Almost 700 to graduate from Ivy Tech Friday night

By April Toler
331-4353 | atoler@heraldt.com

May 11, 2012, last update: 5/10 @ 10:56 pm

Close to 700 graduates, including international students, transfer students, military veterans and even a mother and a son, will be honored Friday evening during Ivy Tech-Bloomington’s commencement ceremony.

The ceremony takes place at 6 p.m. at the Indiana University Auditorium.

Among the graduates will be Rosalie Wilkerson, who at age 65 will receive a technical certificate in business administration.

Wilkerson always loved computers and learning, according to information from Ivy Tech, and said that although she was nervous about attending college, she has learned a lot from her younger classmates.

“One of the best things about going back to school was being able to be around my younger classmates,” Wilkerson said in a written statement. “I have learned so much about the younger generation and how smart they are.”

Gerardo Gonzalez, dean of IU’s School of Education, will give the commencement address.

“Dr. Gonzalez is a Miami-Dade Community College graduate, a Cuban immigrant, and a model of persistence and success for all community college students,” said Ivy Tech-Bloomington Chancellor John Whikehart in a written statement.

Almost 673 will graduate with either an associate degree, technical certificate or other certificate.

Of those, 191 are graduating with honors, and 25 are earning summa cum laude honors for maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

Two international students, one from South Korea and one from the Dominican Republic, will be among the graduates.

The college will also hand out degrees to 38 veterans and three students with Trade Adjustment Assistance. Also, 74 associate of science in nursing degrees will be awarded.

Additionally, 64 graduates are members of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

There are many stories of triumph and perseverance, Whikehart said, with each of Ivy Tech’s graduates.

Hearing those stories during each commencement ceremony, he said, makes the night extra special.

“I have the best seat in the house because I can see not only the graduates, but also the families,” Whikehart said. “The looks on their faces is so great to watch … to see how proud they are of what these people are doing.”

Ivy Tech awards

Each commencement ceremony, Ivy Tech-Bloomington recognizes students for outstanding academic achievements.

Academic program chairs in 25 programs of study, choose students to receive the award.

This year’s recipients are Tom Powell, accounting; Erin Couch, biotechnology; Andriya Nichole Hardy, business administration; Re’Nardo Ellay Williams, computer information systems; Jeffrey Fields, computer information technology; Joni M. Bennett, office administration; Mary Margaret Houston Demes, early childhood education; Carrie Robbins, education; and Brandon Paul McGuire, general studies; Jessica Lynn Kirkman, Liberal Arts; Mary Katherine Miller, health care support; Clara Kallner, health information technology; Diana Soots, paramedic science; Jocelyn Bower, radiation therapy; J. Michael Wathen, respiratory care; Tony Mosora, practical nursing; Melissa Messmer and Sarah Stewart, nursing; Andrew Michael Bradley Dwyer, criminal justice; Emily Melton, hospitality administration; James Alexander Maniakas, paralegal studies; Kenneth Hinkle, public safety; Edwin John Lewis, design technology; Vincent Edwards Summer, electronics and computer technology; Paul Hudson, heating, ventilation and air conditioning; and Justin C. Luthe, industrial technology.

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 also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and 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.