Ivy Tech Warsaw to host public First Responders Career Fair

Ivy Tech Community College Warsaw is hosting a First Responders career fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on September 18. This event is designed to connect Ivy Tech Warsaw students and interested community members with first responders from the Kosciusko County area. Attendees can meet with local first responders and interact with an emergency helicopter; police, fire, and ambulance vehicles; and more.

The following are a few first responder agencies that will be participating in this event:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Lutheran Air
  • Lutheran EMS
  • Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office
  • Indiana Department of Correction

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 18
Helicopter arriving at 12 p.m. and departing at 2 p.m.

Ivy Tech Warsaw
2545 Silveus Crossing
Warsaw, IN 46582

Keeping it in the (human services) family

It took Silena Kester a few attempts to find the right fit at Ivy Tech Northeast, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. The first time she enrolled, her daughter Zoi (pronouned “ZO-ee”) Hillenberg, now 19, was a first-grader. Silena started as a nursing major, and she was one of the best in the class at the book work, she remembers. But A&P–anatomy and physiology–got to her. With three young kids, Silena didn’t have the time she needed to memorize all the material.

So she switched to paralegal studies.

Silena Kester, standing, and her daughter Zoi Hillenberg. Silena graduated with an associate degree in human services from Ivy Tech Northeast in 2011; Zoi just started the program this semester.

Silena Kester, standing, and her daughter Zoi Hillenberg. Silena graduated with an associate degree in human services from Ivy Tech Northeast in 2011; Zoi just started the program this semester.

“I didn’t want to be a factory rat,” she says. “I watched my mom do it for years, and I didn’t want to do it.”

She graduated with her associate degree at the top of her class, but her unwillingness to move made it difficult to find a job, she says. She found an unrelated job at a company that closed in 2009, so she gave Ivy Tech Northeast another try–this time in human services.

“There was no doubt in my mind at that point,” says Silena, of Waterloo, Ind. “It was human services.”

Silena earned her associate degree in 2011 and her bachelor’s from Trine University in 2012. Today, she is working on her master’s degree online at Boston University and hopes to graduate in 2017. She is also working at the Indiana Professional Management Group, though she plans to one day open her own group home for those who have aged out of foster care.

And, she hopes, she’ll one day be able to hire her daughter, Zoi, who graduated from DeKalb High School in June 2014 and started at Ivy Tech Northeast in human services in August. One day, Silena says, she hopes to run the company with Zoi, who wants to go into counseling.

Zoi plans to graduate in two years, but she’s not sure if her coursework will take longer; she is due to deliver her son, Bou (pronounced “BO”), in March and plans to take online classes in spring 2015.

“It’s interesting to learn,” Zoi says of her course work. “It helps me in my profession now, the clients that I have.”

Zoi works with developmentally disabled clients through Community Living, which helps its clients become self-sufficient.

Silena has experienced human services classes at three different schools now, but she touts Ivy Tech as providing the best education.

“I think every person who goes into human services needs to start at Ivy Tech,” says Silena, who points out that even some master’s-level classes review things she learned at Ivy Tech Northeast. “I went to Trine with some people who didn’t have the same fundamentals I did, and they struggled more than I did.”

A Reason to Taste brings in $70k–and looks really pretty

If you passed the Student Life Center gym at all late last week, you may have noticed some bustle going on–gray tableclothed tables with elaborate centerpieces, hallway furniture repurposed as lounges beneath large Edison light bulbs encased in wire globes.

It was all for A Reason to Taste, Ivy Tech Northeast’s biggest fundraiser for the year. Through ticket sales, fund-a-need donations, and silent auction items, we raised nearly $70,000 for student scholarships. Let’s pass out some cyber high-fives, shall we?

I could tell you what a great event it was, but I’d rather show you. Here are some of my favorite moments. You can find even more on the College’s Flickr page. (Yes, we have a Flickr page.)

