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Do you have a special Lakeland memory to share? Your memory may be published on the website to share with others. Submissions may be edited for length and grammar.
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Rich Peterson
Vice President of Business Development
Astro Manufacturing & Design
Eastlake, OH

As a young veteran fresh out of the Air Force in June of 1967, I had the privilege of signing up for the very first Lakeland classes in September of 1967. I signed up in a storefront building in Mentor, and using my GI bill, I attended evening classes in Painesville and, eventually, the Kirtland campus while working full time and raising a family. After graduation at Lakeland with an Associate in Applied Business degree, I transferred to Lake Erie College where all of my Lakeland credits were accepted, and eventually graduated with a BSBA. Lakeland gave me the start, and the motivation, to continue my education. Over the years I have returned many times to take random courses of interest. Lakeland is one of the jewels of Lake County and a true source of civic pride.

Gail Dutcher

I was in the first class for Respiratory Therapy at Lakeland. I was only 15 when I applied and my mom had to drive me to the interview. I was told there were over 200 applications to the program and only 24 spots open. Anyway, I turned 16, got my driver's license, and began that Fall (1976). I am still an RT and can't imagine any other job.

My only really crazy memory was that I wore "Daisy Duke" shorts under my graduation gown!

Best wishes for the future, and thanks for asking!

Monica Barth

I would just like to share a memory of LCC. I started Lakeland in the spring of 2003. I was very new to the whole college thing. I wasn't sure if it was going to work for me. I met some pretty amazing people in the Learning Center. That helped me succeed and become this new and wonderful person. I am a college graduate. I have a degree in business. I owe a lot of my success to all the wonderful people in the Learning Center that aid the learning disabled. Without you guys, I would be nothing. Thank you for a wonderful experience which I hope to carry on in my next adventure applying to UNC!!!

Sincerely yours,
Monica Barth, class of 2007!!!

Sharon Blankenship
Manager of Special Projects
President’s Office

I began my career here as many other employees have – as a student. In addition to attending classes here at Lakeland, I was fortunate to have Dr. Andrew Buynacek hire me to work in the Counseling Office as a work study worker. Along with some other now famous student workers (Tracey Cooper, now director of Admissions, is one), we provided support to the department secretary, Maureen Bowers, as well as to a wonderfully eclectic group of full-time and part-time counselors.

A few months into my work study assignment which included making appointments, stuffing envelopes and answering the phones, an opportunity came up in the Adult Reevaluation Center (ARC), a hybrid sort of department shared by Counseling and Career Services. (Back then, Career Services and Counseling were situated in the area where only Counseling exists today). A non-continuing part-time clerk position was created for ARC. The wage was $5.54 an hour – a fortune compared to the $3.35 I was earning as work study. Dr. Buynacek encouraged me to apply for the position.

Well, as you probably guessed, I got the job – and my first thought was, “We’re rich! My kids and I are rich!” We celebrated that great day with Happy Meals all around. Normally, I could only afford a cup of coffee on the rare occasions I took my two little boys to McDonald’s, but now that we were going to be so wealthy, I figured I could spring for a hamburger and fries for myself, too.

But that isn’t the most favorite part of this Lakeland memory. The best part was walking down to the Campus Police Department to pick up my parking sticker.

There was no gate and we didn’t have hang tags back in 1984 – we were issued little plastic windshield stickers instead that authorized us to park in the Faculty/Staff lot. The sticker included the college name and a serial number and the words “Faculty/Staff.”

I smiled the entire way to and from the dispatcher’s window. You see, that sticker meant more than being able to find an easy parking spot each morning. The parking sticker, with all of the privileges attached to it, was proof I was “good enough” to work at a place like Lakeland.

I was thrilled to put that sticker on my old 1972 Plymouth Duster. I sat in my car at lunch on the first day of my new job and spent the entire hour looking at the sticker prominently displayed on that old car’s windshield. I couldn’t believe that I was actually a member of the “Faculty/Staff” of “Lakeland Community College.”

It was one of the proudest moments of my life.

Jim Collins
Executive in Residence
Lakeland Community College

My most enduring memories of Lakeland revolve around the taped interviews we have done with candidates for elective office, which are shown on the college's cable network and are also provided without charge to other cable systems in the area.

We began taping the interviews in a conference room at The News-Herald in 1982. They were amateurish in nature. We had little clue as to what we were doing. But the public loved them. Beginning in 1984 and every year since then we have taped them in the TV studio at Lakeland. To say they are now more professionally done would be the understatement of the millennium.

Each even-numbered year we interview every candidate on the ballot in Lake County. This can add up to 30 or more interviews. In odd-numbered years, such as 2007, we do a select number of local races. This year we did eight. I have always been one of the interviewers and in each interview someone from The News-Herald sits in with me as a co-host.

The first interviews at the college were done in the old TV studio on the third floor. The studio has since been moved to the second floor, where with the help of such professionals as Sam Pastorial and Phil Boyle, we are able to produce high-quality, first-rate interviews.

At one time, several years ago, Jeff Maynor, now a highly regarded newsman at Channel 3, was on the Lakeland staff. He gave us a number of pointers that made our presentations much better and gave them a more professional look.

Over the years, we have interviewed every candidate (except for President of the United States) who has appeared on the ballot in Lake County. This includes governers, U.S. senators, every holder of statewide office, Ohio Supreme Court justices, Appeals Court judges and all others.

Such dignitaries as Dick Celeste, George Voinovich, Bob Taft, John Glenn, Ted Strickland,Dennis Eckart, Steve LaTourette, Sherrod Brown and every sheriff, county commissioner and other candidate who has held office -- or even has been an also-ran -- has graced our studios at Lakeland Community.

This brings a great deal of credit to both the college and the newspaper. People look forward eagerly to watching the interviews. And we take a one-minute break in each interview to insert a commercial for the college.

I look upon these interviews as a great public service provided by the college, and another reason why we value "Community" as our middle name.

Thanks for listening.

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