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ABOUT LAKELAND

During our 50th anniversary year, we are shining the spotlight on 50 outstanding Lakeland alumni. Click on names below to read about these individuals. Check back often as more will be added throughout the year! 

If you would like to be considered for inclusion on the alumni spotlight page, please email Jennifer Smyser at jsmyser@lakelandcc.edu.

 



Richard Peterson

 


Rick Stark

 


Jane Densmore Steger


Joseph G. Weber

 

 

Richard Peterson

Retired Vice-President of Astro Manufacturing & Design
Associate of Applied Business, 1977
Lakeland Alumni Hall of Fame, 2011

"Lakeland changed my whole life. If I can do it, anybody can do it. There is no excuse to say you can't make it in America!" 

These are the words of Richard Peterson, retired Vice-President of Business Development (for 13 years), of ‘Astro Manufacturing & Design' and a 1977 graduate of Lakeland Community College with an associate of business degree. 

As an older student, Peterson shared, "I spent a lot of evenings and weekends at Lakeland getting my education, and what I found, because I was mostly in with adults at the time, I learned as much from the students in the class as I did from the professors because everybody there was already out in a job somewhere. And the subjects that I took in business with other people in jobs similar to mine…they were able to share their experiences. So, not only did I learn the course content what the professors were teaching, but I learned from the other students who were in the classroom."

Peterson was impressed by all the instructors at Lakeland, but it was Hap Berichon, who taught ‘Principles of Supervision' who impressed him the most early on his career. "He was so inspirational, the class was great and because I learned so much, I looked into taking other classes there."

After he attained his associate of business degree from Lakeland, Peterson went on to Lake Erie College where he graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. Peterson says Lakeland was a good stepping stone to Lake Erie College. "For one, it prepared me well, and secondly, every class I took transferred in and gave me full credit. They welcomed the degree from Lakeland at Lake Erie College." 

Peterson said that he has used all the skills he learned at Lakeland at Astro Manufacturing, like working with customers, supervisorial skills, management and organizational skills, teamwork, sales, marketing, financial training, accounting, communication and correspondence (mostly written) skills. 

"I also took a business law class at Lakeland," says Peterson. "I have had to sign a lot of contracts/non-disclosure agreements here for customers. Those skills I have learned have come in handy and I've used them every day." He claims that the education he received is ‘real good solid practical education.' "I wouldn't have been able to advance in my career without my education at Lakeland. Education is ever increasing and it has helped me keep moving with the flow." 

Peterson is most proud of his involvement with students, Lakeland Community College, and Lake County as a co-chair for ‘Alliance for Working Together' (AWT) founded by Roger Sustar (owner of Fredon Corporation) in 2002, to let students know that there are good jobs in manufacturing. 

"We have in Lake County over 680 manufacturing companies who contribute a large part of revenue in the county, and employ a large part of the population in the region who need jobs. And because the baby boomers are going to be retiring in the next 10 years or so, all those companies are going to need skilled workers….So, where are those replacements going to come from?,"  asked Peterson.

He said that Lakeland stepped up to the plate and will be incorporating skills, like science, math, tech skills, basic skills of what manufacturing is all about, communications skills, etc." Peterson adds, "Lakeland put together new two-year degree program, with an offer of full scholarships offered from Astro Manufacturing, which should qualify the students to come out and work in manufacturing." Peterson says that Astro Manufacturing will continue with the hands-on technical training at the company level. The company also offers jobs in the offices for skilled workers.

Peterson is currently working with Bob Cahen, executive director of the Lakeland Foundation, with two committees, ‘Broadening the Base' and ‘Foundation for the Performing Arts' to help raise scholarship money for the prospective students wanting to attend Lakeland. 

"I'm also on an education committee in Cleveland called MAGNET (Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network) to help manufacturing succeed in Northeast Ohio." 

The AWT offers a battling robot (RoboBot) competition. "This (2012) is the second year we are doing it. Last year we had 10 high schools doing it. This year (2012) we have 24 high schools, or 24 teams assigned to a manufacturing company. The kids come out once a week to the company, and they build a robot that is going to go into an arena to disable the other guy's robot." 

Peterson says, "We held the competition at Lakeland last year (2011). All the money that we raised we put back into the kitty to give back to the kids. The team from Astro Manufacturing won the competition."  Lakeland Community College will be hosting this year's event again on April 28 (2012) in the Lakeland gym. 

