A Student Publication of Lorain County Community College

Collegian bags 9 Press Club Awards

Kristin Hohman Editor-in-Chief The Collegian took nine honors in the 2017 All-Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards from the Press Club of Cleveland. In the Best Print Feature category, Editor-in-Chief Kristin Hohman won for her two stories, “Suicide on campus” and…

The young and the homeless

Kristin Hohman Editor-in-Chief With the increasing cost of attending college in the United States, it should come as no surprise that many college students have to make considerable sacrifices for their education. One of the most substantial sacrifices is a…

Power outage closes main campus

Kristin Hohman Editor-in-Chief Lorain County Community College’s main campus was closed due to a power outage on April 7. A Current Transformer (CT) unit on the LCCC substation failed at about 8:30 a.m., according to a statement from the college….

Food insecurity in students

Kristin Hohman Editor-in-Chief Poverty on campus: Second in a three-part series “When I was a student, I certainly didn’t want to tell people I didn’t have access to food,” said Kei Graves, a student success coach and former student at…

Hiram offers environmental studies program through UP

Zac Wenzel

JRNM 151 Student

Through the University Partnership program, Lorain County Community College is offering a bachelors of arts degree in integrated environmental studies through Hiram College. LCCC is currently the only college that is partnered with Hiram to offer this degree, making it a rare opportunity for those students interested in environmental studies.

In an effort to draw more awareness to the program, students and environmental employers were invited to a luncheon event on March 29 at the Lorain County Metro Park’s Sandy Ridge Reservation in North Ridgeville.

“We currently have about ten students in the program and are working to grow it,” said Krystal Iwuagwu, program counselor for Hiram College at LCCC. Lack of advertisement is one of the reasons why the program has yet to grow as much as Hiram and LCCC believe it can, according to Iwuagwu.

The luncheon event included speakers from Hiram, as well as local environmental companies, and a steward of the Lorain County Metro Parks.

Dr. Michael Benedict, associate professor of environmental studies at Hiram, spoke on the many options available to students, including job opportunities.

“There are many job options out there, in many different fields,” Benedict said. “From environmental journalism and law, to waste management, to parks and recreation, this program offers many different options depending on the interests of each individual student.”

However, students already in an applied science program may have more of an advantage as opposed to those who aren’t in the program, Benedict added.

“Those students already in an applied science program have already developed a foundation in the sciences,” Benedict said. This would make for a much easier transition from LCCC to Hiram.

While it is not impossible for a student in a non-science program to participate in this partnership, it is slightly more difficult, according to Benedict.

Shane Derricotte, a Hiram student who is in his third year of the program, echoed the sentiments of Professor Benedict.

“I highly recommend following the associate of science curriculum,” said Derricotte, who earned this degree from LCCC prior to starting the Hiram program.

Thomas Deastlov, Director of Enrollment and Student Services at Hiram, is excited about the coming opportunities in environmental studies in Northeastern Ohio. This area of the country will be ripe in the coming years with job opportunities in environmental studies due to wind turbines being built along the shores of the Great Lakes and the abundance of natural resources in Ohio and neighboring states, according to Deastlov.

“This area will be a huge part of the growth in environmental studies.”

Any students who are interested in the program with Hiram should contact Krystal Iwuagwu at iwuagwukr@hiram.edu or by phone at 440-366-4804.

Power outage closes main campus

Kristin Hohman


Lorain County Community College’s main campus was closed due to a power outage on April 7.

A Current Transformer (CT) unit on the LCCC substation failed at about 8:30 a.m., according to a statement from the college. When the unit failed, a wire separated from it, which then caused an electrical arc, leading to the loss of power across campus.

A small fire from the electrical arc was contained on the unit but eventually went out by itself, according to LCCC’s statement.

The Elyria Fire Department arrived on the scene, but no action was necessary and they left a short time later.

According to the statement from the college, no other damage was reported other than the CT failure. It is unclear what lead to the failure.

Ohio Edison located a replacement CT unit in Bedford, OH on April 7. Electricians and Ohio Edison crews then came out to make the necessary repairs.

