Student Spotlight: Justin Stephenson

We recently interviewed Justin Stephenson. He’s one of many of our inspiring and passionate students here at Ivy Tech Indianapolis. Read the below interview to get to know him a bit better.

  1. What is your field of study?

Justin: Mechanical Engineering

  • What did you enjoy about being on campus?

The Indianapolis campus is where I’m enrolled. I enjoy how close it is, and the professors I’ve had have all been so welcoming. Furthermore, the leadership (president, chancellor, and directors) have all been so nice and truly care about their programs, and the students in them.

  • What student life activities or associations are you involved in on campus?

Justin: I’m involved in a lot. I work in the Student Life office part-time as a social media coordinator, and I do the photography for events here while helping plan/execute many events as well. I’m also a part of the Student Government Association helping with marketing and events. I am the president of an organization called Brother 2 Brother here at Ivy Tech Indianapolis.

  • How did you decide on attending Ivy Tech? What drew you to community college?          

Justin: I originally decided after high school that I wasn’t going to go to college at all, but after working approximately 60 hours a week as a technician doing manual labor working on cars at a dealership for a year, it was looking rough. People were quitting or getting pay cuts only to put in their two weeks just to get their original payback, and it was an endless cycle, And I didn’t want any part of it! Luckily, I had some dual credits from my high school for Ivy Tech, so it was the first school that came to mind. I wanted a career switch too, so I decided to take up mechanical engineering. A community college suits me best being a part-time student. Getting acclimated to being a student again, it fits my learning style better and has lots of resources available.

  • How has your Ivy Tech education helped you to achieve your goals?

Justin: Ivy Tech is helping me achieve my goals by helping me become a better student and giving me an open door to countless job opportunities

  • Are you currently working in your field of study? What are your future plans?

Justin: Currently, my plans are to get into civil engineering. A few companies that specialize in civil engineering have come to visit my class making it easy to see who is looking to hire college graduates and less experienced hires to train to meet their needs.

  • Are there any stories you would like to share about working in your field? Have you had any positive student learning, internship, or apprenticeship experiences?

Justin: No internships yet, but I’m hoping to get one in the summer!

  • How did Ivy Tech help you get to where you are today?

Justin: I’ve never been an extrovert or student leader, and Ivy Tech and the Student Life department have really helped me come out of my comfort zone. I am extremely grateful for the things I’ve learned and the people I’ve met while studying here.

  • What is your advice for other students interested in Ivy Tech? Why should others consider attending Ivy Tech?

Justin: My advice differs from student to student but overall know your limits. It’s easy to make your own schedule, but it’s also easy to mentally overwhelm yourself and start doubting what you can and can’t do. People should consider Ivy Tech for many reasons … price, support, flexibility, and ease.  And by ease, I don’t mean the classes are easy, but it’s easy to get started and start working towards the degree or certificate you want. I do strongly believe that Ivy Tech has an amazing support system that most colleges do not have for their students.

  1. Do you have anything else that you would like to share?

Justin: Get involved! College is fun, and you’ll be surprised how much more you learn in a short period of time.

Ivy Tech Indianapolis Announces Next Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Ivy Tech Community College – Indianapolis has named Dr. Mark Lausch, Ed.D., MPH, as its next vice chancellor of academic affairs, effective January 3, 2023. Lausch comes to Ivy Tech from SUNY-Nassau Community College in Garden City, N.Y., where he served as vice president for academic affairs. 

Before joining SUNY-Nassau, Lausch served as associate vice president, Institutional Learning & Effectiveness and prior to that, as dean of the School of Health Education/Strategic Projects at Madison Area Technical College in Madison, Wis. He also had a distinguished career at the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., where he rose from director of education to interim chief operating officer to ultimately chief learning officer/chief credentialing officer.

He earned a Doctorate in Education with a focus on instructional technology and a Master’s in Public and Community Health from Northern Illinois University, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Market Research with a dual minor in philosophy and ethics from Trinity Christian College. 