Astro Manufacturing has a lot to be proud of, as Peterson says, "Last year (2011), I had ‘CBS Nightly News' here, we were in USA Today last year, we were in the New York Times, and in the Washington Post. I've been on the BBC; we've been in the Wall Street Journal, the Cleveland Plain Dealer many times, Crain's Cleveland Business, the New York Times, and the News-Herald."  

Although he has retired from Astro Manufacturing, he will still be the company representative for the ‘Western Lake County Area Chamber of Commerce,' will still speak for the company to be able to recruit employees, will still co-chair AWT, will continue to work with Lakeland Community College, work with the high schools and colleges, continue creating jobs for kids in Lake County, and he will also be the press contact for Astro Manufacturing. He adds, "I will still be conducting facility tours." 

In 2011, Peterson was inducted in the Lakeland Alumni Hall of Fame. "I didn't expect it…it was a total surprise. It was kind of neat because my mother, who is 90 years-old, was able to come to the ceremony. It was great being able to tell my story, because if I can be a success, any student can do what I did. They can go to Lakeland and get some kind of a degree, get into a company and work your way up." 

He concludes by saying, "There is an alternative path of a level to success, and Lakeland offered that for me. Going in the service, marrying my wife, and going to Lakeland…those three decisions set the course for my life. Lakeland bridged the gap between the military and a four-year degree. They were at the right place at the right time!"   

Story by Donna Robinson, former Lakeland Journalism student.

 

 Rick Stark

President of South Shore Controls, Inc.
A.A.S. Electronic Engineering Technology, 1982
Lakeland Alumni Hall of Fame, 2008

Rick Stark brings a wealth of knowledge to his role as president of South Shore Control, Inc. and has done so since 1996. He attended Lakeland Community College in the late 70's and early 80's, and graduated with an associate in applied science degree in electronic engineering technology in 1982. 

Stark continued his education, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree (summa cum laude) from Lake Erie College in 1992, an MBA in 1993, and later taught at Lake Erie for 7 years.

"I made a lot of friends at Lakeland…friendships that continue to this day. We have moved to different locations across the country, but we still keep in touch."  

The instructor who inspired him the most at Lakeland was Rudy Lynn, his Physics professor.  "He made Physics very easy with his great examples and his sense of humor.  I tried to incorporate some of his methods when I later taught at Lake Erie College," said Stark.

He went on to explain, "Two things stand out; He had a great way of keeping our attention. Professor Lynn would make a "mistake" so that we would catch him on it.  He would then put a hash mark on the board.  If we ever "caught" him 3 times, we could go home early. Oddly, we never got past two." 

Stark continued, "Secondly, he would take a chapter with thirty equations, and distill it down to the two or three that could be used in every case.  His philosophy was to keep using things that worked every time, and never use things that didn't.  That drove me to keep things simple for my own students."

Lakeland was a good stepping stone to Lake Erie College, as Stark says, "I kind of coasted through high school. Lakeland gave me the discipline to study and succeed in college. I had an English class where I really struggled, since I had never really studied sentence structure.  I had very little time to learn to study.  I spent a lot of time in the tutorial center learning the discipline to study."

Stark feels that Lakeland contributed positively to his career and his position as president of South Shore, Inc.  "I still use quite a few of the things I learned at Lakeland….the formulae and calculations are still relevant. We design and build industrial machinery, and it is good to know the basics of how things work, so that I can talk intelligently with our customers." 
 
He adds, "I guess my major strengths I learned at Lakeland in my role as president of South Shore, Inc. are; the ability to work in a group, and the ability to problem solve. My business is all about finding solutions to complex problems."

The benefits or services South Shore Controls, Inc. offer for an individual or to the community are as Stark says, "South Shore Controls provides industrial automation and controls. We are able to provide solutions to a wide variety of industrial problems since our experience is very broad based." 

Doing his part in the workforce is important to Stark, and also to South Shore, Inc. "We have created 35 well-paying jobs in Lake County. We have also helped a large number of local businesses be more competitive in the global marketplace. Hopefully, we have helped them maintain or increase local manufacturing employment."

Stark's connection to Lakeland continues. "We just sponsored a team from Madison High School in the AWT (Alliance for Working Together) RoboBot contest at Lakeland," said Stark. 

He is also active in Chardon United Methodist Church, serving on the Staff-Parish relations committee and the contemporary worship tech team.  

He continued, "I am on the board of trustees for the Northern Ohio Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I am also a cycling and triathlon coach for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program. I have participated in 100 and 200-mile bike rides, triathlons, and marathons all over the US." 

