A Student Publication of Lorain County Community College

Coping with anxiety issues in classrooms

Oscar Rosado Editor-in-Chief “Anxiety makes it really hard when teachers ask questions in class,” said fine arts major Angelina Rubensaal who has been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. “I am in constant fear if I get a question wrong. What…

Campus Security chief wins a state award

Jayne Giese Staff Writer  It came as a surprise to Kenneth Collins, director of Campus Security at Lorain County Community College, when he heard he was nominated for Administrator of the year.  “I feel very honored that I was nominated,…

Men’s cross-country wins championship, five men and women named All-Region

Special to the Collegian LCCC’s men’s cross-country team brought home the Division III Region XII Championship trophy this past Saturday, defeating Columbus State CC for the title.  All-Region selections Charlie Yonts (Oberlin/Firelands) and Henry Haas (Wellington) finished second and third,…

Arc Center helps fight mental health stigma

Quentin Pardon Assistant Editor “We are in a day and age where we are combatting a mental health stigma and we are losing,” said Student Senate President Udell Holmes. Holmes and his team are trying to raise awareness around the…

Campana building upgrades for new opportunities

Quentin Pardon Assistant Editor Lorain County Community College had revealed the finishing additions and renaming of the Dolore Jeneé Campana Center for Ideation and Invention with an open house and a presentation by Luke Williams, author of “Disrupt: Think the…

LCCC partners with Regeneration X to stop human trafficking

Oscar Rosado Editor-in-Chief LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D announced, “I am so proud for the campus to hold this human trafficking conference, and those who made it possible. We need to be proactive and be apart of the solution. I…

International student crossed border for his U.S. education

Jayne Giese Staff Writer As a child, traveling for miles to cross the Mexican border into Texas was a normal part of current Lorain County Community College student Jesus Arturo Gonzalez Gaytan’s morning routine. Gaytan would wake up at 5…

Coping with anxiety issues in classrooms

Oscar Rosado
Editor-in-Chief

“Anxiety makes it really hard when teachers ask questions in class,” said fine arts major Angelina Rubensaal who has been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. “I am in constant fear if I get a question wrong. What will the professor think? What will my classmates think?” To cope with her anxiety she said she fiddles with objects such as pens and her keys, and ties and unties her hair. “I am 98% sure I’ll get the answer right, but what about the 2%?” said Rubensaal.

According to NAMI.org and Centers for Diseases Control via CDC.gov, the following are based on diagnostic interview data, an estimated 31.9% of adolescents have any anxiety disorder.

However, Rubensaal is not alone. Many students feel anxious during class, but why is the question? Learning Specialist at the Accessibility Center, Kelly McLaughlin has an answer. McLaughlin, who taught Psychology on campus since 2005 and have worked at the Accessibility Services since 2012, said it is the umbrella of anxiety disorder. If the umbrella is open, it leads to a panic attack. If the person recalls of an event two years ago, it triggers something in the brain.

“We don’t realize how many people have anxiety in one form or another,” said McLaughlin. “Anxiety deals with the chemical makeup of our brain. It can be inherited by our biological parents causing it to be an underlying anxiety disorder.” 

McLaughlin added that anxiety can be an invisible disorder/disability. “When you see someone in a wheelchair, that something you can physically see. Anxiety is on the inside, something we cannot easily see.”

According to her, different things can trigger panic attacks which can lead to anxiety. She gave an example if a person were to have a car accident in the winter, they would show signs of the symptoms next winter. The snow and the highway would become triggers. “If they have a bad experience they can set back further,” said McLaughlin.

“It can affect their grades, it can be debilitating. Most classes require class participation, and students who have anxiety in the classroom, it can be hard for them. If anxious when taking a test, students feel the need to take it to another room,” said McLaughlin.

An example McLaughlin gave of someone with classroom anxiety was of an unnamed student who was taking a speech class. Part of the class was to speak publicly to classmates, but McLaughlin recalled the teacher was so great, instead of a speech in front of the whole class, the student was able to give a speech to just the teacher and two other classmates. “It was the teacher’s idea and I think it’s great teachers are willing to come to our office and help their students.”

McLaughlin proceeded to speak about debilitating anxiety which she said, “it is so strong and severe it affects daily life. It crashes in on you, and causes a hard time functioning that day.”

