Special to the Collegian

LCCC students Mary Santana of Oberlin, and Elizabeth Cooksey of Amherst, earned All-Ohio Academic Team honors and were honored at an awards ceremony Thursday, April 26 at the Ohio Statehouse Atrium in Columbus.

Cooksey and Santana were each named to the All-Ohio Academic Team Third Team. Both students received an All-Ohio medallion.
“Mary and Elizabeth are wonderful representatives of the students at Lorain County Community College,” said LCCC President Dr. Roy A. Church. “They are motivated individuals who are driven to better themselves and their community.”

Ten years ago, Santana could not have predicted that she would one day be studying the brain and leading a student government. Back then, she was working in a factory inspecting wheelchairs and worrying how long much longer she could cope with the pain in her knees.

Mary Santana

Santana found her niche at LCCC and earned an Associate of Arts degree from LCCC in May 2011. She will earn a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in May 2012 from Cleveland State University through LCCC’s University Partnership.

Santana, 50, is the current president of Student Senate and works in the LCCC call center as an ambassador to new students. As part of Student Senate, she helped initiate a ride share program on campus and serves on a multitude of campus committees. The mother of a special needs child, Santana also spearheaded Project SEARCH, a program that provides internships on campus to special needs high school students.

Santana plans to pursue a master’s degree in psychology and aspires to become a college professor.

Cooksey is a student determined to make the world a better place. Growing up caring for her disabled father, she understands the power a positive attitude can have on a situation. Cooksey, 20, is studying physical therapist assisting at LCCC and is always prepared to take the extra step to make life better for her family and others.

Elisabeth Cooksey

In the classroom, Cooksey earns outstanding marks and is a leader among her classmates. She is also active in the LCCC Physical Therapy Assisting Club and volunteers at local charity runs.

Cooksey is on track to earn an associate’s degree in 2013. She then plans to transfer to the University of Findlay to pursue a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology.