Inside Ivy Tech: Professor mentors women entering IT careers

Once a truck driver and later the ninth female accepted into the U.S. Air Force Fire Protection School in Rantoul, Ill., Lucy La Hurreau knows firsthand the culture in male-dominated career fields. As assistant professor of health information technology at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast, she’s using those insights to help mentor women who wish to pursue IT careers.

Lucy La Hurreau, Ivy Tech Northeast assistant professor of health information technology, interacts with one of her program’s graduates, Celia Dull. Dull, a registered coder at Jay County Hospital in Portland, Ind., considers La Hurreau a mentor and colleague.

Lucy La Hurreau, Ivy Tech Northeast assistant professor of health information technology, interacts with one of her program’s graduates, Celia Dull. Dull, a registered coder at Jay County Hospital in Portland, Ind., considers La Hurreau a mentor and colleague.

“As I tell my students, reinventing yourself multiple times over a lifetime is OK,” she says. “I use my experiences to teach others and connect with them.”

La Hurreau’s ties to the College are more robust than that of professor alone; she’s also a graduate. Upon her enrollment in the early 2000s, she says, she was one of three women in most of her IT classes.

Little has changed with those enrollment numbers.

La Hurreau praises Joan Heise, Computer Science chair emerita, with being one of the primary influences who helped her complete her studies.

“Joan showed me that paying it forward is a way of life—not just a goal in life,” she says.

Beyond La Hurreau’s present-day teaching responsibilities and work to develop online classes for health information technology, she co-advises the IT Club, where she takes the lead for mentoring women in all computer-focused majors.

“We need to be more inclusive regarding women in IT programs,” La Hurreau says. “There’s an old adage: If we discount 50 percent of our population, we discount 50 percent of our potential.

One of La Hurreau’s recent success stories is Celia Dull, a registered coder at Jay County Hospital in Portland, Ind.

“When I felt like giving up on my studies, Lucy was the one person I could approach without feeling awkward to get some solid advice on the millions of reasons to keep going and finish strong,” Dull says. “She is a beautiful lady inside and out. I was blessed to have her as my professor and now as my mentor and colleague.”

Inside Ivy Tech: Bon appétit

College fundraiser channels ‘The Rome of France’

Channeling the Italian heritage and architecture of Nimes, France, Ivy Tech Community College Northeast recently transformed Parkview Health’s Mirro Center for Research and Innovation into a one-night-only spectacle.

The Nov. 5 occasion marked A Reason to Taste: The Rome of France, the College’s fifth annual fundraising dinner and auction—an event that raised more than $108,000 for academic programs and student scholarships through the Ivy Tech Foundation.

A Reason to Taste: The Rome of France raised more than $108,000 for academic programs and student scholarships through the Ivy Tech Foundation. Click images to zoom.

“Hosting A Reason to Taste at the Mirro Center this year allowed us to spread out and give guests a truly spectacular dining experience,” says Oliver Barie, the College’s executive director of Resource Development. “Our culinary students do such a wonderful job with the meal, and I think everyone had an unforgettable night.”

The evening began when more than 250 guests assembled in the facility’s banquet hall, where they were immersed in the ambiance of Nimes: Italian-style café tables with oversized umbrellas, floor-to-ceiling cloth murals depicting Roman architecture, and a troupe of entertainers that included a caricature artist, juggler, and mime. The actual city, affectionately regarded as “The Rome of France,” is nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and Cevennes Mountains.

The 2016 A Reason to Taste planning committee selected Nimes as the fundraiser’s theme because the area was a memorable stopover for eight Ivy Tech Northeast students and a faculty chaperone during a two-week European culinary tour in May. The participating students earned a spot on the trip by winning the College’s annual European Competition—a four-hour skills challenge staged each January for hospitality administration students.

