The new MLK mural, deconstructed

Last month, visual communications students painted a gorgeous new mural in the Student Life Center as part of the statewide MLK Jr. Legacy Project.

It’s even gotten the College some city-wide press. The News-Sentinel ran an image of the mural mid-process, and WFFT chatted with Jared Applegate, who assigned the project.

Learn more about how the mural came together–including the meaning of all those colorful dandelions–in this brief video, or click on the image below.


Ivy Tech Northeast dean accepted into 2017 Executive Leadership in Nursing Education and Practice Program

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast’s dean of nursing, Jewel Diller, D.N.P., has been accepted into the 2017 Executive Leadership in Nursing Education and Practice Program. The year-long program operates through the National League for Nursing’s Center for Transformational Leadership. According to the NLN website, the program is designed for executive leaders in nursing education and practice who have held their positions for more than five years and wish to be re-energized, and want to reframe how they think about leadership and themselves as leaders.

To fulfill the program’s requirements, Diller will be participating in a number of professional development opportunities, including leadership assessments, an individual leadership project, career-trajectory planning, and leadership forums in San Diego and Washington, D.C.

Jewel Diller, D.N.P.

Jewel Diller, D.N.P.

Diller says she looks forward to networking with national and international leaders in nursing, growing her leadership competencies, and gaining new ideas to assist her in adding value to Ivy Tech’s Nursing program, both at the regional and statewide levels.

“I have this desire to make a difference by positively influencing the future of nursing in some way. I believe that being an active participant in the executive leadership program will help make that a reality,” Diller says. “I want to become a better version of myself, and in doing so, become a better leader.”

Diller’s administrative leadership within Ivy Tech Northeast’s Nursing program has yielded noteworthy accolades. Most recently, Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) students at the region who took the National Council Licensure Examination, often called NCLEX-RN, achieved a 90.43 percent pass rate last year. Nationally, the pass rate for the exam among associate degree students was 82 percent. Among all nursing students, including bachelor’s degree students, the pass rate was 84.53 percent.

Diller has been employed by Ivy Tech Northeast’s Nursing program since 1989, serving as its dean beginning in 2010.


Ivy Tech has a lot to be grateful for

Last week, I emailed the campus community and asked people to write in about what they were thankful for this Thanksgiving. It was one of the best responses we’ve gotten for Green Light! Which means … I’m sharing it all.

Read on to see what your peers are most appreciative for this Thanksgiving, and THANK YOU for your wonderful responses. We hope the rest of your week is restful, joyous … and, of course, delicious.



“My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is spending time with family that I don’t get to see often. This Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for my family, great friends, the ability to get an education, a great church community, and Christmas getting closer  because  all of these things make me so happy!” ~Taylor Boutall, early childhood education student

“My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is putting a tree up for Christmas. This Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for my kids and finacée because they are all I have.” ~ Tiffaney Dowell, early childhood education student







“My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is eating all the good food and desserts. This Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for my husband because he is a good man.” ~Allison Erbach, human services student







“My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is eating and then falling into a Thanksgiving coma. This Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for my boyfriend’s stepmom because she’s making sure to make extra soft foods for me due to getting my wisdom teeth removed!” ~ Jordan Brown, visual communications student






“My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is cooking for the entire family. This Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for living in the United States because I can complain about the recent election, choose to vote or not vote, support or not support the current or upcoming administration, both state and national—say things are not OK—and the next day, I continue to be free! I am also thankful for all of those who came before me and risked their lives for my rights to vote, as well as my right to voice my opinion, practice my religion, marry whomever I choose, and live life how I see fit.” ~Ruth Davis, human services assistant professor



“My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is breaking out the good plates! This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the animals in my life because they keep me calm after tests get me stressed!” ~Pamela Walton, American Honors ambassador

“This Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for my family because this year my family was blessed with a new member! My youngest child was born this year, and she will be celebrating her first Thanksgiving.” ~Brittany Allen, early childhood education student







