Jay Sigal
A Correspondent


A student celebrates after receiving her diploma from LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D.        Submitted photo.

Six-hundred-fifty students became Lorain County Community College graduates when they crossed the stage of the Ewing Center Gymnasium to receive their diplomas from Dr. Marcia Ballinger, president of Lorain County Community College, on May 12. They were part of a total of 2,179 students who graduated with associates degrees or certificates.

“Graduates, reaching this milestone means that you made the bold decision to invest in yourself,” Ballinger said in her address. “Who you were when you started here may not be who you are today and that is the beauty of the discovery process.”

Among those present to receive their degrees was Adel Sliman, who collected his Associate of Applied Business diploma. Sliman commented, “If not for attending LCCC, I would still be struggling to discover where I wanted to go with my life after high school. I wasn’t a great student, used to be a slacker in high school. I didn’t graduate with honors or any of that stuff.  Not only has LCCC helped me to focus on my career choice, it has also helped me establish my foothold on the pathway. Through the summer I will be starting full time at SportSoft Inc. where I interned. In the fall I plan to begin my bachelor’s degree program.”

A cross-section of the packed Field House at the graduation ceremony. Submitted photo.

Similar views were expressed by Brian Holland who received his certificate in Computer Maintenance and Networking. “I’ve been attending for two years and I’m not done yet. I’m going to be attending for another two years studying for a degree in cyber-security. Attending LCCC helped me to realize that I needed to get busy and work harder than I was used to doing. I needed to become more responsible. I realized that I needed to have a set goal in my life. I am next looking forward to receiving my A+ Certification,” Holland said.

Donald Williams, who received an Associate of Applied Business degree, had this to say, “This has been a two-year journey for me. I came through the JVS partnership program and transferred to the culinary arts program, and that program here at LCCC just fit me because it was the local college and it was close to home. Each of my culinary instructors helped me to have an extraordinary experience while attending classes.”

Underlining the importance of continuing education, and an engaged member of the law enforcement workforce for a number of years, Ditanuia Geiger-Baker received her Associates of Physical Science degree and had this to say about her experiences, “I am a security officer at Lorain High School and will be using my degree to further my efforts in that direction. I already have my degree in Police Science. While attending classes here at LCCC I have made some wonderful and close friendships and gotten to know some great people. All the instructors had a lot to offer and I thought their knowledge and expertise was outstanding. Attending LCCC was very a very affordable way to continue my education.”

Ishmael Rodriguez walked away from this semester with an Associate of Applied Science degree. He said, “I may be attending classes in the future. Right now, I am working as a school bus driver and mechanic. The staff and instructors were really helpful.”

Heather Ware was particularly enthusiastic having completed her course of studies, being awarded an Associate of Business in Culinary Arts degree. Ware excitedly shared the following, “I really enjoy the atmosphere and the environment here at LCCC. The instructors were great and LCCC is a very affordable way to pursue your education. I have been a student since 2013. I am continuing my education by pursuing an additional degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, for which I have only two classes left. My ultimate career choice is to become a pastry chef and own and operate my own bakery. Attending classes at LCCC has helped to discover my passion for food. My experiences with my instructors will be something I will take with me everywhere I go.”

Yato Segun, a 1980 Olympics team boxer, received an Associate of Arts – Universal Studies degree. He expressed his anticipation for a change of direction in his career path as the result of receiving his degree. “It is my intention to eventually become a social worker and focus on youth that have become involved in the system. I hope to complete my current studies at which time I will receive a degree in Applied Science. I am also taking two summer courses. You can never be too old to continue your education. I am a prison project coordinator for the NAACP and I wanted a stronger foundation for myself and that is why I pursued more education through Lorain County Community College. My time here at LCCC has been a great and rewarding experience,” Segun said.