Ivy Tech President Visits Frankfort to Help Launch New Scholarship Program

Ivy Tech Community College President Dr. Sue Ellspermann, far left, holds a fireside chat with some of the Frito-Lay Frankfort Leadership last Thursday at Arborwood.

Ivy Tech’s top brass were in Frankfort Thursday to help the college and The PepsiCo Foundation announce the launch of the Uplift Scholarship program to support Black and Hispanic students pursuing two-year degrees and professional certificate programs.

The partnership will support 52 Black, Latino and Hispanic studying Information Technology and Advanced Manufacturing, enabling them to pursue high-demand careers.

“Ivy Tech is proud to partner with PepsiCo for the Uplift Scholarship program,” said Ivy Tech President Dr. Sue Ellspermann. “We appreciate PepsiCo’s commitment to helping minority students with financial need opportunities to complete credentials in high-wage, high-demand fields and address Indiana’s workforce demand.”

Ellspermann took over as president of Ivy Tech on July 1, 2016 after serving as Indiana’s 50th Lieutenant Governor under then-Governor Mike Pence before Pence left to become Vice-President under Donald Trump.

Ellspermann was asked how Ivy Tech is doing overall.

“Enrollment is up, our engagement in our communities is up, our work with the IEDC to attract new companies to Indiana is up, our programs and the work we’re doing to meet employers needs is all going well,” said Ellspermann, who added that Ivy Tech in the last three years is the strongest it has been and she couldn’t be more proud.

Ellspermann along with Chancellor Dr. Aaron Baute were both in town Thursday to help with PepsiCo’s announcement. Baute has just completed his first year as Chancellor after replacing Dr. David Bathe in August 2021.

“Stacy Dollahan, our site director here has done an amazing job along with Shan Sheridan and Mayor (Judy) Sheets and the school corporations have all come together with the synergy not to duplicate resources and doing all the little things to help the workforce here,” said Baute.

All of this has to do with the biggest problem facing Indiana, and a majority of the country, is workforce development.

“It’s the number one priority of our governor, it’s certainly the number one priority of the Indiana Chamber and the Indiana Manufacturers Association and just about large employer or even medium or smaller employer,” said Ellspermann, who along with some of the Frito-Lay Leadership group led by Senior Director of Government Relations for PepsiCo Darren Clark, led a fireside chat on what they do along with suggestions what future employees should do.

One of the programs that Ellspermann feels is a must is “Achieve Your Degree”.

“We have over 250 companies that are using Achieve Your Degree as their tuition model,” said Ellspermann. “That means we never charge the employee. It goes straight to the employer. We have over 6,000 employees or students in that program.”

Ellspermann thinks every school should have program as it is the only one its kind in the country.


  1. So, isn’t this a little racist? What about underprivileged white students who would love a chance at this education money?

  2. PepsiCo has been great for our family. They paid for my husband to go to Ivy Tech to get his degree. However, I agree with previous comments. If this was marketed as a scholarship for only white students, it would be racist. But since it’s for black and Latino students, it’s not? This should be offered to ALL.

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