“For many, the cost of college can be a barrier to chasing their dream,” Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne & Warsaw Chancellor Dr. Kim Barnett-Johnson said before honoring the finalists of the Mark M. Suedhoff Endowed Scholarship- Chancellor’s Merit Award.

More than two dozen people applied, and on Friday, June 16, six finalists attended a luncheon to find out who would receive a full-ride scholarship to the College. Little did they know, none of them would go home empty-handed.

Mackensi Evans and Abigail Cravens were both awarded full-tuition (a total of $10,000) scholarships. The other four finalists (Anastasiya Fomina, Alix Gonzalez, Serphim Kyaing, and Natalie Lower) received half-tuition scholarships totaling $5,000. The winners were chosen based on their academic merit, extracurricular activities, and personal stories.

I'm so happy and thankful. As an exchange student, I’m not allowed to work because of my visa. My family is still in Ukraine and have no way to send money.

– Anastasiya Fomina, Finalist

Get to know the finalists:

Mackensi Evans / Winner

“I’m looking forward to my first semester of college. I chose Ivy Tech because I liked the fact that you don’t have to spend as much time in the textbooks and can get right to the hands-on experience.” Mackensi will be pursuing a career in nursing when she begins at the College this fall. She’s already had a lot of experience working with Parkview Health and the Byron Wellness Center in high school, so she’s ready to continue her hands-on learning. Right now, she’s interested in working in oncology.

Abigail Cravens | Winner

Abigail has also spent a lot of time getting to know her field in high school by working at Next Phase Graphics in Leo where she was mentored by an Ivy Tech alumna. She’s planning to study visual communications and become a graphic designer. When asked how she felt after learning about winning the full-ride she said, “It feels good knowing that I won’t have to take out loans for school. I’m excited for this opportunity and happy to be close to my family.”

Anastasiya Fomina | Finalist

“I’m so happy and so thankful. As an exchange student, I’m not allowed to work because of my visa, so it was very hard to decide which college to go to since I couldn’t save up the money.” In her application essay, Anastasiya said her family has given her a “fighting spirit to be a strong woman” which she didn’t know she’d need so soon. She wanted to attend a university in her home country of Ukraine before Russia invaded and changed her plans. Now, she’s pursuing a degree in cybersecurity at Ivy Tech because it was already affordable and close to her host family.

Alix Gonzalez | Finalist

Alix says her parents have pushed the importance of education, but she also explains it’s not always an easy thing to pursue being a DACA student. In her essay, she wrote “I picture my education as a staircase and everything that I do to move forward is another stepping stone taking me to the top.” She says Ivy Tech was a great fit for her because she is able to stay close and continue to help out her family. She plans to become an architect with goals of one day pursing her bachelor’s and master’s.

Seraphim Kyaing | Finalist

Being close to family is something Seraphim is really looking forward to. She’s spent the last several years studying at Indiana Academy in Muncie, IN. As a first-generation college student, she’ll be pursing a degree in pharmacy technology and then decided whether or not she’d like to continue her education in pharmacy or pursue nursing. “I’m excited to learn about all the opportunities the school provides this fall. Ivy Tech is the best option for me financially, and I’m so happy to be able to study somewhere close to home.”

Natalie Lower | Finalist

Natalie has chosen Ivy Tech because not only does it offer many options, but she’ll be able to remain close to two of the most important things in her life: her dad and her dog. In her essay, she writes, “Ivy Tech seems to make everyone feel comfortable in their own skin and especially in the community. It is the college for me.”

This scholarship was first awarded last year after Ivy Tech Fort Wayne & Warsaw received its largest-ever single scholarship donation from the estate of Mark Suedhoff totaling more than $2 million. It is awarded annually to two first-time Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and Warsaw students seeking their first associate degree. Students must have a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher, be a high school graduate within the same year of receiving the award and have been accepted into Ivy Tech. FAFSA eligibility is not required for consideration.

For more information, visit the scholarship’s page on our website.

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.