(INDIANAPOLIS) — Internship excellence, and the interns, employers and career development professionals that make it possible, were honored today by Indiana INTERNnet during the 12th annual IMPACT Awards Luncheon. Indiana INTERNnet is the statewide resource for internship opportunities managed by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, and has helped connect students and employers across the state since 2001.
Appropriately supporting the luncheon’s theme of “Wild about Workforce Development,” Chris Heeter, founder of The Wild Institute, delivered the keynote address, “Guiding the Team to Success.” She combines business expertise with stories from her sled dog team and experience as a whitewater trip guide.
“Experiential learning is a key piece of Indiana’s workforce development plans, and the nominees we celebrated this year are a promising indication of Indiana’s future,” offers Indiana INTERNnet Executive Director Janet Boston. “Internships are making a difference in our young professionals’ skill levels, and often, these opportunities are leading to full-time jobs either with the intern’s employer or another Hoosier company. Everyone benefits from meaningful internships.”
- College Intern of the Year: Jerica Mitchell (Indiana Minority Health Coalition, Inc.; Indiana State University)
- High School Intern of the Year: Camisa Vines (South Bend Code School; John Adams High School)
- Non-Traditional Intern of the Year: Miranda Goodwin (Wabash Valley Community Foundation)
- Career Development Professional of the Year: Nathan Milner (Indiana Wesleyan University)
- Employer of the Year (For-profit): Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance (Indianapolis)
- Employer of the Year (Non-profit): Bowman Creek Educational Ecosystem (South Bend)
In addition, the second annual School Counseling-Business Partnership of the Year award was presented to Perry Central Jr./Sr. High School and Jasper Engines and Transmissions. The recognition, developed by the Indiana Chamber Foundation to highlight innovative approaches to college and career readiness, comes during National School Counseling Week. The Indiana Chamber Foundation and the Department of Workforce Development jointly presented the award.
The luncheon was sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College and held at the Ivy Tech Community College Culinary and Conference Center in Indianapolis. Gerry Dick of Inside INdiana Business was the event emcee.
For more information about the Indiana INTERNnet program, visit www.IndianaINTERN.net or call the hotline at 317-264-6852.
College/University Intern of the Year
Jerica Mitchell, Indiana State University
Jerica Mitchell’s hard work has paid off by more than tripling the length of her internship at the Indiana Minority Health Coalition, Inc. (IMHC). The internship was originally scheduled to run for two months; however, the organization adjusted the budget to extend her time there.
Mitchell’s career aspirations of being an executive director of a non-profit organization or a hospital administrator perfectly align with her work at IMHC. Her first large project involved the coordination of 15 volunteers at the organization’s vendor booth at the Indiana Black Expo. To increase visitor engagement, she assisted with creating a prize spin wheel for attendees to answer questions about diabetes.
“IMHC is from a myriad of backgrounds and Jerica quickly learned to respect and value all of the cultures by seeing the underlying connections which make staff members a team,” says Lesia Bostick, the organization’s state project coordinator. “The other interns within our agency can often be seen asking her for advice. As a knowledge-seeking and motivated fast learner, I have seen her grow tremendously by helping others within several departments in our agency.”
High School Intern of the Year
Camisa Vines, John Adams High School (South Bend)
Summer break means a recess from school and homework for most students. That’s not the case, however, for Camisa Vines. After completing a youth coding and computer programming program at South Bend Code School in 2015, Vines obtained an internship with a local technology company. Two years later, she returned to the coding school as an instructor.
“Camisa worked with children (ages seven to 18) in our program and put in many hours to help the core team define, build and execute a high-caliber coding program that served all ranges of students from many different backgrounds and walks of life,” says Alex Sejdinaj, co-founder of the South Bend Code School.
In 2017, the school coordinated a summer camp with a record-breaking number of over 100 student applicants. Vines served as a lead instructor and assisted with the program. She made sure each student felt comfortable and confident with the material they were learning.
Non-traditional Intern of the Year
Miranda Goodwin, Wabash Valley Community Foundation
The Wabash Valley Community Foundation was a little skeptical when a professor at Indiana State University recommended a student majoring in math for a marketing and communications internship. Miranda Goodwin, however, removed any doubt the organization may have had.
