A Student Publication of Lorain County Community College

E-sports blazes new trail at colleges

Erin Dweik Staff Writer   Gaming is not just for recreation. It is becoming lucrative. Enter, e-sports “the next level of video game experience”. E-sports is a new category of entertainment that is a bridge between video gaming and sports….

Midterm elections evoke mixed reactions

JRNM Students Kirsten Hill, Camryn Moore, Valerie Mankin, Samuel Doll, Oscar Rosado, Jayne Giese, Angela Andujar, Jadaskye Curry, Quentin Pardon and Deric Nichols Reactions from Lorain County voters were mixed on the Nov. 6, 2018, midterm general election in the…

Ballinger highlights new changes

Madelyn Hill Staff Writer The Presidents Forum held on Oct. 2, showcased the many changes that are happening at LCCC.  “The pace of change is faster than it was 10 years ago,” said  Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., president of the community college. …

Overcoming a toxic relationship

 Jayne Giese JRNM 151 Kayla Wardrope, a 19-year-old, first-year student at LCCC, has first-hand experience with domestic violence. Wardrope has recently ended a four-year relationship with her high school boyfriend.  She talks about her toxic relationship and the damage it…

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. 

Hess plans to expand student opportunities

Erin Dweik
Staff Writer

Caryl Hess began her new position as LCCC’s dean of The Health and Wellness Sciences Division on July 2nd. She calls LCCC, “A unique gem of the community college system.”  Hess believes this because of LCCC’s student-centered focus. Hess’s purpose as dean is to lead her 14-program division into the technology driven future. Dr. Hess is fully prepared to take on her new role as dean. At her last position, Dr. Hess, was merging a community college and health care system in Augusta, Georgia. Hess called that, “A major challenge and success story.” 

Dr. Hess wants to remain nimble and flexible with a student-focus as the driving force. “Immersing myself in the culture by listening, observing, and interacting with all aspects of the division,” she said. Dr. Hess aim is to implement the best practices in healthcare and education to enable students to be educated, trained and to attend continuing education activities through LCCC. She had specific goals for LCCC’s health and wellness sciences division that envisions LCCC as providing the life-long requirements for a healthcare professional’s needs.

The first step for Hess is to critically think about the problems facing healthcare education. Her ultimate plan includes creative team approaches for internships, apprenticeships and MEMS programs. “Providing students with marketable skills, knowledge, jobs and life-long learning,” said Dr. Hess. This requires innovative partnerships with hospital systems and continuing education opportunities. Hess sees the merging of the hard skills of curriculum and the soft skills of communication as integral to healthcare in general as well as success at LCCC. 

STEAM program success, say college officials

By Kerri Klatt

STEAM is an educational implementation to approach learning that uses science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics to result in dialogue, critical thinking, problem solving skills, and creativeness. The difference between STEM and STEAM is that STEAM utilizes and integrates the arts into its program. The educational approach is used to meet the needs of the 21st century economy. LCCC hosted a six-week program, from June 20 through August 1, 2018, titled The STEAM Academy Apprentice Program. The program took place atthe Patsie C. and Dolores Jene Campana Center for Ideation and Invention Center on campus. Participants were student teens and young adults ages 15 to 18 years of Lorain County from Lorain and Elyria High Schools. Student participants whom finished the program were taught 21st century job skills needed in the economy.
      “There is not another program that integrates such skills that is available for students,” said Joan Perch, Founder of the STEAM Academy Apprentice Program. The capacity of the STEAM program was six to 18 student participants’, but the college hosted 21 student participants this year. “The Arts and STEM work well together and we need to get these tools in the hands of creative students,” said Perch, Student participants 16 years of age or older enrolled in the program were eligible to earn income. This year, 12 out of 21 participating students were paid through Ohio Means Jobs Summer Youth Employment Program. “They are paid to come here and are expected to work and learn the habits of work,” said Perch, “The studio habits of how to become independent and motivated are implemented.” Students that finish the program earn a certificate and one college credit. Students that are not eligible for work due to age, also receive a small stipend for participating and completing the program.
Maryah Sneed, a Lorain High School student was recommended to participated in the STEAM program. “My art teacher recommended this program to me,” Sneed said, “She thought it would be a great opportunity for me to learn about all the technology and learn from the people who have experience in art.” Some students have returned for a second or third year while other students are new to the program. “Many people, even within our community, are not aware of the high paying lucrative jobs available,” said Perch, “At LCCC, we have a series of pathways that can help people find their way and so we help the teens to start early and to learn what is possible here.”
Students were taught skills such as paint and design, fabric and print making, and how to print by hand. Students also took an Intro to Fabrication course. “The program is great and has helped me learn the technology,” said Sneed.The Commodore Kitchen on campus provided the participants with lunch resources.
The program partnered with Lorain City Schools, Elyria City Schools, Elyria Save Our Children, Teens Achieving Success Program, and The Boys and Girls Club of Lorain County. Sponsors whom funded the program included The Nordson Corporation Foundation, One Hundred Women Who Care About Lorain County, and The Char and Chuck Fowler  Family  Foundation. 

