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Laker Nation News

Lake Land College NSLS Inducts New Members

Posted on June 3, 2020

The National Society for Leadership and Success at Lake Land College welcomed several new members in May. The society offers these students the opportunity to be part of a nationally recognized organization providing access to some of the country’s top leaders.

The Lake Land College chapter of NSLS would like to welcome Abigail Held of Charleston, Alanson Gann of Paris, Alex Carter of Lerna, Alissa Smith of Farina, Amanda Philips of Charleston, Andrea Buell of Charleston, Annika Slabaugh of Arthur, Annika Wood of West Union, Bailey Drummond of Kansas, Blake Schumann of Kampsville, Brianna Ulmer of Greenville, Brittaney Douglas of Mattoon, Courtney Lee of Shelbyville, Creed Hudson of Greenup, Daniel Medel of Greenup, Darrell Phillips III of Charleston, Ella Lanman of Charleston, Emmalee Sherwood of Charleston, Gunnar Scott of Marshall, Hanna Kucharczyk of Champaign, Hannah Doll of Neoga, Heather Kistner of Neoga, Jaycie Schertz of El Paso, Jenna Slaughter of Tuscola, Jessica Webster of Effingham, Julie Stefanski of Beecher City, Kailynn Bobbett of Findlay, Kaitlyn Leonard of Lovington, Kelby Adams of Mattoon, Kirsten Morris of Quincy, IN, Lane Himes of Brownstown, Larry Parke of Charleston, Lauren Obrien of Mattoon, Lexi Luebkemann of Red Bud, Lindzie Douglas of Mattoon, Loren Eaton of Lerna, Macey Heselton of Herrick, Madison Buscher of Effingham, Meliah Hennings of Shelbyville, Miriam Tait of Shelbyville, Olga Hernandez of Effingham, Patrick Lines of Shelbyville, Shelbie Kile of Marshall, Stephanie Bollino of Neoga, Steve Elam of Mattoon and Teri-Rae Long of Paris.

With nearly 500 chapters and more than 525,000 members nationwide NSLS, Sigma Alpha Pi, is the largest collegiate leadership honor society in the U.S. NSLS provides its members access to a five-step leadership program on campus as well as honoring excellence. Members will develop skills within the five-step program to inspire success even after college. As members, students will have access to education and programs from some of the top leaders in America including Rudy Giuliani, Arianna Huffington, Common, Carly Fiorina, and several others. Scholarship and other awards are also available to these members.

To be nominated for the society, students must have a GPA of at least 2.75, be involved in at least one campus activity and have completed at least 15 credit hours. Upon accepting the nomination and paying one-time membership dues, students must complete an orientation day, attend leadership training day and view three video presentations that consist of success networking team meetings and speaker broadcasts. Upon completing these tasks, students will be officially inducted. For more information visit www.societyleadership.org.


Kathy Black receives LLCFA Outstanding Service Award

Posted on May 20, 2020

Lake Land College honored Kathy Black, division chair business/business instructor, as the 2020 recipient of the Faculty Association Outstanding Service Award. After 23 years of service to Lake Land College, Black will be retiring at the end of August.

Lake Land College honored Kathy Black, division chair business/business instructor, as the 2020 recipient of the Faculty Association Outstanding Service Award.

Several members of the Lake Land College Faculty Association nominated Black for the award.

Black said her fondest memory was how much friendlier the students were than at other places she has taught. On her first day at Lake Land College, Black recalled a student holding a door open for her, something that had not happened previously in her teaching.

Twenty-three years later, Black has contributed a great deal to Lake Land College with her work as a member of many teams and committees including but not limited to the Academic Calendar Committee and Faculty Association Social Committee, both of which she served on for the entire 23 years she was at Lake Land College. Black also participated on the Curriculum Committee for 18 years and was actively involved in accreditation from 2001 to 2020 serving as co-chair since 2010.

“I believe strongly that interacting socially with colleagues outside the college is important in fostering positive working relationships,” Black said. “My service to the Faculty Association, as well as my division’s party planning has been never-ending.”

Under Black’s leadership as the division chair, business faculty developed several new innovative academic programs and initiated service learning projects such as the IT Garden on campus and Tech Assistance to Seniors.

Kathy Black co-led a team that twice successfully navigated the college’s accreditation process with the Higher Learning Commission.

Still more of Black’s accomplishments include coordinating and overseeing the Business & Computer Contest, beginning the first texting campaign to students, developing the peer-to-peer program on campus and serving as senior division chair.

Also active in her community, Black is a member of 100 women who care, a women’s philanthropic group along with professional organizations such as the Eastern Illinois Business Education Association, the Illinois Business Education Association and the National Business Education Association. She participates in many activities within the United Methodist church as well.

