A Student Publication of Lorain County Community College

Collegian staff shines at 44th annual Press Club awards banquet

Lauren Hoffman Editor-In-ChiefLorain County Community College’s student-run newspaper, The Collegian, again swept the floor at the Cleveland Press Club Awards on June 10, taking home eleven awards in the Trade/2-Year School category. Lauren Hoffman, editor-in-chief of The Collegian, won three awards, including…

LCCC graduates take flight for 58th commencement ceremony

Lauren HoffmanEditor-In-Chief“Today is the day that your hard work pays off and is the day we celebrate you.” Lorain County Community College President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., said as she welcomed graduates to the 58th commencement ceremony Saturday morning in the…

False fire causes campus confusion

A Elyria Fire Department truck (right) arrives to the college center to investigate alarms. College center sign is to the bottom left with the entrance to the college center in the middle.

Lauren HoffmanEditor-in-ChiefLorain County Community College experienced a different kind of emergency alert Thursday afternoon. At 2:45 p.m. Main campus’ fire alert systems blared to life urging students, staff, and faculty to evacuate the building following an “emergency situation.”  Within minutes,…

Intel breathes new life into LCCC’s DNA

Lauren HoffmanEditor-in-chief Lorain County Community College engineering students have big opportunities heading their way in the form of two new leading-edge chip factories being built in Ohio’s “silicon heartland” just outside Columbus. Technological giant Intel, a business whose computer chips run…

LCCC closes 4th time for safety

Lauren HoffmanEditor-in-ChiefLorain County Community College’s all campuses were evacuated following the fourth bomb threat in three weeks today (April 19). LCCC previously received bomb threats on March 24, 25, and 30 with the last threat causing campus to go remote…

Gen Z and their climate anxieties

Destiny TorresAssociate EditorGeneration Z, those born in the late 1990s and early 2000s, was brought into a dying world. They have had to watch as hurricanes devastate the southeast, fires rage through the west and tornadoes tear through the south.But…

Bomb threats investigation underway, LCCC not alone

Destiny TorresAssociate Editor“LCCC campus security is currently working with the Elyria Police Department and the FBI to find the source of these threats,” LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., said of the three threats that rocked the Elyria campus recently.LCCC is…

