A Student Publication of Lorain County Community College

Issue 10 wins with a comfortable lead

Caitlyn Ujvari JRNM 151            Issue 10, a 2.1-mill renewal levy, won with a comfortable lead. The levy, which will fund the Lorain County Community College’s University Partnership program, garnered 72,250 (67 percent) votes against 35,719…

Lt. Gov. Husted Lauds college on MEMs Intel Partnership

Lauren HoffmanEditor-In-Chief “Our students are why this program exists,” Marcia Ballinger , Ph.D., president of Lorain County Community College told Lt. Gov. Jon Husted following his visit to LCCC’s Desich SMART Commercialization Center Sept. 13.Husted’s visit comes as part of…

How Biden’s Student Debt Relief Bill will affect LCCC

Lauren Hoffman Editor-In-Chief Student debt and loans is something that continues to plague college students well after graduation, haunting their dreams and hindering their ambitions for life. For the nation’s leader, U.S. President Joe Biden, the student loan crisis needed…

LCCC’s police academy named Star Academy by Attorney General

Lauren HoffmanEditor-In-Chief Lorain County Community College has garnered its fair share of awards throughout the years from being named the most affordable community college, to its designations as being No. 1 in the nation for success. Their Police Academy is…

Levy won’t raise tax; will boost education

Lauren Hoffman Editor-In-Chief Lorain County Community College will take on the world of politics once again this November 8 ballot as the University Partnership Levy is set to be renewed before its expiration in 2023. The levy which was first…

Collegian staff shines at 44th annual Press Club awards banquet

Lauren Hoffman Editor-In-ChiefLorain County Community College’s student-run newspaper, The Collegian, again swept the floor at the Cleveland Press Club Awards on June 10, taking home eleven awards in the Trade/2-Year School category. Lauren Hoffman, editor-in-chief of The Collegian, won three awards, including…

LCCC graduates take flight for 58th commencement ceremony

Lauren HoffmanEditor-In-Chief“Today is the day that your hard work pays off and is the day we celebrate you.” Lorain County Community College President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., said as she welcomed graduates to the 58th commencement ceremony Saturday morning in the…

Issue 10 wins with a comfortable lead

LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., congratulates Issue 10 volunteers. Photo: Caitlyn Ujvari.

Caitlyn Ujvari
JRNM 151

           Issue 10, a 2.1-mill renewal levy, won with a comfortable lead. The levy, which will fund the Lorain County Community College’s University Partnership program, garnered 72,250 (67 percent) votes against 35,719 (33 percent), according to unofficial results announced by Lorain County Board of Elections.

           “It’s an affirmation of what Lorain County Community College means to our residents. After 60 years, the importance is still critical,” said LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., at the watch party on Nov. 8 at the Spitzer Conference Center. The margin of passing is the highest percentage of a win in the college’s history, according to Ballinger.

           The levy “supports the UP’s programs, ensures that the programs are up to date and we are able to continue to provide these services to all students,” said Ballinger while highlighting the importance of this victory for the students of the college and the future generations in the community.

        The 2.1 mill-renewal levy, which will cost $51.01 on a $100,000 home, will raise approximately $14.75 million per year for the next 10 years for LCCC.

        LCCC Provost Jonathan Dryden, Ph.D., said the levy does help Lorain residents graduate. The University Partnership program has a significant impact on increasing the number of students graduating with bachelor’s degrees in the county, according to Dryden.

 Alexandria Allen, a resident of Elyria, said she voted in favor of Issue 10 because it would “expand the University Partnership program. It’s important; some students do not have the ability to travel.”

          Tyler Chapman, a Lorain resident, also chose to vote in favor of Issue 10 because “I know people who go to the college (LCCC).”

          Clifford and Lynda Schmidt, who voted at the Northwood School polling precinct in favor of the levy, said, “That’s the best thing that ever happened to Lorain County.” Both of them took a couple of classes at LCCC.

        Michelle Ternes, also an Elyria resident, voted at the Northwood School polling location. She voted in favor of the levy. She never took any classes from LCCC. However, Ternes said, “I want a college education to keep moving forward. I’m all for that.

          Son Phan is a supporter of the UP program because of how it has shaped his worldview and how LCCC is like “a bite-sized version of campuses found all across Ohio” and how he believes that all of the friends and people that he has met in the United States are like “a second family away from home” for him.

            LCCC created the program 25 years ago, partnering with 15 Ohio colleges. So far, this program has presented students with more than 100 bachelor’s and master’s degrees, saving an average of $74,000 per student.

           The renewal of Issue 10 will help to continue the success that LCCC has garnered from this program and help students receive a secondary education for the next 10 years without any added cost to residents.

Corentin Aboulin, Simon Jones, Hayden Lowstetter, and Gregory Visnyai contributed to the story.