More than 250 guests assembled in the banquet hall at Parkview Health’s Mirro Center for Research and Innovation on Nov. 5, where they were immersed in the ambiance of Nimes, France. Ambience included Italian-style café tables with oversized umbrellas, floor-to-ceiling cloth murals depicting Roman architecture, and a troupe of entertainers that included a caricature artist, juggler, and mime. Click images to zoom.

Financial support for the culinary tour is made possible by A Reason to Taste donations. The winners who make the transatlantic trek bring back inspiration for each fundraiser’s menu in the fall, where they play an active role in creating, cooking, and serving the multi-course menu and wine pairings.

Among 2016’s European Competition winners was hospitality administration graduate Brenda Zemaitis.

“There were so many amazing culinary experiences on the most recent trip that it’s hard to choose just one, “ Zemaitis says. “My favorite tastings were all desserts, especially the infamous macaroon on this year’s menu.”

Guest and self-described “adventurous foodie” Evelyn Frierson expressed her fondness for the same raspberry macaroon with lemon curd filling.

“It was absolutely delicious,” Frierson says. “I will try to replicate many of tonight’s recipes at home.”

Reception sponsors

Ambassador Enterprises
Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union 166

Beverage sponsor

Calhoun Street Soups, Salads, and Spirits

Corporate sponsors

Auburn Gear
Barnes & Thornburg
BFGoodrich
Brooks Construction Company, Inc.
C&A Tool Engineering, Inc.
Elevatus Architecture
Fort Wayne Metals
Frontier Communications
Greater Fort Wayne, Inc.
Hagerman Construction
Ivy Tech Foundation
Kelley Automotive
Lincoln Financial
PNC Bank
Questa Education Foundation
Chuck & Lisa Surack and Sweetwater Sound
Wells Fargo
Whitley Manufacturing

Beverage sponsor

ABC 21 WPTA
Fort Wayne’s NBC

Inside Ivy Tech: Anatomage table provides health students with high-tech education

The single table lets students dissect hundreds of items, from animals to humans, from healthy organs to diseased ones. It’s called an Anatomage table, and it’s typically found in large medical schools and research institutions. But thanks to a grant from Ivy Tech Community College’s Central Office, the machine can also be found on Ivy Tech Northeast’s Coliseum Campus in Room 1352.

Ivy Tech Northeast health students will be able to study detailed anatomy through the College's new tool, an Anatomage table. The table—typically found in large medical schools and research institutions—is a gift from a recent Ivy Tech Central Office grant.

Ivy Tech Northeast health students will be able to study detailed anatomy through the College’s new tool, an Anatomage table. The table—typically found in large medical schools and research institutions—is a gift
from a recent Ivy Tech Central Office grant.

It’s designed to look like an autopsy table, and the large, long screen acts like an oversized tablet. Matt Shady, the College’s interim Health Division dean, illustrates how the machine works: He pulls up an image of a cadaver, which was scanned in from a real body. He uses his finger to draw a line down the body’s shoulder, cutting off the arm. He rotates the body, giving a view down into the incision. Using sliding scale tools, he can remove layer by layer from the shoulder.

“Everything is done to actual scale but can also be enlarged so smaller details can be easily identified,” he says.
Shady can also show different systems. There’s the cadaver’s skeletal system, resembling a Halloween decoration; there’s its nervous system, something out of a horror film; its circulatory system, a maze of twisting veins.
During fall semester 2016, faculty trained on the Anatomage table to learn its functions, including the ability to download images to a flash drive.

“Those images can then be used in future class sessions on a PowerPoint presentation or on quizzes or tests,” Shady says. “Real life scans such as X-rays or CTs can also be updated and displayed on the table.”

The table should be available for classroom use this semester.

Inside Ivy Tech: Getting his peers to the polls

Student delegate represents Indiana in nationwide voting initiative

Accounting major Dontae Hampton, at right, is Ivy Tech Northeast's delegate for College Debate 2016, a national program aimed at getting young adults registered to vote. Hampton spoke with cyber security major Diamano Yonli during a Hispanic Heritage Month event in September.