Stark was inducted in the Lakeland Community College Alumni Hall of Fame in 2008 and says, "It was an incredible honor to be recognized by this wonderful organization. I had a wonderful experience at Lakeland, and it was nice to be recognized for giving back."

When asked what he hopes to achieve in the future and goals he has, Stark said, "I hope to see my children achieve long-term happiness in their lives. I also hope to continue to build a business that provides good jobs in Lake County."

Stark said that Lakeland was a good place to get started on his education. "I was able to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up without spending a lot of money or incurring a huge student loan. I dabbled in quite a few different things before I settled on Engineering Technology. The inexpensive tuition at Lakeland allowed me the freedom to explore a lot of different classes in this wonderful learning institution." 


Story by Donna Robinson, former Lakeland Journalism student.

 

Jane Densmore Steger

President and Owner of JDS Connects, LLC.
A.A.B. Business Management, 1985
Lakeland Alumni Hall of Fame, 2011

Jane Densmore Steger calls Lakeland Community College the ‘gem' of Lake County. Steger graduated in 1985 with an associate in business management at Lakeland which was a good fit for her in her role as president and owner of JDS Connects, LLC. 

The steps she took along the way at Lakeland helped her hone her skills in communication, marketing, public relations, and project management for her company. "I went from high school to working full time, and it was a few years after that I took an interest in a career in administrative support and started with pursuing a certificate, and then geared more into an associate program into business management at Lakeland." 

Steger continued, "I often times chose my classes that best fitted what I was doing at the time. I got into a couple of local companies, had an opportunity to get into credit management and took some finance classes at Lakeland for that, then I went into a merchandizing role and started taking more of the management classes." 

Merchandizing classes at Lakeland helped her in her job at King Musical Instruments from 1980 - 1983. "I was the merchandizing manager and in charge of the relationships with all of our musicians. It was fun and I thought it was a great job. I gave all the plant tours and created the literature that we used in all the schools where we talked about the instruments." 

Steger went on to working for Cole National (i.e. services and gifts: Things Remembered, Kraft Showcase, Original Cookie, Children's World, Children's Palace, Cole Key and Cole Optical) in merchandizing from 1983 – 1985. "My graduation from Lakeland was in line with what I was doing in retail," said Steger. "In addition to what I learned in retail at the college, I feel Lakeland has done a great job in developing programs with individuals like Roger Sustar, and other manufacturing leaders within Lake County."  

She goes on to say, "I really enjoyed going to Lakeland, and was always going to evening classes. My peers were usually older at the time I went there. Mr. Tim Wright, my business teacher was very encouraging, very supportive, and I thought he brought a lot of the ‘real world' experience into the class."

Night classes were an advantage to Steger as she states, "I encourage people to go to school at night for business classes, because I was able to apply what I learned at night the very next day in my job."  She adds, "What Lakeland is doing beyond their classic teaching, they have programs around skilled workshops within manufacturing, they have their Women's Center, they have their Men's Center…they just offer so much. That is my exposure to Lakeland today, which is watching Dr. Morris Beverage, and his staff offer more and more to Lake County." 

Steger formerly worked for Steris Corporation as manager, in marketing and customer/corporate communications, community relations, personnel development, and director from 1995 till 2008.  Since then, she has been owner and president of JDS Connects, LLC. 

"I target three areas: customer engagement which is my classic marketing and communications background, community engagement is my non-profit work, and employee engagement is what I did in my last role at Steris Corporation which is around on-boarding and focusing an organization on its culture putting employees first. So, when I bring all that to a client, I speak from my experience that I have." She adds, "I have exploited through my activities with Lakeland and other boards and my non-profits, my network to create the business that I have today." 

As an alumnus of Lakeland majoring in business, and owner of JDS Connects, LLC, Steger brings a wealth of business knowledge to the table, but she is most proud of her association with Lakeland now and how it has tied her community involvement in Lake County. 

"When I speak of Lakeland in my most recent history, because of the initiative that Lakeland has taken in arts and culture, I now serve on the Willoughby Fine Arts board. We have a lot of collaborative initiative/opportunities within the arts with Lakeland. We actually have shared programs between us," says Steger. 
She adds, "I do a lot of board work in Lake County with the Musical Theater Project Group, and I am also volunteering at Upson Elementary School doing a lot of board engagements with them. Lakeland contributed to my success today, and especially my current experiences with the college. It's from being involved with the Alumni Association and networking through that…it's from being connected with Dr. Beverage and his staff around strategic planning with non-profits, it's my involvement in Leadership Lake County. When we do our retreat, Lakeland is involved with that. When I speak of Lakeland today, I think of their out-of-class outreach activities."  

