A Student Publication of Lorain County Community College

Post 9/11 generation learn about attacks from parents, the internet, history class

Lauren HoffmanJRNM 151 September 11, 2001. The date alone conjures the images of smoldering Twin Towers and it crumbling to the ground. The day will forever go down in history as one of the worst attacks on American soil, and it…

Students say “yes” to in-person classes, put up with masks

JRNM 151 The first-day college jitters are compounded by mask mandates on campus. While many students are excited to be on campus, an uncertainty only three months ago, the new COVID-19 guidelines and the looming mask policies do not hold…

Dean Douglas chosen for national presidential fellowship

Special to The Collegian The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program today announced that Denise Douglas, Ph.D., Lorain County Community College’s dean of social sciences and human services, has been named to the prestigious Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship. Douglas is one…

Medical Mutual makes $1-million gift to LCCC

Special to The Collegian More Lorain County Community College students will have access to life-changing programs and support thanks to a $1 million gift from Medical Mutual. This gift to the LCCC Foundation represents the largest single corporate gift in…

LCCC wins 11 honors from Cleveland Press Club

Anthony LaRosaEditor-in-Chief The Collegian took eight honors and the Boom Radio won three honors in the trade/2-year school category in 2021 All Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards, hosted by the Press Club of Cleveland on June 24. Oscar Rosado, the…

Education secretary Cardona says LCCC grads set an example to the nation

Anthony LaRosaEditor-in-ChiefIn 2020, Courtney Crell graduated from Avon High School, and a year later she was among the 1,854 Lorain County Community College graduates who were honored at the virtual graduation commencement today.U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Ph.D., and…

Post 9/11 generation learn about attacks from parents, the internet, history class

Lauren Hoffman
JRNM 151

September 11, 2001. 
The date alone conjures the images of smoldering Twin Towers and it crumbling to the ground. The day will forever go down in history as one of the worst attacks on American soil, and it spawned a 20-year Afghanistan war in its wake. Many, who were adults at that time, reminisce with heartbreak still in their voices. But, it is a different experience for those who were too young or born after 9/11.
Hannah Baker, a Lorain Country Community College student, recalled being in high school when the horrific incident occurred. Initially, she didn’t realize its impact. But the fear truly started to settle in when her teacher forcefully threw a book across the classroom and shouted, “I hate it when people attack our country.” Years later, the memories still resonate with Baker. Her dad was an air traffic controller at the time, and she heard everything occurring on Flight 93 before they lost contact. To cope with the trauma, her family visited every 9/11 memorial. “It really brought closure to us. I think they all depicted the true scope of the tragedy very well,” Baker said. 
Amherst resident Megan Campbell, who was in high school at the time, shared similar stories. Campbell recalled “getting into the study hall and there it was on the TV.” Having known people in New York, Campbell recalled being terrified. “I don’t think anybody fully understood; we didn’t know what it meant.”         
Maryah Sneed, an Engineering major at LCCC, said she was surprised that “something so heinous could cross somebody’s mind to do. I’ve flown, and I’m always a little scared that am I ever gonna be safe?” 
Nick Millsop, an LCCC freshman, had a similar response. “We go over 9/11 in high school every year. I mean terrorism is bad, of course, and I feel it’s really on the rise,” Millsop said. 
High school students were further removed from the impact of 9/11, causing many to view it as something that had occurred before they were born.
Steel Parish, a sophomore at Marion L Steele High School in Amherst,recalls learning about 9/11 through the internet when he was 11 or 12. He knew “two planes hit the Twin Towers, one plane hit the Pentagon, and one landed in a field in Pennsylvania.” He knew they were hijacked and that it was suspected the attack came from Middle-Eastern radicals, but it was also quick to throw in the viral internet conspiracy theory of then-president Bush having a part in the attack. Parish didn’t show any emotions when talking about 9/11 and shrugged and commented, “It’s just kind of a thing that happened before I was born.”        
Claire Kline, 18, and Taryn Clark, Marion L Steele High seniors, 17, echoed Parish’s views. They said they knew, sort of, about it but didn’t fully learn about 9/11 until the fifth- or sixth grade. 
Kline said she was “but rather intrigued. I mean, it is something to learn. I’m not personally scared by it, though.” However, Kline said she is terrified that something similar could occur again. 
Young adults today view 9/11 as another event covered in history class, and it’s just another disaster that occurred before their time. But to those such as North Ridgeville resident Jaimey Whitehead, “It’s the closest thing people that were alive during the time can equate to Pearl Harbor.”