“My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is relaxing and looking forward to time with family (eating, playing games, laughing, and just soaking it all in). This Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for the continued health and safety of all my family and friends because in a year’s time, a lot happens, and each day should be a day of thanks. Throughout life, we all experience times of happiness and heartache, but taking the time to focus on what’s closest and important to us is what makes it all worth it. Life is short, so take some time and recognize the little things. (Oh yeah, and Thanksgiving night is when I trigger the lighting of my holiday lights.)” ~Andrew Welch, Marketing and Communications executive director


“My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is having a BIG family meal and putting up the Christmas tree and decorations. This Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for my family and life in general because oftentimes, we tend to take both for granted, and as I get older, I’ve learned to focus on two very important things, and they are to cherish EVERY moment and to NOT sweat the small stuff!” ~Kim Barnett-Johnson, interim vice chancellor for Academic Affairs


Winans and family

“My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is looking through all of the crazy Black Friday ads with family. This Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for my family because they support, encourage, and love me no matter what, and they are always there for me.” ~Nicole Winans, Ivy Tech Northeast student

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I finally learned how to weld!

One of my favorite pastimes is going to art festivals and craft shows with friends and family who can appreciate the arts, like my sister, my mom, and my friend of 20 years, Beth Church. These women are not only talented, but encouraging. If my mom would see something she liked, she would expect me to study how the piece was put together, commit it to memory, and duplicate it for her when we returned home.

Sometimes the expectations were a little daunting. But I couldn’t say “no” to my beloved mother. My sister and Beth believed in my abilities so much, I didn’t want to disappoint them, either. Regularly, when my mom would take an interest in something—a lawn ornament or tiled gazing ball—Beth was in my ear saying, “Sandra you could totally make that.”

Some lawn decorations were all metal; some were miscellaneous auto parts welded together to make flowers; some were a mix of glass, metal, and recycled materials. All were interesting and had personality. However, I didn’t have the tools and resources to make art like this, and I thought, “Someday, I’ll learn to weld, and I will be able to make art like this.”

When I had an opportunity to sign up for an artistic welding class through Ivy Tech Northeast’s new IvyLiving program, I jumped on it. For just over $100 I would learn to weld, create art, and cross “learn to weld” off my bucket list! I had been waiting for this opportunity for more than 20 years. This was too good to pass up.

Now when Beth sees metal lawn art and says, “Sandra you can totally make that,” I’ll be able to respond with a confident, “Yes I can.”

Artistic Welding instructor, Brian Barnes, teaches the class about safety and how to create an optimal weld.

Artistic Welding instructor, Brian Barnes, teaches the class about safety and how to create an optimal weld.

Ivy Tech associate professor, Sheri Dunlavy receives instruction before making her first weld.

Ivy Tech associate professor, Sheri Dunlavy (at right), receives instruction before making her first weld.

Most of the parts and pieces we all started with. Some brought in springs, horseshoes, washers and other parts to embellish projects.

Most of the parts and pieces we all started with. Some brought in springs, horseshoes, washers and other parts to embellish projects.

Me and two of my final pieces.

Me and two of my final pieces.

Jack Dickson and his final art.

Jack Dickson and his final art.

Check out more photos from the welding class on the College’s Flickr page. To get on the mailing list for upcoming IvyLiving classes, email Aja Michael-Keller at

College to host upcoming enrollment day for spring semester

Express Enrollment Day gives current and prospective students at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast the opportunity to complete the steps for registration in one day. They can apply to the College, apply for financial aid, complete an assessment process, meet with an advisor, register for classes, and more.

Students who have more steps to complete should come earlier in the day to assure they can finish all enrollment steps. Students applying for financial aid should bring their tax information.

The deadline for new students to register for 16-week spring 2017 classes is Jan. 9. New students who register after the ninth will be able to sign up 12-, eight-, or four-week classes.

Attendees can RSVP at

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 19

Sixteen-week classes begin Jan. 17. Twelve-week classes begin Feb. 13. Eight-week classes begin March 20.

Student Life Center, North Campus
Ivy Tech Community College Northeast
3701 Dean Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46835

May the Force be with you during International Education Week

Calling all Jedi Knights. Informatics major Houcem Mejri had you in mind when he put together his home-country display for Ivy Tech Northeast’s Global Village event in the Student Life Center on Nov. 16.