The tales tattoos tell

Lauren Hoffman

Tattoos. Some love them, some hate them, but whatever the opinion, the act of permanently inking works of art into one’s skin has become quite the phenomenon in recent years. Tattoos have given people the chance to retell stories and have them live on more than just in memory especially here at LCCC.
Twenty-year-old Hayden Lowstetter, a journalism major from Elyria, sports two tattoos that for him have two very different meanings. His first, a smiley face with X’s for eyes on his right middle finger, he says “was just for fun”, but his other, a black and white ghost on his left inside bicep holds a deeper meaning like most tattoos.
He says of the tattoo, “Growing up I was called “boo” because I was very clumsy and would get scrapes and bruises all the time which my family called boo-boos.”
Lowstetter wanted to carry the fond childhood memory with him by memorializing it in ink back in September.
This wasn’t always the case, however.
When the practice first began commercially in New York in the mid-19th century, popularity lay with sailors, particularly those that had traveled to the Polynesian islands because of the artwork they experienced there.
First, it was tattoos of anchors or ship names, mixed with tribal designs from Polynesian work. After news of King Edward VII, then Prince Edward of Wales, getting body art on a trip to Jerusalem in 1862 and later his sons getting tattoos of dragons in Japan, Americans were keen to follow in their footsteps.
Soon, Martin Hildebrant opened the first commercial shop in New York where he gradually saw his clientele change from fishermen and sailors to the general public, particularly women.
While women in the 19th century would not be seen at parlors, tattoo artists would often make house calls to ink the cheeky ladies, promising them that their tattoos were as fine as extravagant gowns and shiny jewelry. The women would late go on to perform at circuses, letting their body art tell tales of mysticism and adventure in the late 19th century.
In the early 20th century, tattoos continued to gain popularity as a way to express freedom and liberation for men and women alike as well as continue the storytelling. Celebrities like Janis Joplin, one of the first to sport tattoos, readily picked up the torch in bringing the storytelling to life.
Today, tattoos are seen everywhere and on everyone from nurses to music stars and the average college campus like
LCCC is no different. According to comparecamp.com, “36% of US citizens ages 18 – 29 have at least 1 tattoo”. Of those numbers, “30% of US college students have tattoos” and “32% of higher education have tattoos”.
But why all the fuss still? Well according to local tattoo artists Jay Spaeth and Matt Cirino of “Tried and True Tattoo” parlor on Abbe Road  in Elyria, “it’s all about the stories.”
When Cirino first started in the business over thirty years ago, he said “it used to be pictures on the wall and now it’s their own artwork.” For Cirino, tattooing can have intense moments, “but it is a very rewarding career,” and he “always loves seeing people’s reactions” when he finishes one.
While Spaeth and Cirino will get requests of the most common tattoos like flowers, skulls, and clocks, they also get many requests for the more meaningful designs. Cirino says, “I’ve had people with meaningful tattoos that are brought to tears when they see it.” Spaeth quickly agreed, saying, “I think most meaningful is a card with “love mom and dad” and something like that with the actual signature”. For Spaeth and Cirino, the memorial tattoos tell the story better than words. As for who’s asking them to help spread stories, Spaeth and Cirino said that it’s the everyday American.
According to Cirino, “when I started it was bikers and sailors, but now you get nurses, police officers, doctors, lawyers, basically the same people that you would see at your local supermarket, including college kids.”
On LCCC campus, there is no exception.
Journalism major Ethan Lindenberger, 21, from Norwalk follows suit with Lowstetter in meaningful tattoos. Lindenberger has four tattoos ranging from his lower left leg to his right outside bicep. His first, a tiny stick and poke tattoo of the symbol from Pierce Brown’s Red Rising acts as a fond reminder of a good night with his friend. He says of the tattoo, “it’s a good memory of a fun time my friend and I had once. It’s definitely good for the memories.”
Lindenberger continued the Red Rising love with his latest tattoo, the infamous skull and snake from the series, on his right bicep. For him the art “lets me connect with my want to be a writer.” Lindenberger’s third tattoo also aids in his quest of writing, a suit-clad couple with TV heads from Neil Postman’s “Amusing Ourselves to Death.”
Finally, Lindenberger’s first tattoo, a Hermes’ Caduceus on his inside right forearm symbolizes the vaccine work that he’s done, while also serving as a good reminder of the craziest story of his life back when he was 18. For Lindenberger “tattoos are a form of art, one of the most expressive, you can’t take them off or change, instead you are wearing your heart on your sleeve. I just think self-expression is beauty.”
For those that have never gotten a tattoo and are nervous to do so, Matt Cirino assures that “you’re not gonna die, it will hurt a little, but more annoying than pain really” and that the old saying of “once you get one tattoo, you will want more” definitely rings true.