Students say “yes” to in-person classes, put up with masks

JRNM 151

The first-day college jitters are compounded by mask mandates on campus. While many students are excited to be on campus, an uncertainty only three months ago, the new COVID-19 guidelines and the looming mask policies do not hold the same weight.

While most students agree that masks provide an extra layer of protection, few are eager to wear the fabric.

  Natalie Schenk, a Business major, said she was “glad to be back on campus.” But Schenk is quick to remind that while wearing masks can be annoying, “you can never be too careful.”

 Fellow student Jadiel Soto – Perez, a Nursing major, agrees with Schenk, saying, “I mean I do like it (mask mandate). I think it enforces us to follow the rules, and not everyone is vaccinated. Some people say that they’re vaccinated, and they’re not. So, it helps keep everyone safe. Young people, old people, everyone.”

Not all students felt the same about masking-up. “I think it should be up to each student and instructor,” commented Ellen Miller, also a Nursing major. “We all know about it by now and know how to stay safe.”

Katarina Oudeman, a Business Associate of Arts major, admitted that the mask mandate creates a sense of safety. “There are so many new people and new classes. Attempting to socialize is very difficult, especially with masks.” With the new delta of the COVID-19 variant looming, some people may be nervous about coming back. “I’m not nervous at all,” said Oudeman, “we’re wearing masks anyway.”

 Brandon Neiding, a Business major, said, “My mental health took a huge hit. Being alone and not being able to see my friends was very hard on me and caused some depression.” Oudeman’s, anxiety heightened as the vaccine came out. “At first, I was nervous because I thought it was rushed. But now that it’s been around for a few months, I feel much better about it.”

 Cody Devos, a freshman, believes that he will be “fine” because he has received the vaccine and also plans on keeping a far distance from other students when possible. He said LCCC had done a great job with handling the entire situation and was not concerned that he might be at any risk.

This was also the same situation for Emily Maslow, another student, who also plans on being as “careful and possible” while going around campus, and in classes. Emily had the vaccine, which made coming back to in-person classes safer.

Steven Hastings, a Physical Science major, said that he is “sick of it” when asked about the mask mandate. Hastings said the mask mandate is “something that needed to be done” even if he isn’t a fan of it. 

Zachary Schuster, another student at Lorain County Community College, shared that he “doesn’t wear his mask anywhere but at the college and his workplace.”

 Blake Jarvis, a third-year student, said that it didn’t bother him to wear the masks again.

 Julie Rivera, a Fine Arts major, said the mask “gets in the way of my piercings which is annoying.” However, she said being quarantined during the height of the pandemic made her “feel alone. I am actually happy to be back on campus because it will help my GPA.”

JRNM 151 students James Boron, Owen Cooper, Lauren Hoffman, Helen Lewis, Hayden Lowstetter, Christina Yuhasz and James Wade contributed to the story.


Dean Douglas chosen for national presidential fellowship

Special to The Collegian

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program today announced that Denise Douglas, Ph.D., Lorain County Community College’s dean of social sciences and human services, has been named to the prestigious Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship.

Douglas is one of 40 exceptional community college leaders in the country named to the highly selective leadership program that prepares the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success.  In addition to her role as dean, Douglas also serves as co-chair of the LCCC Equity for Students Team.

Denise Douglas, Ph.D.

“I am honored to be selected for this prestigious fellowship and I am grateful for the support and mentorship of LCCC President, Dr. Marcia Ballinger,” Douglas said. “I am looking forward to engaging in this learning experience and bringing back what I learn to further advance our student success work at Lorain County Community College.”  

