The Herald-Times

Ivy Tech’s Swafford wins award for teaching

By April Toler 331-4353 |
June 25, 2012

Larry Swafford, dean of the School of Health Sciences at Ivy Tech Community College, was awarded this year’s annual Glenn W. Sample Award for Excellence in Instruction.

Swafford received the award, which is the highest honor for a faculty member granted by Ivy Tech, during the college’s annual President’s Awards event.

“Through his ability to create innovative collaborations with industry partners, Dr. Swafford has afforded his students unique educational opportunities by providing access to state-of-the-art equipment and expert industry training at both Indiana University Health Proton Therapy Center and at the ProCure Training and Development Center in Bloomington,” John Whikehart, chancellor of Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus, said in a prepared statement.

Swafford began teaching at Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus in 2006 as the professor and program chairman of the Radiation Therapy Degree Program, the only two-year radiation therapy program in the state.

Swafford developed not only the state’s only Associate of Science degree in radiation therapy, but also the nation’s first and only Proton Therapy Specialist Certificate.

During his time at Ivy Tech, Swafford has graduated 36 registered radiation therapists and 53 proton-certified students.

In January, Swafford’s Proton Therapy Specialist Certificate program was also nominated as one of 10 national semi-finalists for the Community College Futures Assembly Bellwether Award for Innovation in Workforce Development.

Following Thursday’s ceremony, Swafford said he was shocked to receive the honor but excited for the field of radiation therapy to be recognized.

“It’s nice to be recognized for this accomplishment, even more so that my profession is a little known profession, radiation therapy, and we treat cancer patients and we do wonderful things,” Swafford said. “It’s nice to have the recognition, but it’s also nice to let people know about my profession and how respected it is.”

Having served as a staff radiation therapist for many years, Swafford said he tries to use his own real world experiences to help teach his students.

Being a part of Ivy Tech’s radiation therapy program, he said, allows him the best of both worlds.

“It’s not very often people get to practice their two favorite professions,” he said. “I love radiation therapy and I love teaching and I get to teach radiation therapy.”

Although Swafford said he is proud of the program he has developed and the accomplishments it has seen so far, he is most proud of his students’ accomplishments.

“I’m most proud of the students that I graduate,” he said. “They are why I do this. When they graduate and get a good job and I see them have families, buy a house and start their lives, that’s what makes it very fulfilling.”

Copyright: 2012

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.