She shared a case approximately eight years ago where a student had stayed in their home for a year and a half. McLaughlin identified this as agoraphobia. It is when you have great fear of leaving your home. “You feel the need to be in a safe place, typically that safe place is home. If you leave home, you will have panic attacks,” said McLaughlin. She added even coming to school can be a challenge for people with anxiety.

“It takes everything within that student to do what they need to do for school,” said McLaughlin. “All those steps take tremendous effort. Anxiety can take a lot of energy. For some people, it is easier to stay home.”

Help is there for you

However, help is there. Some get help with a medical doctor, a psychiatrist, or a counselor. Ways to deal with anxiety is having coping skills.

“Life is busy,” said McLaughlin. “A great way to cope is to do some type of exercise. A way to increase the chemicals in your brain. It doesn’t have to be big, it can as simple as parking your car in the last row and walking a little bit extra,” said McLaughlin. “If you take classes, you have free access to our gym to walk on the track, treadmill, etc. Some do not know it is good for them. As long as you are registered in at least one class,” said McLaughlin.

“People might want to limit their caffeine. It makes the neurotransmitters in the brain more active. It is a stimulant, like a drug,” said McLaughlin. 

Another way to cope is seating arrangements in classrooms, such as sitting in front of the class or the back of the class. “If they need to leave the room they can walk out the door,” said McLaughlin.

More support with those with anxiety can attend the Learning Differences Club. They welcome any students with disabilities and can join and get support from each other. Another place to go for support is the Care Center which helps students in recovery. They have a calming room for students who simply want to sit down. “It’s amazing that students can take action and do that,” said McLaughlin. 

Along with limiting caffeine, and exercising, McLaughlin said it is important to sleep for a decent amount of time. Another thing to do is having extra lights around. She added, people who do cope using these methods have come to them and said their anxiety wasn’t as bad anymore.

“Anxiety and depression can become more severe around this time of year,” said McLaughlin. This is called Seasonal Affective Disorder. When seasons change, it can trigger more anxiety. “Never underestimate to talk to a friend,” said McLaughlin.

McLaughlin added in College it’s important people self disclose for themselves. Since they are in College, they are adults, and if they need help, they must take action on their own. “People would want to change, and there is help available to change,” said McLaughlin.

“They are the bravest people I’ve ever met. To walk to our door and for them to say, ‘can I talk to somebody’, it is not easy to reach out for help. Students we have helped are glad they did when they did, and a lot wish they would have done it sooner,” said McLaughlin regarding people who come to their office.

To receive help from the accessibility services, students must have documents from a doctor, psychiatrist, or counselor letting them know the student does indeed require additional assistance. Documentation that must be given to the accessibility services is known as a verification of disability.

  • Of adolescents with any anxiety disorder, an estimated 8.3% had severe impairment. DSM-IV criteria were used to determine impairment.
  • The prevalence of any anxiety disorder among adolescents was higher for females (38.0%) than for males (26.1%).
  • Forty million U.S adults suffer from an anxiety disorder and 75 percent of them experience their first episode of anxiety by the age of 22.

Source: The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)

College offers ways to prevent cardiovascular disease

Jayne Giese
Staff Writer

Living a healthy lifestyle is not only beneficial for physical appearance as well as health, but it is also the number one recommended way to help prevent cardiovascular disease.  Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in America for both men and women, according to www. cdc.gov. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.). 

“There is so much information out there on many other diseases.  For example, it is a common misconception that breast cancer is the number one cause of death for women when it is actually in fact cardiovascular disease,” said Lisa Augustine, Ph.D. Interim Dean for the Health and Wellness Sciences Division at Lorain County Community College.

Vital to live healthy

“It is important for young people to get in a healthy lifestyle now, that is the biggest defense against cardiovascular disease. Many students don’t realize all the resources available to them right here on campus that are free,” Augustine said.

LCCC has many avenues for students to get some type of physical activity while they are on campus.  All students qualify for memberships at the fitness center.  The center includes resistance training, cardio equipment, an indoor track, basketball, tennis, volleyball, and running programs. 

