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Professors, alum recognized by Ivy Tech

Longtime educator Jim Helms was also awarded

(LAWRENCEBURG, Ind.) – Ivy Tech Community College is recognizing some local faculty members and a former student. 

The college selected honorees from each campus and the awards were based off of nominations a selection committee received. 

There were several deserving honorees from the Ivy Tech Lawrenceburg/ Batesville campus. 

Assistant Professor of Accounting Kelly Eckstein was named as the Faculty President’s Award Honoree. Eckstein also serves as the Department Chair in the School of Business.

Denise Hillenbrand, who teaches Spanish, received the Adjunct Faculty President’s Award. 

Former Ivy Tech chancellor and East Central principal Jim Helms, and his wife Charlotte, received the award of Honored Benefactor.

“Since 1963, Jim Helms has dedicated his life to education by serving in a wide variety of roles

including high school teacher, guidance counselor, basketball coach, and high school principal,” said Ivy Tech Director of Marketing Chris Schilling. 

Helms’ initial involvement with Ivy Tech was in 1976 when he served on the Southeast Regional Board of Trustees. He continued to serve as a Trustee until he was hired as the Executive Dean in 1998 for the Lawrenceburg and Batesville campuses. In 2001, Helms was named Chancellor of the Southeast Region, which included Lawrenceburg, Batesville, and Madison, for which he

served for 16 years. 

Jim & Charlotte Helms have been married for 58 years, and together have funded two separate scholarships through Ivy Tech Foundation.

The college also recognized Ivy Tech graduate Richard Richardson. Jr. with the Distinguished Alumni award. 

Richardson holds an associate degree in criminal justice from Ivy Tech, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Indiana University. 

“He is the director of the Lawrenceburg Community Center, where he cultivates a facility that is welcoming and externally focused on all people regardless of where they are in life’s journey,” Schilling said. 

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.


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