First, let’s start with the gym. Not exactly a place for basketball anymore, wouldn’t you say?
rtt3With an open bar, no less. We’re still grateful to Ivy Tech Northeast alumna Donna Kessler (not pictured) for being so great and stocking the bar. Go get some dinner at Calhoun Street Soup, Salad, and Spirits (1915 S. Calhoun St., Fort Wayne) and tell her thanks, would you?
rtt4The A Reason to Taste dinner is largely created and made by hospitality administration students. Say hi!
rtt6After guests registered, they received a glass of champagne from student servers. Cheers!
rtt5That’s assistant instructor Cheryl Hitzemann. It was all-hands-on-deck at A Reason to Taste. Hospitality Administration faculty and students prepared a five-course meal for 240 guests.
rtt2Cole Huffman is a hospitality administration student who got to travel to France to study culinary arts this may. That’s the basis for the A Reason to Taste menu. Check out the behind-the-scenes story and hear more from Cole.
rtt7No party is complete without a photobooth and playful props. That’s Tommy Shoegler and Melissa Long (at right) in the top photo, from 21Alive. They were the event’s emcees. The final photo is some coworkers and moi (top left). We are a snazzy crew.collageI have to leave you with my favorite image of the night. There was a lot of fun and laughter at the event, and I don’t think there’s an image to sum it up better than this one.


Have you checked out a Kelty’s Kafe lunch yet?


That’s me!

Greetings Ivy Tech staff and students, Fort Wayne community, and anyone else who got lucky enough to stumble upon Green Light. My name is Jackson Bates, and I am an intern in the marketing office at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast. I am currently a senior in the communication department across the street at IPFW and, in a much-needed change of pace from literature reviews and term papers, I will be contributing my two cents on some events happening at Ivy Tech this semester. (Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post to see the audio slideshow I put together featuring this week’s Kelty’s student chef, Theresa Thurston.)

I have come a long way since plain cheeseburgers and ham sandwiches, and now that I am a little older and have developed somewhat of an experienced palate, I am ready to join the ranks of Guy Fieri and Bobby Flay. OK, maybe I don’t have a solid background in critically analyzing food, and so what if I still like my cheeseburgers plain—I have to start somewhere. And what better place than Ivy Tech Northeast’s Kelty’s Kafé, a student-run restaurant in Anthony Commons on North Campus. This semester’s Kelty’s Kafé is bringing a little bit of everything to the table (pun intended). Students in hospitality administration will be dishing out (I can do this all day) all types of delicious meals from Italian, Greek, and pub food to Caribbean, southern, and good old-fashioned barbecue.

Student chefs work in the kitchen for Wednesday's BBQ Kelty's Kafe.

Student chefs work in the kitchen for Wednesday’s BBQ Kelty’s Kafé.

Being new to the culture of Ivy Tech, I was pleasantly surprised to find out about Kelty’s Kafé’s honorable beginnings: Students in the bakery merchandising class take over the café for the semester. Previously, students selected a different name for the deli each semester. It wasn’t until 2012 when Robert Kelty, a long-time fixture in hospitality administration and the College, passed away that “Kelty’s Kafé” made its permanent debut.

The program serves its students in the same way my internship serves me: It provides real-world experience that can’t be found in the classroom. Kelty’s Kafé is treated like any other restaurant.

“I want them to get a sense of what it is to completely run a business from creating the theme, developing the menus, coming up with recipes, and understanding the financial aspect of the business,” said Meshele Wyneken, hospitality administration instructor and Kelty’s Kafé supervisor. “How much did this cost? How much profit did it make? Because that is where most people fail when they open up a restaurant.”

I ordered an entrée special for $6.50, which included a pulled pork slider, ribs, and baked beans. Brittney Todd, a student chef working the counter, persuaded me to get the special, and I am glad I did. Both the rib and slider meat were cooked perfectly. In fact, I was a bit confused as to why the student chef even offered barbecue sauce because the meat was so tender, it almost fell off the bone. I got the sauce on the side but didn’t even use it—the ribs and slider were so good, they didn’t need the additional flavor to overpower the taste of the meat. Both the sliders and ribs melted in my mouth and were complimented by the hefty portion of baked beans.

My food from Kelty's Kafe

My food from Kelty’s Kafé

It was a shame I didn’t get to try everything on the menu: After being in the kitchen and watching everything come together, my mouth was still watering. After watching David Peverell, a student chef, batter the catfish and send it into the fryer, I wish I had ordered it. The fish sizzled and crackled, a golden brown heaven. Everywhere I looked, chefs were battering, cutting, or frying someone’s lunch. The cornbread mingled with the ribs and smelled like a Thanksgiving dinner, countless aromas of meats and breads filling the air.

Catfish for dessert, anyone?

Click below to listen to student chef Theresa Thurston discuss Kelty’s Kafé. Below the audio slideshow, find the Kelty’s schedule for the remainder of the semester.

