A Student Publication of Lorain County Community College

Issue 1 fails due to a lack of publicity

Owen Cooper, Lauren Hoffman, Hayden Lowstetter, Christina Yuhasz and James WadeJRNM 151Lorain resident Nancy Fly is among those disappointed over the defeat of Issue 1.  “We need to have state-of-the-art equipment in a nice location, but as of now, we don’t…

Children’s Learning Center’s new tech helps ECE students complete course work

James WadeJRNM 151 Before the pandemic, LCCC students in the Early Childhood Education courses would go to pre-schools in different communities to sign up and get their in-class hours. Students were required to have 105/120 in-class hours in ECED 283…

Victims of domestic abuse tell their stories

Destiny TorresStaff Writer “Virginia was a freshman at Southview High School, her boyfriend was a senior. Two days after her 15th birthday, he strangled her with shoelaces. He and a friend of his put her body in a plastic trash…

Avoiding abuse: do’s and don’ts to help loved ones

James BaronJRNM 151 If you feel trapped in an abusive relationship as endured by Gabby Petito, whose body was found on Sept. 19, you should know that there is always a way out. “The most important piece of the puzzle is…

NEO LaunchNET relaunches back in-person

Oscar RosadoEditor-in-Chief After a long while, the NEO LaunchNET team is back converging on campus. NEO LaunchNET Staff Associate, Lisa Mackin discussed how the process of coming back was, as well as announcing upcoming events with the NEO LaunchNET team.Mackin…

U.P. marks 25 years

Oscar RosadoEditor-in-Chief The Campus’ University Partnership celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and many have played a role in its success to help students grow beyond the Associate’s Degree. LCCC President, Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., plays an important role in the partnership…

High gas prices hit the pocketbook

Lauren Hoffman, Hayden Lowstetter, Christina Yuhasz, and James WadeJRNM 151  Amherst resident Celeste Glick drives less nowadays because of high gas prices. “I don’t know why it’s so high,” Glick said. “I don’t know if it’s because of the oil spills,…

Make your writing needs write at the Writing Center

Josh Kesterson (right) helping Samiat Adebayo (left) with an english paper at the writing center.    Lauren Hoffman | JRNM

Christina Yuhasz
JRNM 151

Mohammed, a computer science major at LCCC, stopped by the Writing Center recently to get help with writing an essay, so he got guidance from one of the tutors at the center with his assignments. Like Mohammed, students can take advantage of the services offered by the center.
The Writing Center, located in Room 217 in Stocker Center, is supervised by Justin Sevenker, English professor with Arts and Humanities Division.
“The main purpose is to help students, who are most likely in an English class, with their writing,” Sevenkar said. “There are many things that students need help with their writing. Here are some examples: organization, introductions, and conclusions citing sources,” Sevenker said.
Sevenker added the most common challenge students have trouble with ]citation style. There are many other people who work in the Writing Center including an English tutor at the academic support center, Carrie Krucinski; two Writing Center associates, Josh Kesterson and Donna Hunt; and two coaches, Kurt Fawver and Kevin Hoskinson. The center opened last year but ran only online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Students will receive guidance on the following writing skills, such as thesis statements, organization, summary, analysis, synthesis, and research assignments, clarity, content development, introductions, and conclusions, citing sources, and grammar, mechanics, and other sentence-level concerns.
The Writing Center is open Monday through Friday. Walk-ins are welcome, but advance appointments at tutoringcenter@lorainccc.edu are encouraged. Students also may contact the Academic Support Center at (440) 366-4057.

