A Student Publication of Lorain County Community College

Path to bachelor’s from LCCC to CSU

LCCC and CSU had made an agreement to have students start their college path off at LCCC and graduate with their Bachelor’s degree at CSU through a new program called UP Express CSU initiative. The program is an extension of…

Conquering the stress of gym anxiety

LCCC student Aja Cyran is very reluctant to go the gym because she is self-conscious. “I definitely feel uncomfortable at the gym especially being a girl, because I feel like it’s a guy’s territory, so I feel out of place….

LCCC students bring typewriters back to life

Do you have a dusty typewriter sitting in your basement thinking it will never be used again? Two Elyria twins are trying to give a new lease on life for neglected typewriters. Gregory Visnyai, who is majoring in communications, and…

Stop the vaping, save the living

Quentin Pardon Staff Writer LCCC student Jody Page got into hookah for a while, and loved the relaxing feeling of smoking, but because hookah was not portable, she got into vaping. Page started vaping about one year ago. She said…

Pepper happily pleased to meet you

Oscar Rosado Editor-in-Chief Meet Pepper. She answers your questions gladly most of the time. Being four feet tall, Pepper has a sense of humor, has knowledge, and is able to make hand gestures. She can help you with what you…

NOSH ‘18 a success

Matthew Gergely
Staff Writer

The culinary arts are one of the most creative and delicious crafts that an individual can learn. Nowhere is there a better place to learn this art then LCCC’s NOSH ‘18. This year, LCCC’s culinary program held its 2nd annual event showcasing a number of live cooking performances, music, as well as beer and wine tasting. LCCC’s culinary program is a well-established program that provides opportunities and experiences to its students and community. The NOSH 18 event was held September 21st in the Spitzer Conference Center. 

An all-access wristband was available and allowed access to all of NOSH 18’s events including food tastings, food truck vendors, and the live demonstrations. Proceeds from the wristbands will go towards the community college’s food pantry, the Commodore Cupboard. The LCCC Cupboard continues its fight against food insecurity on campus and throughout Lorain County. 

The event had demonstrations with several cooks and students demonstrating their food skills. “It was very interesting to get out here to see what these young adults are able to do,” said Denise Diluciano, community member. 

The culinary department  hosted these cooking demonstrations to promote cooking classes. The culinary department  has classes open for the public to sign up for. “I loved the cooking preparations,” said Diluciano, “Chuck and I have already signed up to one of the cooking classes LCCC had to offer.”  For more information about NOSH, the culinary department, or cooking classes open to the public, please visit the official homepage at www.lorainccc.edu. 

C.A.R.E. program leads fight against addiction

Jody Page

In every level of society, addiction has become common with the number of opioid-related deaths rising. In Lorain County, most individuals are no strangers to this crisis and know others who are losing or have lost a loved one to the fight with opiates. Drug and alcohol abuse are often stigmatized, which leads individuals to hide, become isolated and to not seek treatment. On the main campus of LCCC, there is a program that advocates sobriety and provides support and resources students may need to fight addiction. The C.A.R.E. Program, Caring Advocates for Recovery Education, partnered with LCADA Way, Lorain County Alcohol and Drug Addiction, to bring free, private help to students and community members struggling with addiction. 

The C.A.R.E. Center, BU 113D, is decorated with simple displays that tell a story. Currently, there are shoes that line the perimeter of the floor within the center. The shoes, all colors, sizes and styles, had a laminated slip of paper inside with a title. These titles include; ‘mother’, ‘co-worker’ and/or ‘brother’. 

“The shoes represent those we have lost to addiction,” said Charlene Dellipoala, the C.A.R.E. program project coordinator, “It can truly be anybody.” Dellipoala earned her master’s degree in social work, with a specialization in addiction recovery through Youngstown State University. 

Currently, the C.A.R.E. center hosts six meetings a week. The center hosts men’s-only Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and plans to begin a women’s group within weeks. 

Statistics reveal that every day more than 115 people die from a prescription opioid-related overdose. Dellipoala blames this on the casual access to prescriptions. “It [addiction] can begin very innocent,” she said, “Someone may just go in for an oral surgery and receive a prescription and become addicted.” She understands this issue from the perspective of the individuals that she has helped. 