“I look forward to and am excited about partnering with Chancellor Esters, the academic affairs team and our internal and external communities to build on the great work already underway at the College and the positive, innovative work yet to begin,” said Lausch. “Students and the community must be at the center of everything that we do, and as such, collaborating with our K-12 and four-year institutions, building innovative industry partnerships, and leveraging relationships with community organizations will assure a strong education-to-work ecosystem for our communities, and I am excited to be a part of these efforts!”

Lausch brings to Ivy Tech Indianapolis extensive experience in providing college-wide leadership, supervision, guidance and direction for all educational program curricula, faculty and staff, instructional policies and procedures, and management and supervision of general education transfer degrees, occupational and workforce educational program, continuing education and workforce education.

Furthermore, he has significant experience in academic administration and as an ambassador to the community, external partners, industry and the surrounding region. And, he has a demonstrated record of accomplishment and impact in advancing issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion, encouraging a culture of acceptance for diverse thought, and comfortably participating in and championing open dialogue on matters of importance to include a spectrum of political opinions. 

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Lausch. His extensive experience in academic affairs and demonstrated success with improving student outcomes and academic innovation is exactly what is needed to effectively lead academic affairs today,” said Dr. Lorenzo Esters, chancellor of Ivy Tech Indianapolis. “I am most inspired by the fact that Dr. Lausch is a futurist who understands the importance of academic innovation and campus-wide collaboration both of which are necessary to ensure that the campus is meeting the needs of students and employers today and into the future.”

Ivy Tech Indianapolis is the College’s largest service area, serving more than 28,000 students each year in Marion, Boone, and Hendricks counties. For more information about this location, visit IvyTech.edu/Indianapolis

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor’s degree. Follow Ivy Tech on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn for the most up-to-date information. 

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2022 President's Award Winner-Dr. Terri Fleming

Ivy Tech Community College Honors Dr. Terri Fleming as Top Faculty Member

Indianapolis, Ind. – Ivy Tech Community College has honored Dr. Terri Fleming of Indianapolis as one of 39 individuals across the state selected to receive the 2022 President’s Award, the highest honor for Ivy Tech faculty and adjunct faculty.

The College honored each one of the winners for their exemplary work with students and the College community during the past year. A selection committee made up of alumni, past winners, State Trustees, faculty representatives, and college administration selected the honorees based on nominations from students, fellow faculty members, and Ivy Tech staff.

“The impact our faculty members have on our students extends far beyond the classroom,” said Ivy Tech President, Dr. Sue Ellspermann. “In addition to excellence in teaching, faculty members are often advisors, mentors, and role models for our students. Today, we are proud to recognize their excellence, passion, and dedication to Ivy Tech and the communities in which they live and serve.”

Charity Bowling, program chair for Respiratory Therapy, nominated Dr. Terri Fleming for being a positive role model who has worked hard to build relationships within the College and our community for nearly 20 years. She has taken the Healthcare Specialist Program to the next level by adding programs and certificates to improve the economy of the Indianapolis area. Most recently she has grown the Therapeutic Massage Program while gaining support from a large corporation. Furthermore, she has been instrumental in developing tools in her programs to assist students’ learning.

“She is an out-of-the-box thinker who understands the mission of Ivy Tech and the importance of her role as a leader for her students. Her worth ethic and drive to produce quality students who are prepared for the workforce are exceptional. Her positive attitude is infectious, and she is a joy to be around. Ivy Tech is lucky to have such a devoted faculty member,” wrote Bowling.

Now in its 42nd year, the President’s Awards Program recognizes faculty and adjunct faculty members from Ivy Tech locations throughout the state.

The College also honored Marquis E. Songer with the Glenn W. Sample Award Founder’s Award for Excellence in Instruction and Cynthia Carlson with the Gerald I. Lamkin Award. Sample and Lamkin are two former Ivy Tech presidents. Sample helped to found the College when it was called the Indiana Vocational Technical College and served as president from 1973-1980. Lamkin served as Ivy Tech president from 1983-2007, overseeing the growth of the College from a vocational school to the state’s community college.

