A Student Publication of Lorain County Community College

Dr. Church Retires

Keith A. Reynolds Editor-in-Chief   “It’s been a wonderfully gratifying tenure as President at Lorain County Community College. I have loved our students, I have loved our faculty, our staff, the collegiate environment is very special and we are—myself and…

College administrators assure students are safe

By Keith A. Reynolds Editor-in-Chief The nation was shaken yet again by a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in southern Oregon on Oct. 1. Such scenes of death and destruction seem all too familiar these days, but this particular incident…

Road to recovery: The aftermath of domestic violence

After enduring and surviving domestic violence for three years, Jennifer Varney is now working on building a future for she and her son. Varney will graduate from LCCC with her associate’s degree this spring.
Alex Delaney-Gesing | The Collegian

  Alex Delaney-Gesing Editor-in-Chief In the weeks that followed Jennifer Varney’s brush with death, angrily vivid, red hand marks encircling her neck served as unquestionable evidence of her experience. Though the bruises scattered across her body faded with time, the…

Collegian staffers win 5 Press Club awards

Alex Delaney-Gesing Editor-in-Chief Lorain County Community College’s student-run newspaper The Collegian won five honors in The Press Club of Cleveland’s Excellence in Journalism Awards competition for 2015. ‘Commodores complete sweep’, written by Olivia Moe and Keith A. Reynolds, featured LCCC’s…

A victim of violence: one student’s love story gone wrong

Jennifer Varney, a victim and survivor of domestic violence, lived through three years of abuse from her partner. Varney’s story highlights the somber fact that 20 people are  physically assaulted in the United States each minute.

Submitted photo

  Alex Delaney-Gesing Editor-in-Chief Legs crossed underneath her, Jennifer Varney, a Lorain County Community College social work major, sat curled in a barrel chair while staring out the glass window-covered door of room 207 in LCCC’s College Center building. Though…

Spring 2015 President’s Forum draws a crowd


Gabe Garcia President’s Forum As the temperatures outside warmed up to a long overdue 60 degrees, it marked that time of the year for the spring semester’s President’s Forum at Lorain County Community College.  LCCC President Dr. Roy A. Church gave an…

Canvas to replace Angel this summer

Kim Teodecki Staff Writer Beginning this upcoming summer semester, Lorain County Community College will introduce its students to Canvas, an online learning management system set to replace the current ANGEL system. Canvas open-lab sessions will be held starting May 18-22…

Point Park Gets the Best of the Lady Commodores 84-68

Point Park Gets the Best of the Lady Commodores 84-68

Cody Grossman

Staff Writer

The Lady Commodores squared off against Point Park Jv on Nov. 8 and early on the Commodores looked sharp. They started the game with a 13-0 run, led by Emily Capers and Onyx Lopez. LCCC played terrific defense and looked to put Point Park away early. However, Point Park came back and turned the tables on LCCC. Madi Bonner, sharp shooter for the Commodores, was very quiet in the first half. Coming off of a great game against Titusville, appeared to be shut down in the first half by the defense on Point Park. As the half went on the Lady Commodores looked sluggish, they shot the ball poorly and had many turnovers. At the end of the first half, the Lady Commodores trailed, 39-29.

The Commodores came out shooting the second half. Lopez and Bonner finally found their shots, and they were letting Point Park have it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. The Commodores let the lead fall back into double digits. The Lady Commodores looked extremely tired, and with limited subs available, were forced to power through it. The Commodores were able to trim the lead to nine late into the fourth quarter. But Point Park had an answer, bringing the lead to 15. Lopez, Bonner and Molly Linn however had other plans. They sparked a comeback that put the Lady Commodores within seven points. That was until Linn took a nasty elbow to the face. At that point the momentum was gone, and Point Park was in control. Linn would come back into the game, but it was far too late. The game ended with a score of 84-68, giving the Commodores their first loss of the season.

Coach Granito had this to say after the game, “Not having extra players hurt us. We have two girls coming back this week, the girls were fatigued today and I feel it has a lot to do with playing two games in a 48 hour span. Getting our players back will be key. As far as the game play today goes we need to improve on our transition, it killed us today. We need to get back on defense. We gave up a lot of garbage points.” The Lady Commodores next home game is on, Nov. 17 at 5:00 p.m. against Walsh JV.