“It used to be so easy to go to the doctor and tell them something hurts and they would write out a large script, 60 or 90 pills,” said Dellipoala, “When the doctors realized [this overuse], and the patient was cut off that’s when street drugs come into the mix.” 

She understands that individuals fighting addiction are looking for a way out. “Seek as many support systems as you can.  The more support you have, the better the chance you have of getting clean,” said Dellipoala.  “Behavior modification is the big issue; you have to change your environment.” 

She offers words of encouragement to those who may have a friend or loved one struggling with addiction. “Support them, try to understand what they’re going through,” she said, “It’s the addiction, not the person that’s making them do things that are out of character.” 

  Building a community of support to advocate for those fighting addiction takes the contribution of many. One individual, who wishes to remain anonymous and uses the C.A.R.E. center as a resource, knows that the program is effective. “In between classes you can talk to somebody or come to a meeting,” he said, “which is why they’re hosted every day at noon.  People really do come.” 

The C.A.R.E. center program has Monday through Friday meetings and stays open until 8 p.m. to be accommodating.  Speaking of Dellipoala, Mary Kay Bonnette, a student worker in the C.A.R.E. center, said, “She’s an excellent resource, she provides so much knowledge and she’s been such a great mentor to me. She cares about people’s lives outside of these four walls and she’s a true angel.” 

The C.A.R.E. program, now in its third year, shows no sign of slowing down.  The number of individuals using the resource has “tripled” in this year alone.

“From Grit to Glimmer”

Valerie Mankin
JRNM 151

“Art is therapeutic and working on my pieces is my melatonin,” says Jerry Schmidt, a Cleveland artist who specializes in sculpting metal. Lorain County Community College’s Stocker Arts Center hosted “From Grit to Glimmer”, showcasing Schmidt’s pieces along with Thomas Hudson’s oil paintings, on Sept. 28. “The key is to keep a theme going,” says Hudson. 

Learning from his father Fred Schmidt, a well-known sculptor in Cleveland, Schmidt has found the importance of abstract art.  
       “You make the bed you sleep in,” says Schmidt on account of him being his own agent. Schmidt likes not having to rely on anyone and says that the best way to work is to stay away from the cliques.
       Schmidt has an art studio in Waterloo Cleveland where he works with his son and grandson. Schmidt also has pieces displayed at the Hilton Hotel and LCCC. “Never worry if the art is wrong,” says Schmidt, “let the art speak for itself.” 

Also being a Cleveland artist, Hudson paints realistic oil paintings. His inspiration coming from comic books Hudson gradually made his way to oil painting. Hudson has three different themes in progress right now.
         “Look at what other artists are doing and their techniques,” is the advice Hudson gives to new and upcoming artists. 

         Hudson also says to follow your passion and not let other influence it. Hudson likes to do realism painting because “people praise your more” when it’s realistic. 

        The best part about painting is when you finally finish a piece according to Hudson. This is because the time frame always differs “some can take weeks and others months,” says Hudson.

Both artists agree that it is important to follow your passion despite what others say. 

Donald Eric Lucas remembered

Jay Sigal
Staff Writer

LCCC student Donald Eric Lucas died unexpectedly on Oct. 1, 2018. Lucas was born April 23, 1972, and he was originally from Alabama, and is survived by his mother, twin brother and a son.

Lucas served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1993-1995 as a MOS 5962-Marine Corps Tactical Data Systems Equipment (TDSE) Repairer. Lucas was also a member of the North Olmsted, Ohio VFW. Lucas was enrolled in the LCCC Vocational Rehabilitation Program, and the University Partnership program at the University of Akron. Lucas was 2 semesters away from receiving his associate’s degree.

A close friend, Jason Ardeneaux said, “Donald was a member of the “work-study” program at LCCC in the Veterans Services offices.” 

“He was a good man,” Ardeneaux said. “Lucas really was the kind of guy that would give you the shirt off his back.”

LCCC celebrates Hispanic Heritage month

Maria Alejandra Rey

The college held a Hispanic Heritage Month event on September 25 in the College Center Commons hosted by actor and alumni Kenny Santiago-Marrero. The event celebrates the Hispanic and Latin community on and off campus. Lorain county is home to the largest Latino population in Ohio and LCCC offers support through several resources. Among these, the Diversity Incentive Award, is awarded to Lorain county high school graduates who earn a minimum GPA of 2.5 and who are of African American, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern or Native American descent. 

