A Student Publication of Lorain County Community College

Dr. Church Retires

Keith A. Reynolds Editor-in-Chief   “It’s been a wonderfully gratifying tenure as President at Lorain County Community College. I have loved our students, I have loved our faculty, our staff, the collegiate environment is very special and we are—myself and…

College administrators assure students are safe

By Keith A. Reynolds Editor-in-Chief The nation was shaken yet again by a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in southern Oregon on Oct. 1. Such scenes of death and destruction seem all too familiar these days, but this particular incident…

Road to recovery: The aftermath of domestic violence

After enduring and surviving domestic violence for three years, Jennifer Varney is now working on building a future for she and her son. Varney will graduate from LCCC with her associate’s degree this spring.
Alex Delaney-Gesing | The Collegian

  Alex Delaney-Gesing Editor-in-Chief In the weeks that followed Jennifer Varney’s brush with death, angrily vivid, red hand marks encircling her neck served as unquestionable evidence of her experience. Though the bruises scattered across her body faded with time, the…

Collegian staffers win 5 Press Club awards

Alex Delaney-Gesing Editor-in-Chief Lorain County Community College’s student-run newspaper The Collegian won five honors in The Press Club of Cleveland’s Excellence in Journalism Awards competition for 2015. ‘Commodores complete sweep’, written by Olivia Moe and Keith A. Reynolds, featured LCCC’s…

A victim of violence: one student’s love story gone wrong

Jennifer Varney, a victim and survivor of domestic violence, lived through three years of abuse from her partner. Varney’s story highlights the somber fact that 20 people are  physically assaulted in the United States each minute.

Submitted photo

  Alex Delaney-Gesing Editor-in-Chief Legs crossed underneath her, Jennifer Varney, a Lorain County Community College social work major, sat curled in a barrel chair while staring out the glass window-covered door of room 207 in LCCC’s College Center building. Though…

Spring 2015 President’s Forum draws a crowd


Gabe Garcia President’s Forum As the temperatures outside warmed up to a long overdue 60 degrees, it marked that time of the year for the spring semester’s President’s Forum at Lorain County Community College.  LCCC President Dr. Roy A. Church gave an…

Canvas to replace Angel this summer

Kim Teodecki Staff Writer Beginning this upcoming summer semester, Lorain County Community College will introduce its students to Canvas, an online learning management system set to replace the current ANGEL system. Canvas open-lab sessions will be held starting May 18-22…

Gamers’ Paradise hosts video game tournament

Kent Springborn Jr.
JRNM 151 Student

Gamers’ Paradise, one of Lorain County Community College’s largest student clubs, is hosting a League of Legends tournament on Nov. 21. The tournament will be held on the second floor of the iLoft building starting at 10:00 a.m.

“League of Legends is a very popular game. Lots of friends get together to play,” said  Programming major Rick Matos explaining why he decided to host the tournament.

“We decided on the date because it allowed us to plan ahead and it didn’t conflict with any exams,” explained Kayla Stewart, Humanities major and Event Coordinator of Gamers’ Paradise, “The iLoft was chosen since it has the most space and better internet connection than anywhere else on campus. Plus, the individual study rooms allow for teams to be in separate rooms.”

Matos’ hopes for the tournament is to have as many teams of five as possible to face off against each other. These teams can either be assembled prior to the tournament or on the day of. Matos also hopes to have computers available for use during the tournament for those who are unable to bring their own.

To prepare for the tournament, Matos is planning to get advertisements on all of the televisions on campus and to print flyers for the tournament. He is also hoping to contact Riot Games, the development company behind League of Legends, in the hope of getting the tournament sanctioned.

Matos suggests that those who wish to enter the tournament should practice with their champions, the lane they wish to play in, and their teammates. If they wish, they can also practice on their own via the solo queue.

When asked why he intends to enter the tournament, Criminal Justice major Robert Montgomery said “I like playing League of Legends and it’s something fun to do.” Montgomery, who already has a team formed, has been practicing for the tournament with his team by playing games on campus and at home against other teams to see how he and his team are able to work together. Montgomery, who typically plays three to four days a week, hopes that he and his team place second or better.

