April 23, 2014 

Civic Engagement Awards Ceremony at Ivy Tech honors volunteers, celebrates economic contributions


BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus is hosting its 11th annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service on April 23-25. An awards ceremony to honor faculty, staff, students, and community partners for excellence in civic engagement will kick off the annual three-day event. The awards ceremony will be held in the Hoosier Times Student Commons on Wednesday, April 23 at 4 p.m., in the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building on Ivy Tech’s main campus.


“One of Ivy Tech’s goals, as a comprehensive community college, is to model a service-oriented learning environment,” said Chelsea-Rood Emmick, Executive Director of Civic Engagement at Ivy Tech-Bloomington. “In the past year, the college has contributed a total value of $2.5 million in the communities we serve. That’s a $1 million increase over last year’s contributions. Ivy Tech-Bloomington couldn’t do it without the generosity of all of our students, staff, faculty, and community partners, so we’re celebrating that tonight.”


*Figure based on national value of volunteer time from


In the 2013/14 academic year (to-date), 2,532 students in 99 service learning classes contributed nearly 43,500 hours in Ivy Tech-Bloomington’s service area of Greene, Martin, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Morgan, and Owen counties, and unofficially serving Orange and Brown counties. That’s a total contribution of approximately $980,000 from Ivy Tech-Bloomington classes that have service learning components written into the curriculum.
“We came out ahead of last academic year in terms of courses offered, service learning hours, and economic contribution totals, in spite of the fact that that we had fewer students participating in service learning sections due to some course restructuring,” said Rood-Emmick. “Projects have become more significant, directly contributing to the increase in hours served and total economic value.”


In volunteer hours alone, Ivy Tech students, staff, and faculty together reported nearly 60,500 hours at 80 agencies or organizations in our communities. That’s nearly 40,000 more hours over last year’s reported contribution of 21,000 hours.


Award categories for the 2014 O’Bannon Institute for Community Service Civic Engagement Awards Ceremony include the Community Partner Award, the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center Community Partner Award, the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship Community Partner Award, Excellence in Service Learning, Excellence in Volunteerism, Jeanine C. Rae Humanitarian Award, and the John R. Whikehart Civic Engagement Award that was recently established in 2013. Recipients receive a $500 stipend for their contributions to community.


The Community Partner Award honors an organization that Ivy Tech-Bloomington works with throughout the year. This year’s recipient is Positive Link. Positive Link serves 20 counties throughout south central Indiana and offers both prevention and testing services as well as client services to people living with HIV or AIDS. Positive Link has provided outreach, education, and testing services at Ivy Tech-Bloomington. They have also been involved with two different service learning classes.


Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center Community Partner Award goes to the Artful Learning Program at Fairview Elementary School. Working in partnership, two Ivy Tech artists/teachers work directly with preschool teacher Lynn Hall in a year-long arts-infused learning environment, developing school readiness skills for low income preschool children. In the first five months of the program, students in the arts-infused program saw their vocabulary scores (as measured by Individual Growth and Development for Infants and Toddlers) raise 117 percent compared to a control group, which showed a 39 percent growth rate. This initiative is funded in part by the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County. This arts-infused program was also a finalist for the prestigious 2014 Bellwether Award presented by the Community College Futures Assembly at the University of Florida.


Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship Community Partner Award recipient is the Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship. Ivy Tech-Bloomington and the Cook Center for Entrepreneurship partner with the Academy to provide assistance to students looking to pursue entrepreneurship through dual credit classes, assistance with Business Professionals of America program, support for the Academy’s business plan competitions, Startup Weekend, the Cook Institute for Entrepreneurship and other programs. This relationship demonstrates our common commitment to building opportunities for our students to become business owners and contributing to our community’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.


Excellence in Student Volunteerism Award goes to Audrey Post. Post is a student ambassador and graduate of the Ivy Tech Student Leadership Academy. She volunteered with People and Animal Learning Services (PALS) for four years as a stable manager and horse leader, and accumulated more than 500 volunteer hours with PALS alone. She has also served at IU Health, 4-H, and Camp Good News. She is on the Dean’s List and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.


Excellence in Faculty/Staff Volunteerism Award goes to Pennie Rogers. Rogers, a nursing instructor, volunteers an average of two hours per week at Shalom Community Center at the hospitality desk. She is often asked to perform nursing tasks, such as wound care, vital signs, and blood glucose levels. She also teaches parenting skills. Rogers and Ivy Tech nursing students have donated toiletries, clothing, supplies, and other items totaling more than $1,400.


Excellence in Service Learning Award recipients are Steve Arnold, Ph.D., Jeanine Galbreath, Amy Poehlman, Sarah Cote, and Sean Miller for their program, Super Science Saturday. This was a cross-discipline program designed by full-time and adjunct faculty across the chemistry, biology, and biotechnology departments. At the Super Science event, 66 Ivy Tech students hosted 24 booths and hands-on activities for 214 children, ages one to 17. In reflections on the project, one student wrote: “While I was participating in the science fair, I realized that I enjoy sharing my love of science with children. This led me to my new major, which is education. I hope to teach science at the elementary level where I can get kids excited about science.”


The Jeanine C. Rae Humanitarian Award recipient is Joshua Wilson. This award was established to recognize a student whose way of life demonstrates concern for the well-being of others. Rae was in instructor at Ivy Tech, a chaplain, counselor, and women’s rights advocate. Wilson received this award because he volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and has been matched with his “little brother” Jacob for three years. He has done interviews with radio and newspapers promoting Big Brothers Big Sisters and has filmed a promotional video for the organization to use for recruitment of other “bigs.” He is also involved with Bowl for Kid’s Sake, Big Brothers Big Sisters largest fundraiser. He gave their keynote speech and raised $650 to match more mentors with children.


The final award, the John R. Whikehart Award, was established in 2013 to celebrate a person with longstanding commitment of service to both the college and community. This person must exhibit a call to serve the college and community by using every talent they have available. The recipient is Keith Klein. Klein has been with the college for 11 years, and currently holds the position of Chair for the department of Communications. In the community, his work is far too extensive to detail, but has included President and Board of Directors member of the Bloomington Rotary Club, Chair of the City of Bloomington Telecommunications Council, Board of Directors for Monroe County United Way, President and Board of Directors for Leadership Bloomington Alumni, and Board of Directors Porter County Youth Services Bureau. He hosts a weekly radio program on local WGCL. Klein is currently serving as President of the Monroe County Community School Corporation Board. He will retire from Ivy Tech-Bloomington on December 20, 2014, and both the college and students are grateful for his service. He will be missed.


More information about the annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service can be found online at

Information about Ivy Tech-Bloomington’s Center for Civic Engagement can be found online at

2014 event sponsors include: American Structurepoint, Bloomington Economic Development Corporation, Bloomington Ford, Inc., CFC Properties, City of Bloomington, Cook Medical, The Herald-Times, Inc., The Hogan Group, Inc., IU Credit Union, Markey’s Rental and Staging, Schmidt Associates, Jefferson Shreve, Smithville, and Linda and John Whikehart.

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.