“Next month we have a wellness event for children in the PE building. The event days are Nov. 12, 19, and 21 from 9:15 a.m.-10 a.m.  The classes are taught by my students, and this event helps make learning about fitness and living a healthy lifestyle fun for kids.  The classes consist of yoga poses, dancing, making healthy food choices, heart rate monitoring, the importance of hand sanitizer, and other activities,” said Augustine.

On Nov. 20, from 12:00 p.m.- 12:50 p.m. Jihad Khalil, MD from the Cleveland Clinic, will host an event all about cardiovascular disease. The event will take place in the Norton Culinary Arts Center Lobby.    

“Never too late to start”

“The biggest message I want to get across to everyone is that it is never too late to start building a healthy foundation.  You are never too old or too young, you can start today.  Utilize the services we have on campus, use portion control and watch what you eat, and stay hydrated. I can’t stress that enough,” Augustine urged. 

The warning signs

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Upper body pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, neck, or upper stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea, light-headedness, or cold sweats

Risk factors

  • Diabetes
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Tobacco and nicotine products

(Source: CDC.gov)

The SWORD is mightier than the pen

Oscar Rosado
Editor-in-Chief

The Spoken Word Order or the SWORD is now officially a club on campus. Previously the Lorain Writer’s Society, Gerald Wetherbee has reinstated it to be the SWORD club.

Wetherbee has been writing poetry for over a decade and considers it a strong hobby. He shared them with friends and received good feedback and decided to share his work in a broader way with others in ways of a club.

“A workshop for people who like to write”

“I want it to be at its core an artistic workshop for people who like to write,” said Wetherbee. “We don’t not shun any type of poetry or arts. I want it to be a safe place for people to express themselves, as well as trying to create a spoken word slam poetry team to potentially go to competitions and compete and do performances. As a club of the arts, we do not believe in censorship, if anyone is easily offended you should not join because we do not believe in limiting artistic expression, within the artistic expression,” said Wetherbee. 

Where and when

Any one is welcome to join. Wetherbee said future meetings will be held on Wednesdays at Starbucks at the College Center after 1 p.m. and hopes people bring their poems if they have any. “It is not required for anyone to perform in performances but it is highly encouraged,” said Wetherbee. Wetherbee is the president, and Roderick Lucas (also goes by Batman) is the vice president. Arts and Humanities Instructor Kim Karshner is the faculty advisor.

Campus Security chief wins a state award

Collins holding his award Jayne Giese | The Collegian

Jayne Giese
Staff Writer 

It came as a surprise to Kenneth Collins, director of Campus Security at Lorain County Community College, when he heard he was nominated for Administrator of the year.  “I feel very honored that I was nominated, I had no idea I was even thought of for the award.  The award ceremonies actually take place during the 48-hour Ohio CIT training conference,” said Collins.

The Ohio WW conference was held in Columbus on Oct. 18, 2019, where they went through training courses to help law enforcement in Ohio have a better understanding of how to help people in a crisis. “The program trains officers from all over Ohio on how to help people suffering with a mental illness like bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and any other mental health illness. The biggest training we go through is how to help people with a drug addiction.  We want to take every step possible to try and get someone with a drug problem help rather than just throwing them in jail,” Collins said. 

Collins has been working in security with LCCC for 20 years.  “I started as a part-time security officer here on campus and did the partnership with Youngstown state.  I graduated with my bachelors in criminal justice and social work,” said Collins.

Now as the director of Campus Security, Collins wants all LCCC students and faculty to know that campus security is here to help anyone at anytime.  “I want everyone on campus to know that our campus security is here to help with anything.  Nothing is too big or too small for us.  We are partnered with Women’s Link here on campus and we take everything seriously.  Even if a student just needs help finding their way around the college, it is our job to ensure everyone’s safety and comfort,” Collins said. 

The campus security is located at the LCCC Library/Community Resource Center, room LC 106.  The security office is open 24 hours, seven days a week.  They can be reached by phone at (800) 995-5222 or via fax (440) 366-4053. 

Men’s cross-country wins championship, five men and women named All-Region

From left to right: Justin Below, Charlie Yonts, Henry Haas, Devin Baumgartner, Ian Hamilton, and Jason Molek Submitted Photo

Special to the Collegian

LCCC’s men’s cross-country team brought home the Division III Region XII Championship trophy this past Saturday, defeating Columbus State CC for the title. 