Black’s plans for her retirement include staying active, travelling, volunteering and growing in her faith.


Lake Land College’s Navigator News Staff Receive ICCJA Awards

Posted on May 13, 2020

Six staff members of Lake Land College’s award winning newspaper, The Navigator News, recently received awards from the Illinois Community College Journalism Association (ICCJA) in a contest judged by professional journalists across Illinois.

Lake Land College’s award-winning newspaper, The Navigator News, is produced by students for students every month during the fall and spring semesters.

Matthew Harvey, Chicago, won First Place Sports Column. Abigail Buenker, Effingham, won First Place Sports Feature. Harry Reynolds, Mattoon, won Second Place News Column. Madelyn Kidd, Neoga, won Second Place Arts Review. Michael Grovier, Charleston, won Third Place News Photo. Chase Austin, Altamont, received Honorable Mention in Sports News and Graphics. In addition, the entire staff of The Navigator News received Honorable Mention for General Excellence.

The recipients were recognized at the annual ICCJA Spring Conference held virtually through Facebook. This allowed student journalists across the state to learn from informative videos along with celebrating the award winners.

Lake Land College’s award-winning newspaper, The Navigator News, is produced by students for students every month during the fall and spring semesters. Combining news, features, sports, entertainment, and information about upcoming events, the eight to 12 page tabloid covers many areas of interest at Lake Land College.



Julian Larry named Lake Land College men’s basketball coach

Posted on May 11, 2020

At the May board meeting, the Lake Land College Board of Trustees appointed Assistant Coach Julian Larry as head men’s basketball coach. Larry was a part of the basketball program for four years and also served as an outreach advisor for the TRiO Destination College program.

Larry has been serving as the co-head coach following the resignation of head coach Brandon Colvin in March.

Not only did Larry say he is excited about the opportunity to transition into his new role as head coach of the men’s basketball team, he will also be taking on a new role within the college as the Perkins program specialist.

“I will have more responsibilities,” Larry said. “I know there will be challenges that will arise, but I’m excited to begin leading the basketball program in a new direction and bring new energy and enthusiasm to the team. I am also looking forward to helping college students graduate and move into their career fields in my new position as Perkins program specialist.”

What Larry said he is most looking forward to is helping the young men become leaders and positive contributors in the community. It was his connection to young male student athletes that Larry felt made him ideal for the position.

“I am relatable to the guys on the team and what they go through during their time as student athletes in college,” Larry said. “I am a player’s coach so I understand what student athletes need to be successful.  I want my passion and enthusiasm for life to pass on to my current and future players.”

Prior to coming to Lake Land College, Larry spent two years under former head coach Colvin at Dakota College at Bottinau. Also during his time at Dakota College at Bottinau, he was an academic advisor for all students, intramural sports director and director of retention. Before that, Larry was the assistant basketball coach and served as the program coordinator for a minority males program at Catawba Valley Community College for two years.

Larry received a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and university studies from Dickinson State University. Beginning his coaching career at Dickinson State University, the same university where Larry finished his playing career, Larry said some of his most rewarding moments are seeing student athletes walk across the stage at graduation.

Moving forward, Larry said he has completed the 2020 recruiting class during the time of quarantine. Signing eight student athletes to the roster from all over the world, Larry said he cannot wait to get to work for the upcoming school year.

“I want the men’s basketball program to be positive influences in the community,” Larry said. “I look forward to building those relationships.”



New Dual Credit Program Provides Opportunities To Area High School Students

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At the May meeting, the Lake Land College Board of Trustees approved a new program designed to increase high school students’ opportunities to create a successful path to a college education by increasing access to dual credit courses. The Lake Land College Dual Credit Program Access Incentive, beginning Fall 2020, provides program fee waivers to schools in order to assist in-district high school students who may not be able to afford dual credit coursework.

Dual credit coursework allows high school students to earn both high school and college credits simultaneously. This approach lets high school students begin earning college credits earlier, and often encourages them to continue their education at an institution of higher learning after high school.

The new program was designed to alleviate equity gaps identified by both Lake Land College and partner high school districts. While dual credit students are not charged regular tuition, Lake Land College does charge a fee of $18.42 per credit hour to partner high school districts. Most high schools then pass that fee on to the student, thus creating the equity gap.

This incentive will provide Dual Credit Program fee waivers to schools beginning with the Fall 2020 semester in the amount of the number of enrolled to in-district high school students eligible for free and reduced lunch via the National School Lunch Program. The goal is to relieve the financial burden of paying for Dual Credit coursework for these students.