Want to check out Kelty’s this semester? Here’s the schedule of menus:

Oct. 1:                                    A Day at the Fair
Oct. 8:                                    Pub Food
Oct. 15:                                  Italian
Oct. 22:                                  Southern Comfort
Oct. 29:                                  Halloween Week
Nov. 5:                                   Greek Feast
Nov. 12:                                 Surprise
Nov. 19:                                 Giving Thanks
Dec. 3:                                   British Isles

Wednesday’s student chef, Theresa Thurston, discusses why she choose a barbecue-themed menu and how her class helped put on the café. (Jackson’s audio)

A non-tech side of Ivy Tech: Published authors

Ivy Tech, as an institution, has been around for more than 50 years, and Ivy Tech Northeast has been around for nearly that long (we’re five years behind). In that amount of time, it’s only natural for the community to develop a certain viewpoint or opinion of the College: that of a technical or vocational school.

And why not? The College did start out as Indiana Vocational Technical College. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for foreign language and writing classes. Its name didn’t change until 1995, to Ivy Tech State College, then to “Community College” in 2000. Institutional memory is long, and Fort Wayne’s lifers will continue to hear the “tech” in “Ivy Tech” long after this blog post.

Which may make it surprising to some that the College employs a number of published authors. Because community colleges don’t grant tenure, there’s no pressure for its faculty to publish; but, as English instructor Paula Ashe points out, when you teach writing and/or literature, publishing is sort of what you do.


She shares a story of one student who googled her before the first day of class and found her Amazon author page.

“‘You have a book.’ His face was shocked,” she says, and she told him, “Yes, I do. Lots of faculty here have books because we write.”

While this is by no means a comprehensive list of all the published work of Ivy Tech faculty, here are some pieces for your reading pleasure:

Troy and book

John and book

Stained glass window-making program chair has been with College for 20+ years

Average workers today stay at their jobs for 4.4 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s barely longer than it takes to get a bachelor’s degree, and less time than it takes plenty of students.

Patty Ley, the program chair of Medical Assisting at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast, has been at the College since 1993. To put that in perspective, there are students here who were not yet conceived when she started. (Sorry to point that out, Patty, but as a thirtysomething woman who’s seen her peers start-and-quit new jobs faster than it takes a bad haircut to grow out, that’s a detail that has to be celebrated.)

Patty Ley, at the stained glass studio in her basement. (Keep reading, we'll get to get to her stained glass!)

Patty Ley, at the stained glass studio in her basement. (Keep reading, we’ll get to her stained glass!)

Patty started at the College as an adjunct faculty member in Medical Assisting–she was also working in the microbiology department’s lab at Lutheran Hospital–and she remembers her first day of teaching: Her first class was in Hurley Hall, which once stood where the Technology Center is now.

And boy, was she nervous.

“I had never taught before,” Patty says. “But once you got into the swing of things, it was quite a bit of fun and a very gratifying experience in terms of seeing students grow from the first week of the semester to the last week of the semester.”

And that’s part of what has made her stick around for so long.

“They (students) become part of your family, a little bit like raising children,” Patty says, pointing out the satisfaction she feels on graduation day, seeing her students get their diplomas and the pride they feel.

She also gets personal satisfaction from her artistic projects. Patty enjoys photography, especially outdoor photography, and stained glass. She has a small studio in her basement where she makes her windows. She and her husband recently moved into a home in Lakeside Park, and earlier this season, she worked on stained glass windows to replace the regular glass windows in her basement.

Clockwise from top right: Patty poses with one of the windows she made for the basement; some of the tools she uses to make her windows; a window-in-progress; more tools in Patty's workspace

Clockwise from top right: Patty poses with one of the windows she made for the basement; some of the tools she uses to make her windows; a window-in-progress; more tools in Patty’s workspace

Making stained glass windows has been a hobby for 15 years, and Patty even has a piece in a church in an impoverished village in Mexico. Her brother-in-law had a connection with the church through missionary work, and she was asked to make a piece for it.

“I have never seen it in the church itself, but they transported it down there,” she says. “Someday, I would like to see the church. It would be a great trip to go there.”

A lesson about pig lungs

If you lay a pig on its back and slice open its belly, what you’ll find inside is anatomically identical to what’s inside a human: same size heart, same size lungs, same organ makeup.

I’d seen Jennifer Brink, the chair of Ivy Tech Northeast’s Respiratory Care program, demoing the pig lungs to a group of high school students last week, and I wanted to learn more. (OK, really, I just wanted to play with some pig lungs.)

