I am working on an English Composition assignment on an event that interested me. I chose my dis-enrollment from Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) Marion on September 27, 2001. So far I wrote from three perspectives: Jennie Conrad, Dr. Vance Maloney, Vocational Rehabilitation, and me. For obvious reasons, I did not write from the perspectives of anyone from IWU (with one exception) nor my family. Some of these perspectives may be difficult for you to read. However, by bringing you these perspectives, you are able to get the other side of the story.
I may be sued or be sent a C&D, but it is the only way I will get one step closer to a resolution.
IWU STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES (JENNIE CONRAD)
For four weeks in September 2001 at the Marion campus of Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) Marion, I knew Ava as Frank. My meeting with Frank in Room 250 at 10:00 on the morning of September 27, 2001, set off a chain reaction. I didn’t know that dis-enrolling Frank (now Ava) has to be my top 10 biggest regrets I’ve ever made in my career. I did not know things with Ava turned out the way they did and now that I know the truth as Ava finally admitted three mistakes she made.
I wrote the letter to Ava and that made me an accomplice of the dis-enrollment of Ava Zinn from IWU Marion and I had no idea there were much bigger consequences for Ava’s family as I found out. The only crime I committed was not offering Ava an opportunity to defend herself although I did write at the end of my letter to Ava that she could return at a later time with some restrictions. I have been waiting for that day to come. It all depends on Ava now that I found out that she blew the whistle on IWU’s housing policy 18 years before it became mandatory.
I did not know I had filed a complaint with Ava on September 27, 2001, and it won’t be resolved until I hear that Ava gets readmitted, but I know it will not be an easy process. It certainly has been the most frustrating. Nonetheless, I will go deeper in that letter which I didn’t know became infamy to Ava.
In my heart, I knew I wanted Ava wanted to have the education that she desired and/or to fulfill the goals she had set for herself, but I had no idea dis-enrolling Ava from IWU Marion would come back to bite me nearly 20 years later. I claimed in my letter I mentioned “in the past for weeks at Indiana Wesleyan University, it has become apparent that the environment is not conducive” for Ava. It was after January 2002, I would know that Ava was finding another institution to attend—something I did not point out in that letter I wrote. I claimed, “the stress of college life has impounded her (Ava’s) ability to care for herself along with the academic standards that we have set.” Unfortunately, I would be correct yet sad that it took Ava that long.
There were a lot of things I knew were wrong with Ava, and I would never have known that she had so many personal issues that were not resolved. I had no clue until 19 years and the deaths of her family members were the culprits. If there is any crime that I committed—it would have to be not using the words “at this time” and give Ava a time frame.
I was at my office at the IWU Campus, specifically the Student Support Services at what is now the Barnes Student Center in Marion, Indiana just days after I made the decision to dis-enroll Ava for failing to adapt to college life after consulting with Dr. Vance Maloney from Life Center Counseling. Little I knew that day, that man would never be the same person I saw when he first arrived at the IWU Marion campus. I had no idea that I predominately changed everything, but also caused another problem as a consequence—Ava developing a “No IWU Zone” in Marion and Fort Wayne (Zinn).
I had a feeling that mild fall Thursday morning I had done something wrong with Ava that would affect her life for nearly 20 years. I had no idea that someone or something caused Ava to have her first panic attack. I knew she was not aware or was unfamiliar with the routines of college life—Ava will finally admit this in her readmission essay. Yet, Ava neglected to mention that she was in a vulnerable position as her mother was losing her battle with diabetes. I knew things were bad, but never thought it was really as bad as it was.
I had a feeling this was something I would regret. How would I face her today? Would I offer her a resolution? (“Academic Dismissal and Reinstatement”) What if in the event should Ava apply for readmission donate $500 to rename the commuter’s lounge in her name since she is the first transgendered student to set foot at IWU Marion, college credits that were transferred from Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, and a psychological evaluation clearing Ava? Would I work with Ava again?
I found out from another source at Cornerstone that Ava had started to improve mentally and psychologically. I also learned Ava had changed genders and lives as a woman. I later learned that Paige (Lank) Clingenpeel and her fellow IWU Marion classmate (now Family Services Society therapist) Erin Davis was personally at IWU Marion counseling Ava’s peers about Ava’s dis-enrollment from IWU Marion on the evening of Ava’s dis-enrollment from IWU Marion.
Had Ava told me before all the ruckus began, I would have given Ava an opportunity to take fewer classes and I did not do that (Conrad). I should have offered Ava a favorable resolution at the first sign of trouble (“Academic Dismissal and Reinstatement”). It would have made a difference.