Research conducted by the Lake Land College Dual Credit Program in partnership with area high schools, found several students do not enroll in dual credit courses due to the financial commitment of the college-level courses. The purpose of dual credit classes is to increase access to higher education and raise the likelihood that those students will continue in higher education. The Dual Credit Program Access Initiative will further those goals and open opportunities to students who may not otherwise be able to enroll. The incentive also provides in-district high school students the chance to explore Lake Land College’s many academic and career pathways as they consider their future goals.


“The Dual Credit program is just one of the numerous ways in which Lake Land College provides educational opportunities that meet the needs of students, families, educational partners and area businesses,” President Josh Bullock said. “There is enormous potential to elevate the skill and educational attainment of residents to fuel the advancement of our local economy.”



Lake Land College Celebrates Virtual Commencement Ceremony

Posted on May 5, 2020

Lake Land College is pleased to announce it will be honoring graduates at the first-ever Lake Land College Virtual Commencement Ceremony on June 18, 2020 at 6 p.m.

Graduates will soon receive a Laker Grad Pack in the mail with celebratory gifts from the college and Alumni Association, as well as a cap, tassel and diploma cover.

Information on how graduates can upload photos and name pronunciation to participate in the virtual ceremony will be shared via Lake Land College email addresses as well as on the website and social media. Graduates are asked to take note of the deadlines which are May 26 for the phonetic submission and June 5 for the registration and photo submission.

Earlier in the semester, the college had to make the difficult decision to cancel the traditional commencement ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Student Government Association suggested several options and college leaders researched how best to celebrate with graduates and their families.

Lake Land College President Josh Bullock announced the virtual ceremony to the college community in a Bullock Broadcast.

“We are thrilled to be able to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of the Laker Nation Class of 2020 at the college’s first-ever Virtual Commencement Ceremony,”  Bullock said. “We have so much admiration for these graduates. Completing a college degree or certificate is a milestone worthy of great celebration in the best of circumstances, but succeeding during the unexpected transition to a virtual environment is remarkable and very worthy of celebration.”

The virtual ceremony will include many aspects of the traditional commencement ceremony, such as speakers, recognition of awards and the reading of graduates’ names along with a slide featuring a photo and degree.

“We want to be sure that graduates understand they have the opportunity to upload a photo of themselves and call in the pronunciation of their names for the virtual ceremony,” Bullock said. “Graduates, please be sure to check your Laker Mail for additional information.”

The information will also be shared online at  lakelandcollege.edu/admissions/graduation.


Lake Land College classes available during intersession

Posted on April 30, 2020

Lake Land College still has openings for some of the online courses available during the three-week intersession from May 18 to June 3. These courses are a great way to earn transferable credits in a short timeframe.

The classes with openings still available include Understanding Art, Biotechnology in Society, Principles of Econ I (Macro), Principles of Econ II (Micro), Composition I, Physical Geography, Responding to Emergencies, Principles of Health, History/Culture of Third World, Intro to Film Appreciation, Statistics, Ethics, American National Government, Intro to Psychology, Strategies for Success and Introduction to Sociology.

Beginning May 18, Intersession offers students the opportunity to pick up a quick class or two while still having time to enjoy the summer. To begin the enrollment process, those interested may visit lakelandcollege.edu/enroll. After completing a Laker Profile and Intent to Enroll, the student will receive a Welcome Letter in the mail about completing online New Student Orientation and important student ID information.

Students attending other colleges may also take classes at Lake Land College as non-degree students. They must complete the Laker Profile and Intent to Enroll, however they do not have to attend orientation or receive advisement to register. As soon as the Intent is processed, the student will receive a Welcome Packet in the mail with important information regarding student ID and login information.

All Intersession courses will be offered online. For assistance, individuals can contact Counseling Services at 217-234-5232 or email counsel@lakelandcollege.edu. All students are advised to begin the Financial Aid process for summer by completing the 2019-2020 FAFSA at fafsa.gov. Future students may also contact the financial aid office at financialaid@lakelandcollege.edu.

Lake Land College is committed to providing a supportive enrollment process to all new and returning students in the virtual environment.



Collaboration Addresses Need For Personal Protective Equipment

Posted on April 28, 2020

Lake Land College teamed up with Pilson Auto Center in Mattoon to produce much-needed face shields for Sarah Bush Lincoln.

Lake Land College teamed up with Pilson Auto Center in Mattoon to produce much-needed face shields for Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center. Pictured are Emergency Management Coordinator for Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center Mike Schwenke, Lake Land College Emergency Services Program Coordinator Jasmine Ballard, Patient Care Leader at 2 South Nursing Unit Sara Heater, General Manager of Pilson’s Auto Center Mike Crews, and Integrator at Pilson’s Auto Center Josh Butler.