As Rising President Fellow, Douglas will complete a 10-month program that includes mentorships with current and former community college presidents, including current Ballinger, Ph.D., who completed the Rising Presidents Fellowship during as part of the program’s inaugural class in 2016.

“I am thrilled for Dr. Douglas to participate in this career-changing fellowship,” Ballinger said. “Dr. Douglas has an immense passion for the transformational work of community colleges. Through this fellowship, she will enhance her already exceptional skills, making her even more capable of leading deep cultural and institutional change with a focus on student success and equity.”

Prior to her role as dean at LCCC, Douglas worked for nearly 30 years in higher education, primarily at private universities, including Case Western Reserve University. She was drawn to the community college by the opportunity to connect with a system to more fundamentally meets her core value system, including fostering growth and opportunity for first-generation and under-resourced students.  Douglas lives in Avon.

The Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship responds to the growing need for a new generation of leaders well-equipped to meet the challenges of the future. Nationally, nearly 80 percent of sitting presidents plan to retire in the next decade. While the traditional pathway to the presidency has often excluded women and people of color, the incoming class of Aspen Rising Presidents Fellows is composed of 68 percent women and 70 percent people of color and represents institutions of varying sizes and locations.

Together, the 2021-22 fellows are leaders at colleges that collectively serve more than 400,000 students. As well, 67 Rising Presidents Fellowship alumni have become presidents of community colleges that collectively serve an additional 953,000 students nationwide.

Medical Mutual makes $1-million gift to LCCC

Special to The Collegian

More Lorain County Community College students will have access to life-changing programs and support thanks to a $1 million gift from Medical Mutual. This gift to the LCCC Foundation represents the largest single corporate gift in the foundation’s nearly 50-year history.

This gift will support LCCC’s groundbreaking work in supporting student success. Specifically, it will be catalytic in the LCCC Foundation’s efforts to build an endowment to sustain the LCCC Emergency Assistance Program. The donation also will support LCCC’s cutting-edge Fast-Track short-term training program by establishing two scholarship programs: the Medical Mutual Bridging the Gap and Medical Mutual Momentum scholarship funds. 

“The generous gift from Medical Mutual will make a tangible positive impact for LCCC students,” said LCCC President Marcia J. Ballinger, Ph.D. “By supporting students through emergency funds and scholarships, Medical Mutual is making an investment in the success of LCCC students and the future of our community.”

The LCCC Emergency Assistance Program, supported by donors to the LCCC Foundation, provides funding to help students overcome financial emergencies that could prevent them from remaining enrolled in college. This program has been highly successful in helping students overcome barriers and remain enrolled, ultimately earning their degrees or credentials.  

“Oftentimes, emergency assistance as little as $50 can be the difference needed to keep a student enrolled in classes and working toward their goals,” Ballinger said. “These funds are true game-changers for students.”

The Emergency Assistance Funds are distributed through LCCC’s Advocacy and Resource Center (ARC), which helps students access food, counseling, financial, and other support.

Medical Mutual’s gift also focuses on LCCC’s highly successful Fast-Track programs, which help students train for a career in high demand fields such as health care, IT and advanced manufacturing. Launched in  2020, Fast-Track offers individuals the ability to enroll in one of more than 30 high-demand programs to earn a certificate in 16 weeks or less at zero cost to the student. The Medical Mutual Bridging the Gap Scholarship will supplement existing funding sources to allow the College to expand the program, increasing access for those in the community needing to quickly train for a new career. Fast Track programs provide industry-recognized credentials that are stackable so that participants have the option to continue their education seamlessly to earn associate degrees or bachelors or master’s degrees offered through LCCC and its University Partnership. The Medical Mutual Momentum Scholarship will also provide an additional $500 scholarship to those students who complete a Fast Track credential and choose to pursue an associate degree at LCCC.

“Medical Mutual is beyond thankful for educational partners like LCCC, which is helping to put both students and our community firmly on the path for a better future,”,” shared Rick Chiricosta, Medical Mutual’s Chairman, President and CEO. “We know that this additional support for students improve both their chances of persisting in school and their health and well-being – all while helping to close critical skills gaps in high-demand fields like healthcare, IT and manufacturing.” 