Online vs. in-person? Students weigh in

Lauren Hoffman

Covid-19. A word that has come to plague our generation and thrust the world into chaos. In the beginning, many businesses were forced to close and multiple jobs were lost. Now entering year three of the pandemic, many are still struggling.
The educational system is among the worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, closing schools and sending many worn-out teachers into early retirement. After the initial fallout, many schools were forced to go online in order to continue bringing students to graduation.
Even now, many in-person classes are still being forced to go virtual, including here at LCCC.
During last fall semester according to information gathered from enrollment advisor Marisa Vernon White, LCCC had 64% of the student body taking blended, online, and online live(BOW)\classes to 36% in-person. During this spring semester, the numbers have changed slightly to 63% BOW and 37% in-person. Still, many students on campus prefer in-person classes over remote learning.
LCCC student Anthony Levya said in a recent interview that he preferred in-person classes as opposed to virtual ones. “In-person classes build relationships with people, and I do not enjoy sitting behind a screen,” Levya said.
Ty Quintana, another student, expressed similar views. “It is much easier to stay focused and not get distracted in the middle of your (in-person) class,” Quintana said, adding that he often found himself waiting until the very last minute to do homework and exams in virtual classes. He expressed that virtual classes were a lot more challenging than in-person.
However, Jessica Stewart, another student, has a different view. Stewart said virtual classes are a safe bet from contracting Covid-19. Still, being an online student is a struggle because she now has to discipline herself to stay on schedule with her assignments. Stewart said in-person classes enable her to focus on her schoolwork better. In virtual classes, she has to learn to focus more and set time aside for her virtual classes.
Another student Eddie Rychel agreed. “I’m not a fan of online classes because I find it harder to focus in that environment,” Rychel said. “Online classes are not as engaging as in-person classes to me. I have to rewatch the videos wasting more of my time.”
International students Charlotte Novotny and Megan Yoong said they don’t want to be stuck in the same routine every day, preferring to go to the campus and make new friends rather than being stuck at home.
Regardless of whether students prefer online or in-person, the pandemic is on the rise once more, threatening online classes to become the new normal for many students.
JRNM 151 students Sean Burns, Pierce Eavenson, Kaelin Jenkins, Aiden Matta, and Aeshah Owaydhah contributed to the story.


LCCC geared up for snowstorm

Pierce Eavenson
JRNM 151

LCCC was well prepared to handle the projected 16 to 18 inches of snowfall on Feb.3 and 4 and the rest of the winter.
 Leo Mahoney, director of Physical Plant and Construction Management, said it would take about eight to 10 hours to clear the snow on the main campus in Elyria. A crew of seven workers and three contractors, if needed, would be deployed for snow removal. Seven snow trucks and four tracked vehicles, among other equipment, would be used.
Mahoney urged students to drive carefully.
LCCC was closed on Feb. 4 due to the inclement weather.

Student submits assignments from hospital after delivering a baby

Anthony LaRosa
Staff Writer

“I have definitely seen very dedicated students over the years, but I don’t know if I’ve had any as dedicated as Felicia,” Mollie Chambers, professor of English at LCCC, said.

On the night of Nov.10, Lorain resident and student at LCCC, Felicia Maxwell, was admitted into St. John Medical Center in Westlake in order to give birth to her fourth child. Although her baby was arriving four weeks early, this was the finale to her pregnancy that she was nursing throughout the entire first semester.

Chambers said, “She even had some extra appointments that would overlap with class, so even sometimes she would be in a waiting room, in class, waiting to be called into her appointment.”

After spending the night in the hospital, Maxwell began her day as she normally would, but this time in the hospital bed.

“I logged into Zoom as normal for school, and as soon as I logged into English 161, it was baby time,” Maxwell said.

Shortly after, a little boy named Brycen Slaven was born.

But, even after bringing another life into the world, Maxwell remained determined to her education, completing and turning in her paper on time for English 161.

“There she was with a two-day old baby, submitting her paper, and I was just really amazed with her dedication and her willingness to keep going when she could have really easily said ‘well I can’t do it because I just had a baby,” Chambers said.

Maxwell’s dedication to her education goes back to when she had her first daughter in 2016.

“I started school when I had my first daughter, and I dropped out because it got hard and life happened. I decided that this time, I was not going to make excuses because that’s pretty much what it was after my first daughter. I was ready to start a career,” Maxwell continued, “I knew if I stopped, I would just drop out, so I persevered.”

Maxwell already began her assignment before having the baby, and in her mind, she was always going to finish it. She said, “If I stopped, it just would have never gotten done.”

As Maxwell works toward majoring in social work, she is also working seven days a week, and 12 hours a day, as a supervisor at Amazon, in order to provide a better future for her four children.