President of LCCC, Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D. made an appearance during the celebration and spoke out about support to DACA recipients. “Our commitment goes beyond enrolment,” said Ballinger, “it continues with identifying and providing support 

to students to ensure their success.” Ballinger recognized the work of El Centro, a social services organization focus on providing assistance in the employment process, as well as youth leadership. El Centro partners with LCCC for English as a Second Language courses and General Equivalency Diploma. 

Margarita Quinones, LCCC district board of trustee’s member announced that the Governor’s Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan Awards Gala will be held at LCCC campus and will be hosted by the Latino Affairs Commission with proceeds funding a scholarship for Hispanic and/or Latino students.

One special guest held a workshop that highlighted the Puerto Rican tradition of making masks for carnival. The event had dance performances, a live band-Latin City Soul, as well as a sawdust and sand carpet artwork by the Cruz Family. 

LCCC named first in nation

Kerri Klatt

Lorain County Community College was recognized as the leading community college in the nation for Excellence in Student Success by The American Association of Community Colleges, AACC, on May 1. LCCC was amongst six finalists recognized. “We are passionate and persistent,” said Tracy Green, vice president of strategic and institutional development at LCCC, “And this was great validation coming from the AACC, because they are the voice of the community college.”
The AACC located in Washington D.C. is an advocacy organization that provides a voice for community colleges nationwide and creates initiatives to promote recognition and advocacy for community colleges. The AACC represents 1,250 two-year colleges with more than 12 million students nationally.
The AACC reviews data and practices of the college to gain results. “It is the how and what have you accomplished,” said Green, “They (AACC) look at student completion, students whom graduate earning a degree or certificate within a 150% duration of time, persistence which include students continuing education, and transfers,” said Green, “Our success rate is 60% where the state average is at a 51%.”
LCCC is also recognized amongst top colleges in the state of Ohio according to the Ohio Department of Higher Education. “LCCC is top in the state of Ohio for those three categories as well,” said Green. The commitment to student success and fostering student success is LCCC’s mission.
“To have that validated at a national level and be top in the country for excellence in student success is validation that we are on the right track,” she said, “But it also says a lot about our students; We can only do so much as an institution and our students have the grit.” 

N. Ridgeville campus offers UP classes

Jay Sigal
Staff Writer

Students attending LCCC, through the University Partnership program, can complete their required studies for and receive an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, and master’s degree, all without having to leave the county. Dr. John Crooks, Associate Provost of LCCC’s University Partnership programs, has announced that partnership classes will be available at the LCCC Ridge campus beginning in the fall 2018 semester. Classes will be held at the 45,000 square foot advanced technology training center located at 32121 Lorain Road in North Ridgeville. 

       “Our goal is to be the very best within this sector of higher education,” said Dr. Crooks. The primary teaching focus will be IT and advanced nursing technologies. The Ridge campus boasts a technologically advanced IT infrastructure as well as a nursing simulation facility. 

      Students enrolled in these programs will be introduced to the collaboration between the two. 

Additionally, the University of Toledo will offer their entire classroom content, including their new Project Management curriculum through the LCCC Ridge campus. The University of Akron will also have significant classes offered.
     There are 57 bachelor’s degree programs in place as well as 11 master’s degree programs. A doctorate degree available through LCCC and the BGSU partnership is in Education. There are 14 certificates, endorsements, and licensure programs available as well. Ohio’s first Applied Bachelor of Science degree in microelectronic manufacturing is also available through the universities partnerships at LCCC. 

    The LCCC University Partnership program was established by vote of the citizens of Lorain county.  Created in 1995, the mission is to make such degrees available to Lorain county residents desirous of pursuing higher level degree programs without having to leave the immediate area bring bachelor’s and master’s degree programs to the LCCC campus.