All-Region selections Charlie Yonts (Oberlin/Firelands) and Henry Haas (Wellington) finished second and third, respectively for the NJCAA’s eighth-ranked Commodores.

Kelsey Gannon (Avon) once again led the sixth-ranked LCCC Women’s team finishing second in the meet to earn an All-Region team nod. Sisters, Samantha Glass and Mackenzie Glass (Sheffield Lake/Brookside) finished third and fourth earning places on the All-Region squad, as well. Injuries sidelined two other Commodore runners so they were unable to compete for the Region Championship Team title.

Eight of the nine Commodores running turned in season-best times at Regionals, held at Grand Woods Park in Lansing Michigan. LCCC Head Coach Jim Powers and his teams head to Holyoke, Massachusetts to compete in the NJCAA Division III National Championship meet this Saturday, November 2, 2019.

“It felt really good, we had the eight of the nine give their best performance of the season,” Jim Powers. “As long as we can carry that energy next week, we will do okay.”

Men 8K – Region 12 DIII Champion

Charlie Yonts (Oberlin/Firelands)                              2nd          28:37 – All Regional

Henry Haas (Wellington)                                             3rd          28:45 – All Regional

Devin Baumgartner (Amherst/Steele)                      6th          31:45

Ian Hamilton (Elyria)                                                     11th        33:03

Jason Molek (Wellington/Home Schooled)            15th        35:33

Women 5K – Incomplete team

Kelsey Gannon (Avon)                                                  2nd          20:36 – All Regional

Samantha Glass (Sheffield Lake/Brookside)           3rd          21:39 – All Regional

Mackenzie Glass (Sheffield Lake/Brookside)          4th          22:06 

TECN students build their careers

Overview of the manufacturing class at work with their projects Angela Andujar | The Collegian

By JRNM 221

With nearly 300 thousand machines being imported into the United States on a yearly basis, there are “not enough young people” training in the engineering field according to Tony Trifiletti, instructor of TECN 131. “If young people would realize they could get a job after this, the more willing they would be to take this course.” 

Workers in the engineering field are often sent to LCCC to reeducate themselves for better positions in their existing lines of work. Classes offered here at LCCC even help laid-off and dislocated workers earn experience in engineering with upwards of 90 percent of them being placed in jobs in the field after completing technical programs here on campus. The class requires a prerequisite for reading blueprints and mathematics.

TECN 131, Manufacturing Processes I, is one of many technical training classes that can lead into CNC programming, engineering or technical specialty careers. With classes made up of people ranging from the ages of 18 to 60, there is nearly an even split of students just entering this field and others who already have jobs in this field.

Digital fabrication major Eric Shermak said since day one, the class is working on a miniature vice grip. He said half the semester is focused on making the project. About an hour is used to learn new terminology during class, and then about an hour and a half is given to work on the project. The class gathers Mondays and Wednesdays to work on it.

“Creating something out of nothing

“I’m creating something out of nothing. How can I not love it?” said manufacturing student Scott Scarvelli. Scarvelli is currently working full-time at Spectre industry and makes his own tools for work. “With this craft, I can honestly make whatever tool I need for any situation. Any skill you can use day to day is something you want to make use of and take advantage of.” Before attending LCCC, Scott was involved with the Akron University mechanical program. “I found it easier to learn here than at Akron. The class size at LC compared to Akron is way more suitable for me. I have more one on one interactions with my teacher and it make class and the experience more enjoyable.”

 Applied mechanics major, Louis Gerard, went to Baldwin Wallace for mechanical engineering but transferred when he came to LCCC. While working on the project of making a miniature vice grip, Gerard said it is purely up to the students if they want to work in groups. “Everyone’s doing the same thing, and there are not a lot of machines to do it,” said Gerard. “The project is not hard, but it is very hands on, which is what I like about the course,” and then added, “I can’t fall asleep, I have to make sure to stop the machine at a certain point,” said Gerard.

Student worker needed

A student worker is needed to help at CNC and manual machine shop labs. There will be very flexible hours any time between 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Mon-Thu. The kind of work to expect will be general cleaning, prepping for student’s projects, organizing the lab, and cutting stock for class projects. Those interested can contact Phil Hashier. Inquiries can also leave info at main office at the Advanced Technologies building. If interested, please call 440-366-7018.