Lt. Gov. Husted Lauds college on MEMs Intel Partnership

Lauren Hoffman

“Our students are why this program exists,” Marcia Ballinger , Ph.D., president of Lorain County Community College told Lt. Gov. Jon Husted following his visit to LCCC’s Desich SMART Commercialization Center Sept. 13.
Husted’s visit comes as part of his New Generation Jobs Tour, which seeks to gather information regarding rising career paths and colleges that will contribute to the ever-growing Ohio workforce.

MEMs coordinator Johnny Vanderford (middle), shows Lt. Gov. Husted a map of all the participating companies in the MEMs program work agreement.
Lauren Hoffman|The Collegian

Into the lab
Upon arrival, Husted was greeted by LCCC MEMS coordinator Johnny Vanderford, who showed the increasingly popular clean room laboratories located on campus.
“What we do in here, is micro-electronic packaging and manufacturing for semiconductor industries,” Vanderford said. “In this program, we train students, to not only to do manufacture of silicon wafers, but we also train them to make printed circuit boards.”
Vanderford showed Husted the process of creating individualized dye which go on to create circuit boards using the state-of-the-art equipment the clean labs offer.
“The process of placing this into a micro controller isn’t that far similar from playing a carnival claw game in terms of difficulty, and requires steady hands and machinery to do the job,” Vanderford said.

The MEMS program 
The MEMS program which first began at LCCC in 2014,quickly has grown to include Ohio’s first ever community college applied bachelor’s degree as part of the core curriculum.
The program centers around an earn-and-learn model in which students are going to school two days and work the other three.
“We actually had a waiting list to enter the program earlier this year, but have since expanded the number of students in the program,” Vanderford said. “But the real problem we have been running into, is meeting the company demands as so many companies are excited to have our students.”
Starting in week one of the courses, students already are working in the lab.
Within the first year of the program, most students have jobs with the various companies throughout the state.

MEMs student Ryan Earlmer works on processing a chip in the lab.
Lauren Hoffman|The Collegian

Drawing in the corporations
Of the many corporations that employ LCCC MEMs students, Intel recently has joined the list signing on the college to fuel its Silicon Valley workhorse, which will be the biggest semiconductor plant on the planet once completed.

By the numbers
Husted discussed the importance of such a program, noting its impact particularly as of late.
“Back in the 80s, 90s and 2000s, a decision was made that our country would become a labor economy, but the work would be done in outside nations,” he said. “Since then, the rise of hostile regimes, and especially the supply chain issues from the COVID-19 pandemic, has taught us that we need to move back into the U.S. for work.”
The industry which currently sits at $550 billion, is expected to grow into a $1.3 trillion industry by the end of 2030, officials said.
Right now, there are 169 existing companies in 29 counties across Ohio that are Intel suppliers and rely on workers like LCCC’s MEMs students for their industry.
“I am very excited to learn more about the LCCC programs, and hopefully, me and the senators and representatives, can learn more to take this process further and build this silicon heartland that has been forming,” Husted said.

LCCC’s impact
For Ballinger, it is the students that fuel  the MEMs program. “The program offers students an opportunity to advance in their careers at zero student debt cost.”
And the students themselves couldn’t agree more.
“I have been with the program for about three years now and I absolutely love it. I am a lab assistant now so I get to see all the inner workings and the opportunities the MEMs program offers is truly amazing,” said student Ryan Ealmer.
The program will continue its work and plans to supply Intel with students by the handful as the industry continues to grow, officials said.


How Biden’s Student Debt Relief Bill will affect LCCC

Lauren Hoffman

Biden’s Student Debt Relief Bill will benefit 29% of the roughly 43 million students in debt as of 2022. Of that 29%, 44% will have zero debt remaining following the relief.

Student debt and loans is something that continues to plague college students well after graduation, haunting their dreams and hindering their ambitions for life. For the nation’s leader, U.S. President Joe Biden, the student loan crisis needed to be handled. 
This is why the Biden Administration announced Aug. 24 a three-part plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for low to middle income borrowers. According to the United States Department of Education, the cost of both four-year public and private colleges has nearly tripled even after accounting for inflation.
While many students do rely on financial assistance to help cover the costs such as the Pell Grant, they only cover about a third of the total costs, leaving many students feeling hopeless and drowning in debt. 

The Bill
In order to help combat this, especially for low and middle income families, Biden’s bill will offer up to $10,000 in loan forgiveness for federal school loans providing the borrower makes less than $125,000 a year. The same applies for married with joint income borrowers that make less than $250,000. 
As for recipients of financial assistance like the Pell Grant, which are designed for people with exceptional financial need, an additional $10,000 can be canceled. 

