University News – May 8

University news

Bridgeman honored

Columbus native Katie Bridgeman, a doctoral student in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, received the Dr. Charles R. Bantz Award for Excellence at the Elite 50 dinner.

The award, which she received April 19, is presented by the IUPUI Graduate and Professional Student Government to the campus’ top graduate or professional student.

The Elite 50 was created by IUPUI Graduate and Professional Student Government to recognize outstanding graduate and professional students for their contributions to the campus and community outside of the classroom. Award recipients represent the top one-half of one percent of the graduate and professional student body at IUPUI.

Bridgeman expects to graduate in this month with her doctorate in physical therapy. She will then travel to Haiti for a month-long internship with Imagine Missions Orphanage. There, she will:

Help prepare for Camp Imagine, including training the orphanage’s older children to serve as counselors at the summer camp that will host more than 100 children

Assist with career development, especially for those interested in working in health care

Implement enrichment activities such as a reading mentor program and dance classes

After returning to the United States and taking the physical therapy board exam, Bridgeman plans to work with IU Health’s inpatient acute team at University or Methodist hospital in August. She also hopes to continue as a member of the research team on several projects she began as a student, pursue teaching opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and develop physical therapy-based mission trips for other students.

“The world of therapy is very dynamic and diverse, so I look forward to integrating my love of service, teaching, learning and diverse patient groups to increase awareness and excellence in care for many different people, particularly the underserved, throughout my career,” Bridgeman said.

As part of the award, Bridgeman will receive a $500 scholarship.

In Columbus, Bridgeman was active for several years as a performer with Dancers Studio Inc. locally. Last summer, she worked with others to plan a fundraiser for the aforementioned Imagine orphanage at the local studio.

Ivy Tech students honored in IT challenge

Two local Ivy Tech Community College students earned gold medals at the school’s first Statewide IT Challenge in Indianapolis.

Erick Bernal-Martinez and Tommy Lynch both earned gold medals at the April competition that offered students a chance to hone their technical skills and showcase what they already knew. Bernal-Martinez won in the computer science competition and Lynch in the database competition.

Five other Ivy Tech Columbus students competed at the college’s inaugural challenge, including Bari McVay, Chris Fox, Braxton Heinlein-Mann, Dylan Thompson and Justin Hanner.

The competition consisted of seven events based on the college’s IT courses, including software development/web design, computer science/programming, network infrastructure, IT support, cybersecurity, server administration and database management.

“There was a lot of unforeseen stuff, just like in real IT,” Thompson said. “That added to the challenge. I liked the teamwork it took to solve the challenges.”

Author photo
Kaitlyn Evener is an editorial assistant for The Republic. She can be reached at or 812-379-5633.