LCCC’s Physical Plant employees spent the next two days bringing the buildings on campus back onto the power grid, according to the statement.

All classes were canceled at the main campus. LCCC sent out official email and text notifications to alert students of the cancellations. Regular campus activities resumed on April 8. No other LCCC campuses were affected.


Microscopic tech a growing field

Logan Mencke

Staff Writer

An info session regarding the growing field of microelectrical mechanical systems (MEMS) and sensor technology was held in The Richard Desich Business and Entrepreneurship Center at Lorain County Community College on April 5.  MEMS are a vast field of microscopic technology that consists of microchips, microcircuits, and other tiny electronic components that are driving the progress of new and improved technology.

The session was a part of LCCC’s new program Training Recruitment Acceleration Innovation Network of Ohio (TRAIN OH), a program devoted to developing highly trained workers for the microelectronic manufacturing industry.  The two-year degree that is offered by the college in this program was founded in 2013 with the support of eight companies that were interested in providing feedback on what the degree should contain regarding content to hire skilled workers with the required training.  Presently, there are now 28 companies supporting the degree.  Students enrolled in the program are required to join a paid internship where they attend class two days a week and work three days a week with one of LCCC’s industry partners.

Job training in MEMS is important for the State of Ohio because of the new opportunities it provides.  

“Forbes magazine and Electronic Engineering Times (EE Times) have now started calling the northeast and central Ohio areas the new Silicon Valley,” said Johnny Vanderford, professor and lab director of the program. “The problem is it just cost too much for companies to start up on the west coast.”

Vanderford took those who attended the session into the cleanroom where students are instructed on how to work with microelectronics.  Before entering the cleanroom, attendees had to put on the proper gear so as to not ruin the fragile equipment in the room.  Surgical masks, hair nets, gloves, shoe coverings, and a lab coat are required to be worn by anyone who enters the lab to prevent dust and skin oils from contaminating the machines.

While in the cleanroom, Vanderford demonstrated the different machines students enrolled in the program will be working with. After finishing the demonstrations, he explained his optimistic view for those who earn a MEMS degree.  

“This is not a stagnant degree.  It is a constantly evolving degree,” said Vanderford.  Currently, LCCC is considering to turn the degree into the college’s first ever offered baccalaureate degree, according to Vanderford.  If voted on by the State of Ohio, it will launch in the fall of 2018.  

“It’s a job-related degree that is very much heavily focused on getting people into the workforce in a very booming area of the new Silicon Valley of Ohio,” said Vanderford.     

Anyone who would like to learn more about MEMS and the microelectronics degree offered by LCCC can contact professor Johnny Vanderford at (440) 366-4206 or at jvanderford@lorainccc.edu.

Food insecurity in students

Kristin Hohman


Poverty on campus: Second in a three-part series

The above graph, OACAAA’s 2016 ‘State of Poverty’ report, shows the Ohio colleges and universities with a food pantry on campus and the cost of that institution per credit hour.

“When I was a student, I certainly didn’t want to tell people I didn’t have access to food,” said Kei Graves, a student success coach and former student at Lorain County Community College. Kei described himself as living off of candy bars or, if he was lucky, ramen noodles.

“If I had an extra dollar lying around or if I would find change and I was able to get some lunch money, I might buy a drink or some candy because it’s cheap,” Graves said. “I was lucky to have a candy bar when I was on campus so I could go to my classes and focus. And so I just kind of made due with what I had access to at the time.”

Being hungry, for many college students, is a constant reality. Wondering whether or not they will eat that day and where that meal might come from is a prevailing concern millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Ohioans. According to their website (usda.gov), in 2006 the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) amended the language used to describe the ability of those who have difficulty finding their next meal – food insecure.

Food insecurity is the economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food, according to the USDA.

Basically the simplest way to put it, in my opinion, is just not knowing where your next meal is coming from, or when you’re going to be able to eat a healthy meal next,” said Graves, who now as adjunct faculty, manages the Commodore Cupboard, LCCC’s campus food pantry. “People who don’t have access to regular food sources; they may not know when they’re going to be able to have dinner next. In the case of parents, they may be able to feed their children but they may not be able to feed themselves.”

