Donation drives Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Diesel Technology students to new opportunities

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne’s Diesel Technology program has recently received a new PACCAR MX-13 engine from Palmer Trucks, a full-service Kenworth dealership serving Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois, valued up to $40,000 when brand new.

Students in the program take a hands-on approach to the industry, working with new technology and the latest trends in a fast-growing field. Department leaders say this engine will serve as a critical learning tool because it ensures students will have the necessary knowledge of current machinery.

“PACCAR Engines are a leading, quality brand, and are the engine of choice for Kenworth and Peterbilt-brand commercial trucks, which together account for more than 30 percent of the medium and heavy-duty truck market,” says Brad Knipp, service manager of Kenworth of Fort Wayne. “This engine will serve as a learning resource for Ivy Tech students to find meaningful, stable and long-term employment with Fort Wayne mainstays like Palmer Trucks.”

“By utilizing the state of the art, real world components in our curriculum, our graduates are ready to take on any challenge they might meet in the truck repair industry,” says Nick Goodnight, chair of the Diesel Technology program at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne.

Interested in Ivy Tech’s Diesel Technology program? Visit or contact Goodnight at or 260-480-4293.

Paws to Read honors prof for 10 years of reading

Ruth Davis and Piper have been reading to kids for 10 years.

Actually: They’ve been read to for 10 years.

Davis and her dog, Piper

Davis, assistant professor of human services at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, and her dog Piper were honored last week through the Paws to Read program. Paws to Read is a literacy program where children read to dogs. Research has shown that 100 percent of kids who participate in programs like Paws improve their reading skills. Davis and Piper have participated for a decade through the Pontiac Branch of the Allen County Public Library.

Davis says

“Piper and I have watched many kids grow up in the program. Some started reading when they were toddlers, by telling stories about the pictures in the books. I love reading and know there is an amazing world in books, so it is a joy to encourage kids to read with this program. This neighborhood is one of the most impoverished in town as well, and that keeps me going back.

“One special memory was when a young boy, probably about 10 or 11 years old, saw Piper in the library and decided that he would read to him. Piper took to this kid immediately, gave the kid kisses and kept his chin on the kid’s knee while he read. I remarked to the kid that Piper must think he is special and in need of more attention. Then the kid revealed that he had just moved into a new foster home that very day, and the foster mom had brought him to the library. The kid thanked Piper for being his friend with an extra hug. I almost cried it was so sweet, and the boy came back several more times.”

Check out the photo from the ceremony in The Journal Gazette, which also featured Piper a year and a half ago.

Three students to earn scholarships from social media project announced

Three Ivy Tech Community College Northeast students have been awarded a scholarship from the #IAmTheI project. The #IAmTheI project invited students to take a photo of themselves with the green “vy” statue in front of the Student Life Center on North Campus; share the photo on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram; and write “#IAmTheI because …”, sharing why they are the “I” in “Ivy Tech.” The photos with the most likes, shares, and comments earned the student one of three scholarships.

The students to receive the scholarships are

  • Karina Vazquez, a general studies student from Fort Wayne who earned first place, a $1,000 scholarship; #IAmTheI because I want to inspire future generations to pursue their dreams regardless of how big they are.



  • Nick Jones, a visual communications student from Butler who earned second place, a $500 scholarship; #IAmTheI because I’m hoping to have my Visual Communications degree next year in order to help pursue my passion for film production.



  • Danielle Lambert, a dual credit student from Bluffton who earned third place, a $250 scholarship; #IAmTheI because I can’t wait to take college classes still being considered a high school senior. I am excited to have such a great school so close to home. Ivy Tech will help me achieve my career goals and further my education!



The project received more than two dozen entries, earning Ivy Tech Northeast nearly 2,000 interactions through students’ photos.

Find the full rules at

Jamal Robinson of DESIAR Eyewear wins 2016 New Venture Competition

Jamal Robinson has been named the sixth champion of Ivy Tech Community College Northeast’s New Venture Competition, which took place Thursday evening on Ivy Tech Northeast’s Coliseum Campus. He won $35,000 in capital for his business, DESIAR Eyewear.



Robinson sold his first pair of DESIAR Eyewear in 2012, and he calls 2014 “the game changing year” for the company: That’s when companies like Luxottica (the largest eyewear company in the world), TJX (Europe’s version of TJ Maxx), and The Aldo Group began to carry DESIAR sunglasses.