LCCC campus security officials get new look

By Marie Tobin
Advertising Manager

Campus security at LCCC has recently obtained new uniforms. According to Kenneth Collins, chief of security, this change was made in order to give the department more structure. “We wanted to make it easier for students and faculty to identify us,” said Collins, “I would get a call and show up in a dress shirt and tie, and people thought I was from administration.”

This uniform upgrade is not the only change. The campus security office will be receiving a new look. The new look will include a lounge area for students to wait, an interview room, and an effective privacy barrier. “Sometimes when we bring students in to report an incident, they may not feel that what they’re telling us is in confidence,” Collins said, “When we install a better privacy barrier, we hope that people will be more comfortable.” In addition to the new look, campus security will be undergoing more training. The training will be in partnership with the campus security at Oberlin College, so that the two departments can consult each other.

The LCCC security officers were trained on the main campus. The majority of officers are graduates of LCCC or graduates through the University Partnership. In 2008, Collins graduated from the Cleveland Heights Police Academy where he completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. Collins earned his degree through the University Partnership between LCCC and Youngstown State University. “We are always looking for more security officers,” He said, “We have two officers on each shift, it is great when they already know the campus fairly well.”

Students can use an app called LiveSafe to report incidents on campus. According to Collins, students can file anonymous reports and expect a quick response. “I just want all of the students, staff and faculty members to know that we’re here to help,” he said.

Orientation does not reduce stress for new students

JRNM 151 students

Many emotions can run through one’s mind when beginning a new school for the first time. Josh Sing and Riley Davenport, both LCCC students of one year, agreed the biggest obstacle that students face is the unknown. “Students coming to LCCC without (college) experience have no idea what to expect,” said Davenport. Though students go through orientation programs, the uneasy feeling of getting lost or not knowing anyone does not go away. Most students feel that there should be a more in-depth program for students who need help finding classes and feeling comfortable on campus. “At first it’s scary, but it gets better,” said Danelle Johnson, a communications major. “Some (students) may not be so bold at first, even when returning from a previous semester,” She said.

 This was not the case with returning student, 20- year-old Louis Gestavo, who is studying forensics. His word of advice for students is for the tobacco connoisseurs on the campus: Be careful where you light up. 

There are some that are enthralled with the idea of a new college, like former Tri-C student, Chris Bosak. “I’m excited to be here,” said Bosak, “It is better than my old school.” Bosak’s word of advice for new students is to: “Stay focused,” He said.

Celeste Carrion, 21-years old, is a returning student that is no longer anxious about the college. Carrion, a third-year human services major, “is more outgoing now.” She said. When she was asked about her first day of her first year in college, Carrion described herself being anxious. During her first semester she remembered how she often “wanted to cry,” She said. Going into her third year, Carrion is no longer anxious and knows her way around campus. 

Jesus Garcia, a 22-year-old student, remembered feeling excited and nervous throughout his first semester at LCCC. Garcia had described it as “tougher than high school.” The first semester for Garcia was difficult but he had passed. Garcia is now in his second semester of his first year, majoring in Nursing. 

Jilyann Atkinson, who resumed her education after taking a break, believes that returning to college would require extra dedication. Atkinson, who is pursuing an accounting degree, is happy to come to LCCC because of the numerous resources available to students. 

Peyton Kellick, a third-year student, commended the diversity on campus. “You meet all types of people here,” said Kellick, “I love it.” Kellick plans to enroll in Psychology at Kent State through the University Partnership..

Students hold off staff 13-12 in softball

Matt Gergely
Sports Editor 

As the fall semester begins at Lorain County Community College, a friendly game of softball took place between LCCC staff and students.  The event was sponsored by Neolaunch Net and promoted by the LCCC Student Senate. The game was managed by Kionna MacIntosh-Pharm. The weather was not the only thing burning as both students and staff were active at the plate providing a fun evening of entertainment for all who observed. 

The staff and students teams were diverse and exciting. The staff team was comprised of project Managers, coaches, Provosts, and others. Walk-ons from LCCC basketball coach Marty Eggleston help give the staff momentum to come back from trailing 8-4 in the 4th inning and had the most RBI’s of the staff team. Staff member Chase Ritenauer was the sole member of the team to have a home run and Sharon Flynn pitched and help keep the staff in contention throughout the game. Dr. Jonathan Dryden, provost/vice-president for academic affairs, lead the staff with multiple RBI’s and had the chance to tie and possibly win the game for the team but unfortunately was thrown out and sealing the match for the students. “I think we all did a great job as a team, we came out strong last year and we came out strong this year and we had great contributions from everyone.” Said Dryden about the performance of his team.

