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The Journal Gazette

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Indiana Tech Law School Dean Charles Cercone helps law school students Genna Hilgenbraink, center, of Aurora, Ill., and Gwen Chappell of Indi­anapo­lis go over curriculum and class schedules.

Monday, August 29, 2016 11:07 am

Tech law school getting more attractive

Jamie Duffy | The Journal Gazette

Genna Hilgenbrink has several reasons for choosing Indiana Tech Law School.

First, there was the "really awesome visit" and then, the staff who "just blew me away," she said.  The scholarship "was exactly where it needed to be," she added.

But perhaps the greatest selling point was personal.

"I felt wanted," said Hilgenbrink, a former news reporter from Aurora, Illinois, who is looking at communications, business and sports law.

Hilgenbrink is one of 55 incoming first-year law students who bring the law school’s total enrollment to about 85, Dean Charles Cercone said during the school’s August registration. The school is entering its fourth academic year. Classes began Aug. 22.

The goal was to enroll 50 new students, Cercone said. Recruitment by email and social media played a big role, but gaining provisional accreditation in March was even bigger.

"It has enhanced our ability to attract students," Cercone said. 

That and the affordability. A year’s tuition at the law school is $19,750 and is locked in for continuing students, making the school "very, very competitive," said Cercone who took over as dean a year and a half ago.

Affordability was a factor for Indianapolis resident Gwen Chappell, who comes from a background in child welfare. But it wasn’t the only one.

During her campus visit, she found the staff knowledgeable and ready to teach her applicable law, said Chappell who wants to go into civil law.

The law school could accommodate up to 300 students, Cercone said, a goal he hopes will be met in about three years.

The incoming class of students comes from 45 colleges and universities in 15 states, Indiana, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas, according to a school news release.

The class is composed of 55 percent men, 45 percent women, and 30 percent minority students. Eight members hold master’s degrees, and eight have served in the U.S. military.

Ivy Tech 

This fall, Ivy Tech Community College Northeast will offer Homebrewing 101, the first IvyLiving non-credit enrichment classes geared toward the community. 

Homebrewing 101 will meet 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 24 and Oct. 8 at the Cookspring Shared Kitchen at The Summit, 1025 W. Rudisill Blvd. Cost is $99. 

The second IvyLiving class, Artistic Welding, will be offered in October, but registration is not yet open.

To learn more or sign up for classes, visit

Education grant 

The U.S. Apple Association, representing the apple industry from apple growers to juice makers, is taking nominations for its second annual Apples for Education: Buy an Apple, Help a Student cause program. 

Through Sept. 19, nominations to enter a student cause in need of financial support at USApple will select finalists eligible for funds this fall. 

From Oct. 1 to Nov. 12, people can vote for their school cause by snapping a photo of someone eating an apple snack, tagging their selected school and #Apples4Ed and sharing on Instagram or Twitter. The school with the most tags – or votes – will receive the most funding, with additional funds awarded to other top-participating schools. 

Last year’s inaugural campaign received more than 20,000 votes and provided $21,000 to 12 student causes, ranging from school gardens and playground makeovers to robotics and reading education initiatives.

Indiana Tech

Indiana Tech will launch a varsity eSports program next fall and will begin offering students scholarships to compete in League of Legends and Hearthstone. Twenty-five to 35 scholarships are available. 

Those interested in learning more about Tech’s ­eSports program are invited to a recruitment day Oct. 28 at the Fort Wayne campus.

The university will have an opportunity to compete against university programs from Robert Morris, Pikeville, Ohio State, British Columbia, Georgia Tech and Texas A&M.

Tech is the first university in Indiana, and one of the first universities in the nation, to offer gaming scholarships. In addition, the school is creating a new eSports gaming arena on the second floor of Andorfer Commons.

Tech currently has two CSL club teams that compete in Division II and Division III. Tech’s state-of-the-art gaming arena, expected to be completed in October, will be equipped with high-end gaming PCs, chairs, lighting and graphics. 

More information about the eSports program can be found on the Tech website at  

Learning app challenge 

The Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge, the no-coding-skills-needed contest that gives middle school and high school students an opportunity to turn their problem-solving app ideas into a reality, is now accepting new app ideas nationwide for the 2016-17 annual competition. 

The app challenge is open to teams representing nonprofit organizations in addition to public, private and parochial schools, who compete for prizes such as free tablets for each team member, up to a $20,000 cash prize to support their school or organization, and the chance to turn their ideas into working smartphone apps that will be made available for download. 

Students can submit ideas until midnight Nov. 18. Winners will then be named in January and February.  

For more information on how to enter and tips for creating the next winning idea, visit or follow @verizongiving on Twitter and VerizonFoundation on Facebook.

Students and parents who have a favorite teacher can nominate the individual for Teacher Honor Roll. Send nominations to The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne IN 46802; fax 461-8893 or email

To submit an item, send a typed release from the school or organization to Education Notebook, The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne IN 46802-0088; fax 461-8893 or email at least two weeks before the desired publication date.