Ballinger said the gift from Medical Mutual will provide vital assistance while creating a lasting impact.

“Medical Mutual’s gift has thoughtfully created a continuum of programming so that every student has the ability to access – and succeed – at LCCC,” said Ballinger.

LCCC wins 11 honors from Cleveland Press Club

Anthony LaRosa

The Collegian took eight honors and the Boom Radio won three honors in the trade/2-year school category in 2021 All Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards, hosted by the Press Club of Cleveland on June 24.

Oscar Rosado, the former editor of The Collegian, picked up first place in the Best Print Newspaper Story for “Issue 17 levy passes regardless of Covid-19 quarantine.” The judges commented on the story, “Solid story, lots of detail – and that’s a good combination. Very timely as well.”

Oscar Rosado
Anthony LaRosa

Rosado also took home second place in this category for his story, “Extra security placed to ensure safety from virus,” which the judges applauded for its “perfect framework.”

Third place was awarded to The Collegian staff for their story on the 2020 Presidential election titled “Residents sound off on Lorain poll results.” The judges commented that The Collegian’s election story covered “interesting facts and comments on one of the most controversial elections in modern times.”

In the Best Print Feature Story category, Collegian editor Anthony LaRosa placed first with “LCCC’s theatre program and Spark Theatre join forces to host two events.”

The Collegian staff placed second with “LCCC sets example of gender equality,” and Rosado placed third with his story titled “Alumni encourages future reporters to be right, not first.”

LaRosa also placed first in the Best Print Sports Story category for his piece, “COVID restrictions cut athletics programs, cross country takes second place.”

The Collegian’s placed second for the Best Online Report with “No welcoming week events due to Pandemic,” which the judges said featured “factual and concise reporting.”

The Boom Radio took first, second, and third places for the Best Radio/Podcast news.

Janet Maltbie’s podcast episode titled, “You Want to Combat Viruses?” placed first, receiving applaud from the judges for its professionalism. Justin Below’s episode on climate change and the environment took second, and Gabe Apanius placed third with “A favorite Christmas memory.” The judges commented, “A solid effort. There was a certain level of professionalism that came through with this program.”


Education secretary Cardona says LCCC grads set an example to the nation

Anthony LaRosa
In 2020, Courtney Crell graduated from Avon High School, and a year later she was among the 1,854 Lorain County Community College graduates who were honored at the virtual graduation commencement today.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Ph.D., and LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., applauded the new graduates for persevering through life and school despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

2021 grad Akua  Agyemang celebrates at the Doors of Opportunity.

“Your stories have brightened LCCC’s historically radiant campus, your contributions will enhance that legacy, and that legacy is Lorain County,” Cardona said during the virtual ceremony. “In many ways, you’re not just joining a proud LCCC legacy, you’re joining the proud legacy of community college graduates nationwide, who’ve improved their own lives and opened doors to new opportunities with a community college education.”
Ballinger commented, “One of my favorite things about Lorain County Community College is the strength and determination of our students. You are all an inspiration to me, to each other, and to our community. All of you have shown true resilience. When the pandemic began in 2020 and it turned our lives upside down, you made the bold choice to continue forward with your education. Faced with challenges, you chose to see the opportunity before you. In an era of rapid change, you have remained focused on your future and you completed your degree.”
About 2,234 two-year degrees and certificates were awarded. Included in that number were 365 University Partnership graduates, which is the largest class in the UP’s 25-year history.
Ohio Chancellor Randy Gardner delivered the keynote address at the commencement.
Crell has been working on her LCCC classes since she was in high school through the college’s College Credit Plus program, and now she is celebrating the completion of her Associates of Arts degree.
Crell said, “I’m going to be transferring to the University of Miami in about two years, I’ll have my Bachelors in English. I would recommend [the CCP program] to anyone that’s thinking about it. It not only helped me with my studies, but it also taught me independence and accountability.”
In honor of the graduating class of 2021, LCCC installed an innovative tribute that celebrates each student’s resilient journey to become a college graduate. Twenty-one full-sized doors line a grassy median stretching nearly 450 feet — longer than a football field. Every propped-open door bears a different word, symbolizing the unique journey each LCCC student took to reach graduation day. By walking through the door, students not only found the right opportunity on LCCC’s campus but the support and confidence to lead them into the next chapter of their lives. 
Every door includes an augmented reality video that shares the personal story of a graduate from each academic program. These 21 custom videos feature 25 members of the class of 2021 who appear to enter their door in unique ways when viewers scan a QR code on every door. 
“The Doors of Opportunity honor the courage the class of 2021 demonstrated to achieve their academic goals,” Ballinger said.


