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Civic engagement awards ceremony kicked off Ivy Tech's eighth annual O'Bannon Institute

April 6, 2011

Bloomington Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus kicked-off its annual signature O’Bannon Institute for Community Service three-day event by honoring faculty, staff, and student volunteers, as well as community partners during its Civic Engagement Awards ceremony held in the Student Commons on Wednesday evening.

 “Ivy Tech Bloomington’s commitment to civic engagement and service learning is evidenced by its collective contributions to the community,” John Whikehart, Chancellor of Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus said. “Ivy Tech Bloomington has recorded approximately 35,943 volunteer hours over the past year, which according to dollar figures, equals nearly $633,000 in economic contributions to our communities. And I would like to thank and congratulate all of the winners of this year’s Civic Engagement awards for making this possible.”

Award categories for the 2011 civic engagement awards include Excellence in Community Involvement, Excellence in Service Learning, Excellence in Volunteerism and the Jeanine C. Rae Humanitarian award.

The Community Involvement award honors community partners that the college works with throughout the year. The first recipient was Centerstone – for their collaboration with the Ivy Tech Social and Behavioral Sciences department on its Breakfast Learning Series, which is a monthly series of education lectures for clinician and community members who support those recovering from mental illness and addiction.

The second Community Involvement award recipient was the City of Bloomington, and Miah Michaelson was present to accept the award. The City of Bloomington won for its partnership with Ivy Tech as it worked with the college to acquire the Waldron – now called Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center. In May, Ivy Tech took ownership of the building and it now provides space for credit and noncredit coursework, six art galleries and two performance spaces.

Recipient of the Service Learning award was Andrew Lambert, adjunct faculty member in Ivy Tech’s School of Business. Lambert’s marketing and advertising classes give students the real-life opportunity to help out and work closely with local businesses and entrepreneurs.

There were three winners named in the Excellence in Faculty/Staff Volunteerism category this year. The first two are Megan Morely and Ty Briles who won for their work together with Habitat for Humanity. Morely and Briles spent countless hours assisting a fellow co-worker achieve her dream of becoming a homeowner, as well as helping other families build their homes. Sarah Alvarez, Ivy Tech Assistant Director of Marketing, was the third recipient. Alvarez won the award for her active involvement with the People and Animal Learning Services organization.

Recipient of the Student Volunteerism award is Ashley Parrott, who attended Alternative Spring Break twice. After she returned from her first trip, Parrott began a program which helps community college students in Mexico, called Hoosiers for Hidalgo, which provides scholarships at a technical college in Hidalgo, Mexico.

Chelsea Rood-Emmick, Ivy Tech Director for Civic Engagement, says that in addition to Ashley’s participation in ASB, Ashley is also the founder and president of Ivy Tech Students for Engagement. “ITSE is a volunteer organization on campus that does one or two volunteer projects per month.” Rood-Emmick said. “Ashley is tireless in tracking down projects for the group and recruiting new members.”

The Jeanine C. Rae Humanitarian Award recipient was student Arika Harris. She was awarded the humanitarian award for standing out in one of her classes as an “exceptional thinker and writer.” Additionally, she won the award for her kindness and willingness to help other students. Harris is a builder of community in the classroom.

More information about the annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service can be found online at

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 community 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.


On Thursday, April 7, over 75 Ivy Tech students, faculty, and staff will volunteer for a “Day of Service” in Bloomington. Volunteer locations include Bloomington Animal Shelter, Circles Initiative, Habitat Restore, Head Start, Early Head Start, City Of Bloomington Wapahani Bike Trail, Sterling House, and My Sister’s Closet.