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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Ivy Tech Alumni finds passion and success in health care field

Jessica Day was a mother of 4 and was 44 years old when she took the leap of returning to college.

“I was nervous,” She said. “But the staff at orientation attracted me to Ivy Tech. They all were encouraging and had something to say towards all ages.”

Jessica graduated from Ivy Tech with a certified nursing assistant (CNA) certification and healthcare specialist and pre-nursing credentials. She is currently utilizing her degrees in her field of study as a patient care technician (PCT) and Unit Rep at the St. Vincent Women’s hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU.)

Building a career around your education is no easy feat. Fortunately for Jessica, she found incredible support and many resources at Ivy Tech Community College.

“Ivy Tech gave me great tools for good communication, and confidence.” Jessica said. “Each professor, advisor, and tutor I’ve had so far has given me encouragement and wisdom and has taught me with dedication and discipline.”

While studying at Ivy Tech, Jessica utilized the TRIO Student Support services program. TRIO Student Support services is a federally funded program by the U.S. Department of Education that provides additional support services to first-generation, low-income, and/or students with a disability during their time enrolled in college. For more information about TRIO services, visit IvyTech.edu/IndyTRIO.

“I love TRIO!” Jessica said, “They are always welcoming. Everyone in this program is so thoughtful and comforting through trials I and others have faced. TRIO is a family really, all working together to encourage one another towards meetings goals and accomplishing them.”

Students in the Healthcare Specialist program at Ivy Tech as are able to study a wide variety of certification options including Dementia Care, Phlebotomy, Pharmacy Technician, Certified Nursing Aide, and more. Students receive clinical hands-on practice in actual healthcare settings, with a mix of classroom and time in the lab.

For Jessica, the Healthcare Specialist program is just the beginning of her education aspirations. Jessica plans to apply to the Ivy Tech Nursing Program for the spring of 2022 and later transfer to IUPUI to get a BSN and one day complete nurse practitioner (NP) credentials.

“I desire to stay in NICU and be an NNP.” Jessica said, “But plans change sometimes, so I am willing to go another direction if I end up liking another type of care better once I am working towards a Masters.”

Jessica encourages other aspiring health care workers to take the same leap she did and choose to study at Ivy Tech Community College. “You make be asking yourself, ‘Should I go to this school?’ I say absolutely.” Jessica said, “Not only will you save money, but you will have help every step of the way. If you ask, they will help you…They will always work on leading you in the right direction. Take that direction and you will flourish.”

Does Jessica’s academic journey sound like something you want for yourself? Ivy Tech has classes in all programs stating in March. You can apply for free today at IvyTech.edu/apply. For more information about the wide array of healthcare opportunities at Ivy Tech, visit IvyTech.edu/health.