Dedication to students keep Ballinger going strong even after 30 years at LCCC

By Emma Konn
JRNM 151

 When Marcia Ballinger accepted a job as director of Marketing/Recruitment and Media Relations in 1991 at Lorain County Community College, she didn’t know she would become the president at college.
“I fell in love with the mission of community college,” Ballinger, Ph.D., said while reflecting on her 30 years at LCCC. “It’s vital to tell the story of the importance of community colleges and the value of higher education.”
Ballinger, who took the reins of the college in 2016, received her doctorate in Community College Leadership from Walden University, an MBA from Kent State University, and a BA in Journalism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

LCCC President Ballinger, Ph.D.

“My background in Journalism made it easier to communicate with others when I obtained my job in Marketing.”
After Ballinger became the vice president of Strategic and Institutional Development, she knew that she belonged in the community college circle. Ballinger not only evolved in her position as president but also took the college on an evolutionary path as well. Ballinger was at the forefront in creating University Partnerships at LCCC
“I created a vision that is now the University Partnership. I had to write up a concept paper, and then get it approved in the levy. After it was approved, I then enrolled as a student as well to take advantage of the University Partnership. Every student’s dream matters and the reason we, as faculty, exist because of our students.”
One of Ballinger’s goals is to have students obtain 10,000 degrees by 2025.
Ballinger relates to her students because she was a student and it, gives her an insight into the students’ world. Ballinger gives the advice that she followed herself by saying this, “I urge you to aim high, and truly pursue the dream that aligns with who you are.”
Ballinger is an inaugural member of the Aspen Institute’s Presidential Fellowship. Under her stewardship, LCCC became the first community college in Ohio to offer an applied bachelor’s degree program in MEMS (Micro Electromechanical Systems) in 2018.  LCCC also garnered the top two national honors for excellence in student success awarded by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) as “First in the Nation for Excellence in Student Success” in 2018 and by Achieving the Dream, Inc. (ATD) as the Leah Meyer Austin Award recipient in 2020.
Her other accolades include recognition as a 2020 Crain’s Cleveland Business Power 150 Leaders in Northeast Ohio and the 2020 Pacesetter Award by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR). 

Student Senate president juggles events, classes during the pandemic

Dylan Rice
JRNM 151

LCCC Student Senate President Zarai Aquino’s biggest challenge is “managing my classes and my job.” Aquino is majoring in Organizational Leadership at the University Partnership with Cleveland State University.
Aquino said during a telephone interview that she got “into my position the same way all senators get in. I gathered 100 signatures from students and then started to campaign.”
When asked what she does in her position, Aquino said, “As student senate president I attend council meetings. Give insight on behalf of the students. I reach out to students so they can voice their opinions, then I make a report and give it to the higher-ups.”
Aquino added, “I saw it as an opportunity to make changes.”
Aquino said that “gaining student participation during COVID-19” is another challenge. “Now that everything is online, we don’t have a student data base. Now with coronavirus everything is online, the meetings are on WebEx. We have been promoting them on our social media.”
Some of the upcoming events include a Facebook costume contest, Instagram scavenger hunt, and RealTalk meetings.




No Welcoming Week events due to pandemic


As the fall semester begins, the LCCC campus is missing many excited and eager faces as it used to seeing around this time of year. The coronavirus pandemic has changed the look of LCCC during the Welcoming Week.

No Welcoming Week festivities at College Center. Photo: Mackenzie Jonke.

“In the six years I’ve worked here, no other year has looked like this,” explained Marketplace cashier Leanne Failing. “I was aware of the changes, but having segregated entrances and your temperature taken was surprising.”