How it applies to LCCC
But what does this mean for students at Lorain County Community College? Well according to financial services, it still applies. 
Applicants must fill out an application to see if they qualify for forgiveness and if they do, the loan or debt is wiped from their record. This will prevent holds on their account and allow them to continue their education, giving many scholars a greater chance to succeed. 
According to the White House there are currently over 43 million federal student loan borrowers including those in community college. 
Only about 8 million will automatically have their debt canceled because the department of Education has their income information. This makes it crucial for borrowers to fill out the applications, which open the second week of October. 
Still everything comes with a price. The loan forgiveness act will cost the federal government roughly $400 billion over the next 30 years adding to the country’s growing deficit. The act will also cost the average $100,000 taxpayer roughly $1,500 a year. 

Covering the costs
But for LCCC students the pros tend to outweigh the cons. Many students at the college fall under the requirements for debt forgiveness and with many more heading onto furthering education at four year universities, the debt can pile up quickly. 
In the case of Pre-med student Ethan Kocak, student debt has always been a worry. “Coming from a family where I didn’t get a lot of assistance for my education, right now I am looking at either going into the Air Force or getting a high score on my exams to qualify for scholarships in order to pay for school and try and avoid debt.” 
Even by doing the University Partnership program offered at LCCC, Kocak still says the cost came at a hefty $50,000 price tag and that’s just on the lower spectrum of costs. “Med school is insanely expensive and any help with the debt definitely helps,” he says. “This bill would be very helpful for me especially.” Kocak is a recipient of the Pell Grant and says knowing that because of that alone some of his debt can be resolved is very uplifting for him. 

Ends discouragement 
The looming dangers of student debt also can often discourage students from attending college altogether. Lorain County Early College High School senior Katie Sowards admits that she’s skeptical of continuing education into an undergrad degree because of the debt that comes with it.
“I know that college is really beneficial but I’m not sure the pros outweigh the costs,” she says. “I feel like this bill would be especially beneficial to students like me who don’t have to worry about it and instead can get their degrees.” 
And LCCC Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Services, Marisa Vernon-White, agrees. 
“In July 2022, the U.S. Department of Education recognized LCCC as among the top 10% most affordable colleges in the country,” she says. “We also work closely with students to identify other resources outside of student loans that are available to help with tuition, such as scholarships, grants, and other aid.”
Still despite this, there are students at LCCC that will benefit from the act and continue the education processes at the college. 

The timeline
Students applying for the relief must do so by Nov. 15 in order to receive debt cancellation by the time the debt payment pause expires which has been in effect since the beginning of Covid-19. From there the pause will expire on Dec. 31, 2022 and interest will begin accruing again on borrowers remaining balances. 
The final deadline to apply for student loan forgiveness is Dec. 31, 2023. According to the Department of Education, 13.5% of students have student loan debt. 


Collegian staff shines at 44th annual Press Club awards banquet

Lauren Hoffman 
Lorain County Community College’s student-run newspaper, The Collegian, again swept the floor at the Cleveland Press Club Awards on June 10, taking home eleven awards in the Trade/2-Year School category. 
Lauren Hoffman, editor-in-chief of The Collegian, won three awards, including two first places at her first outing for the event. Her story titled, “Post 9/11 generation learns of attacks” earned first in the Best Online Reporting section. Judge’s commented on the piece, “The use of quotes is where the reporter’s work shines.” 
Hoffman followed that, taking home first in the Best Press Feature Story category with her story titled “Covid-19 vaccine saves faculty’s life.” Hoffman’s final award was a third place in the same category for her work, “German student’s American Dream comes true.” 
Oscar Rosado, former editor-in-chief of The Collegian who graduated in May, made the event his second outing with awards earning a second place for his story, co-written by Jordan Yuhasz, titled “Local businesses revenue booms due to in-person classes returning” in the Best Print Newspaper Story category. |
Destiny Torres, a former associate editor of The Collegian who also graduated in May, also shined at the event earning two first places for her work. In the Best Print Newspaper Story section, Torres, alongside James Baron, took first for their story, Help is available for domestic abuse victims.” 
Torres followed that up with a first in Best Print Sports Story for her piece, “Stepping into the future with Esports. The judges commented, “The writer places the topic into context for the reader who may be unfamiliar, nicely setting the table for the remainder of the article.” 
The Collegian contributors Hayden Lowstetter and James Wade took home an award in the categories of Best Print Sports Story and Best Print Feature Story, respectively. Lowstetter’s article, “Jim Powers leads Commodores to the regional championship,” earned him a second place in the first, while Wade’s story “New tech in children Learning Center helps ECE students” earned him a second place in the latter category. 
Wade also took second place in the Best Radio/Podcast News Story category for his Boom Radio podcast, “Boy Scouts.” LCCC student Lily Smith followed Wade with a third place in the same category for her work, “Education.” 
Lily Smith took third place for her podcast on Boom Radio for her segment “Education.”
Finally, LCCC associate Janet Maltbie brought home first place in the Best Radio/Podcast in her Boom Radio segment titled “Blood Needles Show”. Maltbie’s work earned her a comment from judges who pointed out her “good use of subject and questions within the podcast.” 