The prizes for the tournament have not been determined yet, but Matos is hoping to contact local businesses in hopes of getting sponsored prizes. These prizes will be announced at a later date.

As with last year’s tournament, Matos intends to live stream the tournament on the twitch channel twitch.tv/showlogin.

Anyone interested in joining the League of Legends tournament can do so by contacting a Gamers’ Paradise officer or by contacting the Facebook page, League of Legends – LCCC Tournament. There is a $5 fee to enter the tournament and it can be paid to any of the Gamers’ Paradise officers.

“The tournament is going to be a lot of fun. It’ll be a great time playing League of Legends,” said Matos. Matos also has plans to make it a bi-annual tournament and if he isn’t able to get this one sanctioned by Riot Games, he hopes the next one will be.

Veterans Serving Veterans seeks care package items

Special to the Collegian

Veterans Serving Veterans is a collaboration between the Office of Student Life and the Veterans Club at Lorain County Community College. Veterans Serving Veterans will be on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 for our LCCC Veterans and student body to come together and volunteer to create care packages for local veterans in need this holiday season. Our goal is to create 75 care packages to be delivered to the Valor Home in Lorain, Ohio, the Greater Cleveland Fisher House in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Freedom House in Kent, Ohio.

We will be collecting items for the care packages beginning on Monday, November 2, 2015 — Monday, November 9, 2015. Items needed include: Toiletries, Playing Cards, Puzzles, Books, Pillows, Socks, Winter Gloves, Winter Hats, Packaged Snack Items, Bottled Water, Notebooks and Writing Utensils.

Donation boxes will be located at the Office of Student Life, Veterans Lounge and Career Services.

For more information, please contact Noemi Rivera at 440-366-7645 or email at nrivera@lorainccc.edu.

Discovering You encourages confidence in women and girls

Kristin Hohman

Managing Editor


Lorain County Community College will be the host of ‘Discovering You: A day of inspiration, education, and healing for women and girls on Oct. 31. The event is set to be held at the Spitzer Conference Center from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm, with registration beginning at 8:00 am.

This conference is hosted by Margeau’s Free to be Project – a volunteer organization based on the belief that women and girls are good just the way they are. The project is devoted to helping women and girls realize their full potential and appreciate what they have to offer the world, according to the organization’s website.

“We all have days where we don’t feel good enough and this is exacerbated by TV, movies, and ads that constantly give us the message that if we think, act, and dress a certain way our life will be better,” said Gail Stumphauzer, founder and director of the Free to Be Project. “In this project we encourage people to accept that they are good enough and that they have all the gifts and talents that they need to impact their lives and the lives of others in a positive way.”

The organization was founded in 2011 by Stumphauzer in memory of her daughter, Margeau, who struggled with eating disorders throughout most of her life, according to the Chronicle Telegram. The first event was a ‘day of healing’ held at LCCC and funded through donations made in Margeau Stumphauzer’s memory.

‘Discovering You’ is an annual event which features nationally recognized speakers and experts. This year’s conference will focus on breaking through barriers that are keeping women and young girls from being their best selves. Presenters will include a Guinness book of records holder, a local woman who will share personal stories, and a local spokesperson from a social movement that has been featured on “Ted Talks.”

“We will also be having table conversation around what our personal barriers are to success and this will eventually be represented in an art project that all attendees will take part in,” Stumphauzer said.

“Attendees have told us how wonderful it is to spend a day in the company of other females who share their struggles and also to celebrate being women,” Stumphauzer stated. “We bring women from all walks of life and last year our youngest attendee was 10 and the oldest was 91. Women come from addiction centers, subsidized housing but also represent mom’s, retired women and professionals of all kinds.”

The conference will also include breakfast and lunch. Tickets for women are $79 while tickets for girls between 10-15 are $49. Visit free2bproject.org for more information or call 440-541-6387.

