Ivy Tech students and administrators will participate in Washington DC gathering to discuss interfaith community service

LAFAYETTE – (September 17, 2014) Representatives from Ivy Tech Community College Lafayette have been invited to participate in the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge Gathering in Washington DC on September 22 and 23. The event will be held at George Washington University. The event offers an opportunity students, staff, and administrators from higher education institutions to share experiences, learn from experts, and meet administration officials who share a commitment to community service with an interfaith engagement component.

The invitation comes on the heels of being named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Ivy Tech Lafayette was recognized for its role in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement.

Conference participants from Ivy Tech Lafayette are: Chancellor Dr. David Bathe; Executive Director of Diversity, Engagement, and International Programs Andrew Antonio; Director of Student Life and Leadership Kat Stremiecki; and Ivy Tech students John Bullock and Jake Retherford.

Dr. Bathe will join college presidents and chancellors from participating institutions in a White House Forum on September 22. The forum will include presentations from foundations and other organizations that support interfaith/community service on college campuses. College leaders will have the opportunity to engage funders and program supporters.

“It is a privilege to be invited to the White House Forum as a representative for the region,” Dr. Bathe said. “However, it is the work of the students, college staff and Greater Lafayette community that is being recognized. It is significant that the administration recognizes the tie between faith and the desire and responsibility to serve that is deeply rooted in American history and culture.”

Antonio, Stremiecki and Bullock will present Intersection Connection Helps Define the “C” in YMCA during the conference. Their presentation will highlight Intersection Connection, a collaboration among the College, the Lafayette Family YMCA and Junior Achievement. They will illustrate how a state college, a Christian organization, and a non-profit can create space and programming to enliven and enrich lives in the community.

“As a community college, it’s important for us to not only have quality academic programs, but also for students and college staff to volunteer in faith-based initiatives,” Antonio said. “Giving our students avenues of success in the classroom and the community, and providing ways that our staff and faculty can give back to the community, is a goal that we all can share.”

The group will arrive in Washington DC on Sunday, September 21, to participate in the 9/11 Unity Walk. The walk is a display of unity among all houses of worship on Embassy Row that open their doors to each other in a striking display of hospitality. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, other faiths, and those of no faith tradition, come together to learn about each other, enjoy great food, and create friendships. The walk includes moving speeches, thought provoking dialogue, and service projects.

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities.  In addition, its courses and programs transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.

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