Intel breathes new life into LCCC’s DNA

Lauren Hoffman

Lorain County Community College engineering students have big opportunities heading their way in the form of two new leading-edge chip factories being built in Ohio’s “silicon heartland” just outside Columbus. 
Technological giant Intel, a business whose computer chips run everything from laptops to smart cars, announced on Jan 21 that they would be building two state-of-the-art factories in Licking County, Ohio, which has the potential to be the largest foundries in the world. 
What this means for LCCC engineering students is new jobs by the tenfold. Currently, the college hosts one of the largest community college programs in Micro-electromechanical systems or MEMs. The program consists of both an associates’ and a new applied bachelor’s degree. 
The new facilities are an initial $20 billion investment into what is known as advanced manufacturing and are aiming toward creating jobs to over 3,000 individuals, 70% of which will be community college graduates of the MEMs programs. 
LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., is overjoyed by the news and what it means for the college. “LCCC and their programs that we have within our engineering area really prepared students for this,” she said of the news and added,  “We are at an inflection point right now, not only in Ohio but in America.”
But why is LCCC more ready than most? The answer lies in the community surrounding it. Ballinger said, “We are uniquely situated in LCCC because we have the technology and classes available thanks to community response.” There are a lot of manufacturing businesses in Northeast Ohio such as Nordson Corp. and Lincoln Electric that rely on the college and its MEMs programs for a highly educated staff base.

Whole New Industry
Vice President of Strategic and Institutional Development Tracy Green, agreed with Ballinger on the levels of success these new foundries will bring. She says “this brings a whole new industry to Ohio as well as strength to the economy. Advanced manufacturing breathes new life into Ohio’s already rich history of manufacturing with the automobile factories and steel plants.” 
And this industry is more than just Intel itself. Previously, 85% of all chip manufacturing was happening in China. The Covid-19 pandemic crippled the supply chain causing many of the chips to sit in factories unable to be shipped out. By moving the factories to U.S. soil, this issue is resolved. A second common concern that Intel’s moving will solve is the risk of encrypted cyber attacks. By being manufactured here in the United States and especially in Ohio, the foundries are closer to Washington, D.C., just in case problems were to arise. 
Back in 2008, the college began looking at expanding its education in engineering in order to answer community calls to do so. Around the same time, technology hit its first major boom as the invention of the iPhone and other smart devices came to fruition. This led to an increase in technological programs such as MEMs in order to fit the future workforce and technology that was on the way. 
Besides being one of the only community colleges in the world to offer a MEMs program, LCCC also is the only one to have the cleanrooms that are needed for work in the programs. And not just one either. LCCC plays host to three cleanroom labs in The Richard Desich Business & Entrepreneurship Center and The Richard Desich SMART Commercialization Center, located across from the Spitzer center connected to the main campus.
These cleanrooms are outfitted to be as sterile as possible so no particles can enter the room and interfere with the building process of the computer chips. Students working in these labs wear white gowns and full personal protective equipment including face shields, gloves, and shoe covers in order to keep the rooms sterilized. 
Another major difference between advanced manufacturing and regular is where the work is done. All equipment sits overhead and in the open. Green added, LCCC “has been developing opportunities in the past 10 years in preparation for this. The three cleanroom classrooms are named by number and the lower the number, the cleaner it is. We here have a class 10,000, a class 1,000, and a class 100. Even the class 10,00 which is the dirtiest so to speak is still cleaner than a standard operating room.” 

Lots of success
LCCC also runs these classes on the earn-and-learn model in which students can receive on-the-job training while learning at school. For the associate’s degree students attend classes two days a week and spend the other three at the businesses. Once a bachelor’s degree is achieved, students go on to work full time during the day and continue their remaining classes at night. 
The college’s success has even led to visitors from other colleges coming to see how the cleanrooms and MEMs programs are run so they too prepare for their own. As the industry continues to develop and change, LCCC is ready to adapt to it, with many developments still to come. 
The college was founded in 1963 as Ohio’s first community college with the goal to create an educated workforce for the industries in Lorain and the surrounding area to flourish. For Ballinger, technology “continues to be a large foundation of the college. It is in our DNA and we must continue to be involved to assure their competitiveness and success.” 
As Ballinger puts it, “This semiconductor industry is to Lorain County now as steel and automotive were before.” 

LCCC closes 4th time for safety

Lauren Hoffman
Lorain County Community College’s all campuses were evacuated following the fourth bomb threat in three weeks today (April 19). LCCC previously received bomb threats on March 24, 25, and 30 with the last threat causing campus to go remote for the remainder of the week. 
At 12:15 p.m. today, an emergency RAVE alert went out to all students and staff urging an evacuation after an unspecified security threat was made to campus. 
Students, staff, and faculty rushed out of the buildings and into their cars in a mass exodus within minutes. By 12:32 p.m., the main campus on Abbe Road was closed, and fire, EMS, and Elyria Police Department were on the scene at the main campus on Abbe Road to help mitigate panic and clear the campus as quickly as possible. One Elyria Police officer directed traffic outside the main N. Abbe Road entrance to campus. 
“Campus is closed for safety reasons following a threat through LCCC connect’s chat room,” said Tracy Green, LCCC’s vice president of Strategic Design.
According to Green, the Elyria Police Department is currently working with the FBI to assess the threat.
Elyria Police Department brought bomb-sniffing dogs to check out the buildings. 