A resident of the northern African nation of Tunisia, Houcem chose to dedicate space on his display for a photo of the Sahara Desert, and then he manipulated a black Star Wars logo on top of it. His intent? To encourage more interest and questions from passersby about the connection.


From left, informatics major Houcem Mejri and software development major Ayman Boughammi represent Tunisia.

Tunisia’s Sahara is the long-standing filming location for Tatooine—a harsh desert planet that serves as a key location throughout the Star Wars saga. Luke Skywalker calls it home.

“There are many people who are surprised to find out where Tatooine was created and filmed,” Houcem says.

According to Director of International Programs Sarah Rodriquez, Houcem’s table represented one of 12 countries on display during the Global Village, an annual information and food-tasting fair to celebrate the College’s international students and their cultures. The event is a part of a broader International Education Week promotion that includes free lectures and movies with global themes.


Business administration major Brayan Castillo displays Guatemalan dolls and a skirt appropriate for religious ceremonies. A video on the laptop computer shows Latino musicians playing a marimba, a percussion instrument similar to a zylophone.

Nearly 300 nonresident students are attending Ivy Tech Northeast this academic year, Rodriquez says.


Nursing major Mary Jane Kneubuhler receives a henna tattoo from Troy Ganser, the director of The TAG Art Company.

There is still time for interested parties to attend two final International Education Week activities: a Nov. 18 Global Student Celebration in partnership with IPFW, beginning in the university’s Walb Student Union at 5 p.m., and a Nov. 19 futsal tournament in Ivy Tech Northeast’s Student Life Center gym, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ivy Tech Northeast to host Friday apprenticeship fair in conjunction with National Apprenticeship Week

Ivy Tech Community College will host an apprenticeship fair for students and community members interested in learning more about apprenticeships and how to become an apprentice. Attendees can speak with northeast Indiana companies with registered apprenticeship programs.

The event is being hosted in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Apprenticeship Week, from Nov. 14 to 20. The week supports the expansion and advancement of the registered apprenticeship, a department program designed to connect job seekers who want to learn new skills with employers looking for qualified workers. The week is an invitation for the community to learn about the advantages of apprenticeship.

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast’s North Campus
The Steel Dynamics, Inc. Keith E. Busse Technology Center
3701 Dean Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46835
Get directions

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 18

College welcomes local professionals to advisory event, unveils data center for students

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast is hosting an Advisory Committee Open House tomorrow. Each of the College’s 50+ programs has an advisory committee of local professionals and Ivy Tech Northeast employees to help keep program curriculum relevant and up-to-date.

The open house event serves as a “thank you” to committee members. More than 100 people have RSVP’d to the event.

After the general open house, the School of Computing and Informatics advisory committee will have its meeting, in part to view the College’s new data center for students in the Cyber Security, Network Infrastructure, Information Technology Support, and Server Administration programs. These are four of the eight programs that make up the School.

“It’s an environment for our students to get a feel for what a real data center is and build servers,” says department chair Darryl Togashi, who oversees the above four programs.

The new center will allow students to get a hands-on education with equipment that they previously learned about only theoretically, he says.

The space includes a forensics lab and racks, which are shelving units to house servers that run five classrooms.

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast
Coliseum Campus
3800 N. Anthony Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46835
Get directions

School of Computing and Informatics meeting/data center unveiling
4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 15
Room CC1640

Data Center Open House
6:30 p.m. Nov. 15
Room CC2353 (enter through Room CC2352)

College to host FIRST LEGO League robotics qualifying event

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast will host the FIRST® LEGO® League Qualifying Tournament, a robotics competition.

10:55 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 12
2:30 p.m.: Awards ceremony

This qualifying event is one of many throughout Indiana. Teams that have created a LEGO® robot will compete before judges in four areas:

  1. Robot performance
  2. FIRST® LEGO® League core values, which references how teams prepare for the tournament and behave as a team
  3. Robot design
  4. Project presentation

Each of the four areas will have a first and second place finisher.