LCCC is one of 12 Ohio colleges and universities to have a food pantry on campus, according to the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies’ (OACAA) 2016 ‘State of Poverty’ report. Others on the list include Cleveland State University, Kent State University, Owens Community College, and the University of Akron. All total, eight from the list are universities; the other four are community colleges. About three-quarters of food insecure students receive financial aid in some form, the OACAA found.

The Commodore Cupboard was set up in response to a 2013 survey of campus conducted by Connect 2 Complete peer advocates, according to Graves, who was a peer advocate at the time.

“The response was overwhelming, which is why we actually have the pantry now,” he said, adding that a grant from the LCCC Foundation allowed the Cupboard to purchase cabinets and food to get started.

One-in-four college students are “highly nontraditional”, according to OACAA. This means that they may struggle to pay for food due to the fact that they meet one of the following characteristics: financially independent, employed full time, a single parent, provide for dependents, attend college part-time, or do not have a standard high school diploma.

The issue of food insecurity is far more likely to occur on the campuses of community colleges, according to the 2017 ‘Food and Housing Insecurities in the Community College’ report from the Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL), a national research laboratory at San Diego State University. About 56 percent of community college students who participated in the survey have household incomes under $20,000 or less, according to CCEAL. High rates of poverty among community colleges are due, in part, to open admissions policies, which allow access to poor or underprivileged students, the report also found.

 “I think, in part, that’s probably just the population that we serve,” said Graves. “We serve a lot of at-risk students, students who are balancing being working adults with families, students who may have to leave a full-time job to work a part-time job, or maybe not work at all to come to school. It happens at the four-year schools, but it definitely happens with community colleges more,” he said.

Food insecurity has a dramatic impact on a student’s ability to be successful academically.

A 2014 study of Maryland community college students found that students who experienced food insecurity were significantly less likely than their peers to be high achieving, which the study defined as having a GPA of 3.5 or higher, according to CCEAL.

“It absolutely can affect academics in a variety of ways,” Graves said. “When students are hungry, not only does it make it difficult for them to learn, if you’re hungry you don’t have any fuel for your brain, so it makes it harder to retain information. Also, students may be distracted, wondering where their next meal is coming from or how they’re going to feed their families if they’re a student who has children.”

Only an LCCC ID is needed to apply for assistance through the Commodore Cupboard. Non-perishables and personal care items are accepted as donations. For more information, contact Kei Graves via email at  kgraves@lorainccc.edu.

Students shine in ‘LCCC’s Got Talent’

Logan Mencke

Staff Writer

Logan Mencke | The Collegian | Music major John Phillips won first place in the talent show for his performance of Chopin’s “Ballade #4 in F-minor”.

Lorain County Community College’s Tourism 124 class, along with student senate,  produced ‘LCCC’s Got Talent’, a talent competition that was held at the Spitzer Conference Center on March 28.

Dr. Robert Beckstrom, the Dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities, and the manager of Student Life Selina Gaddis were both selected to be on the panel of judges for the event.  Cody Hyde, a student enrolled in the tourism class that partnered with the Student Senate, was also a judge on the panel.

The show opened with a dance performance from the Lakeshore Ballet Theatre, a school that teaches various styles of dance including hip-hop, jazz funk, Russian ballet, and musical theatre.  Jay Graham, the choreographer for the performance, has opened for famous musical artists such as Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys.

In addition to producing the event, two members of the student senate also gave a performance of their own. International student from China and senate financial secretary, Teng Liu, played the viola in a trio with South Korean international students Jude Jeon and Seung Jin Paik.  Together, they performed a piece by French composer Gabriel Faure titled “Sicilienne”.

Jieun (Jinnie) Lee, the event coordinator and international student from South Korea, sang “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston.

After all of the contestants had performed, the judges selected three winners that would receive a cash prize; $50 for third place, $75 for second place, and $100 for first place.  The third place prize was awarded to Hanul (Han) Lee and Seoungjun (Jayce) Lee, both international students from South Korea, for their performance of the song “Home” by Michael Buble.  Ryanne Fury, a music and theater major, won second place for her performance of “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele.

