Ivy Tech Foundation recognizes Distinguished Alumni Award recipients

INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Foundation recently hosted its annual Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony recognizing 19 honorees.

Since 1998, The Distinguished Alumni Award has celebrated the success of Ivy Tech Community College alumni by recognizing a group of graduates who have made a lasting, positive contribution to the community, state or College since completing their education. As the highest honor alumni can receive, the Award is designated for individuals with outstanding professional, philanthropic or volunteer accomplishments.

“Ivy Tech has seen tremendous success throughout the past 56 years, this is due in great part to the successes of our alumni,” said John M. Murphy, Ivy Tech Foundation president.  “We have honored over 250 Distinguished Alumni who have made valuable contributions in their communities and have been exceptional in their professional careers.  They are excellent examples of what can happen when desire and opportunity intersect.”

The following alumni received the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2019-2020:

Wendy Bailey (Anderson Campus): Bailey teaches, encourages, and mentors students, both as an educator in the Anderson Community School system and community volunteer. Wendy is also currently collaborating on a book with other fellow mentors.

Debra Morrow (Bloomington Campus): Morrow’s journey with Ivy Tech began more than 15 years ago as a student in the criminal justice program. When she started her career she was a client of Middle Way House, a facility that supports survivors of domestic violence. She continued her education in criminal justice, graduating magna cum laude from Indiana State University and now directs the very agency that had provided her safety and shelter in a time of need.

Kathy Covert (Columbus Campus): Covert is the vice president of workforce and organizational development for Schneck Medical Center. Her many volunteer roles include serving on Ivy Tech Columbus’ Regional Campus Board of Trustees. Kathy credits her success to her Ivy Tech education and never hesitates to provide her testimony and encouragement to current and future Ivy Tech students.

Lynda Gamroth (Evansville Campus): With her degree from the Evansville campus, Gamroth turned a lifelong hobby into a lucrative grassroots business bringing joy to couples and families across the Midwest with stunning photography of their special days. Gamroth never wavered from her goals. She now instills that persistence and optimism in others.

Erick and Trenton Ehinger (Fort Wayne Campus): Trent and Erick Ehinger, along with their father, Ed, lead 3E Industries, LLC, one of the premier lawn, landscaping, and outdoor design companies in the Fort Wayne region.  Despite their many accomplishments, Trent and Erick remain dedicated to giving back to their community and Ivy Tech.

Karen Mangia (Indianapolis Campus): Mangia truly seeks to make the world a better place. This commitment is evident in all she does, from her role as vice president at Salesforce to her civic leadership with numerous local arts organizations. Mangia’s achievements are unusual for her age and a testament to her commitment to excellence and personal growth.

Ryan Wolf (Kokomo Campus): Before Wolf earned his degree from Ivy Tech Kokomo, he served in the military, completing three tours in Iraq, and worked as an independent contractor in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He remains actively committed to the students of Ivy Tech as a mentor and member of the criminal justice program advisory group.

Tracey Campbell (Lafayette Campus): Campbell’s many achievements in the field of nursing are notable. A flight nurse with St. Vincent Hospital, Tracey also serves as a guest lecturer in forensic nursing at Franciscan St. Elizabeth Hospital. Campbell launched the Center for Hope at Home Hospital in Lafayette, providing care for survivors of sexual assault.

Jose Peralta (Lake County Campus): Peralta was determined to complete his degree at Ivy Tech in Lake County despite the challenges of working a full-time job as a bus driver in Chicago and caring for his family. He now owns a successful catering company and food truck, providing employment to family members.

Alyssa Lay (Lawrenceburg Campus): Lay is the director of K-14 initiatives and recruitment for the Ivy Tech Lawrenceburg Campus and she is passionate about helping others rise to overcome new challenges. Alyssa is also a member of Circle of Ivy, a powerful and dynamic network of women philanthropists who collectively give back to local Ivy Tech campuses and students.

Stacy Crawley (Madison Campus): As a certified fitness coach, speaker, and trainer, Stacy Crawley not only excels at setting and achieving her own goals but also motivates others to do the same. She is actively engaged in numerous leadership roles within the community, including the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Giving Circle, and Madison Area Bicycle Club.

Kevin Grider (Marion Campus): Grider inspires others with his spirit of entrepreneurship. His company, Midwest Fresh, only utilizes products produced in the Midwest, primarily from local small entrepreneurs. He is also a voice for Ivy Tech. Whenever called upon, he readily shares his journey to success with Ivy Tech as the springboard that launched him.

Tracy Jackson (Michigan City): Tracy completed her degree from Ivy Tech Michigan City, then continued her education and obtained certifications within surgical services while she pursued a career as a surgical technician. Jackson currently is a sterile processing department manager.

Dr. Mia Johnson (Muncie Campus): After failing out of the first four-year college she attended, Dr. Johnson found her purpose thanks to an Ivy Tech instructor. She continued her education and rose from a clerk in the Ivy Tech testing center to vice-chancellor of academic affairs.

Patrick Ripberger (Richmond Campus): Ripberger has worked selflessly to enhance the health and wellness of his community, both in his professional role with Reid Health and volunteer service with numerous organizations.

Chris Furlow (Sellersburg Campus): Furlow is a credit to Ivy Tech and its mission. He’s a British ex-pat with a serious desire to help others lead healthier lives. Chris regularly communicates with the School of Business program chair and promotes Ivy Tech within his community.

Radharani Buenrostro Magallon (South Bend/Elkhart Campus): Magallon has proven time and again an unparalleled commitment to the students of Ivy Tech. She remains active in Phi Theta Kappa- Beta Beta Alpha, helping the chapter earn a five-star rating again this year. Most recently, she joined the South Bend/Elkhart Campus staff as the Hispanic Outreach Coordinator.

Jordan H. Brown (Terre Haute Campus): Brown has applied his Ivy Tech education in all business endeavors he and his family own and operate. Both J & N Metal Products and Hoosier Aviation were founded on the family’s love of aviation and a continued focus on improving quality jobs in the Wabash Valley.

Christine Hildebrand (Valparaiso Campus): Hildebrand is a dedicated mentor, educator, and health care professional. She serves as a surgical educator for Porter Regional Hospital in Valparaiso and on the campus’ Surgical Technology Advisory Board.


For more information, visit www.ivytech.edu/alumniawards.


About Ivy Tech Community College


Ivy Tech Community College serves communities across Indiana, providing world-class education and driving economic transformation. It is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering high-value degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities, along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.


About the Ivy Tech Foundation


The Foundation’s most important function is to provide support for Ivy Tech Community College beyond state appropriations and student fees. Its overall program of work focuses on meeting student needs. The Foundation’s work is made possible by donations from friends of Ivy Tech. The Foundation distributes these donations as designated by the donor to support students and the College’s strategic initiatives.


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