LCCC alumnus named ME of The Gazette

Owen Cooper
JRNM 151

As a child, Scott Mahony would get up every morning and run to go grab the latest edition of The Gazette from the driveway. Now, 20 years later, he gets to wake up every morning and work as a managing editor for the Medina newspaper he grew up reading as a teenager.
Early on in his childhood, Mahony aspired to become a novelist.
“I’ve always wanted to get a book published,” he said of dreams, which he still maintains today.
But it’s at Lorain County Community College, where he first fell in love with newswriting after joining an intro to journalism class. However, it was not always easy for Mahony because he was a shy and reserved student at first. That was until just a few weeks into the journalism class when then-President Barack Obama came to visit the school, and to his surprise, Mahony, who was a freshman at the time, was chosen to be the editor of The Collegian, the campus student newspaper. Up to this point, Mahony was actually “on the fence” about continuing journalism, but once he covered Obama’s visit, it completely shifted his thoughts. “It was chaos, but the feeling afterward made it worth it,” Mahony said about the assignment.
Since his days at LCCC, Mahony had written for newspapers including The Oberlin News- Tribune, The Morning Journal, and The Gazette.
Early on in his career Mahony covered high school sports, with wrestling being his favorite. Although, he will be the first to admit that he knew nothing about wrestling, and frankly, he didn’t like it at first. As he began to understand wrestling better as time went on, and it helped him to appreciate the sport.
Before Mahony joined The Gazette in August, he had taken two years off to be a stay-at-home dad, which he said he “wouldn’t trade for anything” as he was able to spend time with his two young daughters.
As a managing editor, Mahony wishes that his grandparents, whom he would read The Gazette with as a child, could see him now and what he’s accomplished in journalism.
Mahony is also a firm believer that the journalism industry is evolving at a fast rate with online publications becoming more prevalent, but he said that even with all of the change, journalism is not going anywhere, anytime soon.


‘Excited to be on campus’

Destiny Torres 
JRNM 222

Students playing a friendly round of pool at the College Center. Lauren Hoffman | JRNM 151

Students are happy to be back on campus for in-person classes and be off the computer screens at home.  
COVID-19 hit college campuses in Spring 2020, forcing many schools and colleges, including LCCC, to send students home for virtual learning. More than a year after the pandemic, LCCC has opened all campuses, bringing students old and new together.
Jacob Ludwig, a new student on campus, is excited to be on campus.
“Learning in-person is extremely helpful and better than learning online,” Ludwig said. “There are not as many distractions, and for me being in a set system is easier to learn.”
Though technology helps people connect with each other more than ever, virtual learning makes it difficult for students to interact and socialize with their peers.
“Meeting new people is my biggest excitement this school year,” Ludwig said, “Being able to have an actual human connection is the biggest difference between online learning and in-person classes”
Margo Solis was a senior in high school when COVID-19 hit, and many restrictions were imposed.
“I love the feeling of the campus,” Solis said. “It has a welcoming feeling to it, and I’m excited to explore it more.”
LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., said in a statement, “As we welcome students back to campus today, I am filled with excitement and hope for the future. Despite the challenges of the past year, LCCC and University Partnership students have chosen to focus on what they can control – their education and their future. Our students are taking steps toward launching the careers of their dreams and you, our phenomenal faculty and staff, are here to help them each step of the way.”
“The start of a new semester to me always symbolizes students’ commitment to creating a brighter future for themselves. Having the ability and opportunity for students to be back in person if they choose to be, there’s a certain synergy that comes with that. “When the pandemic began, I was very focused on three guiding priorities, the three S’s. The first being safety, the second being our operation stability, and the third being student success. So that safety has been at the forefront of all of our planning and implementation the past 18  months, and it will continue to be a guide going forward. 
“My message to students is to keep positive and stay committed. I’ve heard people say that you have to go through darkness to grow into the light, and I’m so encouraged by our students’ commitment to their futures. 

Anthony LaRosa contributes to the report.

Post 9/11 generation learn about attacks from parents, the internet, history class