Lady Commodores dominate home opener 101-41

Lady Commodores dominate home opener 101-41

Cody Grossman

Staff Writer

The Lady Commodores opened up the season at home against Pitt Titusville on Nov. 6 and the Commodores started the game hot, and stayed that way for the entire game. They began the game on a 17-0 run, making the defense look foolish. They played a high tempo and were relentless on defense. Onyx Lopez, returning player from last year’s team, was on a tear offensively. Lopez got to the basket whenever and however she wanted. Titusville had no answer for her. On the defensive end the Commodores didn’t give an inch. They forced turnover after turnover, frustrating Titusville to no end. They had the other team flustered to say the least. Also on the scoring end was first year player Madi Bonner, who drilled three after three. Bonner made it seem easy, she made the defense pay for leaving her open. The Commodores dominated the first half with their offense and terrific defense. The score going into the half was, 59-22.

Not much changed in the second half. The Lady Commodores didn’t let up and they kept playing hard and increased their lead. Lopez and Bonner kept making the defense pay for their mistakes. Bonner had an impressive shooting performance, not missing many opportunities. Lopez showed her strength by bullying her way to the basket anytime she wanted. Also playing well for the Commodores was Molly Linn. Linn showed great defense and smart offense with her passing. Along with her was Brandi Holowecky. The Commodores started the season off with a commanding win, defeating Titusville, 101-41.

Coach Granito, a first year coach as well as coaching his first college game, gave his thoughts about the victory. “Our goal was to come out strong, and we did just that. There were a lot of assists, not a lot of one on one, which is a good thing, We just broke them down and moved the ball well.” First home game, first home win. Impressive start for Granito and the team. The Lady Commodores next home game is Sunday Nov. 8  against Point Park JV.

Men’s Basketball Team falls to Schoolcraft 82-61

Men’s Basketball Team falls to Schoolcraft 82-61

Cody Grossman

Staff Writer

The LCCC Men’s Basketball team took on Schoolcraft College on Nov. 8 and from the start of it it looked as if the game was in favor of the Commodores. Ouddi Hamdan displayed terrific ball handling to start, showing off a crossover that made the defender look silly, and he finished the play with a layup. It got the crowd off their feet and the building soon became electric. The tempo soon slowed down, as well as the defense from LCCC. They gave up many costly baskets, along with a couple unforced turnovers on the offensive end.

Kwevon Corn ignited the spark that brought LCCC back into the game, shooting well from the field, as well as playing terrific on the defensive end. Matt Wysocki was the energy that the Commodores needed coming off the bench. Wysocki showed tremendous hustle, diving for loose balls, playing defense and scoring a few baskets. The team finished the half strong and went into the half down, 35-32.

The second half started off rather well for the Commodores. They got back defensively and made it a highly contested game. Wysocki once again provided tremendous hustle off the bench. However, the game would go downhill from there. LCCC started to play extremely sloppy, giving up many turnovers. On the defensive end they collapsed letting Schoolcraft score at will. On the offensive end they lost its flow. The Commodores struggled to put the ball in the basket and at times looked sluggish. They had very little communication which attributed to the many mistakes they made on offense and on defense. All in all, they fell apart. And despite a lack spark from Hamdan and Zach Swain, the Commodores went down, 82-61.

After the game, Brandon Rodriguez gave his thoughts on the tough loss, “We didn’t execute. We didn’t come out strong like I know we could and should have. We played as if we already won the game. I feel we gave up once it hit double digits. And we didn’t come out with the same intensity in the second half as we did in the first half.” The next Commodore home game is on Nov.17 at 7:00 p.m. against Notre Dame JV.

Men’s LCCC Basketball take home opener 84-78

Men’s LCCC Basketball take home opener 84-78

Cody Grossman

Staff Writer 

The LCCC Men’s Basketball team tipped off at home against Pitt Titusville on Nov. 6. They started the game with loads of energy, going after every loose ball and playing great defense. Shooting well for the Commodores early was Zach Swain. Titusville kept leaving him open, and he kept making them pay. Returning player Kevin Jenkins also played well in the first half. He scored at will and displayed smart and effective defense. It was a closely contested first half, both teams going back to back and trading baskets. Matt Wysocki also had an impressive start for the Commodores. He cleaned the glass for the Commodores and made several second chance opportunities. Returning player Ouddi Hamdan displayed great ball handling along with smart play throughout the first half. Hamdan limited the turnovers for the Commodores and made very few mistakes. The first half was a close one, the score at the end of the half was a tie, 34-34.