The following schools or groups will participate in the tournament:

Carroll Middle School Fort Wayne
Summit Middle School Fort Wayne
Maple Creek Middle School Fort Wayne
Paul Harding Jr. High Fort Wayne
Saint Charles Catholic School Fort Wayne
St. Aloysius School Yoder
Wells County 4-H Bluffton
Huntertown Elementary School Huntertown
Huntington County 4-H Robotics Huntington
Central Lutheran School New Haven
Northern Heights Elementary School Columbia City

The top three overall teams will advance to the Indiana FIRST® LEGO® League Championship Tournament on Dec. 12 at IPFW. Visit to learn more about FIRST® LEGO® League.

For more information, contact Karen Jones at or 260-481-2266.

Public Safety Academy: Ivy Tech South Campus
7602 Patriot Crossing
Fort Wayne, IN 46816
Get directions

College to offer free FAFSA filing help at College Goal Sunday

Financial aid professionals will volunteer at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast and 39 other sites in Indiana to help college-bound students with financial aid during College Goal Sunday. This year introduces a new process, and students could begin submitting their forms Oct. 1 using last year’s taxes. The event is set for 2 p.m. Nov. 13 and will be hosted in classrooms throughout Coliseum Campus (3800 N. Anthony Blvd.)

The free program assists Indiana students in filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA form is required for students to be considered for federal and state grants, scholarships, and student loans at most colleges, universities, and vocational/technical schools nationwide. The FAFSA must be filed by March 10 to be eligible for Indiana financial aid. The event is important because completing this required form correctly and by the deadline is sometimes perceived to be complicated and time consuming, according to College Goal Sunday. In less than one afternoon, students and their families can get free help and file the form online.

Now in its 28th year, College Goal Sunday has helped more than 90,000 Indiana students and families complete the FAFSA properly and on time. College Goal Sunday is a charitable program of the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association (ISFAA).

College Goal Sunday Doubles the Help Offered
“With the FAFSA start date moving forward from January to October, College Goal Sunday made the decision to add a November event in addition to the traditional February event,” said Bill Wozniak, co-chair of College Goal Sunday. “Now there will be two College Goal Sunday events across Indiana to help families file the FAFSA, and bring students one step closer to fulfilling their educational goals.”

According to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, programs like College Goal Sunday are important for reaching first-generation college students. In recent years, according to the Commission, more single-parent Hoosier families have filed for financial aid, indicating programs like College Goal Sunday are reaching high-risk students and their families.

“Students who don’t complete their financial aid paperwork properly and on time are often very disappointed when they find out how much financial aid they lost,” Wozniak said. “This is why the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association not only continues to provide College Goal Sunday, but added a second event this year. If our assistance gives students a better chance at higher education and less debt, we’re fulfilling our mission.”

What students should bring
Students should attend College Goal Sunday with their parent(s) or guardian(s), and parents’ should bring completed 2015 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 Forms, and other 2015 income and benefits information. Students who worked last year should bring their income information as well. Students 24 years or older may attend alone and bring their own completed 2015 IRS 1040 tax return, W-2 Form, or other 2015 income and benefits information. Students and parents are encouraged to apply for their U.S. Department of Education FSA IDs at before coming to the event.

Volunteers will walk through the online form line-by-line and answer families’ individual questions as needed. All sites offer FAFSA online capabilities, and many have Spanish interpreters. A complete list of sites is available at

Attendees may win educational prizes
Students may also win one of ten $1,000 scholarships. Students who attend any of the College Goal Sunday sites and submit a completed evaluation form will automatically be entered in a drawing for a $1,000 scholarship. The winners will be notified in December, and prizes will be sent directly to the higher education institution selected by the winning students.

21st Century Scholars benefit
21st Century Scholars are income-eligible students who sign a contract in the seventh or eighth grade promising they will graduate from high school, meet grade point requirements, fulfill a pledge of good citizenship, and apply for college financial aid. Upon high school graduation, Scholars who have fulfilled the commitment receive state funds to help cover their college tuition and fees for eight semesters at eligible Indiana colleges. To fulfill their pledge, scholars must submit a completed FAFSA form on time. College Goal Sunday can help.

Program is a national model
College Goal Sunday originated in Indiana and is now a national model. Following Indiana’s example, College Goal Sunday events organized by more than 34 states have opened doors to higher education for hundreds of thousands of students all over the country.

For more information about College Goal Sunday visit