Media Information
Amanda J. Billings
Executive Director of Marketing and Communications
Phone: (812) 330-6222
Fax: (812) 330-6205

O'Bannon Institute: Friday's Event to Feature Interactive Sessions

Bloomington, IN – Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington is preparing for its fourth annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service that begins on Thursday with a community-wide service activity and a fundraiser for its Center for Civic Engagement.  Friday’s O’Bannon Institute activities will include a panel discussion, breakout sessions lead by local community leaders, and a debate and will culminate with an appearance by former Senator and 1972 Democratic nominee for President of the United States George McGovern. 

The theme for this year’s O’Bannon Institute for Community Service is “Stepping Beyond Citizenship”.    This year’s format will differ from the last three year’s as it will feature five breakout sessions followed by a debate on the community issue of “Economics vs. Atmosphere.”  In addition, former Indiana First Lady Judy O’Bannon will present a community vision speech to kick off Friday’s events.  The former first lady has spent much of her life supporting and promoting efforts to strengthen Indiana communities.  She currently hosts the Emmy award-winning, “Communities Building Community” shown on WFYI (public television) which focuses on ways individuals throughout Indiana are strengthening their communities.

After Ms. O’Bannon’s speech, a panel of local leaders will discuss best practices in citizen engagement during the panel “Breaking the Barriers:  Best Practices in Citizen Engagement” which will be facilitated by Mayor Mark Kruzan.  Panelists include Mark Bradford, Monroe Bank, Dr. Rajih Haddawi, Volunteers in Medicine of Monroe County, Peg Howard, Jill’s House and Charlotte Zietlow, Middle Way House. Following the first panel discussion, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions facilitated by Beverly Calendar-Anderson, City of Bloomington’s Safe and Civil City program, Dr. Jim Smith, Ivy Tech’s Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Rob Stone, Bloomington Hospital’s Emergency Room Physician, Jim Kennedy, Monroe County Sheriff and Ron Thompson, Executive Director of the Youth Services Bureau of Monroe County.  Topics, listed respectively, include Diversity Advocacy and Civil Rights, Education, Healthcare, Jail Overcrowding and Justice Issues and Youth Development

The “Economics vs. Atmosphere” debate will be facilitated by First Capital Group’s Senior Vice President and Partner, and former Bloomington mayor, John Fernandez.  Debate participants include Morton Marcus, Director Emeritus of the Indiana Business Research Center, Bloomington Council Member Chris Sturbaum and Ron Walker, President of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation.

Full Event Listing

Those interested in attending the O’Bannon Institute should contact Gretchen Bass ( at 812-330-6001 or toll free at 1-866-447-0700 ext. 6001 to make a reservation.  The Friday event is free and open to the public.