JRNM students involved were:

Angela Andujar, Jayne Giese, Quentin Pardon, and Oscar Rosado

Harvest Festival 2019

Gerald Wetherbee | The Collegian

Oscar Rosado
Editor-in-Chief

Approximately 1,200 people attended the Harvest Festival held at the College Center on Oct. 26. It was hosted by Student Senate and the Student Life,program this year and the Festival is sponsored by Ford and the UAW Local 2000.

This year the Harvest Festival hosted a food drive where people were encouraged to bring in canned food donations. Anyone who still wants to donate can do so by bringing any to the Student Senate office in CC 203. The food drive will continue to take place until Mon Nov. 18.

Costume contest for children 

There was a costume contest which were divided in three age groups. There was a zero-five age group, six-ten age group, and 11-15 age group. The children would line up and members of Student Life got to vote one of five categories: scariest, funniest, most creative, cutest, and best overall which spanned over all age groups according to said President of the Student Senate Udell Holmes. Prizes for the contest included candy bags and certificates.“It turned out really well, great costumes here. Hope to see it grow, it was a lot of fun,” said Holmes.

Volleyball team comes up short in tournament play

Vanecia Billings attempts to score against Clark State Quentin Pardon | The Collegian

Quentin Pardon
Assistant Editor 

Lorain County Community College’s road to return to the NJCAA Division III National Volleyball Tournament was never going to be easy in a region that includes two of the nation’s top-ranked teams and fellow OCCAC members, Owens CC and Columbus State CC.  The volleyball team finished off the weekend (Oct. 18-19) with a 3-0 win over Clark State Community College, after suffering a tough 0-3 loss to Edison State the other night in conference play. Although the Commodores won their earlier meeting this season going to five sets over Edison State Community College, they fell in straight sets in their rematch by scores of 18-25, 20-25, and 24-26. Brooklyn Hudson (New London) had a career-high 33 digs in the match, while Maddie Markovich (Sheffield Village/Christian Community School) added 17 and Alyssa Burch (Wakeman/Western Reserve) had 12. Vanecia Billings (Lorain/Clearview) put down 11 kills and Lydia Solak (LaGrange/Christian Community School) had four blocks.

LCCC Sophomores Maddie Markovich (Sheffield Village/Christian Community School) and Kara Sullinger (North Ridgeville) wrapped up their final home volleyball match with a 3-1 win over Division II Terra State Community College by scores of 25-22, 24-26, 25-19, and 25-20. For the ninth consecutive match, Vanecia Billings (Lorain/Clearview) led the team in kills with 12, while teammate, Ashley Elliott (LaGrange/Keystone) smacked eight. Sullinger had 33 assists and Brooklyn Hudson (New London) led the defensive effort with 17 digs.

Freshman Middle Hitter, Vanecia Billings, (Lorain/Clearview) was named the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) Division III Volleyball Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 14-20, 2019, for her outstanding play.

Billings has become a dominant force at the net, leading the Commodores in kills over the last nine matches. She exploded for 19 kills in a match against Edison State CC had a 17-kill performance against Lakeland CC, both Division II schools. At the end of the regular season, Billings sits second on the team with 204 kills heading into postseason play. The team leader in blocks with 76, Billings ranks 21st amongst NJCAA Division III athletes in that category and 19th with 45 block assists. Her 204 kills rank her 53rd nationally. “I do a lot of wall work,” says Billings. “I understand my role on the team and I plan on being the best at it. I make sure I get a lot of practice on the wall so when it’s game time, I’m ready to perform.” LCCC Head Coach, Ted Whitsel, praised Billings, saying, “V has gotten stronger and more confident as the season progresses and last week showed how dominant of a player she can be.”

After two 3-1 losses during the regular season to third-ranked Columbus State, LCCC was hoping three was the charm in the Region XII Tournament but it was not to be. Lorain played closer than the scores appear but lost in straight sets 16-25, 26-28, and 14-25 to wrap up their season and championship dreams. Lorain averaged 15 digs per set but had just a 0.044 attack percentage for the match. Maddie Markovich (Sheffield Village/Christian Community School), Myah McDonald (Avon), and Brooklyn Hudson (New London) each had double-digit digs and were responsible for 33 of the team’s 46 digs. The Commodores finish their season at 16-13 overall and 7-9 record in the competitive OCCAC, a conference that includes Division II and Division III colleges. Owens Community College, the nation’s top-ranked team, notched a four-set win over Columbus State to take home the Regional Championship Trophy. Both teams will advance to the NJCAA District G Championships.