Bring your best business ideas to Global Entrepreneurship Week

Charlotte Weiss

Staff Writer

The annual arrival of Global Entrepreneurship Week quickly approaches as students and campus community members prepare to feed their best business ideas to the Shark Tank. For the past four years, the Blackstone Launchpad at Lorain County Community College has been the proud sponsor of the events originally begun by the Kaufman Foundation. Flyers crafted by Dennis Ryan’s graphic design classes are being hung around the campus to publicize the festivities that will be taking place during the weeklong celebration of innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, and community from Nov. 16-18.

Included  is the attendance of area entrepreneurs such as Melt owner, Matt Fish, and CEO of Cleveland Whiskey, Tom Lix, as speakers in a panel. This will be the kickoff to the week panel held in the Stocker Center Cinema Hall from 10-11am. “We’re hoping the people we bring in for the Monday event might inspire people, even people who have never thought of owning a business,” said Becky Hetrick of Blackstone Launchpad. They hope the speakers will encourage creativity in students and the community as well as give advice during a Q&A session that will take place during the panel.

Continuing events on Tuesday feature an expo with the promise of food, fun, and an exciting time for the whole campus as well as community members. Attendees will be eligible to enter into a raffle to win prizes such as a Fit Bit and an iPad Mini, among other items that local entrepreneurs have donated. Duck Radio will be setting the mood with their characteristic lively music broadcasts and food trucks will also be in attendance, a first for LCCC.

Wednesday carries on the Launchpad tradition of a hosted FEBE 3 (Fostering Entrepreneurial Business Education) event. “We’ve been doing this every week for three years, every Wednesday from 10-11am over in the DEC,” Janice Lapina, Program Manager of Blackstone Launchpad, said. “We have entrepreneurs speak, or we have things like a how-to series. It’s all free, Dunkin’ Donuts has sponsored us for three years. It’s for students, and the community.”

Some of the most energy filled events of the week promise to be the student competitions. The competitions are open to all LCCC students, regardless of major, and serve as a forum to present business ideas to local entrepreneurs to be judged. “The judges will really look at everything and give them some positive feedback and some ideas about how they might be able to move their business forward,” Hetrick said. If that wasn’t incentive enough, the idea pitcher with the highest markings will be awarded a $500 prize, as well as $250 and $150 being awarded respectively to the runners-up.

With the effort being aided by Spitzer and assistance being campus-wide through all departments, Global Entrepreneurship Week guarantees an exciting time for anyone on the LCCC campus. “Anyone can attend. We work very hard to put this on, and I hope people take advantage of the events we have planned,” said Lapina. Whether you are a business student or simply a creative soul with the desire to share ideas among like-minded individuals, be certain to mark the festivities of Global Entrepreneurship Week on your calendar.


Board of trustees sets vision to 2020

Gavin Clark

JRNM 151 Student

Lorain County Community College President Roy Church (seated left) signs the resolution establishing the new strategic plan - Vision 2020 - for LCCC after LCCC Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Ben Fligner finished signing the document. The Board approved the strategic plan at its Thursday meeting. Watching (standing from left) is Michael Bruckman , director of research for NanoBio Systems, a Boston company that moved its operations to the LCCC Desich SMART Center; Charlene Dellipoala, an LCCC and University Partnership graduate and current master's degree student, and Marty Eggleston, LCCC men's basketball coach and student success coach.

Lorain County Community College President Roy Church (seated left) signs the resolution establishing the new strategic plan – Vision 2020 – for LCCC after LCCC Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Ben Fligner finished signing the document. The Board approved the strategic plan at its Thursday meeting. Watching (standing from left) is Michael Bruckman , director of research for NanoBio Systems, a Boston company that moved its operations to the LCCC Desich SMART Center; Charlene Dellipoala, an LCCC and University Partnership graduate and current master’s degree student, and Marty Eggleston, LCCC men’s basketball coach and student success coach.

Lorain County Community College will go through a tremendous change in the next few years. These changes are set to improve how the campus can improve the student body, the local economy, and above all, the community. This plan, known as Vision 2020, being set into motion by LCCC’s Vision 2020 team.