Accounting major Dontae Hampton, at right, is Ivy Tech Northeast’s delegate for College Debate 2016, a national program aimed at getting young adults registered to vote. Hampton spoke with cyber security major Diamano Yonli during a Hispanic Heritage Month event in September.

The first time Dontae Hampton voted in a presidential election, it was 2012. He was a high school student a few months past his 18th birthday.

“At the time, my government teacher was stressing it: ‘Those of you who are 18 need to go vote,’” he says, adding that he thought, “Man, I can vote, so I want to vote.”

Now, Hampton is serving as that kind of mentor to students throughout Ivy Tech Community College Northeast: He is the College’s delegate in College Debate 2016, a non-partisan group that brings together college students nationwide and teaches them “to identify issues and engage peers in the presidential election.”

“The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” ~Abraham Lincoln

Hampton, an accounting student, attended College Debate 2016 programming in San Francisco twice over the summer to learn more about the political process and identify key issues from Indiana that he thought need to be addressed.

“It’s mostly to help students from all 50 states come together and have them reach out to their peers,” he says. It’s about getting “people to vote and start getting people interacting with the debates and the campaigns.”

The issues most important to Hampton are immigration, diversity, and education, he says, and all three stem in part from personal experience: Hampton has a friend from Cozumel, Mexico, who is living in the country without legal permission. Because of her status, she is unable to qualify for financial aid, which makes it difficult to afford an education.

JoAnne Alvarez, the College’s student success and retention coordinator, nominated Hampton for the training opportunity because she has known him for years—he is friends with her children.

“Anytime I ask him to do something, he is just on it,” Alvarez says.

She also knows him through ¡GOAL y Amigos!, or Graduating Outstanding Achieving Latinos and Friends, a student group for Latino students and those interested in learning about the Latino culture. Alvarez overseas the group, and Hampton is a member. Though he is not Latino, he says, he has always been interested in Latino culture, and he plans to minor in Spanish after he graduates from Ivy Tech Northeast and transfers to IPFW to earn a bachelor’s degree.

“The whole Hispanic culture, it is something neat, something I appreciate,” Hampton says.

Plus, Hampton recognizes that organizations like GOAL help him educationally.

“That’s how I mostly learn: socially,” he says. “People adapting, sharing new thoughts, making networking connections.”

He even uses the group to further his objectives for College Debate 2016: He set up a table at GOAL events to ensure that students knew how to register to vote and, after the registration deadline, where to vote.

“Voting has been important to me because I feel like, you can’t really complain about who’s in office if you don’t make any contribution to the election,” he says. “You definitely need to be active about who is running where you live, your home.”

Did you know?
  • Indiana gets 11 electoral votes.
  • That is 2 percent of the total 538 electoral votes.
  • And it’s 4 percent of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the general election.
  • Between 1900 and 2012, Indiana cast votes for the winning presidential candidate nearly 69 percent of
    the time.
  • In the same time frame, Indiana voted Democratic 17 percent of the time and Republican 83 percent of the time.
    Source: ballotopedia.org

Inside Ivy Tech: A spark of imagination

Alumnus treats welding, educational pursuits like full-time job

Ivy Tech Northeast alumnus Chuck Smith has crafted more than 30 substantial works of metal art through artistic welding.

Ivy Tech Northeast alumnus Chuck Smith has crafted more than 30 substantial works of metal art through artistic welding.

Tucked in the middle of a seven-bay detached garage in Orland, Ind., is a space where Chuck Smith arguably does his most impressive work: an eagle sculpture with a five-foot wingspan, an end table with an oversized gear as its surface, a fireplace screen featuring a stenciled buck and doe on its doors.

In all, Smith has crafted more than 30 substantial works of metal art in his fully equipped welding workshop. His numerous smaller-scale projects, such as bracelets, light-switch panels, and napkin holders, can easily fit in the palm of your hand.