The College also announced its first recipient of the Provost Award for Excellence in Honors and Teaching Service, Milan Andrejevich. The award is presented to a faculty member who has made significant contributions to the Ivy Tech Honors College in the areas of curriculum development, honors instruction, advisement and mentorship, assessment of student learning, multicultural experiences, and student research.

The winners of this year’s awards were as follows:

Glenn W. Sample Award

Marquis E. Songer – Assistant Professor and Program Chair, Machine Tool Technology (Terre Haute)

Gerald I. Lamkin Award

Cynthia Carlson – Associate Adjunct Faculty, Life Sciences (Anderson)

Provost Award for Excellence in Honors and Teaching Service

Milan Andrejevich – Professor, History (South Bend-Elkhart)

A full list of the statewide honorees is included below.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor’s degree. Follow Ivy Tech on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for the most up-to-date information.

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Faculty Honorees (by Ivy Tech location):

  • Anderson: Mark Robbins – Assistant Professor and Assistant Department Chair, Natural Sciences
  • Bloomington: Daniel James O’Neill – Assistant Professor and Program Chair of Anatomy and Physiology
  • Columbus: Amanda Burkman – Faculty, School of Nursing
  • Evansville: Andrea Jefferson – Associate Professor, Elementary and Secondary Education Program Chair
  • Fort Wayne: John Lynch – Program Chair, Accounting
  • Hamilton County: Nicol Bradberry – ProgramChair, Business
  • Indianapolis: Terri Fleming – Department Chair, Healthcare Specialist Programs
  • Kokomo: Tara Kaser – Assistant Professor of Education, Dean and Program Chair Education
  • Lafayette: Tami Andrade – Assistant Professor and Assistant Program Chair, School of Nursing
  • Lake County: Louis Fadel – Assistant Professor, Science Department
  • Lawrenceburg: Bradley Fentress – Associate Professor, Mathematics
  • Madison: George Tackett – Assistant Professor, Program Chair, School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Sciences
  • Marion: Satyavathi Dronamraju – Faculty, Mathematics
  • Muncie: Holly Hudson – Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, School of Public Affairs and Social Services
  • Richmond: Gretchen Baumle – Associate Professor, Life Sciences
  • Sellersburg: Amanda Boley – Associate Professor, Psychology, Department Chair, Psychology, Psychology Outcomes Assessment Lead
  • South Bend-Elkhart: Linda R. Taylor, MSW, ICSW – Professor of Education, Department Chair for Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education
  • Terre Haute: Marquis E. Songer – Assistant Professor and Program Chair, Machine Tool Technology
  • Valparaiso: Jennifer Furmanek – Dean of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Sciences

Adjunct Faculty Honorees (by Ivy Tech location):

  • Anderson: Cynthia Carlson – Associate Adjunct Faculty, Life Sciences
  • Columbus: Rebecca Morse – Adjunct Faculty, Math
  • Evansville: William Douglas Sprick – Adjunct Faculty, School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Sciences
  • Fort Wayne: Timothy Spear – Adjunct Faculty, Nursing
  • Hamilton County: Kevin Jowitt – Adjunct Faculty, Criminal Justice
  • Indianapolis: Virginia Taylor Rosner – Adjunct Faculty, Fine Arts
  • Kokomo: Dennis Brunk – Adjunct Faculty, Life Science
  • Lafayette: Shannon Sullivan Hudson – Associate Adjunct Professor, Education
  • Lawrenceburg: Emily Johnston – Adjunct Instructor, Medical Assisting
  • Madison: Roger Ward – Adjust Instructor, Technology
  • Marion: Lakisha A’Shownda Fisher – Adjunct Faculty, Criminal Justice
  • Muncie: Steve Knote – Adjunct Faculty, Business
  • Richmond: Matthew Fulton – Adjunct Faculty, Engineering Services – HVAC/R
  • Sellersburg: Casey Okong’o – Adjunct Clinical Instructor, Nursing
  • South Bend-Elkhart: Mary Morgan – Adjunct Instructor, Human Services
  • Terre Haute: Linda Pearson PhD – Adjunct Faculty, Behavioral Sciences
  • Valparaiso: John Lohrentz – Adjunct Professor Cyber Security and CWCT Grant Program

