I Define Success: Cheryl Ferwerda

cheryl ferwerdaIvy Tech Distinguished Alumna, Cheryl Ferwerda returned to college after working in the food industry for 38 years. She was without a job and living with her mother. When she began to search for jobs, she worried that her skills were lacking. After the unemployment office encouraged her to develop new skills, she knew it was time to make a change.

“I went to my local Ivy Tech campus and the Office of Student Affairs was so encouraging,” she said. “I was able to get registered for classes and completed financial aid that same day!”

Cheryl went on to complete four certificates and associate degrees in healthcare sciences and general studies. In 2017, she received her bachelor’s in Allied Health Science and Health Management from Indiana University = Kokomo. She currently works as an Adjunct Professor at Ivy Tech and a Navigator at the Madison County Community Health Center. Focused on patients and continuity of care, Cheryl helps community members find access to healthcare and resources, regardless of income. Cheryl’s time at Ivy Tech allowed her to grow personally and professionally while teaching her how to help others navigate the healthcare system.

Cheryl Ferwerda2

“Education is life changing. I would never dream that I would have the experiences that I’ve had because it opens so many doors,” she said. “I think that what Ivy Tech does is remove barriers if you believe in yourself.”


Ivy Tech Community College is proud to celebrate Cheryl’s success and achievements with the Distinguished Alumni Award. This annual award honors alumni for their commitment to the College and to their communities. The awardees are leaders in their professions who make significant contributions benefiting their community, state, or college.

The alumni recognized with this award represent the very best of what an Ivy Tech education makes possible. Alumni, faculty, staff, and friends are all encouraged to submit nominations online.

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