Artistic welding has become a hobby for the Ivy Tech Community College Northeast alumnus. He discovered the art form in 2012 soon after he enrolled at the College to study industrial technology. Before that, Smith’s welding experience had been only structural in nature, such as upkeep on his 1946 military-produced Willys Jeep.

At 70, what Smith accomplishes in retirement comes close to equaling what others do at a full-time job.

“The eagle alone took three weeks of solid work, and the pedestal took even longer,” says Smith, who created the sculpture to help his grandson earn an Eagle Scout badge. The eagle is on permanent display in a Mooresville, N.C., city park, where it serves as a memorial to local first responders.

Click on the images above to zoom.

Ivy Tech Northeast industrial technology instructor Brian Barnes says Smith is known for paying attention to details
with his welding.

“Without doing that, the art doesn’t look very artistic,” Barnes says. “He also isn’t afraid to experiment, and because of that, he has learned some new ways to color metal and do other cool things.”

Smith stays challenged by his welding projects as well as his intention to remain a perpetual college student. Beyond a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts he completed in 1997, he graduated with an associate degree in industrial technology this May. And this fall, Smith began work on a technical certificate in machine tool technology to enhance his understanding of machining metals.

“I want aspects of different degrees, and I can do that here at Ivy Tech,” Smith says. “Any piece of knowledge is worth having, and my goal is to learn something everyday—no matter how trivial.”

Smith is passing his own knowledge along this fall as he assumes the role of instructor in a metal arc welding course at the College. He appears to be a natural for the role, having taught multiple topics to hundreds of recruits during his 37-year military career and nearly 25 years of service as an Indiana state trooper.

Smith says one of his personal interests is to encourage more women to learn welding, either as a profession or an avocation.

“When we think about women and welding, we think about Rosie the Riveter from World War II,” Smith says. “Today, there are female metal artists—more than people would suspect—who are mostly brazing and soldering jewelry. I want to support them.”

Smith’s goal would make Rosie proud.

Make your own sparks fly

Ivy Tech Northeast is sponsoring a hands-on seminar on artistic welding beginning Nov. 12. Let your creative sparks fly as you turn scrap metal into artwork for your home through this two-session course. Enroll online.
$125 per participant.
All equipment and materials included.

Inside Ivy Tech: Business competition selects three minority men as finalists

Eyewear company takes home $35K prize

The frames are classic wayfarer, the most popular selling sunglasses in history, and made of cherry wood from a New York-state tree farm. The wood is coated to withstand the elements, not unlike a deck, and it should age, like a fine leather bag, so that, 10, 15, 20 years down the line, the glasses are unlike any other pair out there.

Jamal Robinson, an Ivy Tech Northeast alum, won the 2016 New Venture Competition with his business, DESIAR Eyewear. With his winnings, he plans to launch the Hoosier line of glasses, made with cherry wood.

Jamal Robinson, an Ivy Tech Northeast alum, won the 2016 New Venture Competition with his business, DESIAR Eyewear. With his winnings, he plans to launch the Hoosier line of glasses, made with cherry wood.

Jamal Robinson is the brains behind these wooden glasses, which are manufactured entirely in Indiana. He is able to launch the line—the Hoosier line—with the funds he won last month at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast’s New Venture Competition. In its sixth year, the competition awards start-up capital to a new or beginning business. Robinson won $35,000 toward the line, part of his company, DESIAR Eyewear.

“When it comes to DESIAR, I know DESIAR,” said Robinson, an Ivy Tech Northeast alumnus who graduated from IPFW with an associate degree in business. “With all that, I felt comfortably prepared. I was confident I did the best I could do.”

Robinson was one of three finalists for this year’s competition, along with Andrew Smittie of Green E-Waste Miracles, a company that collects and recycles waste the garbage company won’t pick up; and Guadalupe Callejas of Metro Striping & More, an interior and exterior painting company.