Steger is especially proud to serve on the board of Leadership Lake County with board president, Cynthia Moore-Hardy (President/CEO of Lake Health), and board member, Dr. Morris Beverage. 

When it comes to making a positive impact on the communities in Lake County, Steger shares, "It's a result of my connections at Lakeland. I have made a better impact in the community in my board work because of the exposure Lakeland has given me with like-peers. Take Bob Cahen as an example; Bob has been a great resource for information and on-board engagements. He asked me to serve on an advisory board on the marketing committee for the Lakeland Foundation. So it is through that connection with Bob and serving on that advisory board, I met people that in turn have given me the opportunity to grow my business and give back more to the community." Steger adds, "Lakeland is just a wealth of individuals that are engaged out there in the community." 

Steger was very surprised to be inducted into the 2011 Lakeland Community College Hall of Fame. "My peers at the induction ceremony were all good friends of mine. Being inducted came completely out of the blue, I felt very honored, and Lakeland made me really feel like a queen. It was a really great night. In my speech I gave a lot of credit to my father, because he set the bar very high for community giving." She continues, "I would like to make Lakeland more prominent and more recognizable, and what we can do to market the hall of fame and what it can do for the community…and how the graduates of Lakeland can make such a great impact on the community." 

Goals for Steger are growing her business as she says it is only 4 years-old now, building the client base, and being able to utilize all of her community connections to grow her business. "I would like someday to give 70 percent of myself, and my work in my business, back to the community." 

When asked what she would like to say to Lakeland Community College today, Steger said, "Thank you for your vision, and thank you for putting a college in my back yard." She adds, "If it weren't for Lakeland, I probably wouldn't have had a college education because it was so affordable. So, with that associates degree as a foundation, and my initiative to get involved with non-profits to broaden my network, it really put me where I am today." 

She concludes, "Lakeland is just a gem, and it fit into my life so well. I have a goal to make other people's lives better because I've been part of it. Lakeland planted the seed, they gave me that basic education that put me in a position to elevate myself in a career that allowed me to be able to walk onto non-profit boards and continue to grow in both experience with my peer groups."

Story by Donna Robinson, former Lakeland Journalism student.

 

Joseph G. Weber

DHSc, MPAS, MBA, PA-C, Sr. Chaplain
Founding Program Director and Associate Professor of Physician Assistant Studies at Presbyterian College in South Carolina

"Lakeland has given me a solid foundation into the true meaning of education and community," said Dr. Joseph G. Weber. It was that ‘solid foundation' that helped Dr. Weber attain an associate of applied business degree from Lakeland Community College in 1986. He is a proud 2016 inductee in the Lakeland Alumni Hall of Fame. 

In his speech at the induction ceremony, Dr. Weber commented that he started roaming the halls of Lakeland in 1979… it was in spring of 1979 he graduated from Mentor High School, and he started at Lakeland in the Fall that year.

"I was drawn to Lakeland because of the cost, the convenience and the scheduling… in addition, several of my friends from Mentor High School were going to Lakeland. I did a tour of the school, and talked to an admissions counselor who was very nice and welcoming, and I decided to attend Lakeland." 

Dr. Weber shared his experiences he derived from Lakeland by explaining, "First, as a student I had many positive experiences. The professors came with so much real-world expertise…it was invaluable for my education. Ms. Judy Sutherland was my computer science teacher and had so many examples from outside academia, which inspired me, and gave me a glimpse into working in computer science."

He added, "Second, I had very positive experiences as an adjunct professor at Lakeland, and I learned how to teach and use many of the same elements in teaching that I learned as a student. I learned how to bring elements of emergency and psychiatric medicine from my professional career into the classroom as I taught courses such as anatomy & physiology as well as pathophysiology. Ms. Sutherland, and Mr. John Platz both inspired me with ‘real world' learning experiences. They took the theory and applied it to actual business problems and this was invaluable in helping me understand how I could make an impact in the companies I worked for. I specifically remember learning so much from Mr. Platz about political science…he helped challenge and encouraged each student to think independently about their views of politics, and was extremely powerful in helping me shape my views of the political environment in which I will be forever grateful."