Bomb threat closes LCCC campuses

Destiny Torres
Associate Editor
All LCCC campuses were closed Thursday afternoon following a bomb threat on an LCCC online chatroom.
“We take campus safety very seriously and are allowing the Elyria Police Department to do their job. All campuses and outreach centers are closed till further notice,” Tracy Green, vice president of Strategic and institutional Development, said. “We have no proof that this threat is credible, but out of an abundance of caution we are keeping the campuses closed as the Elyria Police department and bomb squad continue to search the campuses.”
The college received the threat Thursday at about 2:50 p.m., according to Green.
All students and staff were sent Rave alerts, email and text messages, urging them to evacuate the campus immediately. The campuses were closed immediately.
An Early College student, Malac Naser, said, “I honestly feel a little nervous about the whole situation but I feel safe that they evacuated us so quickly.”

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.” 


Basement renovations underway at LCCC

Caitlyn Ujvari
JRNM 151

Workers prep the walls for patching and waterproofing.
Caitlyn Ujvari|The Collegian

While classes are in full swing at Lorain County Community College, there is a lot of work being done underneath the students’ feet. In several of the buildings on the main campus, the basements are linked with underground tunnels, unknown to many students.

Introducing the tunnels
Unlike the basements of the buildings, the 2,873-foot long tunnels are off-limits to students.
“The tunnels are used for main utility distribution: hot water, chilled water used in the air conditioning, IT infrastructure,” said Leo Mahoney, director of facilities at LCCC. These tunnels have been utilized since the original founding of the college in the 1960s.
Sixty years later, these tunnels are being renovated, a project that started the week following the 2022 commencement ceremony. “It’s a concrete structural renovation to make sure it’s safe for the next 60 plus years,” said Mahoney.

An example of one of the pipes that will need to be replaced.
Caitlyn Ujavri|The Collegian

The Renovations 
“We haven’t had any flooding, no disasters on the job; it’s been kinda steady work,” said Timothy Gadomski, project manager.
The team renovating the tunnels has been working throughout the summer — much of their time dedicated to prep work, including knocking out the bad sections of the walls before they are able to replace and seal the new sections. Much of the roofing is being replaced as well, to get rid of any decay caused naturally and by the years of salt deterioration.
There have been little delays, however, none hindering the completion of the project. “One section is in a bit of a delay because we have different options, like removing a beam that is supporting the corner of a building or just doing a patched repair,” said Gadomski.

The costs
Overall the project cost is about $2 million although the Ohio State Senate has assisted LCCC in this project after assessing the tunnels in 2019. The state has granted the college more than $1 million for this project.
“The majority of the visible above ground work we are hoping to have done before the snow falls,” said Mahoney, although the additional underground work will take another six months, hoping to be officially completed within a year.


Part-time boxer, Full-time Student

Jaiden Comer
JRNM 151

Helen Joseph has made a career in boxing through the nickname “The Iron Lady”.
Submitted Photo

A common phrase people often say is “life is a journey” and this couldn’t ring more true for Helen Joseph, an acclaimed national boxer and award winner known as “The Iron Lady”. 
Joseph began her professional career in 2004 while still living in Lagos, Nigeria. From there she has set out goals in the ring and has conquered them all from fights in Ghana, Nigeria to the United States.
Now Joseph is turning to setting goals outside the ring by attending Lorain County Community College, to follow her other dream of a major in communications. But her life hasn’t always been on a positive streak. 

In the Beginning
Joseph’s story began in Nigeria following the death of her father when she was just 10-years-old. She moved her life to days and nights spent on the streets with no money or family members to support her. 
But at the age of 13, Joseph’s life started to turn around. After spending years scraping or a consistent living, she says, “I found myself in the nation’s national boxing gym almost every day.

Enter Boxing
Boxing coaches who regularly attended the gym began to take notice of my persistence and so one day they approached me with an offer.” 
Soon, Joseph began consistent training for her newfound passion in boxing, training that led her to travel the world. “I began competing in several places around the world like Belgium, Australia, New York City and Las Vegas, Nevada,” Joseph says. 

Professional Career
Now at the age of 33, Joseph has won the World Boxing Federation championship in 2017 and the International Boxing Federation championship as well as “best fighter of the year” in 2015. In her career as the two-time featherweight world title challenger, Joseph has won 17 matches with ten being by knockouts. 

