BY SUSAN M. BRACKNEY
Having grown up in the northern part of Indiana, Sam DeWeese, Ivy Tech Community College–Bloomington vice chancellor for student success, truly appreciates the rolling hills surrounding his adopted hometown. “I’m from Muncie, which is very flat,” he says. “It’s not very interesting, in terms of the landscape. So, it’s fun to see the various terrains here.”
DeWeese, 39, grew up across the street from Ball State University, and he chairs the Ball State Alumni Association. He first came to Bloomington to earn his bachelor’s degree in public management from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, later returning to Muncie to pursue a master’s in information and communication sciences. He secured a doctorate in higher education leadership from Indiana State University.
Named in June to his current position, DeWeese oversees several departments, including advising, career development, student life, counseling and outreach, judicial affairs, testing, and the Achieve Your Degree program.
“The job is not routine. It’s ever changing,” he says. “Working with the students is my favorite part. They come from all walks of life with different goals and challenges. They’re really here to better equip themselves for a brighter future.”
Students come to Ivy Tech for a variety of reasons, DeWeese says. “We have a lot of students who come to Ivy Tech first to save money and get accustomed to college. When you have class sizes that are around 20 to 22 students, and you’re not in those giant lecture halls, it’s even more one-on-one attention. A lot of students really look for that.”
Other students opt for Ivy Tech after they’ve earned four-year degrees elsewhere. “They may not have been able to be as specialized as the market would like them to be, so they’ve come here to look at IT or nursing or advanced manufacturing where they know there are jobs that exist and pay well,” DeWeese explains.
Working at Ivy Tech has been rewarding in at least one unexpected way, DeWeese says. “I met my wife, Sarah, here. She works as the director of marketing, and has been at Ivy Tech for eight years. I’ve been here for almost 12.” They married in 2014.
When the pair isn’t at Ivy Tech? They love to hit the Clear Creek Trail or wander through McCormick’s Creek State Park. “Just basically anything we can do outside is how we like to spend our time,” he says.