By not offering the right recommendations to Ava on September 27, 2001, Like Dr. Vance Maloney, I also became an accomplice of the dis-enrollment of Ava Zinn form IWU Marion as well as causing her to move from Marion to Fort Wayne on May 14, 2018. I was defeated by better college faculty who knew Ava Zinn better than me and had more knowledge than I did (Moffitt “AVA ZINN WANTS TO KNOW: A straight guy died on 9/27/2001”).
I should have said something to Ava to prevent a dis-enrollment. But unfortunately, I did not. In conclusion, I will say that Ava Zinn’s dis-enrollment from IWU Marion was unjustified. I did not know what her best interest was and I learned that the hard way. But I will say that I gave Ava a crash course on Special Education.
I was at my office at Life Center Counseling in Marion, Indiana just days after I presumably made the recommendation of IWU Marion to dis-enroll Frank Zinn (now Ava Zinn) for failing to adapt to the college life at the request of either Jennie Conrad or Jerry Harrell at IWU Marion. I felt guilty because in my heart I wanted the then-18-year-old man to succeed. Little did I know that day, that man would never be the same person I saw when I first met him at the start of his senior year at Mississinewa High School a year earlier. I had no idea that I predominately changed everything, but also caused another problem as a consequence—Ava developing a “No IWU Zone” in Marion and Fort Wayne. I did not know until 19 years later that the now 37-year-old woman going by Ava had changed since we last spoke on September 27, 2001.
I knew I had done something wrong with Ava that would affect her life for nearly 20 years. I had no idea that I caused Ava to have her first panic attack since she was not aware or was unfamiliar with the routines of college life. Ava was in a vulnerable position as her mother was losing her battle with diabetes. I knew things were bad, but never thought it was really as bad as it was. Someone should have said something to Ava. I had a feeling that something bad was going to happen. But I did not and I will regret it for the rest of my life.
It is my alleged wrongdoing that will haunt me for the rest of my psychology career. I had a feeling this was something I would regret. How would I face her today? What would I recommend as far as whatever she needed to return to IWU Marion at a later date? Would I offer her a resolution?
It was 2:00 PM on September 27, 2001, when I saw Ava. She was devastated. I knew she was hurting deep inside and I knew it was not going to be a normal day. She had just been informed of her dis-enrollment from IWU Marion four hours earlier and had her meeting with Jennie Conrad and Jerry Harrell. I could tell something was wrong and I had a negative vibe about this. I never forgot what I saw. I remember Ava and I discussing the letter Ms. Conrad wrote to Ava and I offered recommendations. Ava did not like my recommendations one bit so Ava ignored my recommendations and went with something else. I learned that Ava got a second opinion from Karen Stockton from Cornerstone/Grant Blackford Mental Health after I was notified I would no longer see Ava at Life Center Counseling. I was notified via U. S. Mail after the death of her mother, Margaret. I would find out 19 years later why.
I am guilty of causing so much undue hardship to Ava. I would find out years later after I left Life Center Counseling. I found out from another source at Cornerstone that Ava had started to improve mentally and psychologically. I also learned Ava had changed genders and lives as a woman. I later learned that Paige (Lank) Clingenpeel and her fellow IWU Marion classmate (now Family Services Society therapist) Erin Davis was personally at IWU Marion counseling Ava’s peers about Ava’s dis-enrollment from IWU Marion on the evening of Ava’s dis-enrollment from IWU Marion.
What I should have done to prevent the dis-enrollment of Ava Zinn from IWU Marion on September 27, 2001, was to tell Ava to take a year off college to recover from her dismal senior year of high school and resolve her family issues the second I met Ava at our appointments (Conrad). I should have offered Ava a favorable resolution.
Not only did I fail as a psychologist and a counselor, but I also let Ava Zinn down. By not offering the right recommendations to Ava on September 27, 2001, I became an accomplice of the dis-enrollment of Ava Zinn form IWU Marion as well as causing her to move from Marion to Fort Wayne on May 14, 2018. I was defeated by better psychologists and counselors who knew Ava Zinn better than me and had more knowledge than I did.
It is MY FAULT that it took Ava Zinn 19 years to find a resolution to her dis-enrollment from IWU Marion. I should have done something to prevent a dis-enrollment. But unfortunately, I did not. I am taking the blame and whatever happens to me is really up to Ava herself.
