Student Spotlight – Ahmadzia Momand

Ahmadzia Momand is an exchange student from Afghanistan, and he has education on his mind. He is also our current Ivy Tech Indianapolis Student Government Association President.

“I want to serve in education,” He said, “I want to work with a crew to design and implement educational opportunities for high schoolers and college freshmen that will improve their critical thinking skills and assist them in becoming informed citizens who are helpful to society.”

Ahmadzia, who is anticipating graduating from Ivy Tech Indianapolis in the Fall of 2023 with a degree in Business Administration, has an impressive history in educational activism. Before arriving at Ivy Tech, he served as a Peace Fellow at several institutions, including UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, the United Network of Young Peace Builders, and the United States Institute of Peace.

Additionally, Ahmadzia is the co-founder of the Youth Design Lab for Peace in Afghanistan, a project that aims to foster the prevention of violent extremism through education and youth engagement. In the past, Ahmadzia also worked with Afghans for Progressive Thinking, where he worked closely in the debate and civic activism department to aid in deterring social intolerance and violent extremism through the power of debate and civic education.

More recently, Ahmadzia has been engaged in the traditional community college experience, spending time working on class assignments, making friends with other students, and getting involved in activities on campus at Ivy Tech Indianapolis. Recently, he was elected as the Ivy Tech Student Government Association Student Body President.

“I am extremely honored to be learning and to have the ability to serve at Ivy Tech Indianapolis.” He said, “Ivy Tech has greatly contributed to my journey over the last seven months through its diverse community, supportive staff, and quality education.”

Ahmadzia stated that some of his goals as the current president of the student body include keeping a higher education standard, elevating student voices when they express concerns, and providing resources to students.
One of Ahmadzia’s primary aspirations as student body president is to increase student engagement with various programs and resources offered through Ivy Tech that can greatly impact the student, to improve the individual student’s college experiences.

For example, he shared the story of a student he helped that needed mental health counseling. “They did not know where or how to connect to the resources they needed,” he said, “We helped facilitate that.” He helped the student get set up in the free counseling services offered to all students through Ivy Tech.

On another occasion, Ahmadzia noticed a new student sitting by himself, looking unhappy. He went to the student and asked him how he was doing. The student said they felt directionless and a little lost. Ahmadzia made good on his campaign promises and helped connect the new student to resources that would benefit him, a career coach and an assessment test, both free tools available to all Ivy Tech students.

“I am a strong believer in human connection.” Ahmadzia said, “I advocate for peace, tolerance, and acceptance through empathy, compassion, and education.”

“The quality of the education at Ivy Tech is powerful!” He said, “Diversity, belonging, connection, affordability, and support. That’s what we all need.”

Ivy Tech Indianapolis Phi Theta Kappa Chapter places in the International Top 3 for Honora in Action Project

Phi Theta Kappa is a prestigious organization that recognizes academic achievement in college students and provides its members with opportunities for scholarly growth, scholarships, and career building resources. 

The Indianapolis Phi Theta Kappa chapter’s Honors in Action research project has just placed in the International Top 3! The hardworking team of students will be honored on the stage of the Hallmark Awards, and their Honors in Action piece will be published in the Phi Theta Kappa Journal.

Honors in Action combines academic research with action-oriented service to address real-world challenges in our communities. For more information about Phi Theta Kappa or about the Honors in Action program, click here

Carving a path to helping others

For as long as she can remember, Elisa Pride has been an empathetic person, and she’s made it her mission to do whatever she can to help others in their time of need. So when deciding what to do with her career, she realized what better way to help others than to join a community dedicated to service workers?

“My goal is to be a LCSW (licensed clinical social worker) and work with populations of all types, but especially women and children who are victims of human trafficking,” said Elisa.

To help her achieve this goal, she chose to major in Human Services at Ivy Tech Indianapolis.

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From cashiering to coding: One student’s journey to a career in Computer Science

Alex Riester came to Ivy Tech in 2019 to study Computer Science, not realizing the impact the College was going to have on his life and career.

“When I first enrolled as a student, I was working as a cashier and had no coding or programming experience at all,” he explained. “I did not know the difference between Java and JavaScript.”

Two years later, Alex is finishing his Associate of Science – scheduled to graduate this May. In addition to his studies, Alex is participating in two internships; one with the CCEC’s Launch Lab in the North Meridian Center and the other as a CRM intern with the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Before his internships, Alex was a student ambassador, which is how he first learned about the Launch Lab opportunity.

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From dropping out to SGA president

As she stood in front of an audience at the Indy Achieves Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening Celebration, Tapiwa Mzumara took a moment to reflect on everything leading up to that moment. The second-year Biotechnology student and President of the Student Government Association returned to finish what she started eight years ago through the Indy Achieves Completion Grant and has made a significant impact on her fellow students and Ivy Tech community since returning.

“In 2013, I was a bright-eyed freshman, ready to learn and ready to achieve. But I had obstacles.”

Tapiwa Mzumara

In her first semester at Ivy Tech, her mother was chronically ill, causing her to be in and out of the hospital. Additionally, Tapiwa was an undocumented immigrant, anticipating becoming a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient. Being in mixed-status family (for immigration) and her mother’s illness caused her to leave school midway through her freshman year.

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