Everybody wave to Jennifer.

Everybody wave to Jennifer.

Jennifer told me to give her a heads up about when I wanted to talk about it, and she’d grab a pair out of the freezer. Because here at Ivy Tech, we keep pig lungs  hanging around for just such an emergency.

For our demo, there is a smell in the air. It’s not chemicals, like formaldehyde, and it’s not overpowering. It just kind of lingers.

“That’s the blood,” Jennifer says. “What you’re smelling is the iron. It’s kind of metallic. Blood stinks.”


Inflated pig lungs

Then came the lesson. Here’s what I learned about lungs that I never knew before:

  • Deflated, they feel like a hunk of meat. If I would have fondled my Applebee’s steak last night, it probably wouldn’t have felt all that different from the pig lung. (Except, you know, warm. ‘Cause my steak wasn’t raw.)
  • Inflated, the lungs are spongy and soft. Jennifer threads a breathing tube down the trachea and can pump up the lungs. It’s eerie and awesome to see them “breathing.”
  • The trachea is rough, with a series of little C-shaped cartilage running down it. Go ahead and run your finger down your throat–that’s the same cartilage you’re feeling.
  • Like human lungs, each pig lung is divided into lobes. The right has three–the large bottom lobe and the smaller middle and top lobes. The right has just two–the large bottom lobe and the small top lobe–to make room for the heart . If a person gets lung cancer in one of the lobes, doctors can remove the lobe entirely, and the person can continue to breathe fine.
  • In fact, a doctor can remove an entire lung, and the other lung will pick up the slack.

Since the heart was in there, we talked about that, too. It was a dark purple muscle, much tougher than the lungs. And Jennifer could point out the arteries, which were considerably smaller than I’d have thought. My grandma has a number of stints in her heart, and whenever I thought about this in the past, I imagined arteries with at least a 1-inch. It’s closer to a millimeter.


A sliced-open pig heart

Jennifer gets her lungs from an old-school butcher shop in Monroe, near where she grew up.

“I can get all the pig lungs I want,” she said.

That’s because the butcher doesn’t use lung meat; he just throws them out if Jennifer doesn’t want them.

She uses them for demonstrations to middle and high schoolers and occasionally for her own students. And no matter how many times she’s demoed the pig lungs, she still gets excited. Our pig lungs had a bleb, a small air pocket, like a blister.

That's the bleb.

That’s the bleb.

“I’ve never seen one of these before,” Jennifer said, and after she popped it–which was tougher to do that you’d think, the lung membrane is stronger than it looks–she showed that the bleb was a result of a tear in the lung. In a human, this is what leads to a collapsed lung. In a pig …

“This guy would have been in trouble,” she said.

Check out a short video clip of the lungs “breathing” below.


Ivy Tech Northeast student makes his commercial debut



I met Cassius Stallings last semester. We were filming a video for the ASAP program, a project that explained the program to high school guidance counselors, and the ASAP coordinator suggested Cassius as a good student to talk about the program.

Cassius, it turned out, was great in front of the camera. He was natural and succinct. He answered honestly and without hesitation. I’ve interviewed a number of people in front of a camera for various Ivy Tech videos, and Cassius was about as natural as I’d seen anyone during taping. (Check out Cassius in this ASAP video  at :33, 1:36, and 3:49.)

A few months later, a call out came from Ivy Tech’s Office of the President looking for students and young faculty members to be in a new set of commercials that would air throughout the state. Cassius immediately came to mind as an ideal candidate. I wrote up a short synopsis of his story, sent in a brief snippet from his interview and sure enough, a few weeks later, the Office of the President contacted Cassius to be in the commercial.

They filmed earlier this month, and he says the process was fun. Initially, he was given one line to read, over and over.

“I said it so well, they gave me a few more lines,” he says.

“I am a problem-solver.” “I choose a college that cares about me.” “I choose a college that’s affordable.”

If anything, Cassius was too happy to be there–they asked him to tone down his big ol’ grin more than once, he says.

Some of the photos Cassius snapped during the commercial taping in Indianapolis

Some of the photos Cassius snapped during the commercial taping in Indianapolis

After meeting and learning more about Cassius, he is certainly the kind of student Ivy Tech should be glad to promote: He graduated from South Side High School in 2012 and was immediately drawn to the ASAP program because he wanted to finish with his associate degree in just one year. As a member of the program, he signed a pledge that he wouldn’t work during the school week; because the program is so intense, the College asks ASAP students to look at their program as their 40-hour-a-week gig. So Cassius can only work on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays–eight-hour shifts at Wal-Mart, assuring he doesn’t have much free time in a regular week.