With the $35,000 he wins from the New Venture Competition, he will launch his Hoosier line of eyewear, which feature wooden frames and are entirely manufactured in Indiana.

He and two other finalists presented their business plans to a room full of community business people, and he says he felt confident during his presentation.

“When it comes to DESIAR, I know DESIAR,” says Robinson, an Ivy Tech Northeast alum who graduated from IPFW with his associate degree in business. “With all that, I felt comfortably prepared. I was confident I did the best I could do.”

Robinson presented his business plan to more than 30 community professionals, who served as judges. The other finalists were Andrew Smittie, of Green E-Waste Miracles, which collects items trash companies won’t pick up like computers and technology and recycles the material; and Guadalupe Callejas, of Metro Striping & More, an interior and exterior painting company. Callejas was also a finalist in last year’s New Venture Competition.

Each finalist presented for 15 minutes. After the presentations, judges were given an additional 15 minutes for a question-and-answer session. The judges had been provided the contestants’ business plans prior to the event.

In its sixth year, the New Venture Competition’s presenting sponsor was Dave and Mary Bear of JB Tool, Die & Engineering Inc., and was also made possible through a grant from the Edward M. and Mary McCrea Wilson Foundation. The awards dinner sponsor was ProFed Federal Credit Union, and the competition was in collaboration with Fort Wayne SCORE.

Learn more about the New Venture Competition at, where you can also watch short videos with Robinson, Smittie, and Callejas. Learn more about studying entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Northeast at

Jamal Robinson won $35,000 on Thursday night at Ivy Tech Northeast’s 2016 New Venture Competition, in its sixth year. Robinson is the founder of DESIAR Eyewear. From left: James Tolbert, Ivy Tech Northeast business administration assistant professor; Robinson; Doug Wood, PNC Bank regional president; Karen Potter, ProFed Credit Union assistant vice president, commercial services; and Jerrilee K. Mosier, Ivy Tech Northeast chancellor.

Jamal Robinson won $35,000 on Thursday night at Ivy Tech Northeast’s 2016 New Venture Competition, in its sixth year. Robinson is the founder of DESIAR Eyewear. From left: James Tolbert, Ivy Tech Northeast business administration assistant professor; Robinson; Karen Potter, ProFed Credit Union assistant vice president, commercial services; Doug Wood, PNC Bank regional president; and Jerrilee K. Mosier, Ivy Tech Northeast chancellor.

Why are you the ‘I’ in Ivy Tech? Tell us & you could get up to $1k for spring classes

Been in the Student Life Center lately? Maybe you’ve noticed that bright green “vy” statue outside off to the left of the front door.

The statue debuted at graduation in spring 2016

The statue debuted at graduation in spring 2016. Check out the video below to see it in action.

See what’s missing? The “I”!

The statue is an homage to the I in Indy sign, and ours is even made by Ivy Tech Northeast students. Cool, right?

We want to see you serve as the I in Ivy: Have someone take your photo as the I, then share it on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram with the verbiage #IAmTheI because and fill in the blank! Maybe you’re the I in Ivy because you’re finally following your dream. Maybe it’s because after you graduate, you’ll be able to go on and get a four-year degree. Maybe it’s because you love proving to your family that you can do it. Whatever your reason, we want to know!

The #IAmTheI project will run through the end of September. Then, the photos with the most interactions–likes, comments, and shares combined–will get you one of three scholarships, worth $250, $500, and $1,000 for the spring 2017 semester. (Find the full rules and regulations online.)

Not a student? That’s OK–everyone is invited to participate! You might not be eligible for the scholarship, but we want to know why everyone is the I in Ivy.

Good luck, everyone!

Finding a place to belong with G.O.A.L.



Hi, my name is Laura Medina, and I was the summer marketing intern at Ivy Tech Northeast, trying to discover exactly what I want to study in college. As a Latina woman, I was excited to learn about a new program for Latino students at the College, G.O.A.L, y Amigos, or Graduating Outstanding Achieving Latinos and Friends.

The United States is such a diverse country, and its people represent an array of ethnic, cultural, and religious groups. Whether you were born in South America, Europe, the Middle East, or Africa, it’s easy to feel isolated from those born in this country. I am from Colombia, and I think groups like G.O.A.L. are a great way to help minorities feel included. It’s just a small way more first-generation Americans like me are beginning to have our voices heard: academically, athletically, and in many other ways.

