Greentown resident named Ivy Tech Chancellor Award winner | News

Allison Salkie did what many kids do when they graduate high school – she went to college.

She attended Purdue University, to be specific, where she intended to study biochemistry.

“I love crime shows, and I said I was going to be a forensic scientist,” Salkie said.

That lasted all of two weeks.

Salkie, a Greentown resident and Eastern High School grad, stayed at Purdue, though earning a degree in film, video and theater production. She was also a member of the marching band.

When Salkie graduated in December 2020 – a precarious time to enter the real world because of the COVID-19 pandemic – there was an impending feeling of “what do I do now?” She had no interest in moving to California or Chicago to pursue a career in film.

“I think by the end of it, I didn’t want to leave Greentown and Kokomo,” she said. “I wanted to choose family over that.”

Salkie returned home and worked as a substitute teacher at Eastern while she figured out what to do next.

She eventually enrolled at Ivy Tech Kokomo after some gentle nudging and convincing from her family.

“It was the best decision I made,” she said.

With one degree under her belt, Salkie will receive another when she graduates today with an associate’s degree in business operations, applications and technology (BOAT).

She’s also this year’s Chancellor’s Award recipient. The award denotes the outstanding member of the graduating class. One student is nominated from each department for the award.

What Salkie found by attending Ivy Tech is how to combine its creative side with business. She was able to take what she learned in her business classes to sell earrings, for example.

“You take creativity and business and put them together and you can do a lot of amazing things,” she said.

Salkie continues to tap into her creative side by editing videos, taking pictures and participating in the Kokomo Civic Theater.

At Ivy Tech, she’s been a model student. Salkie tutors have students in Microsoft Office classes such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. She’s involved in multiple student groups on campus. And she’s on track to graduate with a 4.0 grade point average.

“I think, looking back, I would have started with community college,” she said. “I think there are big benefits in starting with a community college.”

Salkie said she’s noticed the stigma change going around community college, trade school or earning a certificate compared to going to a four-year college.

Her work as a tutor and leader on campus is as much a reason as she’s this year’s Chancellor’s Award recipient as her performance in the classroom. Barb McFarland, professor and program chair for Ivy Tech’s BOAT program, nominated Salkie for the award.

“She’s been successful in the classroom, and she wants others to do the same,” she said.

McFarland also recommended Salkie take up tutoring. Salkie has her certificate in Microsoft Office classes.

“She was absolutely excited to take that opportunity,” McFarland said. “If any BOAT student came in, she could help them with any subject matter, really.”

Salkie is associated with the Campus Activities Board, which organizes functions for students, the Coalition Christian Outreach and Human Services Student Organization. With the latter group, she focuses on giving back to students.

Salkie is weighing her options about what’s next. She said she could see herself being an academic advisor, helping the next generation of students.

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