For more information visit https://www.njcaa.org/sports/wvball/2019-20/div3/teams/loraincountycommunitycollege 

LCCC offers first Puerto Rican Studies course in Ohio

Oscar Rosado
Editor-in-Chief

For the very first time in the state of Ohio, LCCC is offering an Intro to Puerto Rican Studies course on campus. 

“We’re excited because it is first in Ohio. The fact we live with a bigger Hispanic community; it is long overdo. Our goal is to reach out more to the Puerto Rican community in the county of Lorain,” said Program Director of Foreign Languages Gregory Rivera.

The course is offered is multi-disciplinary, will focus on the racial, historical, linguistic, religious, social, and cultural realities of the Puerto Rican diaspora. It will also have special focus on the migration to Lorain. Students will also learn the history, culture, literature, contemporary society, and politics of Puerto Rico.

This is a partnership with Hunter College in New York City with Centro, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies. Because of the partnership, after students take the course they will be able to become Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassadors. According to Rivera, as an ambassador, students will be able to share and teach about the people, stories, struggles, and triumphs of Puerto Rico and the diaspora, who are people who belong to that community, in other words people of their original and native homeland.

Learning history

“We hope to reach out to students and want people to be interested in taking the course to learn about the history, why Puerto Ricans moved to Ohio, and the struggles and triumphs that came along the way,” said Rivera. Ultimately, the course will show how the Puerto Rican diaspora enriched Lorain County. Rivera has thought about having a course like this “for a very long time.”

The course is currently planned to run every Fall semester, and has already begun this semester on Sep. 30., with Dr. Raquel Ortiz teaching the course who was the bridge between Hunter College and LCCC.

Knowing your roots

“You’re a better person when you know where you come from, and I am glad I can teach it through my books and my class,” said  Anthropologist, Published Author, and Instructor Raquel Ortiz, Ph.D.

Born and raised in Lorain, OH, Dr. Ortiz was formerly a faculty member at Hunter College, apart of Centro, and is currently teaching the Intro to Puerto Rican Studies course, and said she is excited to share the good things about Puerto Rico.

“It is about learning about ourselves. Learning about our people,” said Dr. Ortiz. “It is also to have a connection, not just to learn for learning’s sake, I want them to share.” Dr. Ortiz added, “I am very grateful to Greg. We both realized the need for it. It was a nice fit. He helped make it happen.”

The class has a multimedia approach such as having documentaries, mini documentaries, episodes of a television program called “Puerto Rican Voices” which is currently in its fourth season, videos of conferences, and a piece of a radio podcast, all to educate students about Puerto Rico, its people, and its culture.

“I have a real hope we will try to strengthen the Puerto Rican community. There is a big Puerto Rican community in Lorain, and I want to help them understand the crisis and educate them to take action. Everyone can do something,” said Dr. Ortiz.

According to Program Director of the International Initiative Shaun Marsh Ph.D., “I welcome the opportunity to work with Greg Rivera and Dr. Raquel Ortiz and reach out to the Puerto Rican community.” Dr. Marsh added, “It is a wonderful opportunity to have more people involved and turn it into something much bigger.”

The course number is HUMS 295, is offered online and requires no prerequisite. It is a 10 week course currently held in the Fall, but if there is enough interest, it can be offered in the Spring as well. The class is running from Sep. 30 to Dec. 15. Those interested can contact Dr. Ortiz via email: rortiz@lorainccc.edu.

Meeting a brave face on campus

Oscar Rosado
Editor-in-Chief

Imagine being burned as a young child, and being in and out of the hospital trying to heal. That is the reality of Teeba Furat Marlowe, with her story told in the book “A Brave Face” co-written by Teeba and her adoptive American mother, Barbara Marlowe. 

When Teeba was a child she was severely burned in a roadside bombing in Iraq. The book is told in three perspectives, Teeba’s, her Iraqi mother Dunia’s, and her American mother Barbara’s. It goes on to talk about the struggles of getting Teeba to America to receive the medical attention she needed. It also talks about the emotional struggles both her Iraqi mother and American mother had over the years.