All three finalists are minority men, notable in part because of how difficult it can be for minority business owners to get funding, says Clifford Clarke, an advisor for the College’s African American Male Initiative and a member of Fort Wayne’s Black Chamber of Commerce.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the national percentage of minority-owned firms is on the rise, from 22 percent to 29 percent between 2007 and 2012. While the numbers may be growing, however, it is still difficult for minority entrepreneurs to secure funds and resources.

“I remember sitting in a conference, and a minority entrepreneur was explaining how hard it was for him to get money,” Clarke says. “I think that the population as a whole is truly underserved.

“It continually promotes the perception that the African American or minority population is always looking for the proverbial handout. That’s not the case. We’re trying to reach the same level of parity as our non-minority counterparts.”

It can also be difficult for minority business owners to receive exposure and mentorship, he says, two more keys in determining the success of a small business.

This was the fifth year John Dortch, former Black Chamber of Commerce CEO and a local entrepreneur, has judged, he says. One of the things that keeps him coming back is the continuing variety of finalists.

“It’s been great to see the diversity,” says Dortch, president and CEO of The Preston Joan Group. “(This year), they all are very, very tough to judge. They all have a quality product. The presentations are very good. I think they’re going to do very, very well with what they’re doing.”

Passion for service leads graduate into nursing

One morning this past winter, Stacey Grimm awoke to a discouraging sight outside her Fremont, Ind. home: a heavy snowfall that threatened widespread road closures. With her husband away on business, Grimm took control, sliding into her red Columbia sports coat and insulated snow pants and spending the next two hours shoveling her long, rural driveway—a necessary task before she could begin her one-hour commute to Ivy Tech Community College Northeast for an 8 a.m. nursing exam.

Grimm

Grimm

She arrived early. A less-committed student would have slept in altogether.

“I’m a bit of a perfectionist on certain matters,” says Grimm, a spring magna cum laude graduate with a 3.84 GPA.

This mix of work ethic and persistence illustrates who Grimm is and why she was selected for the 2016 Melvin L. Curtis Award for Academic Excellence during Ivy Tech Northeast’s 46th annual Commencement ceremony at Memorial Coliseum on May 6. The award is the College’s highest honor for a graduating student based on academic achievement, community-service participation, and personal qualities.

Nursing faculty nominated Grimm because she excelled in clinical and didactic coursework, and she understood the complete role of a nurse and the teamwork required for optimal patient outcomes.

“She is a very kind person and exudes a quiet strength,” says Maria Hines, assistant professor of nursing. “She has a great ability to see actual problems for patients as well as potential ones. This is a great strength, especially in a newly graduated nurse.”

Nursing represents a career change for Grimm. For six years, she taught in both fourth-grade and kindergarten classrooms for Fremont Community Schools. But now, she has chosen to expand her commitment to helping others by joining the healthcare field.

“It is even better that part of a nurse’s role is to teach patients and family members,” Grimm says. “As a result, I get to call upon skills from my previous degree and career.”

While pursuing an Associate of Science in Nursing, Grimm served as a nurse technician at Cameron Memorial Community Hospital in Angola, Ind., assisting registered nurses to gather patients’ vital signs and educate patients on topics such as safe approaches to walking and best practices for hygiene. Grimm also volunteered to teach a safe sleep class at Parkview Health, showing expectant mothers how to ensure their newborn slept in the safest environment and position possible.

Grimm’s dedication toward patient care comes as no surprise to Hines, who taught her in several nursing classes.

“Her potential for professional growth is limitless,” Hines says. “I think everything I feel about her can be summed up in a sentence: If I am ever in the hospital, I hope Stacey is the nurse who takes care of me.”

As Grimm accepted her award at the Commencement podium and shared a few words of gratitude, she scanned the crowd to make eye contact with her sons, Adler, 5, and Mick, 3.