The majority of Goodwin’s internship was dedicated to working on the organization’s legacy albums, which contain stories of those who have created endowment funds. Through reading provided material, researching other sources and interviewing donors or their relatives, Goodwin skillfully composed each narrative with emotion and purpose. These stories are often shared with the corresponding grant or scholarship recipients.
“I believe Miranda understood that an internship should be a continuation of the learning process and treated the internship exactly like that,” explains Beth Tevlin, executive director of the Wabash Valley Community Foundation. “She assisted with grant award distributions and attended grant award ceremonies to learn more about local nonprofits and how the grants awarded from the Community Foundation would impact that organization.”
Career Development Professional of the Year
Nathan Milner, Indiana Wesleyan University
Nathan Milner has shown great strides in his first year as internship coordinator at Indiana Wesleyan University. Before his transition to career development, Milner was the university’s resident director for 10 years.
“Nathan integrates his extensive residence life experience in the field of career development and shines in the area of student advocacy and development,” says Tiffany Snyder, director of career development at Indiana Wesleyan University. “He enhances internship programs, contributes to improved and even innovative communication with students and employers and reflects a strong level of commitment to professional development.”
One of Milner’s early accomplishments was facilitating a program funded by Lilly Endowment that provides wages for up to 20 students interning at start-up companies each semester. He made valuable improvements to the program, including a wage increase for student participants. Each semester, Milner coordinates an internship banquet for the students and start-up companies. The programming includes awards for Outstanding Interns and Outstanding Employers, testimonials and a video presentation of the interns.
Employer of the Year (For-profit)
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance
In 2017, Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance (IFBI) revamped its internship program and doubled the number of interns for the summer. The program began 13 years ago and continues to serve as a recruiting pipeline for hiring future talent.
“Interns spend 32 hours each week working in various operations to gain hands-on, real-world experience working alongside industry professionals. They are integrated into the IFBI culture and have access to our corporate benefits, which include a 24-hour fitness center and full-service cafeteria,” offers Tiffany Hackett, the company’s talent acquisition administrator. “Job shadowing is also highly encouraged for the interns, which allows them to gain insight into the insurance industry and acquire knowledge of other areas of the company.”
A newly-developed feedback initiative, SWAG, was integrated last year to improve communication between interns and their supervisors. It stands for strengths/skills, weaknesses/improvements, accomplishments and goals. This also helps IFBI implement changes and improvements in programming for future interns.
Employer of the Year (Non-profit)
Bowman Creek Educational Ecosystem
Bowman Creek Educational Ecosystem (BCe2) tackles socio-economic and environmental issues in South Bend by partnering with community organizations, city government and educational institutions. Interns ranging from all walks of life and regions – high school, college and non-traditional – form the bulk of the team. Last summer, the program had the largest group of participants with 30 interns and 22 project mentors.
Interns work in teams to design a solution for a real-life issue in the community. They conduct research and interviews, develop strategies and present their findings to relevant stakeholder groups. Since these are substantive issues, the community partners and stakeholders are vital to the continued success of the projects.
“Bowman Creek Educational Ecosystem is a sandbox for emerging talent to work with seasoned mentors solving real-world community challenges, with results and discoveries that could help hundreds of similar American industrial cities,” says South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. “I applaud their efforts to help build a thriving city for all.”
Indiana Chamber Foundation School Counseling-Business Partnership of the Year
Perry Central Jr./Sr. High School and Jasper Engines and Transmissions
The partnership between Perry Central and Jasper Engines goes beyond the company offering internships to students (though it has hosted at least 13 interns over the last seven years). A student-led manufacturing facility, Commodore Manufacturing, through which students learn how to operate their own manufacturing facility, has led to the facility becoming a vendor for Jasper Engines and another local company. Jasper Engine’s brake pads were the first product line produced through Commodore Manufacturing, allowing students to implement their own work processes, quality checks and invoices.
Five years ago, Perry Central created an Advanced Manufacturing pathway, HIRE Technology program. The company sends associates every other week, on average, to work with students, who can earn up to 12 hours of dual credit through the program. By leading the charge on offering field trips and the opportunity for students to participate in activities on the shop floor of the company, other companies are joining in and allowing students to get a close-up look at multiple industries.
The company has also assisted the school with staff development and provides a financial incentive to students who have earned the Governor’s Work Ethic Certificate.
