Student Stories

Robert Shields – From Ivy Tech to Stanford

robert3When Robert Shields graduated from high school in 2005, going to college was out of reach financially. The self-described “military brat” (his father is a 20-year Army veteran) was born in Fort Knox, KY, and lived for a time in Queens, NY, before moving to Indianapolis for his junior and senior years at North Central High School. To help his family make ends meet, Shields juggled jobs as a lifeguard and fast-food worker while participating in the JROTC program. Although he boasted the academic credentials to succeed in college, he was forced to delay his pursuit of further education. read more


Debra Cook – Start Small but Dream Big

Debra CookIf there’s one word to describe Debra Cook, it’s “tenacious.”

After first being hesitant about going back to school as a non-traditional student, she enrolled at Ivy Tech Community College. The initial draw was the option of earning certifications that would allow her to start her career more quickly than she could by committing to a degree. Once enrolled, however, she was encouraged to continue, and she earned an associate degree in computer information systems. At the time, she knew a high school diploma wasn’t enough to allow her to achieve her goals, and she credits Ivy Tech for making it possible for her to aim higher….read more


Carson Martin – Ivy Tech the Ideal ‘Stepping Stone’ for Valedictorian

CarsonAs a child growing up in Monterey, Calif., Carson Martin loved visiting the world-famous aquarium and had her heart set on a career in marine biology. But when she moved at age seven to Indiana with her family and saw cornfields instead of beaches, she knew she’d have to change her plans.

Martin did everything she could to position herself well, excelling as a student and graduating at the top of her class at the Academy of Science & Entrepreneurship, part of the New Tech Network in Bloomington. During that time she decided to pursue a career in dental hygiene. read more


Miranda Hay – The Greatest Job in the World

MirandaIt’s often said that when you love your work, it doesn’t seem like work at all. That’s certainly been Miranda Hay’s experience. After earning two degrees from Ivy Tech Community College, she has served as a paramedic and a flight nurse on a medical helicopter—and has discovered not just a career, but her purpose.

“It was a 13-year road to my goal, but it was worth every minute because I have the greatest job in the world, and it is my passion,” says Hay.

Hay says she chose Ivy Tech due to its affordability and reputation, along with a balance between classroom education and clinical time. read more


Joe Miller – Faculty Mentors Inspire Award-Winning Chef

Joe Miller

Joe Miller’s interest in the culinary arts began when he was 14 years old and worked for an Indianapolis catering company. He decided he wanted to become a professional chef and chose to study at Ivy Tech Community College because it offered an affordable and reputable culinary program close to home. What truly inspired him, however, were the faculty members he met along the way. read more


Daniel Blevins – Alumni Award Recipient Makes a Career out of Serving Others

Daniel BlevinsDaniel Blevins knew from a young age what he wanted to be when he grew up. Like many of his peers, he was influenced by his family, albeit in a career path that some might find unconventional.

“From a very young age, my father and grandfather, who were both in the clergy, would take me with them on hospital visits and often when they would officiate at funerals,” says Blevins. “By the time I was in seventh grade, I knew I wanted to be a funeral director.” read more


Ameron Laker – Something to Smile About

Ameron LakerDental care is an often underappreciated contributor to our overall wellness. For many of us, it becomes too easy to neglect—especially given the cost, even with insurance. But thanks to the Dental Hygiene Clinic, located on the Ivy Tech Community College campus in Anderson, area residents can get affordable, quality dental services while helping students get invaluable experience. read more


Carrie Abbott – Sweet Success

Carrie AbbottCarrie Abbott’s love of food is a gift. Literally. After a friend funded her attendance at an introductory cooking class at Ivy Tech Community College, it was love at first bite. She took night and weekend courses at the college to earn her associate of applied science in baking and pastry arts and learned from professors who nurtured her entrepreneurial spirit. read more

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