Lauren Hoffman
JRNM 151

September 11, 2001. 
The date alone conjures the images of smoldering Twin Towers and it crumbling to the ground. The day will forever go down in history as one of the worst attacks on American soil, and it spawned a 20-year Afghanistan war in its wake. Many, who were adults at that time, reminisce with heartbreak still in their voices. But, it is a different experience for those who were too young or born after 9/11.
Hannah Baker, a Lorain Country Community College student, recalled being in high school when the horrific incident occurred. Initially, she didn’t realize its impact. But the fear truly started to settle in when her teacher forcefully threw a book across the classroom and shouted, “I hate it when people attack our country.” Years later, the memories still resonate with Baker. Her dad was an air traffic controller at the time, and she heard everything occurring on Flight 93 before they lost contact. To cope with the trauma, her family visited every 9/11 memorial. “It really brought closure to us. I think they all depicted the true scope of the tragedy very well,” Baker said. 
Amherst resident Megan Campbell, who was in high school at the time, shared similar stories. Campbell recalled “getting into the study hall and there it was on the TV.” Having known people in New York, Campbell recalled being terrified. “I don’t think anybody fully understood; we didn’t know what it meant.”         
Maryah Sneed, an Engineering major at LCCC, said she was surprised that “something so heinous could cross somebody’s mind to do. I’ve flown, and I’m always a little scared that am I ever gonna be safe?” 
Nick Millsop, an LCCC freshman, had a similar response. “We go over 9/11 in high school every year. I mean terrorism is bad, of course, and I feel it’s really on the rise,” Millsop said. 
High school students were further removed from the impact of 9/11, causing many to view it as something that had occurred before they were born.
Steel Parish, a sophomore at Marion L Steele High School in Amherst,recalls learning about 9/11 through the internet when he was 11 or 12. He knew “two planes hit the Twin Towers, one plane hit the Pentagon, and one landed in a field in Pennsylvania.” He knew they were hijacked and that it was suspected the attack came from Middle-Eastern radicals, but it was also quick to throw in the viral internet conspiracy theory of then-president Bush having a part in the attack. Parish didn’t show any emotions when talking about 9/11 and shrugged and commented, “It’s just kind of a thing that happened before I was born.”        
Claire Kline, 18, and Taryn Clark, Marion L Steele High seniors, 17, echoed Parish’s views. They said they knew, sort of, about it but didn’t fully learn about 9/11 until the fifth- or sixth grade. 
Kline said she was “but rather intrigued. I mean, it is something to learn. I’m not personally scared by it, though.” However, Kline said she is terrified that something similar could occur again. 
Young adults today view 9/11 as another event covered in history class, and it’s just another disaster that occurred before their time. But to those such as North Ridgeville resident Jaimey Whitehead, “It’s the closest thing people that were alive during the time can equate to Pearl Harbor.”


Students say “yes” to in-person classes, put up with masks

JRNM 151

The first-day college jitters are compounded by mask mandates on campus. While many students are excited to be on campus, an uncertainty only three months ago, the new COVID-19 guidelines and the looming mask policies do not hold the same weight.

While most students agree that masks provide an extra layer of protection, few are eager to wear the fabric.

  Natalie Schenk, a Business major, said she was “glad to be back on campus.” But Schenk is quick to remind that while wearing masks can be annoying, “you can never be too careful.”

 Fellow student Jadiel Soto – Perez, a Nursing major, agrees with Schenk, saying, “I mean I do like it (mask mandate). I think it enforces us to follow the rules, and not everyone is vaccinated. Some people say that they’re vaccinated, and they’re not. So, it helps keep everyone safe. Young people, old people, everyone.”

Not all students felt the same about masking-up. “I think it should be up to each student and instructor,” commented Ellen Miller, also a Nursing major. “We all know about it by now and know how to stay safe.”

Katarina Oudeman, a Business Associate of Arts major, admitted that the mask mandate creates a sense of safety. “There are so many new people and new classes. Attempting to socialize is very difficult, especially with masks.” With the new delta of the COVID-19 variant looming, some people may be nervous about coming back. “I’m not nervous at all,” said Oudeman, “we’re wearing masks anyway.”

 Brandon Neiding, a Business major, said, “My mental health took a huge hit. Being alone and not being able to see my friends was very hard on me and caused some depression.” Oudeman’s, anxiety heightened as the vaccine came out. “At first, I was nervous because I thought it was rushed. But now that it’s been around for a few months, I feel much better about it.”

 Cody Devos, a freshman, believes that he will be “fine” because he has received the vaccine and also plans on keeping a far distance from other students when possible. He said LCCC had done a great job with handling the entire situation and was not concerned that he might be at any risk.

This was also the same situation for Emily Maslow, another student, who also plans on being as “careful and possible” while going around campus, and in classes. Emily had the vaccine, which made coming back to in-person classes safer.

Steven Hastings, a Physical Science major, said that he is “sick of it” when asked about the mask mandate. Hastings said the mask mandate is “something that needed to be done” even if he isn’t a fan of it. 

Zachary Schuster, another student at Lorain County Community College, shared that he “doesn’t wear his mask anywhere but at the college and his workplace.”

 Blake Jarvis, a third-year student, said that it didn’t bother him to wear the masks again.

 Julie Rivera, a Fine Arts major, said the mask “gets in the way of my piercings which is annoying.” However, she said being quarantined during the height of the pandemic made her “feel alone. I am actually happy to be back on campus because it will help my GPA.”

JRNM 151 students James Boron, Owen Cooper, Lauren Hoffman, Helen Lewis, Hayden Lowstetter, Christina Yuhasz and James Wade contributed to the story.