“The best feeling was seeing my two sons elated and cheering for me when my name was announced,” Grimm says. “They are young and did not understand all of the aspects of me going back to school. However, they did see me studying all of the time and working hard to achieve this goal. If nothing else, I was able to model for my children the importance of hard work and sticking with the goals you want to achieve.”

(Click on image to zoom in and view slideshow)

Graduation Highlights

More than 700 associate degrees, certificates, and technical certificates awarded

Keynote Address Speaker
Kevin Wall, activist, investor, new media entrepreneur, producer, and Fort Wayne native

Commencement Student Speaker
Elizabeth Powers, liberal arts/Accelerated Associate Program (ASAP)

Outstanding Student Awards by School

  • Rebecca Marshall, School of Applied Science & Engineering Technology
  • Faith Robison, School of Business
  • Suzanne Sherk, School of Computing & Informatics
  • Corey Smith, School of Education
  • Ashley Perkins, School of Fine Arts & Design
  • Renea Counterman, School of Health Sciences
  • Rachel Mitchell, School of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Stacey Grimm, School of Nursing
  • Angela Helms, School of Public & Social Services
  • Robert Dyer, School of Technology

Melvin L. Curtis Award for Academic Excellence
Stacey Grimm, nursing

Larry Lee Award for Excellence in Instruction (Full-Time Faculty)
Christine Barlow, assistant professor of life sciences

Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Instruction (Part-Time Faculty)
Nikki Kyle, respiratory therapy instructor

Honorary Degree Recipients
Associate of Science in College and Community Service
Dennis Kruse, Indiana Senator–14th District
Tim Borne, founder, Asher Agency

Inside Ivy Tech: Calling all poets

Criminal justice student wins second Ink Cloud poetry contest

There is no single word for the/bend of the wishbone the/pull until the break/in which one person loses/and one person wins

Hosier

Hosier

It’s the first stanza in “Wishbone,” a poem by Kelsey Hosier, a criminal justice student at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast. It’s also the introduction to the first place poem in Ink Cloud, the College’s poetry contest.

In its second year, Ink Cloud received a total of 62 student entries, which included some artwork. A group of judges reviewed all poems—authors’ identifying information was removed—and discussed their favorites to select a winner.

“Sometimes a poem ranks high because the student chose a difficult poem structure and executed it well,” says Sarah Ellsworth-Hoffman, the Ivy Tech Northeast librarian who organizes and coordinates Ink Cloud. “Sometimes a poem ranks high because it resonated personally with a judge.”

Hosier first became interested in poetry in the sixth or seventh grade. A teacher assigned a poetry project and read the class the poem “Love That Dog,” poems written from a middle schooler’s perspective.

“I thought it was really cool, and I thought, ‘Hey, I could do that,’” Hosier says.

“Wishbone” came from another poetry project—this time, given as a creative writing student at Ivy Tech Northeast. The assignment: to find a poem in the textbook and mimic the style. Hosier chose Tony Hoagland’s “There Is No Word,” a poem best summed up by the stanza, There is no single, unimpeachable word/for that vague sensation of something/moving away from you.

Hosier calls herself indecisive, and “There is No Word” made her realize that there is also no word for the feeling right before a difficult choice is made.

It’s that topic that so stuck with the judges, Ellsworth-Hoffman says.

“‘Wishbone’ ranked high with many of the judges because of the cleverness of a poem about a feeling that does not have a word, yet many of us have felt that feeling,” she says.

2016 marks the Ivy Tech Northeast Library's second student poetry contest, Ink Cloud, which also accepted art submissions this year. The library published the collection online and used the winning art piece as Ink Cloud’s cover. The piece, above, is “The Muse,” by Jonathan Hayworth, a medical assisting student.

2016 marks the Ivy Tech Northeast Library’s second student poetry contest, Ink Cloud, which also accepted art submissions this year. The library published the collection online and used the winning art piece as Ink Cloud’s cover. The piece, above, is “The Muse,” by Jonathan Hayworth, a medical assisting student.