Barbara had witnessed an article seeing a four year old girl in Iraq that had mesmerized her. Teeba was caught in a bomb that had permanently scarred her, and left her without growing anymore hair. Barbara was affiliated with Wigs for Kids, a non-profit organization that provides wigs from real hair. She set up many calls and through networking had managed to get an Teeba, an Iraqi girl to the United States.

The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, which is an international honor society for two year institutions, organized the event for a college project. Their theme for the year is “stories that connect us.” “A Brave Face” can be incorporated into many themes around campus, including diversity, education, and health.  

“The book is a quick read, I finished it in about a day. I think about her story everyday,” Professor and Program Director Lisa Augustine stated. The campus is handing out free copies in the library, but there is a limited amount. “As a campus we’re hoping faculty, employees, students and community members read it,” said Augustine. 

  On Oct. 10  there was an event that invited Teeba, Barbara, as well as her husband and Teeba’s adoptive father Tim Marlowe on campus which was held at the Norton Culinary Arts Center. Augustine said after reading the book the next step was, “meeting the authors, being able to have a casual conversation with them, and learn about their powerful inspirational journey.”

The event began to go into fruition when Professor of Engineering, Business & Information Technologies, Travel and Tourism Industry, Marketing Maria McConnell saw Teeba’s story on a local news channel earlier in the year. She was looking for a keynote speaker for the induction ceremony for PTK. Although the induction did not work out, it did work out for the event.

“I thought Teeba’s message was so powerful, and would be a great thing to bring to campus,” said McConnell. McConnell stated she had made the connection with Barbara on Facebook, exchanged numbers, met a few times and had proceeded to solidify the event to get it all going.

A hope for humanity

“To think that two corners of the world that normally wouldn’t come together, that through newspaper and journalism were brought together,” said McConnell. “Their story is just so incredible. It gives you so much hope for humanity, just that culture of caring.”

Under 100 people attended the event which was Teeba with her adoptive American parents, sharing their story which is written in more detail in their book.

The event not only gave the opportunity to meet Teeba and her parents, and have their copies of the book signed, but it also gave the opportunity for attendees to ask questions to Teeba and her parents.

Like a second birthday

One of these questions asked was, did the family consider the date of July 16 to be a second birthday. On July 16, 2006 Barbara saw the article for the first time, and exactly one year later on the very same day, Teeba had entered Barbara and Tim’s lives. 

“It was like a second birthday for me, it totally changed my life, it made me a mother, something that I always wanted. It was an entirely new life. There are so many memories I wouldn’t have been able to experience or understand,” said Barbara.

Having value inspite

Later in the event, Teeba had made a visual demonstration for the audience, which was something she also did in the book. She took a 20 dollar bill and had asked the audience who would like it. Approximately everyone raised their hands in the air. Teeba had then crumbled the 20 dollar bill and asked the question again with the same number of hands up in the air. 

“Regardless of what this 20 dollar bill has gone through, it still has that value, it has not lost it,” said Teeba. She went on to say that regardless of what people go through they still have value.

The Marlowe family currently reside on the east side of Cleveland and were excited when they were asked to come and speak. Teeba is currently 17 years old and is a junior at Gilmore Academy. Teeba works part time at a café and volunteers at University Hospital with pediatric burn victims. She one day hopes to become a doctor and work with children to show them that she understands what they are going through. 

When Augustine asked Barbara what Teeba’s life would be like if she stayed in Iraq she responded, “Her grandmother had a first cousin selected for her to marry, because she was ‘too ugly’ to find a suitable husband.” 

 Some upcoming events that include the book are a celebration week in the spring with food, projects, and prizes. The projects will be judged by PTK alumni. They will also have a table at welcome week in the spring.

Thanks from the PTK 

 PTK would like to give a big thank you to Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs Jonathan Dryden Ph.D., in the Provost Office, who purchased 2000 books, 800 of which were given out and “sees the need for student driven projects,” Augustine stated. The PTK would also like to thank the LCCC Foundation who provided the food for the event, Vice President of Strategically Institutional Development Tracy Green who supported the group, and finally LCCC President Marcia Ballinger Ph.D., who supports the group and the projects that they do.

Madelyn Hill contributed to the story