Weston brings firsthand experience to new post

Jay Sigal
Staff Writer

Michael Weston is a Marine with a mission. That mission is to make the successful pursuit of higher education available to military veterans attending LCCC. Weston is the newly appointed Manager of Veterans Military Member Center and Veterans Services on campus. He intends to assist veterans with as much information as may be within his reach to facilitate as many “life-solutions” as may be requested. Weston is an honorably discharged Marine and combat veteran having served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He brings firsthand experience with the issues facing our military student body into the new position.
Weston’s intention is to assist student veterans as much as he can.
Student veterans may be struggling with the ins and outs of the GI Bill, educational benefits, medical issues, financial aid, or assistance in just getting along with their lives. Assistance with PTSD and suicide prevention are major concerns for many veterans. Weston hopes to use his position to help reduce such tragedies. These issues can include assistance with rent, groceries, or getting scheduled for the proper testing to be fitted with appropriate hearing aids.
Student veterans dealing with education challenges, requesting transcripts from military service, medical issues, disability rating reclassification or any other issue facing veterans in the initiation, continuation, or completion of educational pursuits. Weston and his staff are prepared and capable of providing workable solutions and additional contacts.
If you are a military veteran attending LCCC in pursuit of your dreams, stop in and meet with Weston and his staff at the Veterans Services Center.

Dean Pongracz brings passion for art, hopes to showcase students’ work

Kerri Klatt

Dr. Brenda Pongracz, dean of the Arts and Humanities Division at LCCC, started her new position August 1. Pongracz had previously held the position of the Assistant Dean of Creative Arts at Cuyahoga Community College, Tri-C. At Tri-C, she had worked with faculty and students. “Part of my job as the assistant dean was to create ways for students to showcase their work; whether it be portfolio shows or performances,” she said. “Just creating various ways for students to get that experience.” She spoke of the importance of showcasing students work.
“The heart of the performing arts is the ability to showcase that work,” she said. “I hope to expand on that here at LCCC and to preach that to students, that they can see the value of taking classes in the Arts and Humanities. It is important for students to broaden thinking as people and professionals for future workplaces and to understand how those skills can benefit Lorain County,” said Dr. Pongracz, “To increase knowledge and the quality of life in Lorain County by participating in the arts and humanities and using those things to elevate the community as a whole.”
Dr. Pongracz has a background in music and vocal performance. “I do sing, I have sung with Cleveland Opera for ten years,” she said, “I have a church job, I sing with a group called, “Good Company” that is based in Lakewood, and I am slated to do a one-act Christmas opera at Tri-C in December.”
She attended Temple University, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from 1998 until 2000, and earned a master’s in music of vocal performance. Dr. Pongracz had attended the Walden University, an on-line college, where she earned her Doctor of Education and Higher Education Leadership degree.
Dr. Pongracz found that she also has a passion for higher education. “I have really found that I have a passion for higher education and community college education, and what we can do for students,” said Dr. Pongracz, “I learned that I really like working on the academic side to improve outcomes for students.” She attended Cleveland State University, CSU, and earned a master’s in music as well as earning a bachelor’s degree in music from Hiram College. 

Dean Denise Douglas brings four-year institutional experience to new position

Kerri Klatt

Dr. Denise Douglas, Dean of the Social Sciences and Human Services Division at LCCC, started the new position July 24. Douglas has over 20 years in higher education experience with a background in academic affairs, student services, and community relations. Dr. Douglas says that working in higher education and academics is her passion. “It is my passion,” said Dr. Douglas, “Most of my work experience has been on the graduate school side.”
She explains the difference between a two-year institution versus a four-year institution.  “The emphasis here, (at LCCC) is teaching whereas the emphasis in a four-year private institution is research,” she said. Dr. Douglas held the Associate Dean position for Executive Education at The Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. “I spent almost 18 years at Case Western University,” said Dr. Douglas, “I stepped out of a four-year institution, but that perspective is helpful because I know what is going on in a four-year institution which is particularly important for the University Partnerships.”
Dr. Douglas advocates the importance of the University Partnerships. “Striving for University Partnerships is important for our division, and the college at large,” She said. “Because for me, it is about success and supporting everyone whether student, faculty, or staff.”
“I kind of feel into higher education when I was pursuing my undergraduate at George Macy University in Virginia.” Dr. Douglas attended the college from 1989 until 1992 where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. She then went on to pursue higher ed. “I have a very strong background in both academic and student affairs,” she said. Dr. Douglas attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and earned her Master of Arts degree in Higher Education and Administration, as well as a Ph. D in Educational Policy and Administration.