Hershell Hamilton, an Air Force veteran who lives in Logansport, has established the Hamilton Lab/Phlebotomy Scholarship for students at Ivy Tech Community College where he has served as an instructor since 2006.
The scholarship will support qualified students seeking a Phlebotomy Technician Certificate in Healthcare Support at Ivy Tech sites in Kokomo, Logansport, and Peru, with preference given to residents of Cass County. It can be used for tuition, fees, and books.
Hamilton understands the importance of work and service. He worked through his junior and senior years of high while participating in baseball, basketball, and football, before joining the Air Force in 1968 and serving as a jet engine mechanic for four years. Entering college on the G.I. Bill, he earned a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Medical Technology and reentered the Air Force as a laboratory officer in 1977.
He spent another 21 years in the Air Force, with three war-time deployments, one to Vietnam and two to Bosnia, where he ran a lab out of a tent hospital in Zagreb, Croatia.
Hamilton has taught various science classes at four different community colleges during his Air Force and civilian careers. Over time, he also earned a master’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Health Service Administration and maintained his laboratory certification with the American Society of Clinical Pathologists.
“I truly enjoy helping folks with their education by teaching, training, counseling, and whatever I can do,” Hamilton said. “I know mine is a small grant but I’m hoping it might be enough to keep someone in class and help them graduate from college.”
Kelly Karickhoff, executive director of resource development for Ivy Tech Kokomo, said donations of any amount can make a difference for Ivy Tech students.
“Ivy Tech works hard to keep tuition and related costs as low as possible for our students,” Karickhoff said. “A scholarship of several hundred dollars can be all that’s needed to allow a student with family and financial challenges to achieve success.”
Karickhoff noted Ivy Tech’s Phlebotomy Technician Certificate, a 17-credit-hour program that can be completed in two semesters, is one of dozens of programs that qualifies for full tuition funding under the state of Indiana’s Next Level Jobs program. State economic data projects more than 4,000 annual job openings in healthcare specialist positions, which includes phlebotomy technicians, with an annual median graduate salary of more than $16 per hour.
For more information on the Next Level Jobs program, go to ivytech.edu/nextleveljobs . For more information on scholarship funding opportunities at Ivy Tech, contact Karickhoff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 765-252-5501.