“I’m a single mother, and being a single mother is already a struggle. My current job pays well but it’s a lot of wear and tear. I want to work smarter and not harder, and if I want to sit behind a desk, I have to go to school,” Maxwell said.

Chambers said, “I kept emailing her and telling her I was so impressed. She really just went along like it wasn’t a big deal and that was more impressive to me. I have never seen anything like Felicia has been able to do.” Chambers was able to share the news of Maxwell’s baby boy to the class the following week because only seven days after giving birth, she was back in class.

“She has a dedication that is unmatched. I really think we can all learn a lot about dedication by the decisions Felicia made throughout the course. What a great example she is for all of us,” Chambers said. “I’m really proud of her and thankful to have her as a student.”

Appreciating homegrown literary royalty at LCCC

Hernandez highlights the value of literature at the event. Submitted Photo.

Oscar Rosado

Student Senate Learning Center Representative Luis Hernandez has never seen an event that highlighted his area of interest. In this case, it is literature. To do something about it, he organized a literary appreciation event at the Spitzer Conference Center at the Culinary Arts Lobby on Dec. 3 where many students and even faculty got a chance to showcase their literary talents.

Hernandez has been with the Student Senate since the start of the semester, and an English major for three years.

“Being an English major, I haven’t seen any events that have to do with literature, so being in Student Senate, I wanted to bring that out and I’ve gotten a big response from students who wanted to participate, and even if they didn’t want to participate, they wanted to be there,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez said students have said there hasn’t been much of a chance to showcase and express a lot of their literature, writing, poetry, etc.

“This was a great chance to show our talents,” said Hernandez. “I wanted to give students a chance to show their talent in literature.”

Hernandez encourages the art of literature, saying, “Once you hear people’s poetry, it can take you to another level/world.”

Hernandez wished to have a mix of writing from both students and staff as a lot of staff on campus have written published works to give them a chance to express themselves.

“I wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to express themselves, not somebody from out of town. We have so many authors and writers here that I didn’t even know of, so why have somebody from outside when we have our very own talents here,” said Hernandez, hoping to have authors homegrown here in LCCC.

The theme for the event was royalty. On the tables at the event, Hernandez had quotes from various authors such as Edgar Allen Poe, among others, so people can get a sense of who they are, and why we can consider them royalty.

“It’s also a way for people to know about good authors from our books and English classes,” commented Hernandez. “We have our own English royalty here, so that was my mindset going in.”

Hernandez commented he is new to the senate, and wanted to do something different and think outside the box to attract as many students as possible. He wanted to stray away from what has already been done by previous senate members.

“Whatever it took to attract our students,” said Hernandez. “I want students to be not only aware of our events but actually like our events enough for them to show up,” said Hernandez. “This is for them, the students, we are representing them the body of students, with that said, I want them to feel like we’re doing a good job with that.”

Hooks recites a poem at the event.
Submitted Photo.

The event itself

Many participated in the event including LCCC English professors, Karin Hooks Ph.D., Kimberly Karshner, and Kurt Fawver Ph.D recited their written works, as well as LCCC students including Bailey Borer, Michael Washington, Rahab Ali, student senate financial secretary Asia Quiñones-Evans, student senate president Zarai Aquaino, and Editor-in-Chief of the LCCC newspaper The Collegian Oscar Rosado.

The event was accompanied by food, as well as jazz music performed by the Jef Meyers Trio.

Student Bailey Borer recites poetry at the event. Submitted Photo.

“Feeling blessed”

After the event was said and done, Hernandez felt content.

“It was very amazing, it went really well,” said Hernandez. “I felt honored and surprised because literature has proven once again, that it is a way of getting people together, and into one voice together. We proved that. Students were reciting, faculty were reciting, it was amazing.”

There was also an opportunity for open mic, in which five people participated already prepared even though none had signed up for the event initially. 

“They didn’t RSVP, they didn’t say they were going, showed up, because they heard of it, and wanted to go. I feel so blessed,” said Hernandez.