“At LCCC, we have a history of setting vision and priorities. Vision 2020 defines our key priorities for the next three to five years,” according to Tracy Green, vice president of Strategic and Institutional Development.

What exactly are the priorities for this initiative? The first goal for the vision is: To drive student completion for academic and career success. Green went into some detail into this priority for the college. “LCCC has to reduce time and cost to complete degree. Students will be able to save about 50 percent on a B.A. compared to that of a university. More detail was given in the press release about the other priorities given in this outline. Another was known as: Lead talent development while accelerating business and job growth. “LCCC serves as an engine for economic growth.” LCCC has been instrumental in bringing jobs and economic growth, according to a written statement issued by the college, “NanoBio Systems, a new company locating in the GLIDE incubator and Desich SMART Center, just moved here from Boston to tap into these resources to grow their biomedical company.” And that is just one example of what LCCC has been able to do by improving the local economy.

The third and final priority is to: Inspire community engagement, connectivity, diversity and wellness. The main idea of this priority is pretty basic. The main idea is to just be a positive influence on the community and to “address issues that affect the entire community” as stated by officials at LCCC. Another thing to know about this priority is that the college plans to the best of its ability serves the needs of the “under privileged population through partnerships.”


From the statement:

The college’s refreshed core values embrace the recognition that:

“We are the community’s college. We are trusted by the community to educate, lead and inspire. We create a better, more sustainable future for our community.”

Through its core values, Lorain County Community College’s work is guided by the mission that the college exists:

“To Empower….

• Individuals to succeed through quality education

• Economies to grow through innovation

• Communities to thrive through partnerships and rich cultural experiences”

To fulfill its core values and mission, Vision 2020 sets a refreshed action agenda of three strategic priorities and 17 supporting initiatives.

The three Vision 2020 strategic priorities are:

Priority 1: Drive student completion for academic and career success

Initiatives to advance this priority include a commitment to Coach Every Student by wrapping personalized intervention and coaching strategies around every student to map a successful pathway. LCCC Success Coach Marty Eggleston underscored the importance of this priority. “Young people, and I include myself, are notorious for lacking direction and then make poor decisions. They need guidance. I want to be that guy.” Coach Eggleston is that guy for 19-year-old Madison Willis of Sheffield Lake. Marty was assigned to Madison as she entered her first semester here at Lorain County Community College, apprehensive about the transition from high school to college. She is adjusting to college life and feels more confident. With Marty’s support, she is exploring program options in the Allied Health and Nursing Field. “Madison found a direction and confidence. She’s found a great rhythm on campus. That’s what we stand for in enrollment services,” Eggleston said.

Other initiatives to advance this priority include a commitment to Reducing Time and Cost to Completion and Engaging Adult Learners. University Partnership student Charlene Dellipoalo relates well to this priority. She came to LCCC to earn an associate degree but so inspired by her learning experience that she continued on to earn her bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University through the University Partnership. She is currently working on her master’s degree in Social Work also from Youngstown State University through the University Partnership. A mother, student and volunteer, Charlene shares, “I came to LCCC for a quality education and to make a better life for myself and my family. The learning environment and ability to earn an associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree all at LCCC make it easy for me to shoot for stars,” Dellipoala said. “I was able to go after my dreams with ‘singleness of purpose’ because of the affordable, accessible opportunities at LCCC.”

Priority 2: Lead talent development while accelerating business and job growth.

Building talent and growing jobs is the focus of Priority 2. “In the past 25 years, companies less than five years old have accounted for all new net job growth in the United States. That’s not changing. Entrepreneurship and innovation are essential to economic growth,” said Church.

To drive Priority 2, Vision 2020 calls for initiatives to expand support to start-ups and existing businesses such as developing new products and coaching and mentoring. NanoBio Systems, a new company locating in the GLIDE incubator and Desich SMART Center, just moved here from Boston to tap into these resources to growth their biomedical company. “NanoBio Systems is developing technology to measure glucose levels in saliva as a means to monitor diabetes,” said Dr. Michael Bruckman, Director of Research for Nanobio Systems. “This is the environment we need to grow our company and this technology market. The Desich SMART Center is a unique resource and the coaching of GLIDE will help us move the business forward. And as we do, we will be able to find the talent right here through Lorain County Community College to fill the jobs we will create.”

