EMPLOYEEBecome known as a great place to work.
HOW WE GET THERE
STRATEGY 5.1 Increase retention of high-performing, talented employees.
STRATEGY 5.2 Foster creativity and increase innovation in faculty and staff.
STRATEGY 5.3 Recruit high-performing, talented employees.
STRATEGY 5.4 Build a world-class adjunct faculty model.
Engage the Faculty Council to establish a more meaningful evaluation process and develop tactics to increase retention of high-performing, talented faculty. Create electronic performance evaluation process for all employee classifications.
Designate space on each campus where individuals and teams can gather to share and foster creative ideas. Champion and facilitate innovation across the College through an “Innovationeers” program.
Recruit a diverse and talented Ivy Tech workforce by fostering a culture of inclusion and flexibility. Create more progressive work-life policies. Develop assessments for hiring.
Propose and create an adjunct faculty rank and promotion process. Develop a recognition program to reward instructional impact and years of service.
Twelve years ago, George Twaddle joined the Ivy Tech Community College team as a life science faculty member. Since that time, his work has impacted hundreds of students. He has collaborated with dozens of faculty members. He has graded countless assignments.
“Through creative approaches to education at Ivy Tech, we are not only raising the educational level of the citizens of Indiana but engaging in the broader communities that we serve. As Indiana’s community college, we are providing educational opportunities while also helping to solve problems impacting us all and thus striving to make a better world. You can witness the ways that our faculty, and our students, are making a difference,” Twaddle added.
As the Assistant Professor and Department Chair for Biotechnology at the Ivy Tech South Bend/Elkhart campus, George has been at the forefront of creating valuable educational experiences for community college biotechnology and biology students in South Bend. In particular, he has actively engaged in importing undergraduate research opportunities into the classroom. His intent is for his students to realize what it is like to make authentic contributions to science in the process of their education and thus reinforce their disciplinary identity. In addition, Ivy Tech students have partnered with preeminent programs offered by regional 4-year partners, such as The University of Notre Dame as well as the National Science Foundation, Council on Undergraduate Research, the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative and even the Massachusetts Institute of Technology amongst others to provide students professional opportunities to communicate the results of their work.
“I believe very strongly that you should mentor every student in your class – whether they are part of your major or not and provide them with opportunities to achieve their career goals. Every student has so much to gain and we have so much we can give,” shared George. “I work to engage every student and encourage them to become immersed in who they are now becoming as they pursue their education and dreams, whether it is in life science or any other field. This begins with a suggestion to become a student member of a professional society of their choosing and to aspire to the pursuit of their own excellence.”
For the students, the opportunity to work in lab settings and be able to take a practitioner’s approach to their education has been rewarding. Through so-called “course-undergraduate research experiences” (CUREs), George’s life science students are given the opportunity to practice real science while gaining remarkable experiences. While studying at Ivy Tech, many have had the opportunity to present their work at national undergraduate research conferences and some have even been awarded summer research fellowships at the University of Notre Dame. As a result of their efforts, students have even won national awards, for example as Finalists in the the NSF Community College Innovation Challenge or received even international recognition for their biotechnology efforts at the annual MIT International Genetically-Engineered Machine Team Competition in Boston. Of special note, two recent graduates have gone on to win NSF I-CORP funding to develop a lean start-up based on new biotechnology that they invented in the context of their course work at Ivy Tech. These students have formed their own company, “K&L Biotech,” and now occupy their own laboratory in the “Innovation Park” business incubator in South Bend. This is a particular joy for George knowing that the graduates of his program are contributing not only to the workforce but to the economy.
“One of the strengths of Ivy Tech,” from George’s perspective, “is that faculty have the support and resources to innovate in a curriculum. We are establishing an educational environment where all students have the potential to not just finish — but excel here –and be propelled to move forward in pursuit of their career. And of course that means that we are establishing an environment where faculty can excel as well. These are very exciting times,” George said.
With leadership and commitment from faculty like Twaddle, Ivy Tech is advancing in its commitment to students, talent of faculty, and impact on the world.