Video games promote focus on education and culture

Owen Cooper
JRNM 151

The LCCC Writing Center was the place to be,  on Wed, Nov. 17 at 3:30 p.m., as Michael Piero Ph.D., a professor at Cuyahoga Community College, and author of two books, with over a dozen peer reviewed articles and book chapters hosted the “Read, Write, Game: How Video Games Communicate Culture and Shape Our Lives” event.

Piero, who acquired his Ph.D. in English and has taught at schools such as: Notre Dame College, wanted to promote his new book “Video Game Chronotypes and Social Justice” while also informing an audience of about 40 people about how video games can shape people’s lives. Piero’s motivation to study video games “stemmed from a mixture of playing them for most of my life and meeting some game studies scholars early on in my doctoral work. I discovered that a lot of the theories and methodologies I had worked with regarding literature were relevant to the study of video games, even if those theories needed to adapt to a new medium.” Piero is also an advocator for the fact that video games are not only worthy of study but necessary to study in order to build a gaming literacy, since games are always persuasive—what exactly are they persuading us of is the interesting question, and what Piero wants to find out more about.

Keep pressing on

For now, Piero is looking to write his first novel, and has just recently received the Mandel Humanities Faculty Fellowship last year, an award given to two faculty members at Tri-C by a committee of humanities deans, scholars, and professors. Piero is also a supporter of that “With all of these things, the lesson has always been that perseverance pays off more often than not. Despite many failures, many rejections, many moments where I wanted to give up on a project, I keep going, and that’s often a large part of what it takes: pressing on, even during difficult times, and finding those who are generous enough to lend a helping hand.”

Stepping into the future with Esports

Destiny Torres
Staff Writer

The future of gaming has drastically changed in recent years. What once used to be a hobby has become a career for some as competitive gaming, or Esports as it’s typically called has raised to frame.

According to a report by newzoo.com, 728.8 million people watched Esports live streams and videos this year. The revenue for this industry has jumped up to $947 million in 2021.

Stepping into the future with competitive gaming this school year was Lorain County Community College. The new Commodores’ varsity esports team officially launched at the start of the 2021 fall semester.  

The team is coached by Evan Walker, who graduated with a bachelors in Sports Management from Baldwin Wallace in 2020.

“We currently only have a team of four players and want to grow the program,” Walker said.

Though the sport is co-ed, the team is composed of four freshman men; Avery Harssema, Gavin Lincicome, Matthew Coleman and Randy Wysocky.

The team is currently competing with Super Smash Bros. Which is a Nintendo Switch game that features multiple different characters from many different video games competitively fighting. Players compete online with other NJCAA Esports teams in a best-of-five rounds format.

The team meets every Wednesday in the Ewing Physical Education and Fitness Center and is currently awaiting their placement and seedings for a national tournament, which will be played by Randy Wysocky who finished his freshman season 8-1. The first round of playoffs was scheduled for today, Nov. 30.

“We currently only have four players and want to grow the program. Though I don’t have specifics yet, we’ll be having open tryouts sometime in January. We are looking for a few more smash players. We are limited to the Nintendo Switch games in Person, so you would need your own equipment if playing on a different console or PC,” Walker said.

Students interested in the LCCC Commodores Esports team may contact Walker at ewalker2@lorainccc.edu or watch them stream their competitions on Twitch @CommodoreEsports.

Local businesses revenue booms due to in-person classes returning

The Subway located at the Marketplace in the College Center.                 
Oscar Rosado | Editor-in-Chief

Oscar Rosado

Many local businesses near colleges and schools have seen  increased sales with the return of in-person classes. 

“We’ve certainly seen more traffic because people are here and they need to eat,” said Tracy Green, vice president of strategic and institutional development at LCCC.

Green went on to say both Marketplace and Starbucks are here primarily to serve our campus community, so students, faculty, and staff recall the customers for both those, and they have been able to ramp up on services.

