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Ivy Tech Northeast graduates more than 1,000 at 45th annual commencement ceremony

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast celebrated its 45th annual commencement ceremony tonight at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The college graduated more than 1,000 students in Fort Wayne with more than 1,250 associate of science, associate of arts, and associate of applied science degrees, as well as certificates and technical certificates.

Ivy Tech Community College statewide is awarding nearly 21,100 credentials at commencements taking place from May 7 to 15. The number of credentials statewide represents 26 percent increase over the last two years and nearly a 70 percent increase over the last five years.

HONORARY DEGREE: The College awarded one honorary degree, to Dick Conrow. Conrow is the founder and CEO of C&A Tool Engineering, Inc., a manufacturing company that serves national and international markets in industries including transportation, aeronautics, and defense. He single handedly transformed the economic and literal landscape of Churubusco into a thriving region: His brainchild, C&A Tool Engineering, Inc., has put Churubusco on the international map. An active member of the Churubusco Town Council, Conrow is also
heavily involved with the Economic Development Commission of Whitley County and the Churubusco’s school partnership efforts. His impact in revitalizing the economic climate of Churubusco and benefiting its residents is so far-reaching that the Indiana State Senate passed legislation to honor him.

STUDENT SPEAKER: The Class of 2015’s student speaker was Sammantha Alvarez, who graduated with an associate degree in Liberal Arts. A working mother, Alvarez decided she wanted more, and tonight, she became the first in her family to graduate college—all while working two jobs.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly was scheduled to give the keynote at commencement. His political goals include creating and preserving jobs, reducing the debt and deficit, and fighting for the country’s veterans. He serves on the Senate’s Armed Services, Banking, Agriculture, and Aging committees. Before serving in Congress, Donnelly helped run a small business in Mishawaka. He was a member of the School Board for Mishawaka Marian High School from 1997 and 2001 and served as the board’s president for the 2000-2001 term. He also practiced law in South Bend.

BUD CURTIS AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING STUDENT: For the second time, the College is awarding two Bud Curtis Awards for outstanding students. Karrah Hughes, a respiratory care graduate, completes her studies with a 3.9 GPA. She is a member of Lambda Beta Society, president of 4H, and manager at Crossroads Stable. She has participated in a variety of charitable and educational events to celebrate health, including the American Cancer Society of Mercer County, Ohio, fundraiser.

Francisco S. Ramirez Martinez, a liberal arts graduate, moved to the region from Mexico in 2001. English is his second language, and he graduates with a 4.0 GPA. He is one of the College’s first American Honors graduates and a member of Phi Theta Kappa. He plans to continue his education to study chemistry.

The Bud Curtis Award winner is chosen from among the Ivy Tech Northeast Outstanding Student Awards, which are awarded to one Ivy Tech Northeast student per academic school. This year’s Outstanding Student Awards went to:

· Karrah Hughes, representing the School of Health Sciences

· Matthew Krueger, representing the School of Applied Science and Engineering Technology

· Christine Lee, representing the School of Education

· Silas Miller, representing the School of Technology

· Maddison Mondragon, representing the School of Public and Social Services

· Francisco S. Ramirez Martinez, representing the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

· Ledjon Shtika, representing the School of Computing and Informatics

· Amy Shuler, representing the School of Nursing

· Chad Smith, representing the School of Business

· Chris Wells, representing the School of Fine Arts and Design

PRESIDENT’S AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN INSTRUCTION: Lisa Beringer, program chair of the Social Sciences program, received the President’s Award for Excellence in Instruction. A passionate advocate for the community college student, Beringer uses an interdisciplinary approach that teaches students to contextualize and conceptualize ideas before placing these ideas in real-world situations. Beringer uses lectures, group activities, field trips, and guest speakers to teach her students.

Beringer will serve as Ivy Tech Northeast’s nominee for the statewide Glenn W. and Mary Catherine Sample Award for Excellence in Instruction. Each of the 14 Ivy Tech regions selects a nominee to win the award, which is presented to a statewide winner.

ADJUNCT FACULTY AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN INSTRUCTION: Krystyl Dumas won the Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Instruction. She teaches courses in business, computer information systems, psychology, office administration, academic skills advancement, and American Honors. She has been an adjunct at the College since 2010 and helped develop psychology courses for the American Honors program. Dumas was recently hired full-time as the non-traditional program coordinator in Academic Affairs.

Dumas will serve as Ivy Tech Northeast’s nominee for the statewide Gerald I. Lamkin Award for adjunct faculty members. Each of the 14 Ivy Tech regions selects a nominee to win the award, which is presented to a statewide winner.

SPECIAL NOTE: Students and guests used #IvyTechGrad to discuss the ceremony and festivities on social media sites. Use the hashtag to see graduation photos and messages of encouragement on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.