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Laker Nation News

New Foundation and Alumni Center construction bids and funding approved

Posted on December 10, 2019

The Lake Land College Board of Trustees approved funding and construction bids for the new Foundation and Alumni Center during the regular December 9, 2020 meeting.

“The Foundation and Alumni do so much for our students, our college and our community. We are very pleased to partner with the Foundation to create a new center that not only recognizes their contributions but welcomes alumni home to their alma mater,” Lake Land College Board Chair Doris Reynolds said.

Trustees approved several bids and committed $725,000 toward the $2.2 million project. The Foundation will contribute $1.5 million from the Neal Charitable Lead Trust, a discretionary fund created for operational needs, separate from scholarship funds.

“We are very excited to have a generous donation from the Neal Charitable Lead Trust to invest in the new center,” Executive Director for College Advancement Christina Donsbach said.

The facility will serve as a welcoming center to alumni and guests of the Foundation and facilitate a connection between current students and the Alumni office as the Center will host various student events throughout the year. The new center will also provide a central location for the College Advancement staff that includes foundation and alumni.

The renderings call for a large event room that will have glass doors that open onto Alumni Park. Events can be planned for guests to fluidly move between the beautiful park grounds and indoor space.

Construction is expected to begin in early spring with a completion date of August 2020.

Lake Land College Students Receive First Place at College Broadcasters Inc. Conference

Posted on December 4, 2019

Dylan Smith, Charleston, and Logan Hardesty, Neoga, received first place in Best Hard News Audio Reporting, becoming the first Lake Land College students to place in the College Broadcasters Inc. annual conference held in St. Louis in early November.

From left to right, Greg Powers, speech communication/broadcasting instructor, accompanies students, Dylan Smith, Charleston, and Logan Hardesty, Neoga, upon receiving first place in Best Hard News Audio Reporting, becoming the first Lake Land College students to place in the College Broadcasters Inc. annual conference.

Not only were both Hardesty and Smith the first Lake Land College students to receive awards from the College Broadcaster Inc. national annual conference, both students were the only community college students to place at the conference this year.

Divided into 30 categories and more than 1,100 entries from across the country, it is difficult to place in the College Broadcasters Inc. awards.

“Our students were mainly competing against four year institutions,” Greg Powers, speech communication/broadcasting instructor, said.

The two students spent five weeks bringing the project from conception to the final product, including a six hour long editing period.

“I still can’t grasp being #1 in the whole United States. There were four nominations and a lot of entries, so it’s kind of unbelievable and shocking to win,” Smith said.

“I wasn’t expecting it, it’s surreal to think that we could have won,” Hardesty said. “But it also adds more pressure because I know I can’t put out mediocre work after winning a national award.”

To learn more about the Radio-TV Broadcasting program at Lake Land College, visit lakelandcollege.edu/high-demand-programs/radio-tv-broadcasting/ or contact Powers at 217-234-5335 or gpowers@lakelandcollege.edu.

High School Students Receive Lake Land College Tuition Waiver

Posted on December 2, 2019

Six in-district high school students were selected for a Lake Land College tuition waiver at the recently held Manufacturing Day in Effingham County. Waiver recipients were selected following the Manufacturing Day event which is one of several events held across the nation to inspire students to consider careers in modern manufacturing.

Six in-district high school students were selected for a Lake Land College tuition waiver at the recently held Manufacturing Day in Effingham County. Pictured from left to right are tuition waiver winners Kelli Stuemke and Mackenzie Boles, both of Altamont High School.

Recipients of the tuition waiver are Josh Bowlin, Effingham High School; Gabriel Schuette, Effingham High School; Lane Mietzner, Effingham High School; Mackenzie Boles, Altamont High School; Kelli Stuemke, Altamont High School; and Xaden Childress, Beecher City High School.

The new waiver, designed to reach students interested in the high demand manufacturing industry, will help students achieve the goal of accessing a fulfilling career in the local area.

“Providing students with this tuition waiver is an incredible way for Lake Land to help encourage students interested in a manufacturing career to attend college and explore the opportunities available to them,” Lisa Shumard-Shelton, director of dual credit and honors experience, said.

The waiver is for the amount of tuition up to three credit hours. The waiver can be used for any Lake Land College credit based course and must be used for the summer 2020, fall 2020 and/or spring 2021 semesters. Students are responsible for all related fees.