In conclusion, I have confessed to causing Ava Zinn’s dis-enrollment from IWU Marion and I did my best to help her get readmitted the best way I knew how. Unfortunately, it was not enough to convince Ava. I AM A GUILTY PSYCHOLOGY COUNSELOR BECAUSE I DID VERY LITTLE TO HELP AVA ZINN GET REINSTATED TO IWU MARION!! I did not know what her best interest was and I learned that the hard way.
VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION (ANN SATTLEY)
I was asked to discuss the next steps in furthering her education. Unlike Sam Murphy and Barb Keesling, I had a meeting with Ava Zinn after a discussion with Indianapolis psychologist Michael O’Brien and the consultants of Ava Zinn. I knew on January 19, 2018, I blew the whistle after discussing with Ava with her consultants, Dr. O’Brien, and I present in the room that she would apply in the future after getting the recommended treatment although I am a little annoyed that it took 17 years and Ava moving out of Marion.
I later find out that Ava had some obstacles that would take 17 years to overcome. She had no support system at the time that she had any faith in whatsoever. Ava admitted three mistakes were made when she was at IWU Marion: The first mistake was attending full-time at IWU Marion when she should have attended part-time and taking fewer classes as well as a lighter workload. Another was addressing personal or health concerns, which Ava admits was a second mistake on her end. She regrets not waiting a year after graduating from high school to attend college because of the health issues of her mother (Margaret), which she failed to disclose that at IWU Marion. A third mistake was the wrong major since she was studying Special Education and wanted to get into broadcast journalism since Ava was more interested in television news.
The dis-enrollment of Ava Zinn from IWU Marion on September 27, 2001, was riddled with mistakes and missed opportunities, not because of a direct maliciousness towards her, but because like many small college towns with a big campus like IWU and mental health organizations like Cornerstone/Grant Blackford Mental Health. IWU, Life Center Counseling, and Cornerstone held onto their pride, wanting to handle the case their way without regard to criticism until IWU released their new Housing Policy, which Ava exposed while she was a student. As a Vocational Rehabilitation intake counselor, I knew this consumed Ava for 17 years. There was really nothing more in Marion that could be done.
Then came February 23, 2018. I was stunned when Ava made the announcement she was moving from Marion to Fort Wayne. I did not know that she did not open that letter until after she moved to Fort Wayne. Culminating 17 years of threats, Marion and Grant County lost Ava Zinn on May 14, 2018. Ava Zinn as a Marion resident was no more after 22 years. Many of her neighbors, consultants, and fans in Grant County were infuriated, saddened, and frustrated by her relocation from Marion to Fort Wayne and so many of her loyal friends.
The move was hardly unexpected, but the way it was accomplished by the unpredictable and sometimes irrational transgender woman merely added insult to injury. It was very similar to how the Baltimore Colts moved to Indianapolis on March 29, 1984.
Meanwhile, in Fort Wayne, officials at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne described Ava’s move as the “end of a long, arduous process. We are glad it has come to a successful conclusion, pending final approval by the appropriate authorities. It will be a great plus for Fort Wayne.” Fort Wayne welcomed Ava with open arms.
“Of course I am sad here in Marion,” I said. “Just as my heart aches with sadness for her, my heart breaks with joy for my Fort Wayne counterparts. I’m sorry Marion is heartbroken, but this is the type of thing that happens when people are looking for opportunities, etc., to build his or her personal growth.”
I learned that Ava did not even open the letter I wrote until after she relocated from Marion to Fort Wayne, which was quite a surprise. Ava spent her first two years in Fort Wayne fixing 17 years of emotional and psychological damage that was done in Marion. To say the least, Fort Wayne has Indiana Tech, Purdue Fort Wayne, and Ivy Tech Community College compared to IWU and Ivy Tech in Marion. I hear that Ava is faring better at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and is far more successful.
In summary, it took Ava 5,958 days to discuss her next steps for her education and getting the recommended treatment. On the mild afternoon of January 19, 2018, it took a meeting with Ava, discussing with her consultants, Indianapolis psychologist Michael O’Brien . I am sad that Ava had to move in order to take these necessary steps as well as getting the recommended treatment yet after Ava looked at her psychological evaluation, she knew Marion failed her and has been getting better treatment in Fort Wayne.