“We’re seeing a bit of more normalcy,” said Green. “I think because those areas are designed in their service and their size to meet the on campus population that we’ve seen certainly greater traffic than what we’ve seen last year within those facilities. Both Starbucks and Marketplace have adjusted their hours as well as their offerings to meet where that demand is at. That’s one of the reasons why Subway reopened this fall, is because of the increased number of students that are here for in-person classes.”

Though there is no clear- cut data that shows how much of an increase in sales of the facilities on campus have, Green assures there is definitely an increase compared to last year.

“The percentage of in-person classes are close to about 70 percent,” said Green. “Students choose both types of mode of delivery, some are taking online and in-person. Though the traffic has increased, we also recognize that online learning is here to stay. We’ll still certainly serve the food needs of students as well as those caffeine needs of students.” 

Green adds they are also making sure that the campus offers the classes that best serve the students, and that Marketplace and Starbucks have really added resources to support students.

“No student goes hungry”

“This goes without commitment to ensure that no student goes hungry or goes without technology, so our Marketplace has been very involved during this time, of working with the Commodore Cupboard to flash freeze food that would go into the bookstore, as well as the operational support,” said Green. “It’s one big family umbrella of really trying to meet the student’s needs.”

According to Green, 70 percent of courses are offered in-person. 61 percent of students are enrolled in at least one online course, ensuring online courses are not going anywhere.

“Our promise is no student goes without technology, and so being able to have that resource of the bookstore that has the technology, has the Apple store there, was one key way during the pandemic that we could ensure that we upheld that promise,” assured Green.

Commodore Bookstore

“We’ve been seeing about the same thing,” said Manager of the Commodore Bookstore, Patty Clark, who has been managing for ten years. “We’ve tried, along with the staff and the students and faculty, trying to bring in some of the public with our partnership program, with our partnership apparel, so we’ve been seeing more people coming into the store, some from outside, saying ‘I’m looking for this type of sweatshirt or that’ and of course textbooks and other needs.”

“We’re seeing more of our gift sales and our clothing sales go up,” said Clark. “Along with the technology, we have a technology service center and we help students with any of their classwork needs, such as access codes or if they are having trouble accessing or anything like that, we are here to serve them,” said Clark. “We’ve seen more in store traffic with that.”

Clark said they adjusted well despite the pandemic a year ago. They offered curbside pickup as an option for students to receive their books and other needs, and Clark commented on an increase in online sales through their website. Clark added they have seen more traffic now than a year ago.

“Students still need their resources, they need their books, they need their math lab, etc., so it was just a different way of being able to get them those resources,” said Green.

Employee inputs

Some of the employees of the businesses here on campus added to the subject.

“There are more students here than last year,” said Subway employee Tara Porter. Regardless, she knows the number of students on campus will remain. “It’s gonna stay that way. There is still a low percentage of in-person classes, but I am very happy to see familiar faces.”

“Definitely from last year, there has been an increase of people on campus, with early college students coming back, and staff and faculty coming back, it’s about 60 percent on campus, which is pretty good, but definitely better than last year, but we’re still down sales from pre-pandemic,” said Starbucks employee Rachel Caywood.

Going for her Associates in Dental Hygiene and retail employee at the Sheffield Lake Cracker Barrel, Rebecca Cupek had been working for four months, but even she has seen an increase in people coming in.

“I got the job at the beginning of summer, and it was a lot slower, and then as the school year started picking up, it got a lot busier,” said Cupek. “For sales specifically, I work on Saturdays which are fairly busy, but they were a lot slower in the summer, and when school started to picked up.”

Elyria Dairy Queen

According to Elyria Dairy Queen Manager Stacey Mahnke, “We have been pretty busy for the past year and a half. A lot of that comes from the college, and from the elementary school next door as well.”

The Elyria Dairy Queen has seen a lot of traffic especially with its mobile and Door Dash services which have risen due to the pandemic. 

