Yesenia Martinez of Logansport honored with Ivy Tech state alumni award
KOKOMO, Ind. — Ivy Tech Community College has honored 2010 graduate Yesenia Martinez of Logansport with its statewide Distinguished Alumni Award for 2017.
Martinez received the award Aug. 2 at a banquet honoring Ivy Tech’s 14 regional Alumni Achievement Award winners for 2017 held in conjunction with the Ivy Tech State Board of Trustees meetings in Kokomo this week. She had been recognized as the winner of the Kokomo Region award during commencement ceremonies in Kokomo in May.
Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann announced the honor. “This honoree has achieved both personal and professional achievement,” she said, “and continues to live each day observing the Ivy Tech founding principles – a commitment to excellence, integrity, diversity, and innovation.”
“Yesenia is the ‘poster child’ for all Ivy Tech stands for as an institution of higher education,” said Ivy Tech criminal justice professor Michael Holsapple, her faculty mentor at Ivy Tech. Martinez, who earned her Associate of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Ivy Tech in 2010, was honored as a person who has demonstrated excellence in accomplishment and character as a woman, a Hispanic woman whose native language is Spanish, a first-generation college graduate, and a wife and working mother of small children.
In recognizing Martinez, College officials said her dedication to helping others and service to the disadvantaged (including Ivy Tech students and former students) and their families, principally in Cass, Miami and Howard counties, has fulfilled for her a purpose-driven professional career. Additionally, Martinez is currently active in mentoring people in disadvantaged immigrant populations in north-central Indiana and directing them to helpful resources.
Martinez’ accomplishments were never “a given.” She was a high school dropout from Chicago with one child and another on the way and working at a food-processing plant in Logansport when she decided she wanted more out of life. First, she earned her GED and took an office job; then, after the birth of her third child in 2007, enrolled at Ivy Tech.
At graduation from Ivy Tech in 2010, Martinez was recognized as the Criminal Justice Program Outstanding Student and nominated for Chancellor’s Award. Since then, she has completed a Bachelor of Science degree in 2013 and a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a Technical Certificate in Forensic Psychology in 2014, all from Trine University.
Martinez currently serves as a case manager with Counseling Partners LLC of Lafayette, a contracted provider of services for children and families through the Indiana Department of Child Services. The organization partners with the juvenile justice system, CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates), the Department of Child Services, and other groups to improve outcomes for children and families in the communities where it operates. Her responsibilities include supervising visitation for children in the court system and counseling families in their homes or in Counseling Partners’ child-oriented facilities. Currently, she is working with families in Kokomo, Peru and Monticello.
And Martinez isn’t done. She is thinking about pursuing an additional graduate degree with the intention of working in Indiana’s public education K-12 system as a counselor. In nominating Yesinia for the Distinguished Alumni Award, Holsapple said, “I know no more deserving recipient of this recognition, nor one who will more capably continue to invest in her community at large as a dedicated servant-leader.”
She and her husband, Luis Hernandez, have four children – Daniel Martinez, 15; Brianna Martinez, 12; Mia Hernandez, 11; and Alejandro Hernandez, 3.
In congratulating Yesenia and the other regional award winners, Kara Monroe, Ivy Tech vice president of Academic Innovation and Support, said, “You are examples of what can happen when desire and opportunity collide. We have full confidence that each of you will continue to do marvelous things and help us put ‘community’ back in community college.”
Since 1998, the Outstanding Alumni Award (previously Alumni Achievement Award) has recognized graduates with outstanding professional or personal achievements since completing their education at Ivy Tech. The Award is designated for individuals who have made a positive contribution to the community or Ivy Tech through leadership and/or volunteering.
“The Ivy Tech Outstanding Alumni Award is the highest honor given to recognize alumni from each region for their exceptional achievements,” said Sue Ellspermann, president of Ivy Tech. “We are proud of our hundreds of thousands of alumni that are contributing to their community, Indiana and beyond. We are successful because of all of these incredible graduates and their achievements.”