JPMorgan Chase, Circle City Broadcasting, Ivy Tech Indianapolis, and DuJuan and Tina McCoy Foundation Create Multicultural Media Producing Program Cohort

DuJuan McCoy, Owner, President, and CEO of Circle City Broadcasting (parent company of WISH-TV and MyINDY-TV 23) today announced that JPMorgan Chase, Circle City Broadcasting, Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis, and the DuJuan and Tina McCoy Foundation are partnering to launch a one-year program for news and media producers.
 
Funded through generous donations, the Multicultural Media Producing Program (MMPP) will train news and media producers. Students completing the training will earn Ivy Tech’s Certificate in Professional and Community Communication.
 
The MMPP will be open to all students of all backgrounds. with an emphasis on ensuring multicultural diversity and accessibility for underserved individuals. Beginning in January 2023, the first cohort of students will be selected as the program’s inaugural class, and the second group will follow in the fall of 2023. The DuJuan and Tina McCoy Foundation will provide annual scholarships to selected individuals of MMPP based on need and a one-page essay on why they would like to enter the program. 
 
Students will be part of a program that provides the academic curriculum and wrap-around support and hands-on practical experiences in partnership with Circle City Broadcasting at the Circle City Broadcasting headquarters in Indianapolis, where the company produces more than 80 hours of live news and programming weekly.

JPMorgan Chase 
JPMorgan Chase’s $150,000 philanthropic investment into the Multicultural Media Producing Program will help create pathways for work-based learning opportunities for high school and community college students.
 
“Diversity in the workforce creates a competitive advantage – and is especially impactful in media organizations where a broad range of ideas and perspectives strengthens our culture,” said Christina Moungey, Indiana & Ohio Region Manager for JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking. “This investment to create the Multicultural Media Producing Program supports organizations that provide young leaders with a pathway toward a successful career, and is an example of how our firm’s $30 billion racial equity commitment to help close the racial wealth gap touches down in Indianapolis.”

Circle City Broadcasting 
The Circle City Broadcasting news leadership team will become guest instructors for the program as well as offer regular practical application to the program via its Statewide News Network facilities located in Indianapolis, Indiana at stations WISH-TV and WNDY-TV. MMPP will primarily focus on newscast producing but offer additional guidance and instruction in producing specials and TV show production.

“I have been working on this initiative for a few years, and I am so happy to find collaborative partners like Ivy Tech Indianapolis and JPMorgan Chase to support this needed industry program,” McCoy said. “We believe this program can grow to be one of the most effective means to introduce more diverse individuals into the leadership ranks in newsrooms across America as well as become a sustainable program to create a pipeline of qualified news producers for broadcasters and media companies across the country.” 

Ivy Tech Indianapolis
The MMPP will be offered at the Ivy Tech Indianapolis campus and anchored by long-time professional communications professor and former broadcaster Charles Gidney. Gidney serves as the Department Chair for Communication and Social Sciences for Ivy Tech Indianapolis.

“Ivy Tech Indianapolis is thrilled and committed to making the MMPP a huge success,” Dr. Lorenzo Esters, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Indianapolis, said. “We are pleased to partner with Circle City Broadcasting and JPMorgan Chase as together we seek to prepare individuals for careers as producers in the media business in our region, state, and nation. This is one additional way that Ivy Tech Indianapolis seeks to be responsive to the needs of our diverse communities.”

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.”