The feeling right after graduation is like closing a book—a sense of accomplishment. However, it’s really just one chapter in a story that’s just beginning. Zoey Carver’s story began when she moved from Bluffton to Fort Wayne, seeking new experiences at Ivy Tech.

“I think looking at the community and seeing how the classes were more tailored to the students and having smaller class sizes and just the different opportunities in Fort Wayne were really enticing.”

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne has opened many doors for the 2024 psychology grad through the help of mentors and student organizations. Her experiences led her to find a desire to help people, something that will carry into her future career—though it might not be in the way you expect.

Putting in the research

“When you say psychology, everyone thinks you're going to be a therapist. But there's so much more to the field than just one career.”

Antisocial personality disorder and dementia are two areas of psychology that struck something within Zoey during high school. She’s become fascinated with neurodivergent disorders and wants to get involved helping find potential breakthroughs in treatments.

“I want to go into research, and I figured that biology and psychology were pretty good starting points. So biopsychological research is kind of what I want to go in.”

Working with patients has never sounded appealing to Zoey, but she’s very interested in statistics and data. Through Ivy Tech classes like BIO 105 and abnormal psychology, she’s been challenged, but she’s also learned more about different disorders, furthering her interest.

To get through the STEM classes and help her personal and professional progress, she’s followed three pieces of advice:

  1. “Try to get ahead on the assignments because once you get behind it's really hard to get caught up again. The second you can start on an assignment, just get it done.”
  2. “Sign up for tutoring. Even if you don't think you need it, just do it because they'll do the homework with you. They'll make sure you get it.”
  3. “Get involved on campus because then you get to know the teachers, and then when you need an extension, they're like, I got you.”

I think looking at the community and seeing how the classes were more tailored to the students and having smaller class sizes and just the different opportunities in Fort Wayne were really enticing.

– Zoey Carver | 2024 Psychology Grad

Getting involved

A big impact on Zoey at Ivy Tech has been her experiences in student organizations. Not only has she been a part of Student Leadership Academy, but she’s been a member of GOAL y Amigos, Phi Theta Kappa, and has helped organize Days of Service.

“GOAL y Amigos was very impactful. It got me speaking in front of people. Actually, one of our first field trips was directing high schoolers, so that definitely got me out of my shell. Then Phi Theta Kappa I joined right when they were restarting it.”

Zoey was secretary for Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s recently revived PTK chapter where she’d record meeting minutes and help send out emails. She also got experience helping organize an induction ceremony and traveling to Indianapolis for the regional conference.

“Having the leadership opportunities in there to try and bring PTK back to life was really fun.”

Speaking of leadership, Zoey was chosen to represent the college on an all-expenses paid trip to Washington DC. for the National Conference of Women Leaders. Women from across the country shared their leadership experiences and talked about how positive changes can be made on campuses. This inspired Zoey to focus more on volunteer opportunities like planning Days of Service.

Mentors like Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging Dr. JoAnne Alvarez and Vice Chancellor of Marketing Jessica Neuenschwander have encouraged Zoey through her journey offering advice and guidance. This is another aspect of getting involved that she’s been thankful for during her time on campus.

Finishing the chapter

With one chapter closed, this summer, Zoey will be working and enjoying hobbies like reading, drawing, and learning new languages. This fall, Zoey plans to continue her education at Purdue University Fort Wayne to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology and minor in biology.

“I'm really excited. I'm a little nervous because I don't really know what I want to do afterwards, but mostly excited. I'm really proud that I got there.”

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.