The following alumni received the Outstanding Alumni Award for 2017:
- Nate Kloosterman, PT, DPT, OCS (Northwest region): Kloosterman is a physical therapist and founder/director of PhysioPoint Therapy and Wellness in Crown Point, Ind. In addition, he is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, Indiana Physical Therapy Association and the Crossroads Chamber of Commerce. After Ivy Tech, Kloosterman continued his formal education and leveraged his degree to become a successful entrepreneur.
- John Warren (North Central region): Warren is the CEO of the Pokagon Gaming Authority and the Tribal Chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi. Warren works to improve the quality of life for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. In 1994, alongside Notre Dame’s Law School, he created the first draft application that led to the reaffirmation of the Pokagon Band’s sovereignty.
- Matthew Kruger (Northeast region): Kruger is a technical support specialist for the Panoramic Corporation. He built his first computer at the age of 13 and today is a creative, entrepreneurial person with a passion for electronics, robotics and additive manufacturing (3D printing).
- Jamie Metzinger (Lafayette region): Metzinger is a graduate teaching assistant at Purdue University. She has worked on behalf of and had leadership roles in a wide variety of organizations within her community such as Indiana Voices of Women, Wabash River Enhancement Corporation, Big Brothers Big Sister and Habitat for Humanity.
- Yesenia Martinez (Kokomo region): Martinez is a case manager for the Counseling Partners LLC of Lafayette. This first-generation college graduate dedicates her time to helping others and serving disadvantaged students, some of which being graduates or current students of Ivy Tech. She also helps to mentor and direct individuals in disadvantaged immigrant populations to helpful resources.
- Caleb Churchill (East Central region): Churchill is the executive chef of the Horizon Convention Center. He has over 15 years of professional and paraprofessional cooking and kitchen management experience and three years of teaching experience. He works to be an individual with high ethics and an enthusiastic work ethic.
- Billie Elizabeth Hodges (Wabash Valley region): Hodges is an IT business consultant III for Duke Energy. This honors graduate was a model for student leadership that helped struggling students understand important concepts and techniques. Today, she has worked her way through the ranks as a respected technical consultant.
- David “Sarge” Anderson (Central Indiana region): Anderson is a grill cook for Indiana’s famous St. Elmo Steak House. Anderson also served as a sergeant for the United States Marine Corps. In addition to his over 35 years of food service industry experience, Anderson is a food service worker at the Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis, where he positively impacts his fellow veterans.
- Shannon Shuman (Richmond region): Shuman is a certified family nurse practitioner (FNP-C) at Reid Health.She built her career on her practical nursing and associate’s degrees in nursing at Ivy Tech. After entering in a Master of Science nursing program, she became an adjunct faculty member at Ivy Tech. Completing her FNP-C has been her lifelong dream.
- Brian Heaton (Columbus region): Heaton is the senior director of field service east division for Omnicell. He has also been a reserve sheriff deputy since 2001 and a board member of the Bartholomew County 4-H Fair for six years. Heaton has supported a number of his community’s non-profits both financially and through volunteering. With over 30 years of medical industry experience, Heaton makes patient safety his utmost concern.
- Captain Michael D. Turner, USN, Ret. (Southeast region): Turner is a middle school and secondary publication teacher for Madison Consolidated Schools. He has made a significant impact on improving STEM related courses which made this public school corporation certified with Project Lead the Way. Turner was also one of 88 Selected Reserve U.S. Navy Emergency Preparedness Liaison officers.
- Bo Drake (Southwest region): Drake is a workforce alignment executive at Ivy Tech Community College. He helped to launch the Skill UP II Indiana program created by the Southwestern Indiana Workforce Coalition. This effort brought major manufacturing partners together to collaborate and help solve workforce needs and get participants trained and hired. Drake’s efforts has taken their workforce program to the top of the state.
- Jennifer (Jen) Broida (Southern Indiana region): Broida is a physical therapist for SelectMed. She is praised for her commitment, dedication and professionalism and makes a lasting impact on her patients. Broida continues to give back to Ivy Tech with her time, treasure and talent and has welcomed in students for observations.
- Anna Weigand (Bloomington Region): Weigand is a clinical director for labor and delivery for the IU Health Bloomington Hospital. She is also a member and instructor for the Association for Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses. Weigand was also a member and board president of United Way of Monroe County while she was a student where she spearheaded the board’s involvement in community outreach projects.
SOURCE: News release from Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region