The Iron Lady
Going by the name of “Iron Lady” Joseph’s journey is one of untraditional standards. According to her trainer Brian Cohen, “Joseph did training in camp with a 40 lb vest on and we put 200 lbs in a wheelbarrow and she would go olds school Rocky with it.” 
Besides being an iron lady in strength, Joseph’s nickname comes as a symbol of her inspirational journey and a reminder that even when she’s down, she never quits. 


For the love of wrestling

Anthony Leyva
Staff Writer

The sport of wrestling is not for the meek due to its aggressive nature, pinning the will and might of two individuals. 
For Asia Quiñones-Evans, a Lorain County Community College student, wrestling was her life. This never changed, even despite losing her eyesight 8 years ago just as she was entering her junior year of high school. 
Quiñones-Evans says, “during middle school I was motivated by my father to join a school activity. One day as flyers for different activities were being passed around, I was passed a cheerleading flyer and asked for a wrestling application instead.” At the time she thought wrestling would be more adventures and fulfilling than other common sports.
“It sounded like it would be a very fun sport, a very nice challenge. I’ve always been a person who likes challenges. I didn’t want to do one of the typical sports,” said Quiñones-Evans. 
Before she lost her eyesight, Quiñones-Evans wrestled for a year in middle school and a year in junior high. She continued in the sport her freshman and sophomore year of high school as a varsity team member in the 120-pound weight class.
During practice she would wrestle against guys in heavier weight classes. Even at 120-pounds, she was much stronger than she looked.
Just after her sophomore year of high school, she required surgery to remove a surprise brain tumor, a surgery that because of this condition, led to her loss of sight. “I entered my junior year of high school blind, a few months before wrestling season started,” said Quiñones-Evans. 
Her surgery would take 6 months of rest, quick recovery back to wrestling impossible. Still, Quiñones-Evans kept up the motivation. “I did not stop. I was barely a week in the hospital, and I was saying hey when can I get back to wrestling.”
As soon as she was well enough to practice, her coaches and team were ecstatic to see her return to the mat. However, after only a few practices, the athletic director at her school prevented her from participating in sports due to her blindness. 
She later attended the Ohio State School for the Blind in Columbus. She couldn’t wrestle when she arrived but this time her disability was not the reason for prevention. 
In her last season of wrestling at the Ohio School For the Blind, Quiñones-Evans recalls one of her favorite experiences of wrestling. “I have more flexibility than most males, and so sometimes I would get into these really weird positions, but still win from those positions,” she said. 
“My coach was blind also when I was wrestling blind, and I ended up pinning a guy, but my back was against his chest. I pinned that guy, winning the match and I got off the mat and the coach was like, ‘I’ve never seen that, that was so awesome!”
Last season she assisted with coaching a youth wrestling league at Avon High School and plans to continue this year. Her future goal is to complete her degree and become a wrestling coach similar to her own coach who helped her continue her love of the sport despite the odds. 


Pickleball party kicks off at Fieldhouse

Hayden Lowstetter
A correspondent

Lorain County Community College prides itself on being an all inclusive community and has various amounts of programs that do as such. 
Silver Sneakers is the nation’s leading well-being fitness program for ages 65 and older led at LCCC by Nanci Ickes. 
The program puts an emphasis on physical activities and similar to the rest of the world, LCCC has recently found an awakening in pickleball. 

The Rise of Pickleball
Pickleball is a paddle sport that draws similarities from Tennis, Badminton, and Ping-Pong. 
The sport gets its name from a rowing sport referring to the slowest craft as a “pickle boat”. 
After its start outside Seattle in 1965, Pickleball has continued to steadily gain in popularity over the last few years even drawing the attention of super athlete LeBron James who just purchased the rights to a team.

A coach helps one of the Silver Sneaker athletes with their swing.
Hayden Lowstetter| The Collegian

Journey to LCCC
Ickes spearheaded the journey into pickleball alongside LCCC’s new Dean Chris Hirschler, Ph.D., who has a past with the sport from his previous stint in New Jersey.
When asked why pickleball of all the sports Dean Hirschler said, it was his “mission to bring pickleball back,” and he has done so. 
Silver Sneakers has a pickleball clinic that takes place on Thursdays and well over a dozen members come and indulge themselves in the amusement.

The athletes
Lois Carns, a former LCCC employee who has since retired, is one of guests who comes to play pickleball. 
This opportunity was her first experience with pickleball and the Silver Sneakers Program but said she will “definitely be coming back.” 
“These experiences are so satisfactory for many because they get to meet new people, partake in good physical activity, and have good conversations,” said Carns. 
Pickleball is the perfect sport for new members, as it’s “easy to pick up, you don’t have to be uber athletic, or even a quick learner,” agrees Hirschler. 