Some of the free time he does have is spent with My Brother’s Keeper, a mentor group that starts kids out in middle school and pairs them with older teens and adults throughout the program. Local business owners come in and talk about the importance of higher ed, as do the older mentors. Cassius said he has talked up Ivy Tech on more than one occasion. He also volunteers at Youth for Christ.

Cassius plans to graduate from Ivy Tech Northeast at the end of May, and he hopes to transfer over to IPFW and look into joining the National Student Exchange, which would allow him to spend time at companion schools.

“I’m thinking Arizona,” he says. “I really wanna go somewhere hot.”

Cyber Tech certificate program grant extended for one year at Ivy Tech Northeast

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, as part of the National STEM Consortium, has extended the funding for the Cyber Technology certificate program at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast.

The first classes were offered in January 2013, and the grant has been extended until May 2015.

“This certificate program provides students with the basic, marketable skills for the industry, plus an entrance into the door of networking and cyber security,” says Raphaël Wolff, coordinator for Cyber Technology.

Students involved in Cyber Tech, which is a one-year certificate program, have seen a variety of successes. Perhaps most notably, Patrick Herendeen, who earned his Cyber Tech certificate last year, advanced to the final round of the Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders competition’s Theatre Finale, the national round of the competition, including participants from the United States and Canada. There he placed 34th out of 84 finalists.

Herendeen, a Northrop High School graduate, is currently finishing his assocate degree in Computer Information Technology. His additional Cyber Tech certification qualifies him for jobs in cyber customer service and technical support.

While the grant is open to any student, the grant is targeted at workers who have lost their job due to the effects of foreign trade and the unemployed and underemployed population. Veterans receive priority enrollment. The program is eligible for financial aid, including Trade Adjustment Assistance, Workforce Investment Act, and Pell Grants.

This workforce solution was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The solution was created by the grantee and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This solution is copyrighted by the institution that created it. Internal use by an organization and/or personal use by an individual for non-commercial purposes is permissible. All other uses require the prior authorization of the copyright owner.

Husband/wife team find going back to school easier with one another

The McColloughs took their first class at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast in spring 2013. It was an accelerated class, so they began it partway through the 16-week semester.

They took the summer off and, come fall 2013, each had a full class load.

Ruby McCollough is studying for her associate degree in Early Childhood Education. She hasn’t taken classes since high school–she graduated in Virginia in 1996–and her husband, Mark McCollough, hasn’t taken classes since he did firemen training. But that was more learning to climb a ladder and less math and English.

Ruby and Mark McCollough, of Auburn, in one of Ruby's Early Childhood Education classrooms.

Ruby and Mark McCollough, of Auburn, in one of Ruby’s Early Childhood Education classrooms.

“School seemed a little intimidating, to be honest,” said Mark, who is studying Design Technology. “I remember thinking, if I had someone to go to school with, maybe it wouldn’t be so overwhelming.”

He has dabbled in a number of fields: He started as fire fighter, then became a tool maker, then a furniture maker, then a tool maker again. He realized that learning the computer assisted design that goes along with the Design Technology degree would round out his skill set.

Ruby and Mark have been married six years and, together, they have six children: Matt is 28; Chase is 20; Morgan is 16; John is 14; Hallie is 11; Emma is 5.


Chase and Emma at Chase’s 2012 graduation from DeKalb High School.

Mark jokes that Ruby wants to teach so she can follow Emma through her schooling. Morgan is thinking about college and will likely take classes at Ivy Tech and transfer to a four-year school, Mark says. Chase is a student at Ivy Tech, too. He returned home from National Guard training on Jan. 22, 2013, and the three McColloughs registered together. Chase is studying engineering.

And the McColloughs have seen success. Ruby and Mark both admire their respective teachers–they’re wonderful people to work with, Ruby says.

In her classes, Ruby learns about how to stimulate children's creativity with toys like puppets.

In her classes, Ruby learns about how to stimulate children’s creativity with toys like puppets.

Mark tells about getting a letter in the mail from Ivy Tech. He thought it was a bill, and then he learned he’d made the Dean’s List. At first, he wasn’t sure what that meant–he’d never made the Dean’s List before.

“I wasn’t trying to get anything like that,” he says. “I was just trying to to do my best. It was very satisfying.”