It’s super inspirational to see, not to mention extremely impressive. It gives hope to other first-generation kids who have immigrant parents, telling them that they, too, can someday be just as successful in the field of their choice. Organizations like G.O.A.L y amigos provides a support system for not only Latinos but for those of other backgrounds by encouraging them in their studies and personal lives.

Some aren’t so willing to open up and express their ethnic background, however, because they’re afraid of being discriminated. I find it extremely helpful to participate in organizations that advocate or promote diversity, like G.O.A.L.. It is so important that minorities are able to freely express ourselves without the fear of being criticized or judged based on our thoughts. JoAnne Alvarez, creator of G.O.A.L., was once a part of Hispanos Unidos at IPFW, a group with the same mission as G.O.A.L.

“It is important to feel comfortable so, although you are a minority, you won’t feel like one,” she says.

G.O.A.L. y Amigos, the Latino student organization at Ivy Tech Northeast, partnered with American Honors and the Associate Accelerated Program for a Painting with a Twist event back in January in the Blue Bamboo in the Student Life Center.

G.O.A.L. y Amigos, the Latino student organization at Ivy Tech Northeast, partnered with American Honors and the Associate Accelerated Program for a Painting with a Twist event back in January in the Blue Bamboo in the Student Life Center.

Brayan Castillo, a business administration major, is a member of G.O.A.L.

“G.O.A.L y amigos has helped in many ways in my performance in school, as well as in my personal life,” he says. “I have a better sense of purpose on why I am continuing my education with the help and support of our members.”

With the help and support from groups such as G.O.A.L., he is reminded how important the success of his education is which is why he’s so mission oriented and will not settle for anything less.

“We want to break down any stereotypes or barriers to ultimately bring ethnicities together,” Castillo says.

Ohro Zlatanovic, who is studying Criminal Justice, immigrated to the United States from Germany when he was 5, and he says groups like G.O.A.L. are especially valuable.

“I realized how much they help unite and encourage people of all ethnic groups to succeed in all they do, whether it comes to the academic life or even the social life,” he says.

Learn more about G.O.A.L. on its Ivy Life page, where you can join.

Frankenstein’s monster, Aesop’s Fables, & more come to life

As a part of a project in a Photoshop class, instructor Kristin Mains asked her visual communications students to use the books in the Text Messages exhibit to serve as inspiration for artwork.

What they came up with is surreal and thought-provoking, silly, and unsettling.

If any of the images intrigue you, be sure to stop in at Text Messages soon to see the book that inspired the artwork: The exhibit, located in Café Verde on the Coliseum Campus, closes April 29.

Click on any image to zoom in and scroll through artwork.

Nursing student named national fellow

Emerald Hagerty, a nursing student at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast, has been named a Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact. The award “honors inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country,” according to the Campus Compact website. It looks for students who use their college experiences to better understand both the causes of social issues and effective ways to create change.

Ivy Tech Northeast Chancellor Jerrilee K. Mosier and Student Life Director Christina O’Brien nominated Hagerty in part because of her work in getting a student-run food pantry started on campus.

“This fellowship isn’t about volunteerism only but about finding longer-term solutions and improving communities,” O’Brien says. “With her work on the food pantry, that bigger effort to address a community need, giving something for others to grow upon is so important.”



Hagerty has been an active member of the College’s Student Government Association and Campus Activities Board for two years. Last summer, she was selected to participate in the alternative summer break student project, which focused on hunger. During the week-long project, she worked with food banks, soup kitchens, and community gardens in and around Indianapolis. Her experience in the project is what led Hagerty to work with O’Brien to start the College’s food pantry through student government.

“I will be honest: I am very much a white, middle-class female who has never faced hunger,” she says. “But the whole experience moved me. We are currently focused on fundraising so this pantry will be around long after we have all graduated. We hope to do more than just the pantry. I would love for the full kitchen be used at the (Public Safety Academy: Ivy Tech) South Campus and community meals offered a few times a week.”

Hagerty has attended Ivy Tech Northeast since fall 2013, originally studying Health Information Technology. She plans to graduate in spring 2017 and hopes to one day become a family nurse practitioner. She is from Fort Wayne and has a husband and two children, and she says she was surprised to learn she was nominated for the award.