The Indiana Chamber Foundation presented a $1,000 scholarship to Steven Parr, a senior at Perry Central Jr./Sr. High School currently working as an intern at Jasper Engines. Parr was selected by the school’s counseling department to receive the scholarship. He will have completed the HIRE Technology I and II after this school year, earning 12 dual credits from Ivy Tech Community College and was on the leadership team that helped startCommodore Manufacturing.
Indiana INTERNnet IMPACT Awards’ Nominees:
- Hunter Allen, Sugar Creek Bottling Company (Indianapolis)
- Sam Alptekin, Bowman Creek Educational Ecosystem (Darien, CT)
- Brianna Anderson, Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (Rolling Prairie)
- Michael Barney, Trek10 (South Bend)
- Daniel Barzycki, Will Webb Associates, Inc. (Hebron)
- Conner Battinau, Koombobber Construction, LLC (Greenwood)
- Shoshannah Bontrager, Poly-Wood, LLC (Middlebury)
- Kayleigh Bordner, UPS Airlines (Louisville, KY)
- Samantha Brady, Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority (La Porte)
- Kendall Brown, Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad (Hammond)
- Robert Bryant, Amazon LLC (Greenfield)
- Kristen Buth, Superior Kitchen and Bath (Terre Haute)
- Kaitlin Carroll, Bowman Creek Educational Ecosystem (Decatur)
- Jie Chen, Meaningful Day Services, Inc. (Brownsburg)
- Emily Conrad, Finish Line Inc. (Brazil)
- Austin Conway, Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office (Louisville, KY)
- Madison Cowman, Humanitri (Winona Lake)
- Scott Crabb, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana (Indianapolis)
- Stephanie Davis, Central Nine Career Center (Whiteland)
- Justin Davis, Do it Best Corp. (Pleasant Lake)
- Robert Deko, North Branford Police Department (Madison, CT)
- Forrest DePoy, IUPUI Center for Teaching and Learning (Indianapolis)
- Kadé Diallo, Indiana University Department of Ophthalmology (Indianapolis)
- Hannah Dodd, Aptera Inc. (Fort Wayne)
- Bergen Elkjer, Samuel Design Group (Santa Fe, NM)
- Salvador Espinoza, Dekko (Kendallville)
- Emma Fort, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (Indianapolis)
- Miranda Goodwin, Wabash Valley Community Foundation Inc. (Rockville)
- Cristina Goss, Ivy Tech Community College-Elkhart County (Elkhart)
- Alex Gottwald, PERQ (Carmel)
- Eli Graham, Poly-Wood LLC (Warsaw)
- Alex Griffith, Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance (Brownsburg)
- Andrew Hauersperger, Lawson-Fisher Associates (South Bend)
- Olivia Havenor, Erie Insurance Group (Terre Haute)
- Nicole Heath, Union Hospital, Inc. (Terre Haute)
- Colton Heiniger, Somerset CPAs and Advisors (Fishers)
- Deborah Hibler, Town of Cloverdale (Cloverdale)
- Alex Howdeshell, The Smith Sawyer Smith Agency (Rochester)
- Alex Hunter, Ambassador Enterprises (Fort Wayne)
- Lindsey Jones, Indiana University School of Medicine (Indianapolis)
- Brandon Kemp, Egg Innovations (Winona Lake)
- Austin King, Ontario Systems (Muncie)
- Olivia Kmieciak, Willow Creek Association (South Elgin, IL)
- Annie Krueger, Indiana Commission for Higher Education (Bloomington)
- Garrett Leckrone, Circle Logistics (Fort Wayne)
- Mason Lee, Huhtamki (Valparaiso)
- Andrew Lentz, Protective Insurance (Carmel)
- Erin Linker, CapeAble Sensory Products LLC (Fort Wayne)
- Dakota Malchow, Ontario Systems (Muncie)
- Katelyn Mantey, Ambassador Enterprises (Fort Wayne)
- Jacob McCown, enFocus (Granger)
- Rachel McKinley, Ontario Systems (Muncie)
- Ashton Meares, Helmer Scientific (Indianapolis)
- Kayla-Anne Miller, Lafayette Jefferson High School (Coatesville)
- Jesse Miller, Cloverleaf Healthcare of Knightsville (Knightsville)
- Christy Miller, Putnam County Hospital (Greencastle)
- Jerica Mitchell, Indiana Minority Health Coalition, Inc. (Indianapolis)