Dean Douglas chosen for national presidential fellowship

Special to The Collegian

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program today announced that Denise Douglas, Ph.D., Lorain County Community College’s dean of social sciences and human services, has been named to the prestigious Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship.

Douglas is one of 40 exceptional community college leaders in the country named to the highly selective leadership program that prepares the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success.  In addition to her role as dean, Douglas also serves as co-chair of the LCCC Equity for Students Team.

Denise Douglas, Ph.D.

“I am honored to be selected for this prestigious fellowship and I am grateful for the support and mentorship of LCCC President, Dr. Marcia Ballinger,” Douglas said. “I am looking forward to engaging in this learning experience and bringing back what I learn to further advance our student success work at Lorain County Community College.”  

As Rising President Fellow, Douglas will complete a 10-month program that includes mentorships with current and former community college presidents, including current Ballinger, Ph.D., who completed the Rising Presidents Fellowship during as part of the program’s inaugural class in 2016.

“I am thrilled for Dr. Douglas to participate in this career-changing fellowship,” Ballinger said. “Dr. Douglas has an immense passion for the transformational work of community colleges. Through this fellowship, she will enhance her already exceptional skills, making her even more capable of leading deep cultural and institutional change with a focus on student success and equity.”

Prior to her role as dean at LCCC, Douglas worked for nearly 30 years in higher education, primarily at private universities, including Case Western Reserve University. She was drawn to the community college by the opportunity to connect with a system to more fundamentally meets her core value system, including fostering growth and opportunity for first-generation and under-resourced students.  Douglas lives in Avon.

The Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship responds to the growing need for a new generation of leaders well-equipped to meet the challenges of the future. Nationally, nearly 80 percent of sitting presidents plan to retire in the next decade. While the traditional pathway to the presidency has often excluded women and people of color, the incoming class of Aspen Rising Presidents Fellows is composed of 68 percent women and 70 percent people of color and represents institutions of varying sizes and locations.

Together, the 2021-22 fellows are leaders at colleges that collectively serve more than 400,000 students. As well, 67 Rising Presidents Fellowship alumni have become presidents of community colleges that collectively serve an additional 953,000 students nationwide.

Medical Mutual makes $1-million gift to LCCC

Special to The Collegian

More Lorain County Community College students will have access to life-changing programs and support thanks to a $1 million gift from Medical Mutual. This gift to the LCCC Foundation represents the largest single corporate gift in the foundation’s nearly 50-year history.

This gift will support LCCC’s groundbreaking work in supporting student success. Specifically, it will be catalytic in the LCCC Foundation’s efforts to build an endowment to sustain the LCCC Emergency Assistance Program. The donation also will support LCCC’s cutting-edge Fast-Track short-term training program by establishing two scholarship programs: the Medical Mutual Bridging the Gap and Medical Mutual Momentum scholarship funds. 

“The generous gift from Medical Mutual will make a tangible positive impact for LCCC students,” said LCCC President Marcia J. Ballinger, Ph.D. “By supporting students through emergency funds and scholarships, Medical Mutual is making an investment in the success of LCCC students and the future of our community.”

The LCCC Emergency Assistance Program, supported by donors to the LCCC Foundation, provides funding to help students overcome financial emergencies that could prevent them from remaining enrolled in college. This program has been highly successful in helping students overcome barriers and remain enrolled, ultimately earning their degrees or credentials.  

“Oftentimes, emergency assistance as little as $50 can be the difference needed to keep a student enrolled in classes and working toward their goals,” Ballinger said. “These funds are true game-changers for students.”

The Emergency Assistance Funds are distributed through LCCC’s Advocacy and Resource Center (ARC), which helps students access food, counseling, financial, and other support.

Medical Mutual’s gift also focuses on LCCC’s highly successful Fast-Track programs, which help students train for a career in high demand fields such as health care, IT and advanced manufacturing. Launched in  2020, Fast-Track offers individuals the ability to enroll in one of more than 30 high-demand programs to earn a certificate in 16 weeks or less at zero cost to the student. The Medical Mutual Bridging the Gap Scholarship will supplement existing funding sources to allow the College to expand the program, increasing access for those in the community needing to quickly train for a new career. Fast Track programs provide industry-recognized credentials that are stackable so that participants have the option to continue their education seamlessly to earn associate degrees or bachelors or master’s degrees offered through LCCC and its University Partnership. The Medical Mutual Momentum Scholarship will also provide an additional $500 scholarship to those students who complete a Fast Track credential and choose to pursue an associate degree at LCCC.

