By Lesley Devoss—
MUNCIE, Ind. – Difference makers are those who step up and support the community through their active participation in and with the community they serve.
The 2022 Ivy Tech Difference Makers are Pastor Andre Mitchell, Joseph Anderson, Wayne Johnson, Duane Clemens Sr., and Bright Afriyie.
Pastor Andre Mitchell serves as the Senior Pastor of Deliverance Temple, Material Handler for GM, and Campus Board of Trustee member for Ivy Tech Community College Muncie-Henry County. He was born and raised in the Muncie Community and his family instilled a sense of community in him from an early age.
“My great uncle, Roy C. Buley, helped integrate Tuhey Pool, so growing up I was well aware of the impact my family had made on and in the community where I lived,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell’s father, Bishop H. Royce Mitchell, gave the invocations and benedictions at the Muncie-Henry County Campus’s commencement programs from 2000-2021. Mitchell has taken over the invocations and benedictions for the Campus’s commencement ceremonies since his father’s passing. On June 30, 2021, Mitchell was appointed to the Ivy Tech Muncie-Henry County Board of Trustees.
“As a Board of Trustee member for the Muncie-Henry County Campus, my major goal is to listen. Learning from the faculty. Learning from the Chancellor and other trustees makes me feel like Ivy Tech is serving me more than I’m serving it. I’ve been able to follow my late father’s footsteps and continue the invocation. So, I’m just humbled to a part of what is happening,” Mitchell said.
As a member of the community, Mitchell serves on multiple boards and committees while also volunteering his time within the community. He has authored and published three books and preached in Haiti and South Africa. He has spoken and/or taught in every city and country middle school except two as well as spoken at Ivy Tech, Ball State, Purdue, and Taylor as a keynote speaker.
“Being a difference maker means trying to be unique and authentic with your own purpose, not following the crowd. Copies are less valuable than originals, trying to be original and authentic in the place of being a copy can make a difference. Stay true to yourself,” Mitchell said.
Joseph Anderson is the CEO of the Muncie Housing Authority and a member of the Ivy Tech Muncie-Henry County Campus Board of Trustees. He serves as the local branch President and State Criminal Justice Chair for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Anderson is an alum of Ivy Tech and served as the Director of Enrollment Management until December of 2015.
Anderson is a lifelong member of the Muncie community, and he has seen the city shift and reshape throughout the years. The city’s shift from a manufacturing giant to one with a focus on information and technology is something he has noticed the most.
“The city is changing. Things are starting to come back into the city compared to when I was a kid. We’re moving from industrial technology, more to information based. So, I think that’s a big change for the city,” Anderson said.
This shift in direction provides additional benefits to the youth of Muncie. Through the Information Technology Initiative, the Muncie-Delaware County, Indiana Economic Development Alliance is striving to bring in more information technology firms. Currently, the county is home to Finvi (formally Ontario Systems Corporation) and AccuTech Systems Corp as well as Fortune 500 companies Concentrix and Navient.
Wayne Johnson, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services at Ivy Tech Muncie-Henry County, became dedicated to the Muncie community through his Ball State basketball coach, Ray McCallum, in 1995. As a student athlete, Johnson assisted with basketball campus and various community initiatives during the summer. In 2009, he joined Ivy Tech as the Assistant Director of Academic Advising, a position he served in until 2017 when he accepted his current position.
“Looking back at my career to this point, the common theme has always been people and making a positive impact through intentional interactions. I see myself as a connector to the next steps for success. The work we do here at Ivy Tech allows for that impact on a daily basis,” Johnson said.
Johnson serves on several boards in the community: including the YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, CASA, and TeenWorks. Through his role with Ivy Tech, Johnson and his team interact with local middle and high schools, working to form a link between the students, college, and their future careers.
“I’m really proud of the partnerships that we’ve been able to have through Southside Middle School, TeenWorks, Boys and Girls Clubs and all the other programs that we partner with in the community school systems,” Johnson said.
Bright Afriyie, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, arrived in the United States on August 5, 2016, from Ghana, Africa to pursue his master’s degree in mathematics at Ball State University. In the spring of 2018, he began teaching at Ivy Tech’s Muncie-Henry County campus in an adjunct role, becoming fulltime the fall of the same year.
“Becoming a teacher happened by adventure; my love for teaching grew stronger in graduate school as I worked for the Math department as a graduate assistant,” Afriyie said.
As a new member of the community, Afriyie serves through mathematics and his own experience as an international student. In 2020, he set up the Proton Academy LLC to tutor children in math during the pandemic. He and his colleagues in the math department at Ivy Tech formed the Math Club in 2022. He and his wife, Lily, started the “Help a Student” initiative in the fall of 2022. This initiative is designed to support international students with the necessities of life when they come to college in the United States. As of December 2022, they have served over 25 international students. They setup a scholarship in Ghana to support diversity in the math world. The scholarship is awarded to the highest scoring female student graduating with a degree in mathematics. The scholarship provides the student with a $200 cash prize, covers the expenses of the application process to graduate school to help the student secure admission to a math-related graduate program in the United States. Two of the awardees are currently attending graduate school at Ball State University and are pursuing their master’s degrees in statistics.
“It takes a community to raise an individual. At the core of our values and behaviors are the innate attributes of our community. Your community is your environment and the environmental impact on us is inextricable. This is how much community means to me,” Afriyie said.
Duane Clemens Sr., College Connection Coach, is a lifelong member of the Muncie Community. He attended Muncie Community Schools, graduating from Muncie Southside High School before attending Ball State University on a basketball scholarship.
“I love my profession. Ivy Tech has given me the opportunity to be a positive role model in my community. I want to give my students the many opportunities that were given to me to help maximize their full potential and shape their futures,” Clemens said.
As a College Connection Coach, Clemens interacts with prospective students, assisting them to determine the steps that will best serve them in the future. Currently, he is working with students at Southside Middle School through a partnership between Ivy Tech Muncie-Henry County and the school. He mentors the students and assists them in planning their educational future.
“It’s important for me to give back. Growing up in Muncie, there were so many positive role models to look up to and so I think it’s important for youth today to continue the legacy of seeing someone who looks like them as someone they can relate to doing positive things in the community,” Clemens said.
Chancellor Jeffrey D. Scott said, “Each one of these men have made an impact in the lives of so many people in the Muncie community. We are proud of their work, impact, and leadership here at Ivy Tech and in Muncie. They are all difference makers and we are blessed to have them as a part of the Ivy Tech family and purpose.”
Mitchell added, “Hidden in the word community is unity. Lately, our lives and our lands have been quite divided. So, community means bringing people together and finding commonality in the human experience.”
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns to the needs of the community. The College provides seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor’s degree. Follow Ivy Tech on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for the most up-to-date information.