The second half started off slow for both teams. It did pick up for the Commodores rather quickly however. They went on a run and gained a double digit lead. Titusville however, responded with a run of their own, and tied the game back up. From that point on this game was a nailbiter. Wysocki showed tremendous hustle, diving for every loose ball and causing many turnovers for Titusville. Matthew Watkins gave the Commodores a small cushion with a couple clutch free throws late in the game. Wysocki did much of the same, both players seemed comfortable at the free throw line. Jenkins sealed the game for the Commodores with a layup, putting LCCC up by six points. The final score of the game was, 84-78.

After the game, Coach Marty Eggleston had this to say about the win, “Everybody loves to see a win. I’m proud of my guys, and I’m happy for them too.” Wysocki also gave his thoughts on the game, “We played above average. We could’ve played harder. But we came out strong, and I hope we do the same on Sunday.” The Commodores play at home Sunday, against Schoolcraft.

Believe in Ohio celebrates science, tech careers

Kristin Hohman
Managing Editor

Believe in Ohio will host a kickoff event at Lorain County Community College on Nov. 4 from 9 am to 1 pm. This free forum will launch the program in the region.

“The Believe in Ohio program provides a platform for high school students to develop their entrepreneurial skills and earn scholarship funds,” said Dr. Rosa Hainaj, dean of the science and mathematics division at LCCC. “Students have the opportunity to showcase their inventions and applications that may revolutionize the way we do things today in several areas, including technology, health, business, etc. The Believe in Ohio program provides tools and resources for students to learn and apply what is needed to bring their idea or product to the next level.”

Believe in Ohio (BIO) is a free program from the Ohio Academy of Science which helps prepare high school students for the future – with a focus on STEM careers.

“Students need to understand that a knowledge of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is more than an acronym,” said Dr. Hainaj. “ STEM can be the catapult to an unlimited number of careers and ventures. Not everyone needs to be a scientist or mathematician, but knowledge of the STEM disciplines provide the necessary background to open so many doors.”

BIO operates under three core principles, according to the organization’s website:

*Help students understand the challenge and opportunity the future presents for them and how to prepare for it through STEM forums, virtual field trips and online courses into Ohio’s Innovation Economy of the future.

*Help students understand the importance of a STEM education and an entrepreneurial mindset to become competitors in Ohio’s Innovation Economy of the future through engagement with STEM & entrepreneurial experts and mentors, and participation in STEM Commercialization & Business Plan competitions.

*Inspire students to Believe in Ohio and pursue their education and careers in Ohio by introducing them to Ohio’s robust R&D and entrepreneurial ecosystem that offers great opportunities for them to create their future.

The Ohio Academy of Science’s mission statement is to foster curiosity, discovery, innovation, and problem-solving skills in Ohio.

“Ohio has one of the most successful entrepreneurial ecosystems,” Dr. Hainaj stated. “The potential benefits for our region are immense, as technology advances can drive the markets and provide employment opportunities. Such has been shown by the accolades received by the many programs sponsored by the Ohio Third Frontier, which include the great work being done at the Desich SMART Commercialization Center for Microsystems, right at LCCC’s campus.”

Scholarship opportunities will be available for participants during the forum. The event is free to attend and lunch is provided. Registration is required. For more information, contact Dr. Rosa Hainaj at 440-366-7280 or by email at rhainaj@lorainccc.edu.

Holiday cards bring Christmas cheer to troops

Arryona Pastor

Each year Christmas and holiday cards are sent to our troops overseas. Kathleen Gruscinski delivers these cards to the USO which is then sent to our troops. “This means the world to our troops far from home during the holiday season,” Gruscinski said. She has collected over 20,000 cards for the troops over the past ten years. Her work has led to her being acknowledged by the USO.

“Any news from home, imagine yourself in their position, just a little news from home brings cheer to them. It takes so little of our time to do,” Bruce Weigl, a veteran of the Vietnam War said. Something so little does affect the troops more than we think it does. A simple “Thank you” can bring a smile to a troops face because they know that you support their bravery to go fight for our freedom and nation. When asked how the letters will get to the troops, Bruce replied ” A special postal system just for military people, so like we don’t have to pay postage for them.”