The Ink Cloud competition is hosted in April, National Poetry Month. This year, for the first time, the library also hosted a faculty competition, which the winning students judged. They selected “To Virginia,” by David Rudny Winn, a morning library clerk.

Serving as judges was something of a learning experience for the student winners: Some were looking for “the correct answer” when Ellsworth-Hoffman asked why they selected a particular poem, she says.

“I explained to the student committee that they would not have a wrong answer and to go with what poems resonated with them,” she says. “It is acceptable to choose a poem as a favorite just because you like it. But we talked in our meetings about what that meant. Did the poems make you see something, create images in your mind as you read? Did you relate to it and you felt emotion? What parts did that? What parts did you not enjoy?”

Wishbone

by Kelsey Hosier

There is no single word for the
bend of the wishbone the
pull until the break
in which one person loses
and one person wins
The wishbone left broken
the loser left staring at
broken bones theirs
lighter seeming more hollow
than it did before
What’s left can’t be saved
the loser holding on to remnants of
this bone once alive
now dried to the point of brittle memory
It’s a shame that
No single name
Was given to this feeling
That even now
—as this feeling was once strong—
I can’t call out to it
whisked away with
the memory of when
the wishbone was first whole

Inside Ivy Tech: From the Phil to food

Former student finds second calling through Ivy Tech

The Civil War is often called America’s bloodiest conflict, where roughly 2 percent of the population died due to wounds or illness.

Through amputation, surgeons and makeshift surgeons saved 60,000 men who likely would have been part of that 2 percent. This left tens of thousands without limbs. The government turned to Dexter–Russell Inc., the country’s oldest knife company, for an answer.

The question? Can you create a utensil to help some of the maimed Civil War veterans eat?

The knife/fork combination

The knife/fork combination

The result? A knife/fork combination (modern version pictured below). The curved bottom of this flat metal piece serves as the knife. One end of the hyperbola attaches to the wooden handle. The other separates into three fork tines.

Dexter–Russell opened its doors in 1818, and it still makes a version of that knife/fork combination. One is on display on the Dexter PROTOUR, a 30-foot RV that travels across the country to teach culinary students about Dexter equipment. Last semester, Ryan Trinkofsky parked the RV outside Ivy Tech Community College Northeast’s Coliseum Campus. It was the first time he’d visited Ivy Tech Northeast since he took classes about a decade ago.

Trinkofsky discusses Dexter knives with Ivy Tech Northeast hospitality administration students and faculty in April.

Trinkofsky discusses Dexter knives with Ivy Tech Northeast hospitality administration students and faculty in April.

Trinkofsky, a Florida native, joined the Fort Wayne Philharmonic in 1997, when he graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music with a specialty in percussion. He commuted the three or so hours from northeast Ohio for shows and practices for two years, until he signed a contract with the Phil and moved to Fort Wayne.

Trinkofsky had been a lover of music since he was a kid, he says—and he was also a lover of cooking.

“Ever since I was 10, I was always cooking and playing,” he says. “Music seemed to be more in the forefront, but I was coming home in middle school and starting dinner.”

Eventually, friends pointed out: “You seem to talk more about cooking than music.” They were right, he realized, and he signed up for three classes in Ivy Tech Northeast’s Hospitality Administration program: Sanitation and First Aid, Basic Food Theory and Skills, and Introduction to Baking.

The experience was so great, Trinkofsky says, he retired from the Phil, moved back to Florida, and enrolled at the Lincoln Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach to get a degree in culinary arts.

Trinkofsky

Trinkofsky

Trinkofsky’s experience—turning to a community college for a career change—is not unique, says Joe McMichael, the College’s director of Career Development: The average age of an Ivy Tech student is 26, which means adults are enrolling in community college years after they graduate high school and have held a job or two. About half of those returning adult students look to advance in their current positions; the other half is looking for a career change entirely, like Trinkofsky.