For more information about Lake Land College and the dual credit opportunities available, visit lakelandcollege.edu/dual-credit or contact Shelton at 217-234-5044 or lshumard-shelton@lakelandcollege.edu.

Lake Land College Announces GED Class Schedule

Posted on November 26, 2019

Lake Land College’s Adult Education is offering GED classes throughout the Lake Land College district beginning the second week of January. Classes are 100 percent federally funded thanks to the U.S. Department of Education.

The class orientation locations and dates are as follows:

  • Arthur – Arthur Public Library, 225 S. Walnut St. – Tuesday, Jan. 7, 4 p.m.
  • Charleston – Coles County Health Dept., 825 18th St., Tuesday, Jan. 7, 4 p.m.
  • Effingham – Lake Land College Kluthe Center, 1204 Network Centre Blvd., Tuesday, Jan. 7, 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Marshall – Lake Land College Eastern Region Center, 224 S. 6th St., Monday, Jan. 6, 4 p.m.
  • Mattoon – Lake Land College Workforce Development Center, 305 Richmond Ave. E., Wednesday, Jan. 8, 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Pana – Lake Land College Western Region Center, 600 E. 1st St., Thursday, Jan. 9, 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Paris – First United Methodist Church, 324 W. Court St., Thursday, Jan. 9, 4 p.m.
  • Shelbyville – Shelbyville High School, Pathways Classroom, 1001 W. North 6th St., Monday, Jan. 6, 4 p.m.

For these GED classes, students’ tuition will be waived and all class materials will be provided. To find a GED class near you, to find more information or to register call 217-238-8292 or email adulteducation@lakelandcollege.edu.

Like and follow the Lake Land College Adult Education Facebook page for an up to date look at what classes are available.

Laker shortstop to play for Thailand national baseball team at SEA Games

Posted on November 25, 2019

Laker shortstop and second baseman Oliver Dunn, Melbourne, Australia, will travel to the Philippines in early December to play for the Thailand national baseball team at the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

Laker shortstop and second baseman Oliver Dunn, Melbourne, Australia, will travel to the Philippines in early December to play for the Thailand national baseball team at the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. Pictured, Dunn hitting during an early morning practice in the Lake Land College Field House.

The SEA Games is a biennial multi-sport event involving more than 10,000 athletes from 11 countries that make up Southeast Asia. The games, under supervision by the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Council of Asia, first began in 1959 to promote cooperation and understanding of the Southeast Asian region through regional sports. Throughout the more than 50 year history of the games, Thailand sits at the top of the medal ranking with more than 5,800 gold, silver and bronze medals.

“The SEA Games is a tournament in its own for smaller countries that may not be able to play in the Olympics,” Dunn said. “It’s a good chance for athletes from smaller countries to play internationally.

“I’m expecting this to be a pretty fun experience. Apart from watching athletes from across the world play professional level sports like basketball, I’m most excited to be able to play in front of my parents. They’ve not been able to watch me play for two years now.”

Dunn, a sophomore at Lake Land College, revealed that his passion for baseball began at the age of eight through his dad.

“My dad played state baseball as well in Australia and basically taught me everything I know from when I was a young age,” Dunn said. “He coached baseball from his twenties to his thirties so I learned a lot from him.”

During his early academic years, Dunn played for the state baseball league of Victoria before moving to the United States to play college baseball at Bay de Noc Community College in Michigan. Between transferring from Bay de Noc to Lake Land College in summer 2019, he traveled throughout Thailand and China playing baseball.

“At the end of last spring, I was contacted by an MLB scout in Australia that has connections in the Southeast Asia community. The Thailand national baseball team was looking for more half Thai players. From there I went to Thailand for two months and China for a month as a try-out for the team,” Dunn said.

Dunn’s father is from Australia and his mother was born in Thailand making him eligible to play for the Thailand national baseball team through his mother’s lineage.

Not only does a passion for baseball run through the family, the talent to play almost anywhere on the field keeps Dunn perfecting the sport and improving upon his skills.

“I’ve pitched a little bit and played every in-field position as well,” Dunn said. “I prefer to play shortstop a lot more because I’m able to read the ball better than any other position in the field, but I’m also pretty confident at second base as well because the positions are pretty similar.”