Pickleball Queen
Andrea, also referred to as the “Pickleball Queen” by facility coordinator Sarah Kyser, is a member of the Silver Sneakers Program who graduated through LCCC’s Partnership Program with four degrees. 
When first starting pickleball Andrea said she “had never heard of it.” She had started as a spectator just happy to be in the community and had no interest in even giving the sport a chance after recently getting a hip replacement.
That soon changed and Andrea finally decided to give it a chance.
Sure enough she would go on to “love the game so much,” and even go as far as saying that pickleball “saved” her life. 
The physical aspect of the sport helped her drop weight and serve as physical therapy for her hip replacement. While the mental aspect allowed her to be a part of a community and have lively interactions as well.

Health benefits 
And how right she is. According to muschealth.org, a website championed by the Medical University of South Carolina, pickleball is especially beneficial to seniors. 
Due to it being slower in nature compared to other racket sports, Pickleball also features a smaller court making it easier to keep the ball in play. 
The smaller court gives players less room to over exert themselves and is better on the joints due to lack of a need for running. 
The soft ball and solid rackets also require less intensity leading to less stress on tendons and muscles in the arms. 
And there’s also the social aspect. With the lower number of players, Pickleball allows more interaction between teams to socialize while exercising. 

Lauren Hoffman, Editor-In-Chief contributed to this story. 


College honors student veterans

Anthony Leyva
Staff Writer

Concern for improving obstacles in the veteran community have improved across the United States over recent decades from the rise in VFWs to veteran suicide awareness. Still, veterans are confronted by a vast and imposing list of problems every day upon returning from service. 

Thankfully, the leaders of Lorain County have been working hard to improve the quality of life for military veterans, especially at Lorain County Community College. 

The Panel
Over the summer the LCCC Veterans Service Office hosted an event to assemble other local Lorain County veteran organizations. The event consisted of 5 panelists each providing a perspective indicative of their professional and personal experience.

Jose Torres from Ohio Means Jobs, Kennyth Glynn from Adult Outreach at LCCC, Jacob Smith from the Lorain County Veterans Service Commission Office, Rick DeChant a retired USCG Commander, and  student Anthony Leyva, a recently separated Air Force veteran.

Discussed Subjects
Will Jones, a Disabled Veteran Outreach Specialist, says he was very pleased with the outcome of the event.

 “I’m very hopeful. I’ve been doing this for 11 years and with what we have planned; this is going to be groundbreaking. Many organizations are coming together. And a buddy program will help a lot of the recently separated veterans.”

Discussed at the event were a variety of ideas including a ‘Welcome Home’ meet and greet for recently separated veterans, which are those that have just recently left th military. 

Support options for incarcerated veterans and ramping up veteran outreach at the LCCC Veterans Office were also discussed. 

All panelists unanimously agreed that increased communication and collaboration between each organization would be beneficial to student veterans; emphasizing on leading and helping individuals find available opportunities.

LCCC Veteran Office
Ryan Murphy, the Military Veterans Service Officer for LCCC, aims to grow connections with local organizations. He is passionate about helping each individual veteran. 

According to Murphy, “You don’t want to focus merely on numbers. If you came to my door, maybe you want to discuss things that’s more important than going to English for the moment. I want to be that organization that says, what can we do as an office to help you reach those organizations that you might need.”

The office which is located right outside the library on the second floor of the College Center has seen a steady increase of visitors since campus has fully returned. 

Another opportunity available for veteran students is the veterans lounge located across the hall. The lounge, which was dedicated in November of 2015, provides a safe, relaxing place for veterans to destress in between classes. 

Marisa Vernon-White, Ph.D., Vice President of student enrollment services also attended the meeting and agreed with Murphy.

“Were an education provider but LCCC does more than that, it’s not just about supporting people’s education pathway, that won’t happen if all the other things don’t fall into place.”

This dual approach to identifying the needs of LCCC students is just one of many ways the college is striving to increase quality of life on and off campus. 

Currently, the veteran service office is assisting the relaunch of the Veterans Club, an amazing opportunity for veterans looking for help or looking to help other members of the community.


LCCC’s police academy named Star Academy by Attorney General

Lauren Hoffman

Attorney General Dave Yost stands center with LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., right, and Commander Rick Thomas, Left. Behind them stand the 22 cadets of the academy.
Attorney General Dave Yost stands with LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., Commander Rick Thomas and the 22 young cadets of the newly appointed STAR Police Academy at LCCC Aug 25. 
Lauren Hoffman|The Collegian

Lorain County Community College has garnered its fair share of awards throughout the years from being named the most affordable community college, to its designations as being No. 1 in the nation for success.

Their Police Academy is no different either. On Aug 25 Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost visited the college to award the police academy a STAR Academy Certification for its accomplishments of outstanding education and service. 

“Injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere”
Yost first took the stage alongside Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., president of LCCC, to talk of the importance of law enforcement in today’s world and the troubles they sometimes face.

“Injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere, and what happened in the summer of 2020 was some members of our agency forgot they have a job to protect and to serve,” he said.

Yost continued by explaining how public safety is the very basis of government and that the 11.7 million people in Ohio need the law enforcement for their everyday lives whether they realize it or not. 