It only takes a few minutes to make a card for a serviceman, but those few minutes mean a the world to them. The more cards they receive, the better. If you want to take part in sending cards to the troops, you can drop the cards off at CC 234 until Nov.15.

Women’s basketball gets new coach

Cody Grossman
Staff Writer

 This year’s Lorain County Community College Women’s Basketball team has a new face at the helm. Vince Granito has taken the role of coach this season. Those who don’t know him as coach Granito may know him as Dr. Granito. He has taught psychology at LCCC for the past 15 years. He has his Ph.D.in sports psychology. He received his Master’s degree at John F. Kennedy University, and his Doctorates at the University of Saybrook. Granito is no stranger to coaching; he has coached high-school basketball for the last 25 years. LCCC will be his first college level coaching opportunity.

When asked what made him decide to become the coach of LCCC, he said, “Well last year I had ten girls, nine of them were seniors. So I would have been starting fresh anyways with a new team. And it was a long commute. Whereas here, all I really have to do is go to the building next door.” Coincidently, the day Granito stepped down as the coach of the high school he was at, the LCCC athletic program posted that they were looking for a new coach. Opportunity knocked, and Coach Granito opened the door with gusto.

Granito’s only concern right now is the depth of the team. “We are starting the season with nine players; we have another two coming at the midway point. I know last year’s team had issues towards the end with girls missing games. Some games they only had six or seven players. That is my only concern, that we may be put into a similar situation.” His main focus right now in practice is mainly offensive. He wants the players to master the offensive scheme of the game. The advice he gave to the players was to not be afraid to take risks, and to play as hard as they can every day.

He made it a point for the players to play “with a chip on their shoulders” because of the recent rankings of the schools. LCCC was ranked last based on a league wide coach’s vote. “That’s fine that they picked us last, that means we get to prove a lot of people wrong.” said Granito. His expectations for this year’s Commodores are to win, he said there are many winnable games, and he is expecting to win.

Granito’s favorite aspect of coaching is to see the development of his players. “It’s amazing over the course of time since June how much better they’ve already gotten.” His goal is to come in and simplify the process for the Commodores. He intends on making it easier for them. Describing his coaching style he said, “Lots of talking and yelling, but positive talking and yelling. I rarely ever sit down, I realize that the girls will act, based on my energy. If I look sluggish and down, they will likely play sluggish and down. So I have to make sure that I’m always positive. My energy reflects how they play.” Coach Granito can’t wait to get the season underway. The first game is at home on November 6th. Good luck, coach.


Hispanic Heritage Month celebration salsas into CC building

Charlotte Weiss
Staff Writer

The melodic notes of salsa music wafted out from the Lorain County Community College Center Commons during the lively celebration of Spanish Heritage month on Oct. 15. Sponsored by Student Life, the main goal was to recognize and promote the Spanish culture by way of presenting a panel of inspirational speakers to students.

The panel, composed of a range of people from different backgrounds, engaged students with narratives of their background and struggles. Many of the speakers grew up with very little, and from the little they were given made great successes of themselves.

The panel was composed of Dr. Rosa Rivera-Hainah, Ruth Rivera, Judge Michele Silva Arredondo, Emmanuel Detres, Mike Ferrer, and Martin Leibas. Leibas in particular fascinated students with tales of his life as a former drug dealer, and how he became a success from the struggles he went through and how he is now promoting community betterment.

Katie Mulholland, LCCC student majoring in Early Childhood Education, spoke highly of the event. “I liked hearing the stories, it was so inspiring. I didn’t know how some of them came from nothing even being in jail, to where they are now,” Mulholland said. “Sometimes I think about what I’m doing, but then I hear their stories and it’s inspiring.”

Student Senator Ben Colon-Nieves gave a brief introduction to the panel in Spanish, and a light lunch was provided to all those in attendance during the panel. After the Q&A session was completed, traditional Hispanic dances were performed and the crowd was invited to join. The event accomplished what it set out to in regards to inspiring all those who were in attendance and the promotion of Spanish culture.