Covid-19 screening stations have been set up in select entrances to the campus. After the screening, students and faculty have to walk through connecting buildings to get to their classes.

With many classes opting for online learning and the strict precautions to provide a safe environment for students, College Center and other buildings were bare. Even with all the modifications, Failing was eager to return to the school.

“I was looking forward to coming back, but it definitely has a different vibe. I think this is just a time for us all to be patient”.

Campus Security Chief Kenneth Collins, who was working at the temperature check station in CC building on the first day back to campus, said the pandemic has left people confused on many new rules and regulations. He said there are a lot more students on campus than he expected. Many students have chosen a community college as opposed to a four-year university because of the coronavirus in an attempt to save money or preserve health.

Collins, who is also a criminal justice graduate, explained there is an influx of telephone calls his department was receiving due to most entrances being closed.

Collins said he was pleased that “everyone was pretty patient and polite” to him and to his coworkers at the screening areas.

Six feet distancing signs are posted in the bookstore. Photo: Mackenzie Jonke.

Peyton Kellick, a psychology major and a Commodore Bookstore staff, said she wasn’t sure what to expect on the first day of the class, but she was definitely excited to see people at the campus again. As she works in the bookstore, she is used to seeing a lot of foot-traffic. She said she thought a lot of people would order their books online, and she was surprised to see as many people as she did in the bookstore and it was a “pleasant surprise.”

However, the first day back was still nowhere near as busy as it was in years past.

Ana Marzan, a Student Life staff and a criminal justice major, said she also saw more people on campus than she expected to see, but the amount of people present today was nowhere near the amount of people that are usually seen roaming the CC building. In addition to there being fewer people, she said that she did not expect the temperature checks when she walked in at CC, and while she was expected to wear a mask, she said it felt “weird.”

Journalism students Taylor Anderson, Courtney Crell, Anthony LaRosa, Madison Leon, Dylan Rice, and Alyssa Watson contributed to this report.

Issue 17 levy passes regardless of covid-19 quarantine

Oscar Rosado

Despite social distancing and other covid-19-related restrictions, LCCC’s Issue 17 levy passed by 27,650 (59.5 percent) to 18,809 (40.5 percent) votes, according to unofficial results released by Lorain County Board of Elections on April 28.

The goal of renewing the existing 1.8 millage as well as adding a 0.5 millage won by 8,841 votes.

LCCC will receive an estimated $15.6 million per year with the passing of the levy. This levy amount will run until the next decade, lasting until 2030.

“We all won, together!”

“We all won, together,” exclaimed Vice President for Strategic and Institutional Development Tracy Green.“We are humbled by the results and by the confidence this community has and what LCCC means to the lives of the people here. Issue 17 has passed at about 60 percent and that is a phenomenal testament to how this community values higher education and the impact that LCCC is making on our community and our future.”

Won regardless of the coronavirus outbreak

Regardless of the initial setback of the election pushed from Mar. 17 due to the coronavirus outbreak, the levy has passed.

“It is absolutely remarkable, and I am so grateful for the continuation of the community’s support. It was this community that built LCCC as the first community college in Ohio in 1963,” said Green. She went on to say, “That tradition of investing in ourselves and in the best hope of our community’s future continues today. So this result just really reflects that continued commitment for our local access to affordable quality higher education and all the gratitude goes to our community. We are the community’s college and we will continue to fulfill that mission.”

Going forward with the future, Green said, “This is a ten-year renewal levy, so it keeps a foundation of support that has been part of LCCC since 1963. It is instrumental to making LCCC who we are and what we’re able to deliver to this community.”

Not a typical election

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, celebrations have been put on hold. “First and foremost is the health and safety of our community. So while prior election years when we had an issue on the ballot that has been up for renewal, we’ve had wonderful celebration times with large gatherings, but we want to protect the health and safety of our campus and our community,” said Green.

It was not a traditional celebration nor a watch-party to see results come up on April 28, according to Green. She went to say, “It was not a typical gathering, we were just watching the results come through with Lorain County Board of Elections.”