“Medical Mutual is beyond thankful for educational partners like LCCC, which is helping to put both students and our community firmly on the path for a better future,”,” shared Rick Chiricosta, Medical Mutual’s Chairman, President and CEO. “We know that this additional support for students improve both their chances of persisting in school and their health and well-being – all while helping to close critical skills gaps in high-demand fields like healthcare, IT and manufacturing.” 

Ballinger said the gift from Medical Mutual will provide vital assistance while creating a lasting impact.

“Medical Mutual’s gift has thoughtfully created a continuum of programming so that every student has the ability to access – and succeed – at LCCC,” said Ballinger.

LCCC wins 11 honors from Cleveland Press Club

Anthony LaRosa

The Collegian took eight honors and the Boom Radio won three honors in the trade/2-year school category in 2021 All Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards, hosted by the Press Club of Cleveland on June 24.

Oscar Rosado, the former editor of The Collegian, picked up first place in the Best Print Newspaper Story for “Issue 17 levy passes regardless of Covid-19 quarantine.” The judges commented on the story, “Solid story, lots of detail – and that’s a good combination. Very timely as well.”

Oscar Rosado
Anthony LaRosa

Rosado also took home second place in this category for his story, “Extra security placed to ensure safety from virus,” which the judges applauded for its “perfect framework.”

Third place was awarded to The Collegian staff for their story on the 2020 Presidential election titled “Residents sound off on Lorain poll results.” The judges commented that The Collegian’s election story covered “interesting facts and comments on one of the most controversial elections in modern times.”

In the Best Print Feature Story category, Collegian editor Anthony LaRosa placed first with “LCCC’s theatre program and Spark Theatre join forces to host two events.”

The Collegian staff placed second with “LCCC sets example of gender equality,” and Rosado placed third with his story titled “Alumni encourages future reporters to be right, not first.”

LaRosa also placed first in the Best Print Sports Story category for his piece, “COVID restrictions cut athletics programs, cross country takes second place.”

The Collegian’s placed second for the Best Online Report with “No welcoming week events due to Pandemic,” which the judges said featured “factual and concise reporting.”

The Boom Radio took first, second, and third places for the Best Radio/Podcast news.

Janet Maltbie’s podcast episode titled, “You Want to Combat Viruses?” placed first, receiving applaud from the judges for its professionalism. Justin Below’s episode on climate change and the environment took second, and Gabe Apanius placed third with “A favorite Christmas memory.” The judges commented, “A solid effort. There was a certain level of professionalism that came through with this program.”


Many see light at the end of the tunnel as DeWine lifts Covid restrictions

JRNM 151

On July 23, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine ordered a mask mandate that required all individuals in the state to wear facial coverings in addition to social distancing because of COVID-19. Almost a year from that day, the Ohio Department of Health is easing those restrictions in different phases.
“It’s like seeing daylight for the first time, after being in the dark for a while,” Noah France, a sophomore at LCCC, said.
People from around the state are now preparing to return to normal life after COVID-19.
“It’s surreal, but it’s definitely a relief, though,” France said.
For some, the lifting of restrictions offers a chance to reconnect with family and friends.
Kionna McIntosh-Pharms, LCCC’s student services navigator, was greatly affected by the social restraints that came into play due to the virus. McIntosh-Pharms’ family consists of essential workers. Therefore, she spent months away from the people she was closest to.
McIntosh-Pharms is just one of the millions of people who have had to make sacrifices to help contain the spread of the virus.