“I feel like I’m a normal mom and student who saw a need and worked with other student leaders and administration to make it happen,” Hagerty says. “My hope is this food pantry will allow at least one student who might have struggled at Ivy Tech to stay and graduate, without worrying about something as simple as food.”

Campus Compact is a Boston-based national organization that works to deepen public colleges’ and universities’’ abilities to improve community life and education students about social and civic responsibility.

More than 100 baskets for the kids at SCAN

Since 2000, the Alumni Association has collected Easter baskets for SCAN, Stop Child Abuse & Neglect. This year, dozens on campus helped out, bringing in completed Easter baskets, materials to stuff baskets, and cash for basket goodies–all so the kids at SCAN can have a special treat on Easter morning.

Squishy eyeball monsters, reptiles, sand toys, and glow sticks, anyone?

Marketing, which helps the Alumni Association, collected nearly $250 in cash to put together additional baskets. We seriously cleaned out at Dollar General.

Marketing and Communications, which helps the Alumni Association, collected nearly $250 in cash to put together additional baskets. We seriously cleaned out at Dollar General.

It’s carrot bubbles!

It’s carrot bubbles!

Hard at work making sure the SCAN kids get a great basket on Easter morning

Hard at work making sure the SCAN kids get a great basket on Easter morning

A finished basket for a little girl

A finished basket for a little girl

In total, Ivy Tech Northeast will donate 100 baskets to SCAN.

In total, Ivy Tech Northeast will donate more than 100 baskets to SCAN.

THANK YOU to everyone who helped us collect these treats to make sure the SCAN kids have a special Sunday morning.

I get to see the president!!!!!!!!!

I get to see the president!!!!!!!!!

That was my reaction to the news that I would be one of the five from Ivy Tech Northeast to attend President Barack Obama’s speech at Ivy Tech’s Indianapolis campus Feb. 6. Chancellor Jerrilee Mosier called me and asked if I could be away from my desk that day. Um. *Checks calendar and sees nothing more important than THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES* Yes! YES!!! Where do I sign?

REALLY excited selfie with the president at the podium

REALLY excited selfie with the president at the podium

Then I had to get ready. I dusted off my black suit. I dug in my closet for stylish shoes but ended up wearing my granny shoes so I wouldn’t fall on the ice. Dyed my hair so the purple would be bright enough to see on the television cameras. Called my mom.

That day, I rode to Indy with Deanna Surfus, who teaches in the English department. When we arrived, we had to drive around the block because we somehow missed the squad of police cars that obviously marked the building. Getting through security was shockingly quick and easy, and there were only a handful of protesters, waving around signs about taxes.

The room was smaller than I expected. Maybe 150 people total with a large backdrop that said “Middle Class Economics” and a podium. We waited more than two hours. When it was time for the show, I said the Pledge of Allegiance for probably the first time in 15 years, sang the National Anthem, and cheered for the president like he was a Beatle.

OK. The president looks exactly the same in real life as he does on TV. Only taller. He also sounds the same. Only funnier.

Click on the images for caption info.

While I was listening to him talk about his plans to make community college available to everyone, I reflected on other times we’d crossed paths:

  • My first act of civic engagement was canvassing Fort Wayne neighborhoods for his campaign.
  • The first time I felt real, American, want-to-wave-a-flag patriotism was on the morning of Nov. 4, 2008. I was standing there, along Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C., two months later as his limo arrived at the inauguration ceremony. I drank a beer and watched the ceremony on a tiny TV surrounded by D.C. locals. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when we watched our nation swear in its first black president.
  • I was annoyed, then proud, when President Obama interrupted my Sunday evening television with a special report that Osama Bin Laden was no longer a threat to our safety.
  • I was shocked when he announced his support for marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. Fast forward to June 2014, and my partner and I wed a couple miles from our home in a state I was sure would be the last hold-out.

So while we sat there and listened to the most powerful man on earth talk about tax loopholes and his basketball game (by his own admission, it ain’t what it used to be), I realized that being POTUS must be the toughest and most thankless job on earth.

As we enter another election year, I hope that—regardless of your politics—you can share my deep respect for the office of the president and the men (and, hopefully soon, women) who have held it.

Check out more about Obama’s visit to Ivy Tech here.

Aja Michael-Keller,
Marketing and Communications