“It was a little quieter, but that doesn’t make the celebration any less enthusiastic just because we weren’t able to do it in that way. There is such sincere gratitude for the support of this community,” said Green.

Thank you to all students

Green also paid tribute to students. “Thank you to all the students. Our students are the reason why we exist and what we do every day, and it is their stories that I believe demonstrate the impact that we make,” said Green.

Green believes statistics are just half of what reflects the success of students and the college. “Certainly, percentages and numbers say one side of the story, but when you really tell the story, like the story of yourself and other students and the impact that our college was able to make on the individual lives, that is when it becomes real, and that’s when it becomes meaningful. We are grateful to our students for entrusting us with their futures and choosing us as their higher education providers.” 


Many see light at the end of the tunnel as DeWine lifts Covid restrictions

JRNM 151

On July 23, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine ordered a mask mandate that required all individuals in the state to wear facial coverings in addition to social distancing because of COVID-19. Almost a year from that day, the Ohio Department of Health is easing those restrictions in different phases.
“It’s like seeing daylight for the first time, after being in the dark for a while,” Noah France, a sophomore at LCCC, said.
People from around the state are now preparing to return to normal life after COVID-19.
“It’s surreal, but it’s definitely a relief, though,” France said.
For some, the lifting of restrictions offers a chance to reconnect with family and friends.
Kionna McIntosh-Pharms, LCCC’s student services navigator, was greatly affected by the social restraints that came into play due to the virus. McIntosh-Pharms’ family consists of essential workers. Therefore, she spent months away from the people she was closest to.
McIntosh-Pharms is just one of the millions of people who have had to make sacrifices to help contain the spread of the virus.

Tips to overcome agoraphobia
Social interactions used to be an everyday occurrence, but since the spread of the pandemic, there have been waves of social limitations put on the world’s population. As the distribution of vaccines continues and safety restrictions lessen, some people have found themselves anxious about assimilating back into society.
Charlene Dellipoala, project coordinator for the Caring Advocates for Addiction Recovery  center and a crisis counselor at LCCC, said the switch from in-person meetings to virtual interactions and isolation has taken a toll on people’s mental health. Many people suffer from agoraphobia, the fear of interacting in a gathering, travel and open space, among other issues.
“Too much free time (in isolation) can be your own worst enemy,” Dellipoala said. “Take baby steps. If the idea of leaving the house is overwhelming, then try going for a walk. Find what works for you.”
LCCC student Marisa Molnar said, “Students feeling anxiety around their classes are almost normal nowadays. However, with the pandemic, there is even more pressure.”
In order to help anxious students, faculty and staff return to a safe environment, the college has enacted guidelines that lower the level of risk of spreading the virus.
Caitlin Valley, a staff assistant at LCCC, was concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic. Her family and her parents went into strict quarantine at the beginning of the outbreak. The transition to a lifestyle based around the lockdown and working from home brought special challenges.
“I was anxious about how susceptible I would be,” Valley said. “There was a lot of anxiety around the disease because we didn’t know when a vaccine would be available.”
LCCC responded to these fears and the challenges of the pandemic in a way that put those fears to rest.
“As we continued working from home, and eventually went back to the campus. The safety protocols, temperature readings, mask requirements, security officers and limiting how many people are together, the school did that well. Going back in person and seeing it for ourselves made me feel so much better,” Valley said.
Lindsey Maurer, an adviser, expressed similar views toward the college’s response to the pandemic. “I was worried about my health and safety, but LCCC has been prioritizing science. They stood behind the vaccine and were cautious,” she said. Despite some concerns about the pandemic, Maurer was excited to return to the campus and continue her work as an adviser in person. “We were the first school to move online, we moved fast and kept people safe. Just being able to go next door to a coworker’s office and knock on their door is so much nicer. I just look forward to being more at ease around others,” Maurer said.
For people who may need help preparing themselves to return to life after the pandemic, the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic have advice that could help limit their anxiety attacks.