Priority 3:Inspire community engagement, connectivity, diversity and wellness.

“As the community’s college, we serve all…students, companies, organizations, residents,” Church said. “We are a resource for the entire community.”

Priority 3 of Vision 2020 sets to improve quality of life in our community with a focus on wellness, seniors, creativity, diversity and ensuring all segments, especially those that are under-served and under resourced, of our population have the opportunity prosper.

Executive Director William Harper joined the event today emphasizing the importance of the college’s partnership with the community – organizations, municipalities and neighborhoods — to address issues that affect the entire community.


Volleyball sweeps Cuyahoga CC in three sets

Cody Grossman

Staff Writer

Maryssa Kellick (left) and Haley Looney (right) displaying the intensity that clinched the Lady Commodore's win against Tri-C.

Maryssa Kellick (left) and Haley Looney (right) displaying the intensity that clinched the Lady Commodore’s win against Tri-C.

The Lorain County Community College set the tone early in their match against Cuyahoga Community College Sept. 30. They dominated Cuyahoga in every set of this match. During the first set it was the usual suspect, Maryssa Kellick, who was all over the court, devastating Cuyahoga with her defense and thunderclap spikes. Also showing out for the ladies was Emily Mandoke. Overall, all of the ladies showed a lot of heart and effort, winning the first set 25-15.

Much of the same continued in the second set. The Commodores frustrated the ladies of Cuyahoga with their defensive stops showing that Lorain had full control of the game. Just when Cuyahoga thought they had the advantage, Ali Stanziano was there to deny them most of the points from their scoring attempts. It was a closer set, however, the ladies won the second set, 25-19.

The third set was pure domination by the Lady Commodores. Lorain put points up by as much as 11-1. Cuyahoga had no answers for the LCCC defense, or offense for that matter. Stanziano, was among many of the ladies showing great play. The Commodores played smart and conservative, leaving little doubt among the spectators that the Commodores were taking this set. They won the set 25-13. It was a clean sweep for the Lady Commodores. They made very few mistakes, if any, in this commanding victory.

After the game, Ted Whitsel was all smiles, “We played hard the whole match. It was exciting to watch. I love when they play like this. We set some goals, and we achieved most of them. I’m happy that we competed through the whole match.”  The ladies played great, and had fun doing it. They had great communication with each other, and were in sync throughout. Great win for the Lady Commodores.

LCCC soccer fights off the cold and Ashland Club, 4-1

Cody Grossman

Staff Writer

Taylor Savarino (left) defends the ball in the match against Ashland Sept. 30.

Taylor Savarino (left) defends the ball in the match against Ashland Sept. 30.

It was a cold day Sept. 30, and the Lady Commodores came to play. Despite the cold, the ladies were on fire all game long. The defense was on point from the start, not allowing Ashland to do anything. They were very active, wherever Ashland had the ball, the lady commodores were there, stopping them in their tracks. On the offensive end, the ladies took shots early and often. Taylor Savarino scored twice for the ladies, one goal shy of a hat trick. Sarah Hatfield, also tacked on a goal for the Commodores. The ladies were in control from start to finish.

Alyshia Dick, goalie for the Commodores, put on a great defensive effort. She only allowed one goal, along with scoring a goal of her own. She, as well as the rest of the Commodores, played great. The defense was superb. LCCC had control over the whole game and they didn’t let up at all.

The Commodores overcame the cold weather and the Ashland Club team. It was an impressive 4-1 victory. They took their first home win of the season ending their drought of wins at home. After the game, Coach Jessi Paul was very excited about today’s win. “We’ve scored 16 goals in the past two games. We are doing a lot better and are finally understanding each other’s strengths. It feels awesome to get our first home win.” When asked about the adjustments she’s made since the most recent home game which ended in a loss, she said, “We had some changes in our formation, and focuses hard on defense.”

An impressive win for the ladies, indeed.


