning. She had to create characters, their names, and a storyline. The second step was writing and determining who would pen the story. Shoemaker and the Ivy Art Society worked with the Marketing and Communications office, and Shoemaker based the characters in “Finding Ivy” off some of the office’s employees.

Kaila's bio and illustrated headshot ran in the back of the graphic novel, along with the other students' who worked on "Finding Ivy."

Kaila’s bio and illustrated head shot ran in the back of the graphic novel, along with the other students’ who worked on “Finding Ivy.”

When she completed the story, she pitched the comic to the Ivy Art Society. After the artwork came together and the story evolved, it was time to edit and proofread. I personally had a part in editing the artwork by making a building appear extremely eerie, which was awesome. The panel I edited showed a building that looked brand new. Because Atropolis was so damaged and run down, the building needed to look as if it was part of a barren wasteland. I added broken windows and cracks on the walls and gave it a duller color scheme.

This is the panel I worked on to make more run-down and dilapidated.

This is the panel I worked on to make more run-down and dilapidated.

The final question was, how does “Finding Ivy” get revealed? We found our perfect answer in a comic convention, Appleseed Comic Con, because it’s an awesome nerd fest where comic books, arts, movies, and games are revealed. It’s also a fun excuse to dress up in your favorite comic character and find your inner nerd. So Ivy Tech planned ahead and passed out “Finding Ivy” at the Appleseed Comic Con to the community for free.

Joey Avila, a Vis Com student who illustrated five pages of the comic--including the cover--mans the table at Appleseed with Kaila.

Joey Avila, a Vis Com student who illustrated five pages of the comic–including the cover–mans the table at Appleseed with Kaila.

I hope Ivy Tech plans to do it again next year because attending comic con was such a success. Plus it was so cool to see all the different types of comic artist, costumes, and happy faces. So please, if you’ve never gone to a comic convention, put it on your to-do list.

If I’m given the opportunity to help with the comic again, I would definitely try to be more involved. The Ivy Art Society is only one year old, and this comic kind of became “our thing.” We did a lot of trial and error, and we learned a lot from it.

Now tell me: If we do another graphic novel next year, what would we write about?

Ivy Tech Northeast to host FBI hate crime presentation, community panel discussion

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast is hosting Hate Crimes and the LGBT Community: Connecting Federal and Local Responses on Nov. 8.

The event aims to educate the community on hate crimes as related to the LGBTQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, asexual/ally) community and explain why and when the FBI would get involved.

The two-part event includes:

  • A presentation by the FBI from 1 to 3:30 p.m., and
  • A panel discussion including local law enforcement and community members from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

The event is a partnership among Ivy Tech Northeast, the Northeast Indiana LGBTQ Coalition, and IPFW. It will be held at the Public Safety Academy: Ivy Tech South Campus, 7602 Patriot Crossing.

Sasha Mallory, dance reality show finalist, to participate in INSPIRE Academy

INSPIRESasha Mallory, the runner-up on season 8 of “So You Think You Can Dance,” is coming to Fort Wayne as part of Ivy Tech Community College Northeast’s INSPIRE Academy for an all-day event to engage with dancers of all ages.

For her first session, Mallory will teach dance workshops for those aged 18 and older, 12 to 18 and 8 to 12 on Jan. 3, 2014 at the Student Life Center on North Campus, 3701 Dean Drive. Session II will provide a performance opportunity for those who took the class and Mallory during halftime at a Mad Ants game.

Registration is $15 and includes the workshop, a T-shirt, and the Mad Ants performance. It is limited to the first 125 participants. For more scheduling information, please see the attached flier. For more information and to register, visit

INSPIRE Academy aims to provide inspirational and creative opportunities targeting various members of the community including Ivy Tech faculty, staff and students; members of K-12 educational institutes; and community members.

Ivy Tech Corporate College to offer training for commercial driver’s licenses

Key Information

  • CDL training new to Ivy Tech Corporate College summer 2013
  • Students can receive licensing in as little as eight weeks
  • Need for CDL-trained drivers expected to increase through 2020

This summer, Ivy Tech Corporate College will begin to offer commercial driver’s license, or CDL, training. It will consist of classroom time, hands-on driving time and pre-trip inspection and lab work.

The eight-week classes are scheduled to run from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday starting July 15 at SIRVA’s Fort Wayne office, at 5001 U.S. Highway 30 West. During that time, students will receive classroom instruction and a driving/lab time.

“This type of collaboration between business and education is exactly what we need to create a demand-driven workforce in Northeast Indiana,” said John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. “SIRVA and Ivy Tech are to be commended for moving the ball forward to meet the needs of logistics companies in the region.”

Nationally, the need for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is expected to increase over the next seven years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau projects a need for 21 percent more drivers from 2010 to 2020—more than 330,000 employees.

“The shortage of qualified men and women to drive trucks exists in northeast Indiana just as it does elsewhere in the U.S.,” says James Aschliman, executive director of Ivy Tech Corporate College. “We are proud to be providing high quality training for those desiring to enter into this industry.”

This program will cost $3,995. This covers instruction, materials, Department of Transportation physical, application for learner’s permit and license. Program fees also cover students’ first attempts at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles skills test. The CDL class will be offered on a regular basis. For more information or to register for CDL information sessions or instruction, call 260-480-4118.