Pictured, Dunn warms-up before the Homecoming game at Grimes Field in late September.

Dunn plans to harness his talent at Lake Land College with a high chance to play more games than on previous teams.

“My experience at Lake Land has been positive so far. Up in Michigan, the snow stopped us from playing a lot, so down here I’ll be able to play more than 50 games in the spring.” Dunn said. “Putting in practice at 6 a.m. every day and late practices is a grind, but it’s something that I find fun sharing with the guys. A lot of good friendships are coming out of this.”

“I’m very excited for Oliver to have the opportunity to play for the Thailand national baseball team. This opportunity is a badge of honor for Oliver as well as the Lake Land College sports community to see one of their own play at this level,” Mike Rudibaugh, geography/earth science instructor, said. “Oliver is a very hardworking student in the classroom and I would assume this is matched by his hard work on the field to play the game he loves.

“The cultural growth Oliver will experience to learn about another country, cultural traditions and style of play will only help the Lake Land College community as Oliver can bring these experiences back to Illinois in the spring.”

Lake Land College to Celebrate Grand Reopening of the Luther Student Center

Posted on November 18, 2019

The Lake Land College Board of Trustees invites all Laker alumni and community members to attend the Grand Reopening of the Luther Student Center on Thursday, Dec. 5. The open house will run from 3-6:30 p.m. with the Rededication Ceremony held at 5:30 p.m.

The Luther Student Center will be rededicated to Lake Land’s fourth and longest serving president, Dr. Robert K. Luther.

“Serving from 1988-2006, Dr. Luther fostered a culture of innovation and student-centeredness, strengthened the college’s financial foundation, greatly enhanced the beautiful campus we have today and brought national acclaim to our academic excellence. It is with great pleasure that we rededicate the Luther Student Center in honor of Dr. Luther and his vision of Lake Land College with a strong focus on student success,” Dr. Josh Bullock, Lake Land College president, said.

The Luther Student Center is located on the west side of Lake Land’s main campus in Mattoon. Bullock said it has been more than 20 years since Lake Land first identified the need to renovate and add space to the facility and there is great pride in seeing this project come to fruition. The newly constructed addition to the Luther Student Center adds 18,000 square feet to the existing renovated space of 28,000 square feet.

The state-of-the-art facility provides current and prospective students easier access to many college services under one roof. The Luther Student Center now houses the following departments: Admissions & Records, Counseling Services, Career Services, Student Life, TRiO Student Support Services, TRiO Destination College, Financial Aid, Accounting, Laker Nest Bookstore, Lake Land College Theater, Laker Point and the Lake Land College Police Department.

Guests of the open house and ceremony will tour the breathtaking Luther Student Center and campus, enjoy refreshments and visit with the Lake Land College community.

For more information about the grand reopening contact Jean Anne Grunloh, senior executive to the president, at 217-234-5222 or jgrunloh@lakelandcollege.edu.

Lake Land College Community Choir Holiday Concert

Posted on November 11, 2019

The Lake Land College Community Choir will present a holiday concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24 in the Lake Land College Theater.

Musical selections from the Broadway musical The Pajama Game will open the concert with a blast of “Steam Heat!” The choir will sing an updated arrangement of the “Ukrainian Bell Carol” and a setting of “Patapan” with piano four-hands accompaniment, as well as a breathtaking piece combining “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night.” Traditional carols such as “Good King Wenceslas” and “Bring a Torch, Jeannette Isabella” will round out the program. A trumpet and drum combo with Amanda Moloney, Vandalia, and Alek Mann, Mattoon, will join the choir for jazzy settings of “We Three Kings” and “Ding Dong Merrily on High.” The concert will close with “Glow,” written and made famous by Paris, Illinois native Brett Eldredge.

A reception will follow in the dining area at the College.

Under the direction of Nancy Caldwell, music instructor, the Community Choir is a choir of mixed voices including students from the college as well as members of surrounding communities such as Mattoon, Charleston, Effingham, Neoga, Arthur, Sigel and Lovington. Randy Imig of St. Elmo accompanies the choir. The Community Choir was formed in January of 1998 and performs two concerts annually.

The concert is free and open to the public.

For more information about the holiday concert and the Lake Land College Community Choir, contact Caldwell at 217-234-5464 or ncaldwel@lakelandcollege.edu.