The College offers a number of resources to help those students. One of Career Development’s most useful tools for second-career students is the Indiana Career Explorer assessment, McMichael says. It looks at students’ strengths and weaknesses and matches those students with potential careers based on three assessments that look at students’ interests, values, and areas
of confidence.

“Say a student wants to be a nurse, but they’re not doing well in class,” McMichael says. “They will take the test, and nursing might show up (as a good career match), but so will human services or teaching.”

It makes sense that someone who succeeds in music would also succeed in food, like Trinkofsky: Both require people skills and creativity, McMichael says.

“All the things that make you a great musician translate to make you a great chef,” Trinkofsky says, ticking off on his fingers: dedication, passion, professionalism, technique.

As a culinary student in Florida, he got involved with the American Culinary Federation, the continent’s premier professional chefs’ organization, sitting on its board for two seasons. He entered competitions, winning the San Pellagrino Almost Famous Chef in 2013, where he met a representative for Dexter–Russell.

Throughout Trinkofsky’s professional career, he stayed in touch with that rep. As he was settling into a role as a private chef in West Palm Beach, Fla., the Dexter rep called him and said the company had a position open.

“You can’t go wrong working for a 200-year-old company,” he says. “They’ve gotta be doing something right.”

Inside Ivy Tech: Picture perfect

Get the best photo, video quality from your smart devices

Even if you don’t know Zeke Bryant personally, you might be familiar with his work.

Bryant

Bryant

As Ivy Tech Community College Northeast’s multimedia specialist, Bryant is responsible for a number of photos and videos that are routinely seen by the College’s alumni and friends. For instance, he’s a regular photo contributor to this magazine, and he shoots and edits video for a number of student-focused projects, such as the European Competition for aspiring chefs, New Venture Competition for entrepreneurs, and A Reason to Taste fundraiser for academic program support and scholarships.

Away from the College, Bryant’s talent is known to local sports fans. He works part time for Memorial Coliseum, directing and producing game coverage of the Fort Wayne Derby Girls, Fort Wayne Komets, and Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

“All of this work is an art form,” Bryant says. “I love to put a production together to entertain people and bring images to life.”
To date, Bryant’s signature moment was winning a regional Emmy Award early in his career for his camera and graphics contributions to a 2007 short documentary, Little River Wetlands, while a production assistant at WFWA-TV PBS39.

Despite Bryant’s enviable assignments and access to some high-end Canon cameras and Blackmagic Design video gear, he is no different than anyone else when he wants to capture an image quickly or take a selfie on the fly: He reaches for his smartphone.

While using a smart device yields obvious photo and video limitations, smartphones and tablets are still capable of snapping some quality images and video clips once best practices are observed.

mobile phone

Best practices

Make a clean sweep.
Clean your lens, especially if your smart device isn’t kept in a protective shell.

Approach with eyes wide open.
Determine a game plan for your photos. Change your settings to high-resolution (large file size) photos if you plan to do more than upload them to the web. Skipping this step may leave you with pixelated images if they are ever printed.

Find your frame of reference.
Imagine a tic-tac-toe board (known as the rule of thirds or gridlines) on your field of view. Consider aligning your subject on one of the four intersecting corners of the grid to create more interesting and visually pleasing photos and video clips.

Broaden your horizons.
Shoot photos and video in landscape mode to minimize the loss of important details to the left and right of your subject.

Get up close and personal.
Fill the frame with your subject. Avoid using a digital zoom.

Simplify the scene.
Remove extraneous visuals that don’t help tell your story.

Go toward the light.
Use a natural light source whenever possible, especially with faces.

Check for intruders.
Be diligent to avoid potential photobombers or similar background distractions.

Snap like a turtle.
Take as many pictures from as many high and low angles as possible to add variety.

Explore all avenues.
Consider downloading photo- and video-editing apps, such as Photo Editor Pro and Photo Effects Pro, to enhance your images for quality and fun.