Seeing a rapidly growing need for face shields in the emergency department, critical care unit and 2 South nursing unit where respiratory patients are cared for at Sarah Bush Lincoln, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Mike Schwenke, Laker Nation Class of 2010, reached out to Lake Land College Emergency Services Program Coordinator Jasmine Ballard for assistance.

“It’s just such a huge need,” Ballard said. “I knew immediately that as a college, we would want to help.”

Ballard presented the idea to Lake Land College President Josh Bullock and Print and Mail Services Supervisor David Earp, who realized the Print Shop’s digital flatbed cutter would be the perfect tool to cut plastic into the needed shapes for the face shields.

“Lake Land College is proud to partner with these organizations to make a difference to the true heroes in this story: the brave men and women who are providing care in the emergency room and on the nursing units at Sarah Bush Lincoln,” Lake Land College President Josh Bullock said.

”We are so thankful to all the healthcare professionals in our area and throughout the nation. We are especially proud of the nearly 7,400 Laker Alumni working in the healthcare field.”

When contacted about the situation, Pilson Auto Center generously collaborated with Lake Land College to provide the funds necessary to purchase the rest of the materials for the shields.

“We simply wanted to help,” Pilson Auto Center Vice President Jamie Pilson said. “This community has been great to us for nearly 40 years, and our purpose is to make a positive impact on the lives of our team, customers and communities we serve.”

Coming alongside Lake Land College and Pilson Auto Center in the endeavor, Libman Company in Arcola offered the use of its distribution line to construct the shields. Although that was not needed, the college did take advantage of Libman’s connections to vendors when the necessary supplies became scarce.

“We had access to materials that we might not have had otherwise,” Ballard said.

Earp, along with David Vogel, William Lenz and Jimmie Perry, worked diligently to construct the shields and get them ready to deliver to Sarah Bush Lincoln. Earp said he and his staff took every precaution they could to be certain the shields remain sanitary, wearing facemasks and gloves any time the shields were handled. The shields were cut on a digital flatbed cutter and assembled by the team. They created 480 face shields in six business days!

“Any time that you can help out people in need, it feels good,” Earp said. “For us to be able to adjust on the fly and help out the community, especially to be able to help protect our healthcare providers that are taking care of all the sick, my staff and I are proud to be able to stand up and help our community.”

Schwenke expressed a great deal of gratitude to everyone who has contributed to Sarah Bush Lincoln at such a difficult time. “The whole team has just been so amazing and so accommodating,” Schwenke said. “The community support we’ve gotten is just fantastic. Words cannot describe how thankful we are for the community involvement and community outreach during this pandemic. We couldn’t do it without everybody’s support. We truly are one team conquering one event.”



CARES Act to provide relief to students

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The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has allocated funding to colleges and universities, including Lake Land College, to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.

Eligible expenses are those included under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare and child care.

Lake Land College will be accepting applications for emergency financial aid grants from students who are currently enrolled in the Spring 2020 semester who completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process as per guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Education. These students may submit a request via the Laker Hub for emergency funds up to $1,000 regardless of the amount of financial aid previously awarded.

CARES grants will also be available again for students enrolling in Summer 2020 who have completed a 2019-2020 FAFSA. The application for summer grants will be available June 1, so students enrolling in Summer courses still have time to complete their 2019-2020 FAFSA.

Lake Land College is also slated to receive additional funding through the CARES Act for institutional expenses. The college is waiting for guidance from the Department of Education regarding how those funds can be used.



Dave Johnson named IBCA Co-Head Coach of the Year

Posted on April 24, 2020

The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association named Lake Land College Women’s Basketball Head Coach Dave Johnson Collegiate Co-Head Coach of the Year.

This marks the third time Johnson has received this honor, with the first being in 2001, and the second in 2012. Having coached basketball at Lake Land College for 22 of his 31 years as a coach, Johnson said he felt very honored to receive this recognition from the IBCA.

“It is rewarding to be acknowledged by your fellow basketball coaches,” Johnson said. “I share the award with my team and assistant coaches.”

The Lake Land College Women’s Basketball team also had a very rewarding season, setting a new program record of 30 wins throughout the season. The team also achieved their highest seed to date, being named No 4 seed in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II National Tournament.

Though the tournament was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Johnson said he was very proud the team had qualified for the national tournament with all the hard work the players and coaching staff put in.

“They continued to work hard and improve game after game,” Johnson said of the team. “It was very satisfying to see all their hard work pay off.”

Moving forward, Johnson said he will continue to take a similar approach to the Lake Land College basketball program.

“We will recruit tremendous student athletes,” Johnson said. “When they start at Lake Land we will work very hard to improve their academic and athletic skills.”


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