Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Service Area recognizes Class of 2024’s student achievement

Last Updated on May 11, 2024 by Ivy Tech Kokomo Service Area

Outstanding academics, leadership honored in 2024 commencement ceremonies

KOKOMO, Ind. — Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo honored students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and leadership during its commencement ceremonies May 10.

Iza Gould of Kokomo, who completed an Associate of Science in Secondary Education degree in December, was honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence as the outstanding scholar of the Class of 2024.

Gould, who graduated from the on-line public Indiana Connections Academy in 2020, came to Ivy Tech to begin her higher education journey to become a high school teacher. Her goal of teaching Family and Consumer Sciences quickly, and unexpectedly, moved in another direction.

Self-described as a better-than-average student in high school, biology was one subject where she really struggled. That changed at Ivy Tech, she says, where she found support and great instructors, especially Biology professor Dr. Alexander Bobbs and Tara Kaser, program chair for Education.

It was Dr. Bobbs, with his ability to simplify lessons so students can understand them, who instilled in Gould a passion for teaching the subject. It was Professor Kaser who modeled compassion and dedication to helping all her students succeed.

In nominating Gould for the award, Kaser described her as a student who holds herself to extremely high standards – “a good friend, a good student, and a good person.” She continued, “The fact that Iza has a 4.0 GPA in a secondary education Biology degree is a testament to her hard work. This degree is amazingly intense with extremely hard classes.”

Bobbs noted that Gould has already started teaching. “Iza was frequently a soft-spoken leader in class,” he said, “often helping other students handle the difficult material that comes with biology class.”

Gould says she was “absolutely prepared” when she moved to Indiana University Kokomo in January to pursue her bachelor’s degree. She offers this advice to students: “If you’re struggling in your class, you should definitely look for a tutor. My tutor (Scott Firebaugh) really saved me.”

She is anxious to “pay it forward.” “I think teaching is a really important job, she said. “It’s really important to help children strive for better futures for themselves and for the world.”

Dean’s Awards honor students who are selected by the faculty chair for each program as the program’s outstanding graduate. Recipients of the Dean’s Award for 2024, and hometowns, are:


Brenda Rodriguez-Serrano, Logansport


Shayla Ringen, Winamac

Automotive Technology

Juan Valencia, Logansport

Biology TSAP

Macey Lam, Kokomo

Building Construction Management

Rosalba Guerra-Long, Marion

Business Administration

Corey Arthur, Sims

Business Operations, Applications, and Technology

Arlena Murphy, Westfield

Dental Assisting

Breana Darlin, Kokomo

Early Childhood Education

Jayla Kremer, Greentown

Elementary Education

Mia Markert, Russiaville

Electrical Specialist

Gabriel Short, Kokomo

General Studies

Jayce Snyder, Logansport

Human Services

Morgan Odom, Kokomo

Liberal Arts

Wyatt Row, Marion

Medical Assisting

Shelby Jackson, Kokomo


Peyton Pasquarosa, Logansport

Practical Nursing

Stephany Harris, Kokomo

Professional Communication

Achaham Henoch Kanate, Kokomo


Hanayah Day, Greentown

Secondary Education

Iza Gould, Kokomo

Surgical Technology

Abigail Forkner, Kokomo

Visual Communication

Connor Bryant, Noblesville

Those recognized with Military Veterans Honors include Dustin L. Atwell, Arieon K. Burns, Payton Bryant, Nathan D. Casler, Joel A. Contreras, Taylor J. Gatliff, Jordan Garibaldi, Alicia James, Mark D. McNew, Brandon Medley, Rachel Northam, Joe Schroeder, Abigail Webber, Michael Wheeler and Amber Winchester.

Students honored as graduates of the Ivy Tech Community College Student Leadership Academy include Alissha Harlow, Jshanien Minor, Simon Daniel Murray Sr. and Seth Sorrell.

Students named to the National Society of Leadership and Success include Ashleigh Nicole Chelf, Halynn DeHart, Amanda Dulin, Nikita Gee, Michael Kevin Hewitt, Ian David Hook, Cameron Johnson, Brittany Gabrielle Lappin, Grace Meadors, Simon Daniel Murray Sr., Amelia Nungester, Corinth Oglesby, Seth Sorrell, Brooklynn Tobin and Angela Vest.

SOURCE: News release from Ivy Tech Kokomo Service Area

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