The first place prize went to John Phillips for his performance of Chopin’s “Ballade #4 in F-minor” on piano. Phillips, a music major, was awarded first place due to the high level of difficulty of the piece and the execution.

“Each one of you gave us something special this evening,” said Dr. Beckstrom at the end of the show. “I think it’s unfortunate if we just look at the score at the end and not just remember the beauty of the evening and that be the most important part.”

Tourism 124 is a course that instructs students on the basics of hospitality, conferencing, meeting, and event planning.  The course’s curriculum includes a requirement that students plan, host, and evaluate an event.

Breath of fresh air

Kent Springborn Jr.

Entertainment Editor

The most recent entry to “The Legend of Zelda” series came out last month. “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” could be considered both a return to formula and a step in a new direction. “Breath of the Wild” is the largest game in the “Zelda” series.

This game offers players a lot of freedom. They start off in a central location of the game. To ease them into the game’s mechanics, the game has them complete four tasks in the form of shrines. The shrines are a series of puzzles that the player must solve to complete and get rewards. The rewards the player gets from completing the shrines include various items found in chests and Spirit Orbs that allow the player to update either their health, in the form of hearts, or their stamina.

Once completing these four tasks, the player is set loose and given a lot of freedom as to what they can do in the game. If they choose to, they can go straight to the final boss of the game. This is not an easy task by any means, however.

As someone who has never been the best at “Zelda” games, I have found myself spending a lot of time playing “Breath of the Wild.” So far, it has been a fun experience and I’m not remotely close to finishing the game. However, having this much freedom has its pros and cons. It’s been great because I don’t feel pressured to move from task to task to finish the story. But, because I have found myself getting distracted from the main quest, I end up exploring the game’s map for hours.

“Breath of the Wild” is also the first game in the series to feature voice acting, featuring nine different languages. Yet it doesn’t provide the option to hear a dub in a different language. While this can be disappointing to some, I don’t take issue with it since I found the English voice acting to be good. Elizabeth Maxwell, Sean Chiplock, and Patricia Summersett stand out for me as Urbosa, Revali, and Princess Zelda respectively.

One can only hope that with the critical acclaim that this game has received that it will usher in a new direction for the series. As there is a new original story planned for late 2017 as downloadable content, I’m excited to learn what it will be about and how it will build off of what “Breath of the Wild” has started.

A “Grimm” farewell

Kent Springborn Jr.

Entertainment Editor

The show “Grimm” premiered on October 28, 2011, and just recently had its series finale on March 31, 2017. The basic premise of this show was Nick Burkhardt played by David Giuntoli, a Portland police detective, discovering he was descendent of the Brothers Grimm. His ancestry allowed him to see dangerous creatures who hide among normal humans. These creatures are known as “wesen,” which is the German word for creature.

When I first learned about “Grimm,” I was excited to find out how it would interpret the Brothers Grimm stories that I’ve always enjoyed. It was interesting to see how the show’s creators managed to weave in the source material into a gripping police drama.

The first season started off rather slow and took its time to establish its story, but once it did, I found myself engrossed in every episode on Friday nights. With every season, the show got better and started to develop an overarching story that spanned for more than just a single episode. For six seasons, this show has essentially been a staple for my Fridays.

Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby, Elizabeth Tulloch, Silas Weir Mitchell, Sasha Roiz, Reggie Lee, and later Bree Turner and Claire Coffee all brought life to their respective characters. Mitchell and Turner’s characters, Monroe and Rosalee, easily became two of my favorite characters of the show. My other favorite character, Theresa “Trubel” Rubel, came into the show later in the series as a recurring character played by Jacqueline Toboni.

“Grimm” managed to survive on Friday nights, which is quite a feat since a lot of shows are typically moved to Fridays to finish their runs. Every time that the show was reaching the end of its current season, there was a little bit of anxiety of whether it would get canceled or be graced with another season. Thankfully, it was renewed for another season five times.