In September 2001, I was among the 700 freshmen and new students at Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) Marion (Chronicle-Tribune A-3 September 2001). There was a lot of construction, remodeling and as it turned out was one of the causes I had believed for 19 years caused my dis-enrollment from IWU on September 27, 2001. There were many services that should have been available to me, such as a lounge for commuters at IWU, which was not available due to the remodeling and construction. That was an issue I tried to expose to someone but no person ever listened or even cared about their commuter students. I was eventually right that IWU Marion as the university didn’t give a damn about their commuter students and the LGBT community as they believed it was a sin. On February 9, 2019, I was alerted by Ashley Lopez and intercepted the (Marion) Chronicle-Tribune article by Heather Cox concerning the change of Housing Policy at IWU Marion—blowing my dis-enrollment (9/27) Cold Case wide open, making absolute idiots out of IWU while I waited 18 years after I first exposed the problem while I attended IWU Marion.
September 27, 2001, began like any other day and it ended up being one of the worst days in my life (it is currently my third worst after April 18, 1996, and January 23, 2018). On the day I last sat foot at the IWU Marion campus, I was just an 18-year-old male college freshman who was married to a 23-year-old woman named Angie that I wanted to take to my prom, but due to her being over 21 she was not allowed to attend my prom known as the Mississinewa 500, which did not go well (that particular unrelated issue was resolved on April 28, 2012). With the post-9/11 paranoia and the construction going on at the time at IWU Marion, with no lounge for commuter students there was no place for me to relax, study and eat. I did not realize I suffered a panic attack that week and no one believed me the first time, because I was so scared to ask for help when I needed it.
That Thursday in September 2001 started like any other fall morning. It was a mild 57-60 degrees as my mother was planning her day over a cup of coffee and was in poor health due to being diabetic. Angie was helping Albert getting prepared for his new job at Leroy’s Automotive. Angie was heading to the gym but needed to run a few errands for herself before going to her doctor’s appointment in Gas City. Two bags of Lay’s Potato Chips at Lance’s New Market for $5.00, two 12-pack of 12-ounce cans of Coca-Cola at K-Mart for $5.00, two 2-liter bottles of Coca-Cola for $1.99 at CVS Pharmacy, a jar of Ragù Spaghetti Sauce for 88 cents and a pound of bananas for 38 cents at Marsh—all were on sale that week that changed my life forever. I remember being dropped off at IWU at 9:00 am while my brother was dropping Angie off at Integrity to get her car, a Chevrolet Lumina, then get gas for the car, then go to her appointment to see her doctor and get groceries.
I went to the IWU Student Center and I remember talking with Dara (Williams) Richards. Things were starting to improve since I was supposed to get a $500 refund the following day. It would never arrive. I remembered conversations with Juliet Jay and Kayla Battishill about my concerns. Kayla had never let me down, and she was one of the few existing connections at IWU I could count on. I did not know I had little support compared to today.
Then I went to my appointment at 10:00 that Thursday morning, I remember seeing something, and my post 9/11 instinct told me that something was not right. I had the weirdest feeling I had not felt since April 18, 1996—the day I broke a classroom window at R.J. Baskett Middle School. I could tell from the look on the face from a secretary at the IWU Student Support Services Center and from Jennie Conrad something was wrong.
At 10:15 that morning, I was in the office of Jerry Harrell with Jennie Conrad present in the room. She hand-delivered that fateful (now the infamous 9/27 letter) envelope and it was clear to me that it was not going to go well. Things started to change. It felt to me I got shot in the arm and I felt my heart drop to my stomach. The next thing I knew, I was escorted off IWU property in an IWU Police car. It was the last time I ever set foot on that campus, though I came close many times since. I adopted a “No IWU Zone” to make sure I do not enter the IWU Marion area.
It was the day everything changed and everyone was devastated. It was the start of a 906-week mystery wondering where I went wrong or what went wrong at IWU Marion. I will not say it is my fault completely because I was unprepared to adapt to college life since I had no support system at the time. I had lived with my mother, Margaret; my brother, Albert, and to an extent, my common-law wife, Angie in a three-bedroom home on North Branson Street on the near northeast side of Marion. Angie still had her own place in Gas City.
I never forgot the look my mother had after I told her the bad news. I immediately called my friend, Alexandra Moffitt, and told her she had a breaking story to cover. It was my dis-enrollment from IWU Marion. I was just too shaken up for months trying to explain what happened because I went numb. I had no idea that I was traumatized by what happened.
Not even fifteen minutes after I was dis-enrolled from IWU, almost everyone in my classes were wondering where I was until I personally called my professors that I had been merely suspended. My mother had that expression on her face when she threw her hands as if she wanted me to fail when I knew this definitely did not help her diabetes. Angie, on the other hand, was devastated and in tears and I had thought my marriage would not last. I did not even tell my children or her children until years later as they were old enough to understand what happened that day.