“We’re seeing an increase in business because of that and because some other businesses in the area don’t have enough staff and they’re having to close, so we’re seeing an influx in business for both of those reasons,” said Elyria Dairy Queen Operator John Godfrey.

Other businesses

At Olde Town Pizza in Amherst, workers have become very busy with in-person classes being back in full swing, “It hasn’t affected us too much. Mornings are slow, but when the kids from the high school get out it starts to get busy,” said Bella Delturco, an employee at Olde Town. Since opening back up prices have increased a little, “Prices of meat and cheese have gone up, but not a whole lot. I don’t know the exact percentage of the increase in price, but I do know that items like the BLT fold-over have gone up $2.00,” Delturco said. During the lock down, stores had to make a few adjustments to still provide business, “When we were on lock down, we had to carry-out because we closed our dining room and had everything sectioned off.”

Arabica Coffee in Amherst has gotten a lot of business from not just high school students, but college students as well. “There is a lot more after-school traffic. With some college students being online they like to come in get coffee and do their assignments. It’s slowed down quite a bit though because most of them have gone back to being physically in class,” said Samantha Ives, an employee at Arabica. Once lockdown was over, Arabica’s prices were also increased just like Old Towne Pizza’s.  It also became hard to get some of the items they need to run their business.  “I don’t know the exact increase in the percentage, but I do know that it has been hard to get some of the things we usually order. Our owner just said yesterday that we used to order two months’ worth of food and drinks. Now we order two weeks’ worth at a time which means we are paying more money,” said Ives. COVID-19 took a toll on businesses income, “I didn’t start until about a month ago, but I do know that we were closed for a little while and there was also remodeling being done. We sometimes have people quarantine and we also wear masks to keep not just us safe but our customers,” said Ives.

Springboard retail

According to Springboard, which is the leading provider of retail data analytics, retail traffic counting, and customer sentiment tracking for leading brands, shopping centers, and downtowns worldwide, foot traffic in general dropped 88% in the beginning of the pandemic. This has gradually improved to being 66.8 percent below 2019 levels by the end of the year. In 2021, pedestrian traffic is said to still be down nearly 51 percent.

Christina Yuhasz contributed to the report.

Jim Powers leads Commodore’s to regional championship

Pictured First row: Assistant Coach Vicki Guggenbiller, Alex Trendle, Ally Marszal, Katrina Lee, Grace Morris, Devin Cannon, Head Coach Jim Powers. Pictured Back Row: Caleb Cabrera, Matthew Kirsch, Devin Baumgartner, Mackenzie Deibel, Davin Catanese. Not pictured: Dominic Houdeshell. Submitted Photo.

Hayden Lowstetter
JRNM 151

Jim Powers, LCCC Men’s and Women’s Cross-Country Coach has been at the forefront leading the program since 2008. He has helped push the Commodore’s to a 26-29 win over Kellogg Community College claiming the Men’s NJCAA Region 12 Division 3 Championship. 

Powers was just teaching part time as a professor when he joined LCCC in 1988. Powers thought that teaching was “Just a job,” but soon realized he’d always find himself gravitating back to LCCC.

“All I knew when I took the job was that I wanted to work in college recreation and wanted to work with sports.” Said Powers.

Everything panned out for Powers, he’s an Associate Professor in the Health and Wellness Sciences division where he teaches classes like sports history, basketball, and stress management. On top of being an Associate Professor and cross-country coach, Powers acts as Assistant Athletic Director and Club Sports Coordinator. Some of the tasks that Powers tackles while holding those titles would be to schedule officials, schedule a game’s time and place, and work with other coaches. Powers also added that he wishes to coordinate recreation for the public community given the feedback.

