Dr.Beckstrom, dean of the arts and humanities department at Lorain County Community College, announced retirement this summer. Beckstrom will retire in June after 31 years at LCCC.
“The people have been great here,” Beckstrom said of LCCC’s faculty, staff, and administration. “They really help validate what you do and I can not express enough gratitude toward them.”
Dr. Marcia Ballinger, president of LCCC, said that Beckstrom’s leadership, passion, knowledge, and experience has influenced many of the strategic directions of LCCC.
“Among his many accomplishments, I most cherish Dr. Beckstrom’s commitment to our students and creating an environment that enables students to flourish and thrive,” said Ballinger.
It was a decision that Beckstrom had been considering for a while and knew that he needed to give the administration timely notification, he said.
“The announcement was something that I told my bosses on March 31 and then told the faculty during our monthly meeting,” said Beckstrom.
Beckstrom began his LCCC career as music faculty in 1986. He held that position for three years before being named chair of the department.
“It was something that I never expected and I was happy to get the position,” said Beckstrom. One of the most important lessons from over the years has been that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all resolution for every student, according to Beckstrom.
“One might think that with enough experience a manual could be created that would solve every solution,” said Beckstrom. “That simply is not true. Every student that has walked into my office has been a unique individual with a new set of challenges. It has taught me to continue to learn and to approach every situation with humility.”
Beckstrom’s work has been evident through his success at the college, according to Ballinger.
“He sincerely loves this college and it has shown vividly in his work. I have many fond memories of my work with Bob. Our college and community are indebted to him for his service,” said Ballinger.
Faculty and staff members within the arts and humanities department echoed that sentiment.
“He has been a good chair of the division and has always been eager to listen,” said Robert Dudash, professor emeritus of humanities at LCCC. “I was surprised when I heard the announcement; it was not something that I expected. I wish him nothing but the very best with retirement and I will miss him.”
Jewon Woo, an LCCC professor of English, said that she was surprised by the announcement as well and that she was sad when she heard the news.
“I admire Dr. Beckstrom very much,” said Woo. “He is a great leader and he always had the right advice when I would go to him. I respect his expertise in the field and his ability as an organizer,” she continued. “I appreciate all the extra work that he put in supporting me and giving me opportunities despite the fact that I was not an American citizen.”
After leaving LCCC, Beckstrom is eager to spend time with his wife and work on a variety of other projects.
“My best days are with my wife, so I am looking forward to spending more time with her,” said Beckstrom. “I would like to write some books, work on being a musician again and do a lot of traveling.”
He encourages LCCC’s faculty and staff to be open minded toward change while keeping their focus on the students.
“Change is often forced on us from the outside,” said Beckstrom. “It is important that the faculty flow with that change while also maintaining academic integrity and compassion toward the students.”