I went to Dr. Maloney at Life Center Counseling to discuss that letter I had gotten four hours earlier and that meeting with Ms. Conrad and Mr. Harrell. I never forgot the look on the face of Dr. Maloney. I knew he was guilty of something. I could sense that negativity in the office of Dr. Maloney that day. I had probably the most difficult time trying to explain what happened. Keep in mind that this was a psychology counselor I had started to see a year earlier, and I was going with my gut instinct that he would be described as a “quack”—unfit and incompetent is a better term to describe Dr. Maloney because he was no help at all. I began to seek a second opinion, which turned out to be a domino effect after the death of my mother on May 10, 2002 (after which I notified Dr. Maloney I would no longer be seeing him as a patient), and the suicide of my brother, Albert, on August 10, 2002.
I spent most of September 27, 2001, trying to comprehend what happened at IWU Marion. I felt betrayed like I was never betrayed before. I had two more people I needed to notify—my closest friends Robyn Hurd and Holly Everman. Robyn had learned the news from Alexandra while I told Holly everything and Holly even got extremely sick she threw up for an hour. Robyn, Holly, Alexandra, and I immediately went to search for answers that would take nearly two decades to finally resolve.
I then called Sam Murphy at Vocational Rehabilitation to discuss the next steps. Very little progress was made in addition to nothing being done until Ann Sattley (unbeknownst to her) offered a resolution 5,958 days (nearly 17 years) later on January 19, 2018. I needed some answers and I would not get them.
Holly and Robyn respectively made the drives from Muncie and Fort Wayne to Marion. They knew me better than anyone. They read the 9/27 letter and Robyn said to me, “this was sabotage” while Holly said that I should have attended either Ball State or Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW, now Purdue Fort Wayne). I believed Holly almost immediately because she was a senior at Ball State University. Robyn also agreed with Holly. The search for another college to attend was now underway if I wanted to get readmitted to IWU since I knew from them this was just one way. That search grew into a two-decade-long search for answers: Who caused my dis-enrollment from IWU Marion? Why did this happen? When will I return to IWU Marion? But in the months and years that followed, the harsh reality set in.
As the months and years went by with little progress on getting readmission to IWU Marion or finding another college/university to attend, in August 2002, right after my brother’s suicide, a woman I took to my high school prom, reportedly confessed to causing my dis-enrollment from IWU Marion. It was the beginning of a whole new emotional roller coaster for me and assistance from Cornerstone was needed after Dr. Maloney and Vocational Rehabilitation did not offer a resolution. It was also the beginning of a much bigger change that changed my family’s landscape forever.
However, the day after my mother’s death from complications of diabetes, while my brother was planning the funeral of my mother, which I wanted to do since I knew what was best while my brother went against me and I when I was finally ready to see my mother for the last time, I could not because my mother was being cremated. The reason I did not want my brother to handle my mother’s funeral arrangements is that I knew two of my cousins, Rick Renbarger and Vicki Little had harassed her to death. I knew that Rick and Vicki played some role in my dis-enrollment from IWU Marion and in one letter Vicki wrote, she confessed and later recanted her story. My mother may have died from complications from diabetes, but I knew in my heart Vicki Little murdered my mother.
Exactly three months after the murder of my mother, against my better judgment, I went on vacation. Angie, Albert, my mother’s consultant, Ruth Shoop, and John Lopez and I were at Pine Lake in Berne, Indiana enjoying the last moments of what would be the last vacation I ever took (so far). I remember Angie and I were having a conversation about Ivy Tech Marion/Muncie. It also when Angie told me she was pregnant with our daughter, Tabitha, and was due in March 2003. I had Samantha, Tiffani (then Timothy), and Thomas (died November 29, 2006) while Angie had her daughter Ashli (died May 9, 2020). Albert came by and told me something—I could tell he regretted something and said something that turned out to be his final words to me. Then around 6:30 pm, I knew my brother took his own life on August 10, 2002. I had just made amends with Albert a month earlier. I was guilty of not listening to him. The death certificate of my brother says drowning by asphyxiation but in my heart, I knew it was suicide. I only heard Albert saying, “I want to be with Mom.”