Les Delice delights with memorial concert

Rebecca Marion

 Ad Manager

Les Délice delighted listeners at Lorain County Community College with their Eva Hornyak Memorial Concert. The instrumental ensemble held their performance at LCCC’s Cirigliano Studio Theatre Sept 24, funded by LCCC Foundation’s Campus Grants Program.

Les Délice is an internationally renowned instrumental ensemble specializing in baroque music. The group is composed of members Debra Nagy on the oboe, Julie Andrijeski on the violin, David Ellis on the viola da gamba and Simon Martyn-Ellis on the theorbo. The concert featured composers Jean-Baptiste Lully, Jean Baptiste Senaillé, François Couperin, Robert de Visée and Marin Marais.

The program is titled Toute Suites, French for right now, and is a play on words as the concert is entirely composed of suites. Debra Nagy, director and founder of Les Délice, calls the performance “the most unusual and non standard suites that we could put together for you.”

Unlike a traditional suite, Les Délice performed a prelude towards the end of the concerts instead of at the beginning. Another difference from tradition is that the suites do not have the same length, but vary. In reference to this Nagy said, “one might suggest it should be a concert of great round bases.”

The name, Les Délice, is French for the delights. “Some would say what we play is an acquired taste. The name tries to invoke a sense of pleasure and sweetness,” Nagy said.

Many of the audience members enjoyed the concert.Travis Odom, who came because of his LCCC music appreciation class was glad that he had. When referring to Les Delices performance Odom said, “I feel like each instrument has it’s own individual beauty but when [played] together it creates a masterpiece.”

Another attendee, Mary Bell said “I’ve heard Les Délice on the radio many times and I couldn’t pass this up.”

Jeffrey Mumford, distinguished professor at LCCC and curator of the Eva Hornyak Memorial Concert named the event after his mentor, the late Eva Hornyak. Mumford said, “I learned so much from her that when I got my own concert series that I decided to dedicate one concert per year to her.”

The ensemble will be performing their next concert in Ohio on Nov. 7th in Cleveland. The concert is called Age of Indulgence, which includes daring and experimental work from the French Rococo.


A look inside the costume shop


By Kent Springborn Jr.

JRNM 151 Student 

Diane Papp, Costume Shop Supervisor, and Katarina Roby, LCCC Student, working on a costume for upcoming play, 'The Diviners.'

Diane Papp, Costume Shop Supervisor, and Katarina Roby, LCCC Student, working on a costume for upcoming play, ‘The Diviners.’

Lorain County Community College has many hidden gems on campus and the Costume Shop located in the Stocker Center is one of those. Not many people are aware of it, though, said Diane Papp, Costume Shop Supervisor. She feels that this is because not many students know enough about it despite the advertisements running on the college’s televisions throughout campus.

The Costume Shop, which has been in its current location for the last three years, serves as both a college and community resource. According to Papp, the last costume shop outgrew its location and the current one is more student friendly. The shop is also apart of the Arts and Humanity’s Theater Program and offers a costume rental program for educational purposes.

When asked what other things the Costume Shop does, Papp explained that she’s usually asked to take care of any textile issues that may come up on campus. She recently reupholstered the benches in the Stocker Center and is in charge of the caps and gowns for the graduation ceremonies on campus. Papp said “If it has to do with fabric, I’m usually the one they call.”

Students who take Theater 151 are required to put in lab time which they can choose between working on costumes, stage work, lighting, or be in the play. Even former students choose to come back to help with costume work. Papp typically receives help from an average of ten to fifteen students per semester.

If students aren’t apart of Theater 151, they can still offer their help to Papp by stopping by the shop or making an appointment with her to work out a schedule. “Just come talk to me. The more the merrier,” Papp said and that students should be prepared to work really hard.

Papp does offer training to students who want to help out, but don’t know how to sew. Her main mission is to teach students the basic sewing techniques to see if it’s what they want to do. When asked about any advice she had to give any student who might be interested in costume making, she said “Embrace it and it may become your passion. She also hopes students have seen shows, movies, television, etc. to get an idea and understanding of what costume making can result in. She also suggests they keep a scrapbook of costume elements they like and to study historic garments to get inspiration for their designs.