“It doesn’t matter how good your schools are, or how beautiful your parks are if people are afraid of going outside,” he said. “What matters is that the rest of us know we need people like you, and we are thankful for your ability to serve.”

World Class
Ballinger agreed with Yost stating how proud and grateful she is for the 22 student officers led by Commander Rick Thomas in the Police Academy.

“I think it’s a tremendous recognition by the attorney general for our world class academy, and it’s a great honor for our college,” she said.

Many of the students are already working alongside local law enforcement agencies as unis in order to gain experience in the field. 

Women in the field
Academy student Brittney Clink-Miller agrees with Ballinger and Yost.

“I am very proud to see women in law enforcement and to be a young woman entering the field,” Clink-Miller said. “I worked with the mounted police as a trainer and developed a quick interest in being an officer myself.”

Officers from Amherst, Avon Lake, Ohio State Highway Patrol and other surrounding areas were in attendance for the presentation to show their support for the young men and women.

High Honors
LCCC’s Police Academy is designated as one of five colleges to offer the peace officer training program and has become one of the first in the nation to receive star certification.

In order to earn STAR certification, academies must have a higher than normal passing rate for their students as well as graduates who go on to active work in the fields.

The STAR certification by the Attorney General continues to show the educational prowess of LCCC. For Ballinger, the college, “may be a community college but we are aimed at providing excellence on a university level.” 

The young officers are expected to graduate May 2023 where they will then go on to continue working in the field all across Northeast Ohio. 


LCCC swears in new Student Senate

Anthony Leyva
Staff Writer

Members of the student senate pose with LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., following the swearing-in ceremony.
The six new student senators are excited to bring new activities to LCCC’s campus and are looking forward to the new school season ahead.
Submitted photo

The year is looking bright for Lorain County Community College as they sworn in a brand new student senate cabinet Aug 22 during the first day of fall semester opening festivities. This is the first time that the student senate has had an official swearing in ceremony, adding to the many new and exciting changes coming to campus.

 With new leadership comes new plans and new opportunities. The new senate is filled with a diverse group of members with a wide range of knowledge and expertise.

Meet the senate
Luis Hernandez, Student Senate President, is a first-generation LCCC student. He intends on graduating Spring 2023 with an associate in English and Fine Arts. Hernandez wants to increase representation for every LCCC student. 

Hernandez says, “As the learning center representative last year, I wanted to expand my horizons and represent the student body fully. As president I plan to bring 100% students. Student voices, student representation and student faces 100%. Nothing matters more to me than that.”

Brenda Hitchens, Vice President, is also a first-generation student with an Associates of arts degree. She is currently working towards completing her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. According to Hitchens,, “I wanted to get more involved with the student activities and learn more about what the college has to offer. I wanted to grow and learn more about leadership and I hope to bring more fun activities to campus.”

Brittany Kramer, Financial Secretary, has three associates in business management, real estate, and an associate of arts. She is working toward her fourth degree through the Miami science of commerce partnership. When asked why she chose to join student senate she replied, “I think the leadership aspect of it really. I know I have a lot to say and being a leader for PTK and in my own department, it really felt like a must.”

Nashalie Nieves, Event Coordinator, is a first-generation student majoring in Associate of Arts, Universal Arts, and Medical Assisting. Nieves enjoys helping others and organizing events.

 “I have always been a multitasker; I love setting up events. I wanted to show first year students that you can graduate and still participate in activities.” Nieves says she likes to focus her time on working with first generation students. “ We help them by mentoring them, providing them with resources, and with English lessons here at LCCC,” she says. 

Autumn Menzie, Learning Center Representative, is pursuing her Associate of Arts, business marketing, and management. She enjoys photography and being an advocate for students with disabilities. Menzie says, “When I first saw the student senate in 2018 and how much fun they were having I knew then that I wanted to join. I couldn’t at the time though, so I decided to join now.”

Danelle Johnson, University Partnership Representative, is a first-generation college student with an Associate of Arts degree. She is also currently pursuing a BA in Psychology through Cleveland State. She is passionate about leading and encouraging students to participate in college events. 

“I have a lot of experience with leadership and students. I want to be a voice for the students here at LCCC because I feel a lot of students go unheard. I want to help students of color engage and participate in campus events,” says Johnson. 

Future Goals
As the senators are settling into their new roles, they are also preparing for the hard work ahead. The team plans to improve dining options, campus tours, and student participation among others.

The Student Senate is having a general meeting on Wednesday Sept. 28th 12am – 1pm. All students are welcome to attend to voice their concerns or engage in campus events. The Student Senate will also have a ‘Real Talk’ meeting on Wednesday Oct. 5 from 12am – 1pm. ‘Real Talk’s’ are casual meet ups where students can talk to senators about anything on campus. General Meetings and Real Talks alternate every Wednesday.

Real Talks and general meetings alternate every other Wednesday and topics include hot button items to get students involved.