That very night in Decatur, when I identified Albert, sat off a dramatic event in my life that led to more weaknesses exposed, such as more financial problems that stemmed from my dis-enrollment from IWU Marion and failing to find another college or university to attend as well as the deaths of my mother and brother. I thought I was on my way to closure.
Instead, the deaths of my mother and brother sat off a dramatic domino effect that would last 16 years with Representative Payee Abuse that followed. Suddenly the priorities changed, yet after my dis-enrollment from IWU Marion, I learned about food pantries and finally got the help I needed. But unfortunately, there was no readmission to IWU Marion or a new college in place since the other options in Marion were Ivy Tech Marion/Muncie or Indiana Business College (now the defunct Harrison College) and it was only getting worse. By then, I had created a “No IWU Zone” in Marion.
What may be the most bizarre twist in my dis-enrollment from IWU Marion was after reviewing the 9/27 letter over 1,000 times and the deaths of my mother and brother as well as an overall lack of support lead to making me realize that many of the requirements needed to return to IWU Marion would no longer work out. It was either suicide or undergo a gender transition—I obviously chose the latter. So on January 4, 2004, not only the day I turned 21, but it was also the day I began living full-time as a woman with the gender transition becoming official on December 1, 2004. Now I had a fourth requirement—how would I be successful at IWU Marion as a woman?
My dis-enrollment from IWU Marion was riddled with so many mistakes and missed opportunities, not because of a direct maliciousness towards me, but because like many small college towns with a big campus like IWU and mental health and personal counseling providers like Cornerstone and Life Center Counseling, specifically Jennie Conrad, Jerry Harrell, and Dr. Vance Maloney held on to their pride, wanting to handle the case their way without regards to compassion and loyalty as well as criticism.
There is now no mistake that many believed that IWU Marion lacked the experience of the fact they had a place for commuters that should have been available the first time but favored students living on campus (which was confirmed on February 9, 2019, when IWU announced a change in housing policy), and whether Dr. Maloney, Ms. Conrad, or Mr. Harrell, or to an extent Mrs. Clingenpeel, Erin Davis at Family Services Society, or even anyone overseeing the renovations at the time realizes it now as they lacked the experience of dealing with someone as it had been painfully aware when Tricia Reitler disappeared, obviously lacked the experience to even know when to ask for help when they needed it.
On January 18, 2018, after three attempts, nearly 17 years, a psychological evaluation by Indianapolis psychologist Michael O’Brien and Vocational Rehabilitation intake counselor Ann Sattley, a resolution was found unbeknownst to Ms. Sattley. After getting the recommended treatment there was some unfinished business in discussing the next steps in furthering my education, which was good news. The bad news was it was no longer going to be in Marion. A month later, on February 23, 2018, I announced I was making the move to Fort Wayne after 22 years in Marion.
After relocating from Marion to Fort Wayne on May 14, 2018, I remember spending two years with no sleep and no life fixing everything that was broken from 2001 to 2018. I had spent $25,000 and 10 years preparing for the move and it only took four hours and $500 to execute the deed. On paper, my move should have put me in even more trouble. The move rejuvenated a transgender female that had languished for years for most of my first 21 years as a male. My relocation from Marion to Fort Wayne on May 14, 2018, and attending Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, is considered to be an upgrade at least for myself, even if it is arguably one for the city Fort Wayne and that city’s LGBT community, as I had not lived in a major city since relocating from Chicago in November 1983, had not graduated from an educational institution since 2001 nor attended any college or university from September 27, 2001, until the search for another college or university came to an end August 24, 2020.
By the time I moved to Fort Wayne, I had narrowed down the prospective colleges and universities to Franklin College of Ohio in Indianapolis, Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana University Kokomo, Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, Purdue Fort Wayne, and Indiana Tech, all of Fort Wayne.
Nineteen years later at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, there are resources at the campus of Ivy Tech Fort Wayne as well as similar resources I had in Marion that can help me improve and be far more academically successful as a 37-year-old transgender female student at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne than I ever was as an 18-year-old male student at IWU Marion. In the first four weeks at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne alone, I had one of my best starts, as (so far) I have all A’s in all three of my courses—something I had not accomplished since my fourth-grade year in the 1993-94 academic year, though I have made the A-B Honor Roll during my middle and high school years.
Summarizing from my experiences at IWU Marion and Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, I learned that there is something about college I did not know when I attended IWU Marion. I also did not know there was help available at my times of need. In conclusion, September 27, 2001, changed not only my family but also changed everyone involved and the changes I have made since then have become as clear as night and day. I still have some issues and I will deal with those when they are warranted.
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