Women’s Link celebrates anniversary

Rebecca Marion
Ad Manager

How do you get the students of the Lorain County Community College to help themselves? Women’s Link baited them with slices of cake at their 27th anniversary and open house on Oct. 22 in the Business Building of LCCC.

The staff of Women’s Link invited everyone and anyone who wandered across their path to eat cake and advised them to remember the new location of their office. Even though half of the students that stumbled across the open house stayed for the cake and punch, many left with the reminder that Women’s Link is a safe place on campus that’s willing to help those in need.

Since it was established in 1988, Women’s Link has been a strong supporter of the men and women of LCCC. Although they’ve grown out of their closet sized office, their goal has always been the same, to link students with the resources that they need to stay enrolled at LCCC.  According to Dr. Marilyn Valentino, a member of the advisory board for Women’s Link, “It was anything people needed at the time, like furniture, but basically it was someone who put their hand out and said we care about you and we want you to stay [at the college].”

Women’s Link also acknowledges that one-on-one communication is another key tool for assisting students on campus. “I’ve had a student say, ‘I’m thinking of suicide’ in my communications class, I told him you’re walking with me and we’re going to visit Kathy, in Women’s Link and you’re going to sit down and talk to her. And that’s how important and strategic it is,” Valentino said.

In an average year, Women’s Link connects 2,000 students and occasionally community members to the resources they need. Tracey Maxwell, coordinator of Women’s Link, understands “the life of a college student; most of the time they are not rolling in money.” With that understanding Maxwell has coordinated fundraisers like the Charity Crop Scrapbook Workshop, which has raised $10,000. All of the proceeds have gone into the endowment fund and are used to help students with housing, bus passes, loan and grant money.

Women’s Link plans on hosting several events at the LCCC campus. A few of these events includes the LCCC Health Fair on Nov. 5.

Muslim Student Association raises fund for Syrian refugees

Charlotte Weiss
Staff Writer

Waking up to the sound of gunshots and the vibrations of bombs is a frightening reality that those living in Syria face every day. At the Muslim Student Association’s presentation at Lorain County Community College on Oct. 15th, they shared startling statistics about the harsh condition that Syrian refugees face and gave the campus community great insight into their lives, and what we can do to help.

“Can you imagine going from one place where you once had everything, to a place where you now have nothing and know no one?” Nadia Widdi, president of the MSA, asked the audience of the presentation. Along with grave statements about the poor living conditions and struggles the refugees are facing, they presented images and impactful videos about the depths of misery that these refugees are forced to undergo when fleeing their home that will resonate in the minds and hearts of everyone who viewed them.

Samah Alsayed, a student at LCCC and member of the MSA, moved from Syria and has been in the United States for a total of ten month. With tears in her eyes, she stood proudly and proclaimed her love for her country and her undying devotion to improving their conditions. “It was so hard to leave my home,” she said. “They arrested me there. I feel safe here, but I left my family. It is so hard to leave everything.” Her words touched upon the real struggle and the dire need of these refugees. “LCCC has helped me so much,” she said gratefully. “And I want to tell you we need help, with anything you can do. If you help us, it would be great.”

That is exactly what Widdi did with her efforts to fundraise money for the Syrian refugees by selling a variety of baked goods in the College Center Commons. They raised over $500, and with the college’s offer to double the finished total, they will be donating a sum over $1,000 to aide the Syrian refugees. “It’s really bad right now over there. I was in tears for days, and I can’t sit around and do nothing about it. I am president of MSA, so I thought why not just do something about it,” Widdi said.

They had no set amount in mind, only the hope to raise as much as they possibly could, and they certainly succeeded in doing just that. They are in the midst of taking a vote on what organization to donate the funds to, and are choosing between the Salaam Cultural Museum Organization and UNICEF. “UNICEF is really well known,” said Widdi, “But it’s not a nonprofit. So for now we’re going with Salaam, but we’re going to vote.”

Widdi encourages students and campus community members to check out Salaam’s Facebook page to find out more information, and the MSA plans to welcome any further, even anonymous, donations. “There were many donations people gave without even taking anything,” said Amani Ayyad, secretary of the MSA. “Yes, one person even donated $300,” furthered Widdi. It is exactly that spirit of giving that will help aide the refugees suffering and every effort helps. The MSA championed an important cause in the College Center today, and took a stance on an important issue that deserves every member of this community’s attention.