At first, I was sad to learn that season six would be the final season, but the way the writers managed to wrap this show up helped make saying goodbye to it a little easier.

The final three episodes of the series were intense and full of action and drama. The series finale was especially dramatic and intense. I honestly couldn’t be happier with how the show ended. One of my favorite parts of the series finale was the character revelation of how Trubel was truly connected to Burkhardt.

“Grimm” will certainly be missed.

Longtime faculty member to retire after 31 years

Zach Srnis

Special Correspondent

Zach Srnis | The Collegian |Dr. Robert Beckstrom, dean of arts and humanities at LCCC, will retire in June after 31 years at the college.

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.”


Security prepared for any emergency

Gina Hamby

JRNM 151 Student

About 18 years ago, David Hatcher heard about an open security position at Lorain County Community College. Excited by the opportunity, he accepted the job. Now, almost two decades later,

Gina Hamby | The Collegian | LCCC’s lead security officer, David Hatcher, holds up a flyer for the new LiveSafe app.

Hatcher is LCCC’s lead security officer, and is still working to ensure the security and safety for all on campus.

Many students may be unclear of exactly how important or necessary the security officers are on campus. Rebecca Allen, a surgical technology major at LCCC admits she’s not completely confident in the duties of the officers. She claims to never see the security guards, even at night, patrolling the halls, and is unsure of their ability to respond to an emergency in a timely fashion.

What Allen may not realize, is that LCCC is under constant surveillance with security on duty 24/7. Though they may not be noticed, security is there.

Dealing with crime such as theft and hit-skips in the college parking lot, camera surveillance has allowed for arrests in many cases.

Emma Roth, another LCCC student, believes that the college needs more security guards. She recalled a disturbing situation where an abusive husband harassed a teacher on campus. Campus security came to escort the individual off-campus very quickly, according to Roth.

“The biggest need is for students, staff, and the community to be an extension of our office,” Hatcher said, adding that tips and outside sources can be just as important as the presence of security.

Hatcher recommends that students download the LiveSafe app, which has the ability to contact the campus security office immediately. It also allows students to submit tips or general information anonymously to security officers. Alerts and other information can also be sent directly to those with the app.

In cases of emergency, LCCC security have the resources to handle a potentially dangerous situation, according to Hatcher.

LCCC has an existing contract with the Elyria Police Department (EPD). If a crisis were to occur on campus, aid would be available, not only the EPD, but Sheffield Village and North Ridgeville first responders.

LCCC currently employs six part-time and 12 full-time officers, according to Hatcher. At least one year of military service or security experience may be required to become an officer at LCCC. Hatcher is confident in his staff and has many qualified employees, including the captain of a local fire department, and a retired chief of police.

LCCC set to host Pulitzer Prize winner

Michael Flanigan


Submitted Photo | Pulitzer Prize winner James Sheeler will be on campus on April 3. 

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James Sheeler will be on the campus of Lorain County Community College. Sheeler will speak about his journey to winning the Pulitzer on April 3 at 2:00 p.m. at LCCC’s Stocker Cinema Hall.

Specializing in narrative journalism, Sheeler covered the deaths of soldiers in the Iraq war starting in 2003. His coverage of the war lead to a 12,000-word article that won him the Pulitzer Prize in 2006.

A Shirley Wormser professor of journalism and media writing in Case Western Reserve University’s English Department, Sheeler won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 2006 for his series of articles for the Rocky Mountain News called “Final Salute: A Story of Unfinished Lives”.

The 24-page piece chronicled the story of a Marine casualty assistance calls officer with the heartbreaking task of informing friends and family that their loved ones had been killed in action. Maj. Steve Beck served as Sheeler’s key figure, a Marine who specialized in assisting the families of the fallen.  It was later published as a book under the same title.

The book version went on to become a finalist for the National Book Award for nonfiction in 2008.

His experiences later led him to write “Obit: Inspiring Stories of Everyday People who led Extraordinary Lives”, published in 2007.

Sheeler received his bachelor’s degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University in 1990. He went on the earn his master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado in 2007.

The event is free and open to the public.

Kristin Hohman contributed to this story.