Work and Learn Indiana’s 2023 IMPACT Awards Celebrate Internship Success Across State

For media information, contact:
Matt Ottinger at (317) 264-7541 / 
Rebecca Patrick at (317) 264-6897 /

Work and Learn Indiana’s 2023 IMPACT Awards Celebrate Internship Success Across State

 February 22, 2023 (INDIANAPOLIS) — What happens when interns and mentors dedicate their talents and tenacity to enhancing the future of students and employers throughout Indiana?

A sold-out crowd of 350 gathered to hear these inspiring stories at the Work-Based Learning IMPACT Summit featuring the 17th Annual IMPACT Awards on February 21.

Presented by Work and Learn Indiana, the 2023 IMPACT Award winners were selected by an impartial judging panel from over 150 nominations. The honorees are:

  • Intern of the Year (College): Alex Lefever, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Center for Civic Innovation at the University of Notre Dame
  • Intern of the Year (High School): Arda Kurama, Penn High School, Center for Civic Innovation at the University of Notre Dame
  • Intern of the Year (Adult Learner): Kristina Tague, United Way of Central Indiana
  • Career Development Professional of the Year (College): Brandy Bast, Marian University (Indianapolis)
  • Career Development Professional of the Year (High School): Apryl Kidd, Regional Opportunity Initiatives (Bloomington)
  • Career Development Professional of the Year (Adult Learner): Lamarr Pottinger, NCAA (Indianapolis)
  • Intern Supervisor of the Year: Anna Larson, The Garrett Companies (Greenwood)
  • Employer of the Year (For-Profit): Boston Scientific Corporation (Spencer)
  • Employer of the Year (Non-Profit): Nextech (Indianapolis)
  • David R. McKinnis Community Partner: South Bend Regional Chamber

Work and Learn Indiana is a free internship-matching program managed by the Institute for Workforce Excellence, a 501c3 managed by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, that links employers, students, high schools, universities and intermediaries.

“This year’s event highlighted the remarkable opportunities created when students and employers come together,” says Todd Hurst, executive director of the Institute for Workforce Excellence. “Work-based learning is pivotal in helping the next generation of Hoosier workers excel and it was a pleasure to showcase the fruits of these efforts.”

The awards ceremony was the culmination of a day conference focused on work-based learning, with Gerry Dick of Inside INdiana Business as the event emcee, panel discussions facilitated by Indiana Commissioner of Higher Education Chris Lowery and a morning keynote by Indiana Secretary of Education Dr. Katie Jenner.

For more information about the Work and Learn Indiana program, visit or call (317) 264-6852.

Details about the winners are below and at (which also includes a list of all the statewide nominees):

College Intern of the Year: Alex Lefever – Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
The Center for Civic Innovation at the University of Notre Dame nominated Alex Lefever because of his skills in project management, independent and collaborative problem solving, and quick thinking. Lefever was praised for taking initiative and coming up with viable and sustainable solutions that do more than just get the job done – they get the job done well. Not only that, Lefever took initiative with project partners and maintained and fostered positive relationships in the community.

High School Intern of the Year: Arda Kurama – Penn High School
Arda Kurama was a 2022 summer intern for the Center for Civic Innovation’s summer internship and part of the Michiana Community Health Coalition team, which was tasked with interviewing Community Health Care workers to learn how to best support them in their work. In these interviews, Kurama was intentional about listening to the health care workers and making sure the team understood the needs of the project by engaging community partners with clarifying questions. This not only allowed the team to make excellent recommendations to the stakeholders, but it also strengthened the relationship between the Center for Civic Innovation and the partner organizations which opened the door for future projects.

Adult Learner Intern of the Year: Kristina Tague – United Way of Central Indiana
Kristina Tague impressed employees at United Way of Central Indiana in a variety of ways. Among them: efforts to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of the HR team (and therefore the organization). Along with enhancing its filing process and updating the learning management system, she researched best practices and made recommendations regarding topics such as leave policies and supplemental benefits. Recently, she took on the task of screening interns and entry-level candidates for hiring managers to help elevate some of the pressure with year-end needs.

College Career Development Professional of the Year: Brandy Bast – Marian University
Brandy Bast is a teacher down to her core, and she uses that passion to ensure her students have every possible opportunity to succeed. Beyond that, she brings students and employers together in fun and effective ways that both groups report on as positive experiences.

High School Career Development Professional of the Year: Apryl Kidd – Collaboration of Shoals, Mitchell and Orleans Schools
Apryl Kidd has flourished as director of COSMOS (Collaboration of Shoals, Mitchell and Orleans Schools). She works to establish high school career pathways with employers in rural areas – particularly in high-demand sectors like manufacturing and increasing collaboration between local organizations. Among her accomplishments was establishing Manufacturing Week as an opportunity for eighth grade students to explore manufacturing careers as they consider high school pathway enrollment.

Adult Learner Career Development Professional of the Year: Lamarr Pottinger – NCAA

Lamarr Pottinger is the program leader of the NCAA Postgraduate Internship Program and annually provides on-the-job learning experiences at the national office in Indianapolis to college graduates who are passionate in their pursuit of a career in college sports administration.

Intern Supervisor of the Year: Anna Larson – The Garrett Companies
Anna Larson is a true leader, coach and inspirational asset to the team at The Garrett Companies. Larson spearheaded the creation, branding and evolution of the Garrett Internship Program (GIP) into a nationally recognized and award-winning program.

For-Profit Employer of the Year: Boston Scientific Corporation
Boston Scientific in Spencer has been committed to providing a rich work-based learning experience for college students through co-op/internship opportunities for more than 20 years. With more than 600 rotations through its Spencer site, the program has provided a strategic talent pipeline that supports retaining and attracting top talent to STEM careers in Indiana.

Nonprofit Employer of the Year: Nextech
Nextech lives at the intersection of computer science education and workforce development. The company is founded on the fundamental belief that all K-12 students in Indiana can and should have access to information and experiences that motivate, inspire and encourage them to explore rewarding career paths in technology.

David R. McKinnis Community Partner: South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce
The South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce has been a relentless advocate for supporting work-based learning opportunities for Indiana students and engaging employers in strategies to support its local talent pipeline. While traditionally representing the local business community, the South Bend Chamber is also widely regarded for the leadership and coordination it brings to the entire talent ecosystem of the region – playing a critical role as a coordinator and intermediary for local schools, postsecondary institutions and the broader business community.


The Indiana Chamber partners with 25,000 members and investors – representing over four million Hoosiers – to achieve the mission of “cultivating a world-class environment which provides economic opportunity and prosperity.”

Work and Learn Indiana, a program managed by the Institute for Workforce Excellence at the Indiana Chamber, is the catalyst for expanding the creation and use of experiential learning opportunities as a key strategy in retaining Indiana’s top talent.

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