  • Before going out into public, work on visualizing and overcoming stressful situations. This can help people maintain a stronger control over their mental state
  • Practice going to smaller social events first, and slowly work into bigger gatherings
  • Go out with a friend or family member, and
  • Learn different types of breathing techniques to help curb anxiety.
    (Anthony LaRosa, editor-in-chief, contributed to this report.)


Kestler finds his calling at LCCC

Ethan Lindenberger
JRNM 151

As a 10year-old, Harry Kestler, studied his medical books looking for information about rheumatic fever. This is where the immune system responds to the earlier strep throat or scarlet fever infection and causes a generalized inflammatory response. But Kestler, who has a doctorate in microbiology and a professor at LCCC, was not studying the disease for academic purposes or to become a physician. “My little brother came down with rheumatic fever and this changed everything for my family. I have a tendency to obsess on things when I feel like I’m out of control. So as a 10-year-old, I’d begin looking into medical articles.”

Harry Kestler during his Harvard University days. Submitted photo.

But Kestler’s obsession didn’t end with his brother’s illness. Kestler attended Monroe Community College, New York, from 1974-1975, and later studied at the University of Rochester, also in New York, from 1976 to 1986. During his postgraduate studies at the University of Rochester, Kestler didn’t just study psychology and biology, he also taught it.
 “I was a teaching assistant for genetics. I find teaching to be simultaneously terrifying and invigorating,” he said.

Kestler even attended Harvard MedicalSchoolfrom 1986-1991, studying molecular virology and later taking on the role of a research associate. Here, Kestler studied HIV/AIDS and assisted in the production of a vaccine against the disease, an effort that is still ongoing today. “I thought I would change the world by creating a vaccine for AIDS. In fact, I discovered one and developed a second one and we are working on a third right now,” Kestler said.

Kestler has been teaching at LCCC for 24 years. However, many wonder why a Harvard educated professor with legitimate research and major contributions to an important vaccination, chose to teach at a community college.

“Why a community college? When I left graduate school, a Beatles song stuck in my head. The third line from “Revolution” is “we all want to change the world” that line repeats many times in the song. It also repeats many times in my head, to this day,” he said.

“I have taught at many levels and it is my finding that there are brilliant people at Harvard University, the University of  Rochester, Clark University (Massachusetts), Case Western University’s Lerner College of Medicine, and at Monroe Community College.”

“What is different about community colleges is opportunity. A student from Harvard it’s going to be successful no matter what I do. At LCCC, I have a chance and I hope to make a difference for my students because “we all want to change the world,” Kestler said.


LCCC sports strikes out for the second year in a row

Hunter Osborne
JRNM 151

For the second consecutive season, the Lorain County Community College’s baseball team has to take a seat on the bench.
The 2021 season has ended before it began for the Commodores, just like the 2020 season. After two off-seasons of hard work and dedication, Coach Bill Frawley is disappointed his squad won’t get the chance to take the field.
“It’s extremely disappointing,” said Frawley. “It’s a year or two now that these guys won’t get back because of the virus. I just want to coach, and let my players have some fun.”
Frawley has been coaching at LCCC for over 15 years now and has had some disappointing seasons, yet none worse than this one. “I just wish there was something I could do, but I can’t,” he said in a recent interview.
Most importantly though, Frawley feels for his players who had to miss out on two seasons due to the pandemic. “I feel terrible for them. When it’s all said and done, I get to come back and coach. Mostly all of these guys won’t come back to play because they’ll be on to bigger and better things. I’m very proud of the young men they’re becoming off the field.”
Since March 2020, recruits and college coaches have been in a constant state of uncertainty as the NCAA monitors the coronavirus pandemic and makes changes to the recruiting rules and calendar. As a result of the NCAA’s suspension of in-person recruiting, college coaches have shifted to recruiting digitally. This means coaches are relying more heavily on online recruiting networks like NCSA or Field Level to discover, communicate with, evaluate and recruit talent.
“I love using Field Level. I usually have my guys sign up for it right before the season starts so we can get colleges to look at them. Obviously, we can’t do that this year,” said Frawley. Frawley added he had players coming in from different states including Minnesota, California and North Dakota to try out for the team this year.
Frawley said he is already looking forward to the 2022 season with his team.