What Coach Powers had deemed a “fantastic” day in Lansing, Michigan started with a hungry 12th ranked group of men and women nationally, ended with a Men’s Cross-Country NJCAA Region 12 Division 3 Championship. Powers said, the match was “very close” and that it really could have gone “either way”. The Commodore’s runners Mackenzie Deibel, finished 1st, and Caleb Cabrera, finished 2nd, really led the team off with a great start to the day with their performance. The remaining runners on the team finished 6th,8th,9th,10th, and 11th which was just enough for the Commodore’s to claim a 26-29 victory over Kellogg Community College. 

“All six runners finished with their best time of the year,” said Powers.

The Women’s Cross-Country team was also competing against Kellogg Community College on Oct. 30. While the Women’s team put up a very admirable performance, they fell just short to Kellogg with a final score of 24-33. The Commodore’s runner Devin Cannon finished 2nd all regional honors. While the rest of the Women’s team finished 4th, 6th,10th,11th.

“They all played their hearts out and competed and raced their hardest,” said Powers.

The Men’s Cross-Country team is now set to compete on Nov. 13, in Milledgeville, Georgia where they will have a chance to win nationals.

German student’s “American dream” comes true

Simić wearing German attire. Submitted Photo

Lauren Hoffman
Staff Writer

When German student Žaklina Simić was 7-years-old, she always dreamed of traveling to America. She would hear about the different happenings and always wanted to go there to experience it for herself. As she got older, Simić’s dream stayed somewhat alive as she was taught English in school along with her classmates, but the dream of America didn’t seem attainable. After completing primary and secondary school she entered into the German equivalent of real estate managing through an apprenticeship. Although Simić worked hard with three weeks of work and one week of school, still she dreamed of America.

American Dream

That was when she heard about the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) program. Every year 75 young professional students from Germany get to go to the United States and stay with a host family and vice versa for Americans. There they will spend five months taking classes at a college fitting their major before going to do work in their field in January. Simić was ecstatic. She said “in Germany real estate is much broader and has a lot more to do with politics which is why I wanted this program.” She originally applied in 2019 and got accepted for the 2020 year, but it was eventually canceled due to the global pandemic. Still, the 25-year-old tried again and again until she was accepted. 

The program, which is in its 38th year, focuses on cultural exchange mainly through the exposure of cultures with a deeper meaning of participating in strengthening Germany and the United States connection. Simić said of the program, “you apply online and sign some forms and answer questions on motivation. You have to be motivated, or else you won’t get in,” Simić continued, “the real special part is the Bundestag chooses one out of the three students in their district to complete the program and you get to have a mentor from the Bundestag for it.”

After acceptance, she said that “normally you meet up at a convention center and do tasks and tests. The German students have to have English language knowledge, but the Americans do not.” When asked how she felt about learning the language, Simić replied, “I have been taught English since I was a little kid. It was not hard.” 

A trip to D.C.

The program, Cultural Vistas, has been running the CBYX student exchange for quite some time, but it is their first year being responsible for both the German and United States sides. Lorain County Community College has had students through the program in the past and is currently in its eighth year of the partnership. The internship is also fully funded besides everyday luxuries such as food and shopping. 

Besides the CBYX, Simić also applied for the Congressional Internship Program (CIP) as a way to continue her studies. She said, “five out of 75 students applied for CIP and I was one of the ones that got it.” Because of this, she will be heading to Washington D.C. in January to study under a congress member for six weeks before returning to Germany. 

A fun challenge

When discussing the opportunity, Simić was elated, “For Europeans, America is huge! This is my dream to be here and I’m more than happy and thankful to be here and able to do this with the program,” she continued, “the meaning behind it is so much bigger with this program and I am so grateful to be a part of it.” For Simić, America has been everything she’s dreamed of. “It’s so different and huge here. Distance is a whole other understanding now and time goes very fast because it’s all so exciting and new.” 

Back in her hometown in Germany, she mentioned that people tend to keep to themselves but the Midwest is very different. She said “I feel like people in the Midwest are very helpful and talkative, but it is a fun challenge.” Simić hopes to continue to enjoy America as much as she can before she heads back to Germany in August and she said she will definitely try to come back soon.