Ivy Tech Community College Terre Haute/Greencastle recognized the 2022 graduates at the 54th Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 5. Graduates from both the Terre Haute and Greencastle campuses gathered at the Hulman Center at Indiana State University to receive their associate degree, certificate, and/or technical certificate.

Collectively, 982 graduates will earn 1,325 credentials. Ivy Tech’s School of Health Sciences had 229 graduates this year, followed by the School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Science with 221 graduates.

Graduates will make an impact in our community through our industry partners in areas including machining, welding, agriculture, supply chain logistics, accounting, advanced automation, public health, nursing, and more. Some will also transfer to four-year institutions to continue their education, and many will do so while continuing to work.

“Ivy Tech offers short-term certificate programs as well as associate degree programs, so some students are graduating with a degree and a certificate or two,” said Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Dr. Deanna King. “That’s part of what makes an Ivy Tech degree achievable. We offer stackable credentials, so students can earn a certificate quickly to qualify for industry positions, and then return to Ivy Tech when they are ready to earn their degree and continue to move up in their career.”

The 2022 graduates include more than 217 high school students who have earned college credentials from 27 Indiana high schools, including Clay City, Dugger, Linton-Stockton, North Central, North Vermillion, North Knox, Northview, Parke Heritage, Riverton Parke, Shakamak, South Vermillion, Sullivan, Terre Haute North, Terre Haute South, West Vigo, and White River Valley. Most students earned the Indiana College Core, also known as the “Start as a Sophomore” program. Others earned certificates in information technology, agriculture, Certified Nursing Assistant, and many other fields. Most completed their Ivy Tech credentials at little or no cost by taking Ivy Tech dual-credit classes at their high schools.

The ceremony featured congratulatory remarks from the Student Government Association President Robert Smiley, who at the ceremony earned certificates in global studies and human resources, technical certificates in Indiana College Core and Business Administration, and associate degree in general studies. The ceremony’s keynote speaker was Elizabeth Pearison, recipient of Ivy Tech’s 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award. Beth Pearison received her associate degree in general studies and imaging services in 2018 from Ivy Tech before transferring to the University of Southern Indiana to earn her bachelor’s degree in Radiology Management. Beth now serves as the Supervisor of Imaging Services at Union Health here in Terre Haute and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Health Care Administration.

“Ivy Tech taught me how to never give up. The faculty here always pushed me to do my best and to remember why I began this journey in the first place. I continue to use these skills and to persevere in my daily life,” Pearison remarked. “I have moved mountains within my career and within myself. I continue to soar personally and professionally, and I know that if you continue to lean on the foundations you have learned from your time at Ivy Tech you will do the same.”

This year’s Commencement was a return to normal for Ivy Tech, as the 2021 ceremony was split into two ceremonies and graduates were limited in the number of guests they could invite.

“I’m so thankful that we’re able to host our traditional Commencement ceremony this year with all our graduates and as many guests as they cared to invite,” said Ivy Tech’s Chancellor Dr. Lea Anne Crooks. “This is a huge milestone for our graduates and their families. We are so proud of what they’ve accomplished so far and what they’ll continue to achieve.”

Ivy Tech graduates have varied plans for their careers and continued education.

Johni Boone is a current senior at Sullivan High School and has earned certificates in pre-nursing and certified nursing assistant, and completed the Indiana College Core. The Indiana College Core is 30-credit hours of general education courses guaranteed to transfer to any Indiana public college or university, allowing her to start as a sophomore.

“I knew it’d give me a competitive edge by having college credits on my transcript,” said Boone. “Plus, it reduces the overall cost of my bachelor’s degree because I have one year of credits already completed.”

Boone was also able to take advantage of Ivy Tech’s connections with industry partners by completing clinical experience at Miller’s Merry Manor Nursing Home, and Sullivan County Community Hospital, and shadowing EMTs in the field. She credits the hands-on experience as solidifying that nursing was the right path for her. In the fall, Boone plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree at the University of Evansville and then hopes to work as a travel nurse before returning to the Wabash Valley.

Erika Bonilla is graduating with her technical certificate in business operations, applications, and technology. Bonilla and her family moved to Terre Haute from Texas a few years ago, after immigrating to the United States from Mexico City in 1990.

“My son suggested I take accounting classes to build on the career I had in Mexico City,” Bonilla explained. “But I was hesitant there would be too many barriers in my way. No matter what concern I had, Ivy Tech had a resource or a solution,” she added. She noted taking advantage of the tutoring and writing support services in the KEY Learning Center. Bonilla’s experience and success at Ivy Tech led to her daughter enrolling as well. Bonilla plans to start her own accounting business and is considering earning her bachelor’s degree.

Kaitlynne Gilbert began her college career at Franklin College before transferring to Ivy Tech.

“When I transferred to Ivy Tech in 2020, I quickly discovered how fantastic the professors were and how focused they are on student success.” Gilbert was able to manage her classes and a job, and her instructors were understanding and supportive. Gilbert is graduating with her associate degree in elementary education and plans to take advantage of Ivy Tech’s transfer program to pursue her bachelor’s degree at Western Governors University.

These graduates and more will be featured on Ivy Tech’s social media channels throughout May. Ivy Tech registration is open for summer and fall. The first step to enrolling is to apply at ivytech.edu/applynow. This summer, Ivy Tech is offering free courses for any high school student, including career and technical courses, to explore program and career interests, or make progress toward earning the Indiana College Core. Completing the Indiana College Core at Ivy Tech will allow students to transfer to any Indiana four-year public college as a sophomore. Ivy Tech offers flexible course schedules and evening classes are also available. To learn more or schedule a campus visit, check out ivytech.edu/visitus or call 812-298-2280.

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.