Renowned Genetics Educator to Speak at Lake Land College

Posted on November 8, 2019

World-renowned human genetics educator Sam Rhine will host a Genetic Update Conference at Lake Land College, Tuesday, Nov. 26 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Luther Student Center Theater.

The conference will focus on genomic medicine including growing organs in a lab and gene editing to cure disease. The conference, sponsored by the Lake Land College Math and Science Division, will be open to students, teachers, parents and the community. Many schools bring their AP and honors biology students to the conference. The cost is free to Lake Land College students, faculty and staff and $20 for other attendees.

Described by experts in the human genetics field as the most effective human genetics educator in America today, Rhine is the director of the Genetics Education Center near Indianapolis. He received the “Honorary Membership Award” by the National Association of Biology Teachers. The award is recognized as the highest honor bestowed on members of the profession and is awarded annually.

Rhine has made more than 8,500 presentations to more than 3.75 million teenagers in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Rhine is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Indiana in Bloomington in the Department of Applied Health Science where he teaches a summer class on “Causes and Prevention of Birth Defects.” He also teaches summer classes at the University of St. Thomas in Houston and the University of Texas Pan AM campus in Edinburg, Texas. He has lectured in Toronto, Montreal, London, Prague, Vienna, Tokyo, Nairobi, Kenya and St. Petersburg, Russia.

Registration will be accepted through the morning of the conference. Attendees are not required to stay for the entire presentation and can enter the theater at any time. For more information or to register call 800-727-2315 or visit samrhine.com.

Contact Lake Land College Biology Instructor Brenda Hunzinger with any additional questions at 217-234-5365 or bhunzing@lakelandcollege.edu.

Lake Land College FEA club to host Grinch themed Kids’ Night Out

Posted on November 7, 2019

The Lake Land College Future Educators of America (FEA) club will host a Grinch themed Kids’ Night Out event on Friday, Nov. 22 from 5-8 p.m. in the Field House.

The event welcomes children ages 5-12 with Grinch-inspired activities including pin-the-heart-on-the-Grinch, face painting and crafts. The Grinch himself will even be present for a meet and greet and photos. Parents are encouraged to attend the event and join in on the fun-filled night.

A showing of the 2018 animated film “The Grinch” will play on a large screen at 6 p.m. Children and parents are welcome to wear comfortable pajamas or Christmas attire and bring pillows and blankets to lie on. Light snacks including popcorn, hot chocolate and fruit snacks will be provided.

The cost will be $5 per child and $15 for families with three or more children. Maximum capacity is 60 children. Pre-register by Nov. 15 by contacting Holly Koester, education specialist, at 217-234-5426 or hkoester34776@lakelandcollege.edu.

Aspen Institute Names Lake Land College as a Top 150 U.S. Community College

Posted on November 5, 2019

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named Lake Land College as one of the top 150 community colleges in the nation. This is the fourth time Lake Land College has received this recognition. Selection in the top 15% of community colleges in the nation is based on strong and improving student outcomes—in learning, completion rates, employment rates and earnings and equity.

“This is quite a remarkable achievement for Lake Land College. Assisting students in reaching their goals is the anchor to all that we do at Lake Land College. We continuously evaluate programs and services and develop enhancements to create an excellent learning environment for our students. Receiving this honor from the Aspen Institute for the fourth time in less than a decade spotlights the outstanding collaboration and commitment our faculty, staff and trustees demonstrate on a daily basis,” Lake Land College President Josh Bullock said.

“The 150 community colleges named today were selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide using publicly available data on student outcomes. Located in 39 states in urban, rural and suburban areas, serving as few as 500 students to as many as 75,000 students, these colleges represent the diversity and depth of the community college sector,” the institute stated in a news release.    

Data show that over the last two years, student retention, graduation rates and degree completion have improved at the top tier of 150 Aspen Prize-eligible colleges.

“Community colleges play a vital role in developing talent and enabling social mobility across the country, and it’s critical for them to get better at what they do,” Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute college excellence program, said. “We’re pleased to see evidence that these institutions are improving, that more are delivering on their promise. We’re also pleased to play a role in honoring outstanding community colleges and sharing what works to ensure great outcomes for students—through graduation and beyond.”

For more information, visit aspeninstitute.org.

To learn more about Lake Land College visit lakelandcollege.edu.

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