A record crowd joined Indiana INTERNnet today to honor the program's top students, employers and career development professionals. Baldwin & Lyons Inc. in Carmel and the DeKalb Chamber Partnership were named employers of the year at the ninth annual IMPACT Awards Luncheon. Indiana INTERNnet Executive Director Janet Boston says Indiana's “increased emphasis” on internships is a win-win. While students make professional connections and receive crucial experience, Boston says internships lower companies' recruiting costs and give them access to a work force pipeline.

Inside INdiana Business Television Host Gerry Dick emceed today's event.

February 4, 2015

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — Indiana INTERNnet, the statewide resource for internship opportunities managed by the Indiana Chamber, has helped connect students and employers across the state since 2001. Today, the organization honored excellence among interns, employers and career development professionals at the ninth annual IMPACT Awards Luncheon, sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College.

“Experiential learning is a key piece of Indiana's workforce development plans, and the nominees we celebrated this year are a promising indication of Indiana's future,” said Indiana INTERNnet Executive Director Janet Boston.

“Interns are showing invaluable skills and work ethic, and many are earning full-time positions. Employers are providing excellent programs that integrate mentorship and real-world job experience. Our Indiana colleges and universities are helping to make these student-employer connections. Indiana INTERNnet is pleased to recognize these achievements and serve as a catalyst for even more of these success stories in the coming years.”


–Charisa Scott (Covance Central Laboratory Services, Inc.; Indiana State University) – College Intern of the Year

–Juan Armendariz (SMC Corporation of America; Noblesville High School) – High School Intern of the Year

–Andrew Kimmel (The Children's Museum of Indianapolis) – Non-traditional Intern of the Year

–Sheryl Swingley (Ball State University) – Career Development Professional of the Year

–Baldwin & Lyons, Inc. (of Carmel) – Employer of the Year (For-profit)

–DeKalb Chamber Partnership (of Auburn) – Employer of the Year (Nonprofit)

Jennifer Fisher of Group Dekko (2013 Employer of the Year) delivered the keynote address, “Celebrating Internships that Hit the Jackpot.” Gerry Dick of Inside INdiana Business was the emcee for the event, and Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann provided closing remarks. The celebration took place at the Ivy Tech Culinary Center Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis.

For more information about the Indiana INTERNnet program, visit www.IndianaINTERN.net or call the hotline at 317-264-6852.

Employer of the Year (For-profit)

“2014 has been a year of excellence for our internship program,” says Valerie Wilson, chief of staff, Baldwin & Lyons, Inc. (B+L). And it's easy to see why.

–63% of interns with at least junior standing were converted to either full-time or part-time employment or another internship.

–100% of interns expressed interest in working for B+L upon graduation.

Wilson says B+L's educational resources are focused on enhancing general business knowledge and skills in a fun and engaging way. They host Lunch & Learns on a variety of topics. All interns are provided access to Lynda.com, a video tutorial library, so they can learn business software and skills. They are also encouraged to shadow different departments and specify areas or positions they were most interested in.

Employer of the Year (Non-profit)

The greatest testament of an employer's dedication to thoughtful mentoring: entrusting their intern to fill in for the executive while she's on an extended leave of absence.

That's exactly what the DeKalb Chamber Partnership (DCP) was able to do with their intern, Emily Farmer. Farmer's internship was supposed to end at the end of the summer, but the staff and board asked her to continue working until she graduated in December. Then, Executive Director Shannon Carpenter knew she would be on leave from January to March 2015. The board and staff had prepared Farmer well enough that they asked her to fill in as the office manager during that time.

“Carpenter has done a wonderful job guiding and coaching me through DCP's mission, how DCP conducts business and how to build meaningful relationships with investors and potential partners in the community,” says Farmer, who nominated DCP for Employer of the Year. “I don't view Shannon as a 'boss,' but rather a mentor.”

Career Development Professional of the Year

For more than 22 years, Sheryl Swingley coordinated internships for Ball State University's Department of Journalism. She worked with nearly 3,200 students completing internships for credit, mentoring as many as 160 students at a time.

“Sheryl's unwavering commitment to the success of Ball State's journalism interns is impossible to measure,” expresses Lori Byers, associate dean, College of Communication, Information and Media, Ball State University. “She regularly planned visits to interns during vacations. She responded to employer and students concerns within hours, if not minutes, even on weekends and evenings. She could be found in her office at almost all times of the day and evening working to resolve issues encountered by students.”

Swingley continues to teach journalism courses at Ball State, including research strategies, interviewing skills and environmental/science writing.

High School Intern of the Year

Juan Armendariz has worked his way up through several different job levels at SMC Corporation of America, all while he's a student at Noblesville High School.

“Juan has become an integral part of the team that expedites orders on a daily basis,” explains Todd Burkhalter, distribution supervisor, SMC Corporation. “This team has allowed the central warehouse to experience a 6% increase in on-time-to-schedule orders.”

Armendariz's knowledge of the order-fill process and his poise under pressure allowed him to build rapport with the leadership. This gave him the freedom to research issues as they arose and follow through to resolution. His understanding of the systems is evidenced by his ability to lead his student peers, as well as full-time, first-shift employees.

College/University Intern of the Year

Charisa Scott's keystone task was to create and deliver a SharePoint site for the Covance Central Laboratory Services Global Client Coordinator Team (U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific locations). However, she had never heard of SharePoint.

“After her first day at Covance, she went to the store and purchased a book on SharePoint,” notes Deirdre Horton, business systems support lead, Covance. “Within days, she had read the thick book from cover to cover.”

From there, Scott scheduled meetings with systems administrators to understand how SharePoint is used at Covance. She created a mock-up of a SharePoint site, shared it with the team and processed feedback. She even structured the timing of the SharePoint site launch with no issues and trained users on its functionality. Scott accepted a full-time job with Covance following her internship.

Non-traditional Intern of the Year

Andrew Kimmel's job was to assist The Children's Museum of Indianapolis (TCM) in writing a book highlighting past winners of the museum's Power of Children Awards, celebrating youth philanthropy. Andrew analyzed information from 50 award winners and synthesized comprehensive views of each individual to be included in the book.

While creating the content, compelled by his own interest, he compiled an impact summary and shared it with the other interns as motivation that they, like the past award winners, could make a difference.



–Jose Alvarez, La Casa de Amistad

–Juan Armendariz, SMC Corporation of America

–Zakee B

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