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.


Jimmy John’s, Tim Hortons setting up shop between Coliseum and North campuses

I’ve always found it a little strange that there aren’t more eateries between Ivy Tech Northeast’s Coliseum and North campuses. I suspect you students do a great job of frequenting Wendy’s at the corner of Crescent Avenue and Anthony Boulevard. The Chrome Plated Diner and Subway are great lunch picks along Anthony, as well, and the food choices in Canterbury Commons–Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Cosmo’s, Dunkin Donuts–are handy. But it seems there should just be more to choose from. There are 8,647 of you taking classes here, for goodness sakes.

You’ve likely noticed all of the construction across from IPFW along Crescent Avenue, between CVS and IPFW student housing? Those, my friends, are restaurants.

The soon-to-be restaurants on Crescent Avenue across from IPFW. This is facing south on Crescent.

The soon-to-be restaurants on Crescent Avenue across from IPFW. This is facing south on Crescent.

Last month, The Communicator, IPFW’s student newspaper, reported that Jimmy John’s and Tim Hortons–what I’ve heard is the Canadian version of a Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts–are moving in. There’s enough room for two more businesses, but IPFW doesn’t have any more details about what those may be, said John Kaufeld, IPFW’s chief communications officer.

As for open dates, that’s to-be-determined; it’s been a rainy few weeks.

“Weather delays are playing havoc with their (construction) schedule,” Kaufeld said.

What would you like to see move into the spot? I’ve been wanting a Melting Pot in town for years, but the IPFW space is a little small for that. I suspect a taco stand would do well.

What restaurant would you like to see move in close to campus?

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

Summertime on campus; send us your South Side Fest photos

Summertime on a college campus is pretty much the best. Things seem just a little slower, a little more leisurely. Classes are a little smaller. There are fewer people around, so things are a little quieter.

A beautiful spot at the tech center on North Campus. Don't you just want to bring your lunch out here?

A beautiful spot at the tech center on North Campus. Don’t you just want to bring your lunch out here?

That’s not to say there’s nothing for you to do. With Ivy Tech, there’s always something going on.

Earlier this month, about 100 students, faculty, and friends piled on two buses, watched some “Despicable Me” and “How to Train Your Dragon,” and traveled to Sandusky, Ohio, for a day of coasters and sun at Cedar Point. One of the College’s most popular bus trips, this sold out quickly. Even if you couldn’t make it, check out some of the great photos.

collageTomorrow, Ivy Tech Northeast becomes a part of a five-year Fort Wayne tradition: It plays host to South Side Fest, and we want to see your photos.

South Side Fest will run from 12:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Public Safety Academy: Ivy Tech South Campus (7602 Patriot Crossing). Go dance; eat; get a haircut; check out the car, truck, and motorcycle show. Hang out with the businesses and community members from the area. It’s expected to attract 2,500 people, so don’t get left out.

While you’re there, pull out your phone and snap a selfie or a pic of your favorite event. Then send them to me at jgarver2@ivytech.edu with a short caption and your full name and major or role at Ivy Tech. You may see your photos in a future edition of “Inside,” which is Ivy Tech’s community and alumni magazine, or other Ivy Tech Northeast material.

Happy weekending!

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.”

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?

VOTING CLOSED: Vote for your favorite meme, get entered to win an Ivy Tech backpack of goodies

Voting to enter the giveaway has closed.

All semester, Ivy Tech Northeast has been taking a slightly different look at our programs, using Justin Timberlake’s head on a lion’s body to celebrate our Visual Communications program, or creepy little cyber bugs to celebrate Information Security.

What we want to know is: Which is your favorite? Check out all the memes and vote in our poll at the end of this post. Then, leave a comment on this post with your name and email address; one lucky winner will receive a backpack full of Ivy Tech treats. Giveaway ends at noon Friday, April 18, and a winner will be chosen by Random.org. (Click on any image to share on Facebook.)

MEME 1: AgricultureAgForWeb

MEME 2: Aviation TechAviatTechForWeb

MEME 3: Early Childhood Ed ECLCforWeb

MEME 4: General StudiesGenStudForWeb

MEME 5: Info Security InfoSecForWeb

MEME 6: NursingNursingForWeb

MEME 7: Public Safety Public-Safety-SupermanForWeb

MEME 8: Therapeutic Massage TherMassForWeb

MEME 9: Vis Comm VisComForWeb

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.”

Ivy Tech Northeast Special Cuisines class to host Mardi Gras buffet March 6

The Special Cuisines class at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast invites the community to join its students, faculty, and staff for a Mardi Gras buffet March 6.

The buffet will feature appetizers, soup, salads, sides, entrees, and desserts, including:

  • Oysters on the half shell
  • Chicken gumbo
  • Jambalaya
  • Blackened catfish
  • Cinnamon roasted sweet potatoes
  • Bourbon chocolate pecan pie
  • And more

Reservations, which are required, are taken for times between 5 and 6:30 p.m. To make reservations, call the Special Cuisines line at 260-480-2002. Dinners are served in the Hospitality Room on Coliseum Campus (3800 N. Anthony Blvd.) and run $20, cash or check only. Wine is available for an additional cost.