The students were composed of all types from early college to international exchange. The students were lead by Brian Ruiz who pitched majority of the game and had two home runs against the staff. The defense was led by early college student Josh Daberkow and Trent Hill, whose family including his mother, wife, and child cheer him on throughout the match. Hill killed multiple attempts by the staff to take the lead by snagging two monster hits by Coach Eggleston. Brain Ruiz sealed the game for the students after throwing out Dr. Dryden out at first base. “I think we did really good, we worked together, we played, and we had fun,”Ruiz stated. 

When asked about the further continuation of the Staff v. Students series, he commented, “Well last year we had this softball game and that was very successful and we had a volleyball game that was very successful so we could do something like that or basketball we’ll have to see what Student Senate wants to work out but we’re definitely interested in doing more of these games.” 

Lady Commodores earn three wins in four matches at Shannon McBride Invitational

Special to The Collegian

Sept. 8, 2018 — In four matches over two days this weekend at Lakeland CC — host of the annual Shannon McBride Invitational — the Lorain County Community College volleyball team performed extremely well, winning its first three matches against Mott (MI) CC, Macomb (MI) CC and Cedarville JV, before losing in five sets to St. Clair (MI) CC.

     On Friday evening, the Lady Commodores defeated Mott CC, in four sets, 25-18, 25-14, 23-25, 28-26. LCCC then won a five-set match over Macomb CC, 25-19, 20-25, 25-17, 25-27, 15-5.

     On Saturday, LCCC earned a straight-set victory over Cedarville JV, 25-9, 25-17, 25-16 in the only three-set match of the four contests.  The team suffered its only tournament loss against St. Clair CC in five very competitive sets, 26-24, 25-20, 16-25, 24-26, 12-15.  Both teams entered the match with undefeated 3-0 records in the tournament.

     Freshman setter/hitter Kara Sullinger (North Ridgeville/North Ridgeville) completed an outstanding tournament with team-highs of 50 kills, 74 assists and was very accurate with 14 service aces in the four matches. Freshman Maddie Markovich (Sheffield Village/Christian Community) added 67 assists, forming a strong one-two punch with Sullinger, combining for 141 tournament assists.

     Sophomore defensive specialist Angela Dunn (Fairview Park/Fairview) amassed a whopping 103 digs in the tournament, an average of 25.75 digs per match (and 6+ per set).  

Alumna caters to success

Erin Dweik
Staff Writer

Shontae Jackson is a steel magnolia. Steel magnolia describes a woman who exemplifies both traditional femininity and uncommon fortitude. Owning a food truck, cooking her signature jerk chicken dish and serving it from the side window, has been a dream of Jackson’s for as long as she can remember.  She has overcome several challenges to earn a college degree from LCCC and is grateful for the long, arduous road that she traveled to achieve her dreams. She earned her associate degree of business, with a concentration in culinary arts and chef designation. Jackson credits LCCC with providing her, “The education, opportunity and support that enabled her to become the genuine, role-model entrepreneur and small business owner that she is today.” 

Jackson won first place at the 2014 NEO LaunchNet Burton D. Morgan Foundation competition. Janice Lapina, program director of NEO LaunchNET Burton D. Morgan Foundation, worked with her every step of the way. “She overcame a lot of obstacles and was able to finish her degree and become a successful business owner,” said Lapina. 

Woman’s Link and NEO LaunchNet Burton D. Morgan Foundation helped Jackson get on the path to her dreams. “I did not know how powerful I was,” she said, “I didn’t know what was inside of me.”
        Jackson’s first job, at the age of 14 years-old, was bussing tables at Kendal of Oberlin, a retirement community. She has dealt with several challenges including a diagnoses  of Sarcoidosis. “To make more money, I should not be angry about my life situation,” said Jackson, “I should just get more education as in a college degree.” Even while facing extraordinary obstacles she was determined to continue her education. 

Jackson has always wanted to leave a legacy. “I have always wanted my own business,” she said, “to leave a legacy and to have ownership of something.” Taking classes at LCCC led her to earning a degree in business. In 2014, Jackson enrolled as a student in the LCCC’s Culinary Arts Institute. The LCCC culinary program, taught by professional chef-instructors, introduced Jackson to healthy, flavorful foods. Chef Adam Schmith, director of the LCCC Culinary Arts Institute, and Chef Bradley Ball, instructor would say, “Hold on Shontae,” she said, “what if you try this?”  Continuing her education has taught Jackson volumes. “You have everything you need to live your dream,” she said, “but first you have to get over your fear.” Jackson believes that fear and the ability to not be teachable can create barriers to success. The key to her success at college was the quality of being teachable. By that Jackson means to listen and keep quiet, be humble, and listen to explanations. “Learning to be teachable, trusting, and fearless is the recipe for succeeding in business and your entire life,” said Jackson. She encourages other students to be teachable. “Keep your mind and ears open because they want to help you here (at LCCC),” said Jackson, “they want to pull the most out of you and this requires students to be teachable.”