Tips to overcome agoraphobia
Social interactions used to be an everyday occurrence, but since the spread of the pandemic, there have been waves of social limitations put on the world’s population. As the distribution of vaccines continues and safety restrictions lessen, some people have found themselves anxious about assimilating back into society.
Charlene Dellipoala, project coordinator for the Caring Advocates for Addiction Recovery  center and a crisis counselor at LCCC, said the switch from in-person meetings to virtual interactions and isolation has taken a toll on people’s mental health. Many people suffer from agoraphobia, the fear of interacting in a gathering, travel and open space, among other issues.
“Too much free time (in isolation) can be your own worst enemy,” Dellipoala said. “Take baby steps. If the idea of leaving the house is overwhelming, then try going for a walk. Find what works for you.”
LCCC student Marisa Molnar said, “Students feeling anxiety around their classes are almost normal nowadays. However, with the pandemic, there is even more pressure.”
In order to help anxious students, faculty and staff return to a safe environment, the college has enacted guidelines that lower the level of risk of spreading the virus.
Caitlin Valley, a staff assistant at LCCC, was concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic. Her family and her parents went into strict quarantine at the beginning of the outbreak. The transition to a lifestyle based around the lockdown and working from home brought special challenges.
“I was anxious about how susceptible I would be,” Valley said. “There was a lot of anxiety around the disease because we didn’t know when a vaccine would be available.”
LCCC responded to these fears and the challenges of the pandemic in a way that put those fears to rest.
“As we continued working from home, and eventually went back to the campus. The safety protocols, temperature readings, mask requirements, security officers and limiting how many people are together, the school did that well. Going back in person and seeing it for ourselves made me feel so much better,” Valley said.
Lindsey Maurer, an adviser, expressed similar views toward the college’s response to the pandemic. “I was worried about my health and safety, but LCCC has been prioritizing science. They stood behind the vaccine and were cautious,” she said. Despite some concerns about the pandemic, Maurer was excited to return to the campus and continue her work as an adviser in person. “We were the first school to move online, we moved fast and kept people safe. Just being able to go next door to a coworker’s office and knock on their door is so much nicer. I just look forward to being more at ease around others,” Maurer said.
For people who may need help preparing themselves to return to life after the pandemic, the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic have advice that could help limit their anxiety attacks.

  • Before going out into public, work on visualizing and overcoming stressful situations. This can help people maintain a stronger control over their mental state
  • Practice going to smaller social events first, and slowly work into bigger gatherings
  • Go out with a friend or family member, and
  • Learn different types of breathing techniques to help curb anxiety.
    (Anthony LaRosa, editor-in-chief, contributed to this report.)


Education secretary Cardona says LCCC grads set an example to the nation

Anthony LaRosa
In 2020, Courtney Crell graduated from Avon High School, and a year later she was among the 1,854 Lorain County Community College graduates who were honored at the virtual graduation commencement today.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Ph.D., and LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., applauded the new graduates for persevering through life and school despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

2021 grad Akua  Agyemang celebrates at the Doors of Opportunity.

“Your stories have brightened LCCC’s historically radiant campus, your contributions will enhance that legacy, and that legacy is Lorain County,” Cardona said during the virtual ceremony. “In many ways, you’re not just joining a proud LCCC legacy, you’re joining the proud legacy of community college graduates nationwide, who’ve improved their own lives and opened doors to new opportunities with a community college education.”
Ballinger commented, “One of my favorite things about Lorain County Community College is the strength and determination of our students. You are all an inspiration to me, to each other, and to our community. All of you have shown true resilience. When the pandemic began in 2020 and it turned our lives upside down, you made the bold choice to continue forward with your education. Faced with challenges, you chose to see the opportunity before you. In an era of rapid change, you have remained focused on your future and you completed your degree.”
About 2,234 two-year degrees and certificates were awarded. Included in that number were 365 University Partnership graduates, which is the largest class in the UP’s 25-year history.
Ohio Chancellor Randy Gardner delivered the keynote address at the commencement.
Crell has been working on her LCCC classes since she was in high school through the college’s College Credit Plus program, and now she is celebrating the completion of her Associates of Arts degree.
Crell said, “I’m going to be transferring to the University of Miami in about two years, I’ll have my Bachelors in English. I would recommend [the CCP program] to anyone that’s thinking about it. It not only helped me with my studies, but it also taught me independence and accountability.”
In honor of the graduating class of 2021, LCCC installed an innovative tribute that celebrates each student’s resilient journey to become a college graduate. Twenty-one full-sized doors line a grassy median stretching nearly 450 feet — longer than a football field. Every propped-open door bears a different word, symbolizing the unique journey each LCCC student took to reach graduation day. By walking through the door, students not only found the right opportunity on LCCC’s campus but the support and confidence to lead them into the next chapter of their lives. 
Every door includes an augmented reality video that shares the personal story of a graduate from each academic program. These 21 custom videos feature 25 members of the class of 2021 who appear to enter their door in unique ways when viewers scan a QR code on every door. 
“The Doors of Opportunity honor the courage the class of 2021 demonstrated to achieve their academic goals,” Ballinger said.