The costume for the Jennie Mae character from upcoming play, 'The Diviners.'

The costume for the Jennie Mae character from upcoming play, ‘The Diviners.’

Nancy Jamison, Associate of Arts major and former Theater 151 student, was one of the students who got involved in working with Diane Papp. During the Spring 2014 semester, Jamison ended up working as an assistant stage manager on the show for that semester. While working as a stage manager, Jamison also helped Papp with sorting shoes and hats in the “vault,” a section of the campus basement that stores most of the shop’s costumes and some of the props and collections.

Jamison said, “I always have enjoyed working with Diane. She can be a tad stern at times, and she has to be, but I’m sure to people who don’t know her, it can be intimidating.” Despite this, Jamison also said that when she’s on the verge of a crisis, Papp has been there to help her out and figure things out.

Students who are interested in getting involved with the Costume Shop are encouraged to stop by the shop to talk to Papp or e-mail her at dpapp@lorainccc.edu to schedule an appointment.

Parade of Scholars brings class and recognition to high achieving students

Olivia Moe

Online Editor

Since I have worked at the Collegian, I have distributed papers to the Spitzer Center many times. Each time I have walked into and around the vast conference center I have felt out of place and underdressed. During the annual Parade of Scholars dinner not only was I invited and required to attend, but for once I felt that I belonged there.

Students, faculty, family, friends and donors were in attendance for the 2015 Parade of Scholars held by the Lorain County Community College Foundation on Oct. 6 at the John A. Spitzer Conference Center on LCCC’s main campus. The foundation holds the event to recognize student scholars, both LCCC students and those through the University Partnership, for their accomplishments and rewarding of various scholarships and awards.

Speakers at the dinner included LCCC President Dr. Roy A. Church, LCCC Foundation Board of Directors chairman Phil Baptiste, and Channel 3 WKYC-TV morning reporter Tiffany Tarpley; a Lorain native and LCCC alumni.

This year the LCCC Foundation made awards of over $630,000 to more than 600 LCCC students. The awards came in the forms of The LCCC Trustee Scholarship, LCCC Presidential Scholarships, Diversity Incentive Awards, Non-Traditional Student Incentive Awards, University Partnership awards, and general scholarships and awards.

“Knowing it is a rough time of year it is great to see how many scholars attended tonight,” Church expressed in his opening speech after asking all scholars to stand for a round of applause. Those who contributed to the scholarships and awards were also recognized.

Many of the students, like myself, were experiencing the Spitzer Center for the first time. The upscale surrounding paired with the upscale dinner (including three types of forks and napkins made of fabric and not paper) gave many the feel of professionalism. Although my donors were not present I was able to have a lovely dinner with my parents and with another couple whose recipient was not present at the dinner.

Celebrating the scholars was not the only function of the dinner. Church made a point to discuss how far the LCCC Foundation has come. Church’s informative speech on LCCC’s Vision 2.0 program, a program to reconnect and rebuild the Lorain community through the LCCC graduates, was informative and eye opening to most of those in attendance. “The reshoring of manufacturing jobs, the rising college debt and changing of our community based on the levels of diversity, age and educational attainment are reasons to refresh our ties with local businesses and find out what they need from our graduates in order to rebuild our community.”

Church also emphasized the connections that student scholars should make with their professors and staff while at LCCC, sharing how the connections made here might seem small but have long lasting effects after graduation. However, Tarpley used her real life success story to vouch for Church’s Vision 2.0.

“Although it is great to make connection with your teachers make connections with the other students,” Tarpley emphasized. “I cannot express how helpful it was when I was looking for jobs and how my former classmates could vouch for me. Any connection is a strong connection so take and make as many as you can.”

Tarpley ended her speech, and the remaining part of the evening with an N’gambai African proverb that she hopes will help us to continue to make connections while we are still at LCCC and when we leave.”If you want to travel fast, travel alone. If you want to travel far, travel together.”