- Rachel Moore, Indiana State Fair Commission (Avon)
- Kyle Moore, Continental International (Fort Wayne)
- Carly Osinski, Ambassador Enterprises (Fort Wayne)
- Isaac Paczkowski, Career Academy South Bend (South Bend)
- Taylor Pemberton, Indiana University School of Medicine (Indianapolis)
- Madeline Price, Indiana Commission for Higher Education (Indianapolis)
- Olajoke Raelateju, Center of Workforce Innovations (Valparaiso)
- Shelby Richardson, Ash Brokerage (Fort Wayne)
- Mariah Roman, Compass Relocation, Inc (Carol Stream, IL)
- Carlie Salinas, Family Christian Development Center (Nappanee)
- Brooke Schenck, Terre Haute Police Department (Terre Haute)
- Joseph Schmalzried, Brooks Construction Company, Inc. (Fort Wayne)
- Kaitlin Schwent, Jacobs (St. Louis, MO)
- Joseph Slaby, Kemper CPA Group, LLP (Terre Haute)
- Marissa Smith, Indiana Futsal (Indianapolis)
- Erin Solis, HWC Engineering, Inc. (Indianapolis)
- Autumn Sowers, Dr. Jon L Stockrahm, Internal Medicine of the Wabash Valley PC (Casey, IL)
- Peyton Spurgin, Golay Community Center (Cambridge City)
- Renee Stuck, Developmental Services, INC (West Terre Haute)
- Karen Tapia, Ultimate Physical Therapy (Terre Haute)
- Reilly Teal, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (Plainfield)
- Alexa Treon, Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center (Indianapolis)
- Jessica Vandenboom, Phoenix America (Markle)
- Camisa Vines, South Bend Code School LLC (South Bend)
- Marissa Wagler, Braathe Enterprises (Loogootee)
- Tyler Warren, Snider Insurance Group (Fishers)
- Dianne Waweru, Bowman Creek Educational Ecosystem (South Bend)
- Jenna Weber, Travel Leaders (Fremont)
- Marissa Wehner, Art Spaces – Wabash Valley Outdoor Sculpture Collection, Inc. (Fishers)
- Mathew Wewe, Signature Construction, LLC. (Martinsville)
- Anndi Wood, Energy Improvement Matters (EIM, LLC) (Plainfield)
- Wesley Wright, Marathon Petroleum Company – Illinois Refining Division (Robinson, IL)
- Tyler Zimske, Dekko (Garrett)
Career Development Professionals
- Richelle Brown, Indiana University (Bloomington)
- Angela Lexmond, Indiana University (Bloomington)
- Nathan Milner, Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion)
- Jessica Nevitt, Indiana University College of Arts + Sciences (Bloomington)
- Kristen Portteus, Owen Valley High School (Spencer)
- Courtney Rousseau, Butler University (Indianapolis)
- Ambassador Enterprises (Fort Wayne)
- American College of Education (Indianapolis)
- Artisan Electronics Inc. (Odon)
- Asher Agency (Fort Wayne)
- Bowman Creek Educational Ecosystem (South Bend)
- Career Analysis Organization of America (South Bend)
- DirectEmployers Institute (Indianapolis)
- Family Support Services, Inc. (Greencastle)
- Fort Wayne Metals (Fort Wayne)
- Helmer Scientific (Noblesville)
- Hy-Flex Corportation (Knightstown)
- Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance (Indianapolis)
- Mayor’s Office of Indianapolis (Indianapolis)
- Milliner & Associates (Indianapolis)
- National Panhellenic Conference (Indianapolis)
- North American Signs (South Bend)
- Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership (Fort Wayne)
- SmartBox (New Albany)
- Spot, Inc. (Indianapolis)
- Sullair (Michigan City)
- Town of Cloverdale (Cloverdale)
- West Lafayette Police Department (West Lafayette)
The Indiana Chamber partners with 25,000 members and investors – representing over four million Hoosiers – to achieve the mission of “cultivating a world-class environment which provides economic opportunity and prosperity.”
Indiana INTERNnet, a program managed by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, is the catalyst for expanding the creation and use of experiential learning opportunities as a key strategy in retaining Indiana’s top talent.