Lakeland was a good steppingstone to furthering Dr. Weber's education, and after graduating from Lakeland with an associates of applied business degree in 1986, he went on to Chancellors University in Cleveland, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in management science in 1987, then he went on to Case Western Reserve University, graduating with a master of business administration degree in 1989. Dr. Weber was a 2009 graduate of Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he received a master of physician assistant science degree. It was at Gannon, he was a scholastic excellence award recipient, and was an inductee in ‘Pi Alpha, Physician Assistant National Honor Society.' He then went on to A.T. Still University - Arizona School of Health Sciences, in Mesa, Arizona, where he received his doctorate of health sciences degree in 2014.

He has an exemplary resume to speak of; starting off as manager of Global Technology Networking Engineering from 2003-2005 at Lubrizol Corporation…then went on to University Hospitals Case Medical Center as Emergency/Adult Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant from 2009-2011. In 2011, Dr. Weber worked as Assistant Professor/Physician Assistant Program at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania. 

From 2010 till 2016, Dr. Weber was adjunct faculty member of the department of biology at Lakeland Community College. In 2012, he was a recipient of the ‘Teaching Excellence Award.' He was an instructor in Anatomy & Physiology I, instructor in Anatomy & Physiology II, instructor in Pathophysiology, and a tutor in the Learning Center: Anatomy & Physiology…all while he was at Lakeland. 

At Beacon Health, Weber was physician assistant for Behavioral Medicine from 2014 till 2015, while he worked as clinical physician assistant PRN treating clients with a wide range of mental health and addiction issues. He was also the founding program director, physician assistant of sciences/associate professor/health sciences at Lake Erie College from 2011-2016. Currently, Dr. Weber is the founding program director/physician assistant sciences/associate professor at Presbyterian College in South Carolina. 

When asked how instrumental Lakeland was in his career choice, and how he felt that Lakeland was instrumental in his achievements and success in the positions he's held over the years, Dr. Weber replied, "When I was at Lakeland I received my degree and focused on computer sciences. I spent about half of my career in the computer field before switching to medicine when I felt God opened amazing doors for me to pursue a career in medicine and teaching. Lakeland provided me the foundational skills to pursue other degrees and inspired in me the desire to always learn more and do my best in everything I tried." 

He added, "I learned how to teach from my time at Lakeland. A big part was observing outstanding instructors at Lakeland when I was a student long ago. The other was as an adjunct professor and having wonderful colleagues, staff and administration."

Dr. Weber has had a black belt in karate for about eight years, and claims, "Lakeland had a very strong influence on this because I started my first karate classes at Lakeland in 1979 with Mr. Eb Molesch and Mr. Larry Feldman. Both of these instructors helped me gain my foundation in the martial arts and they have since become lifelong friends. In fact, when I was testing for my black belt I needed to learn ‘kata' from an external instructor and I came back to Lakeland to a class Sensi Feldman taught. Also, Sensi Molesch attended both my black belt testing as well as my award ceremony. It is such an honor to have such wonderful friends, and mentors."

In addition to being a black belt, Dr. Weber is an ordained chaplain. "When I lived in Ohio, I attended Willoughby Hills Friends Church and that was instrumental in me desiring to be a chaplain. The one thing I did learn at Lakeland and other colleges; is the need to have someone who can provide spiritual counseling to students." 

Dr. Weber has made valuable contributions to the communities as a result of his education at Lakeland Community College, and has served on the board at Lake County Free Clinic, Lifeline and Lake Health Foundation, and he credits Lakeland by saying, "Lakeland taught me about the meaning of community. By being on many boards, I was able to connect people from diverse background and interests. At Lakeland I was taught the importance of getting diverse opinions and thoughts. I also realized the importance of having connections in many parts of the community."

Other than being inducted in the 2016 Lakeland Community College Alumni Hall of Fame, Dr. Weber has received other accolades, honorable mentions, proclamations and awards, and humbly says, "My Teaching Excellence Award from Lakeland was one of my greatest achievements to be honored and blessed by the students with this award in 2012. Dr. Jamie Landis at Lakeland helped me get my start in teaching and it was with his coaching and friendship that I was able to win this award. Dr. Landis is truly a great instructor and one of the best coaches a new faculty member could have!" 

He continued, "Some other achievements I'm proud of are as follows; I have been quoted in the following journals: Business Week, Computer World, Crain's Cleveland Business and Network World. At Gannon University, I received the Scholastic Excellence Award for my class of 2009, I graduated with a 4.0 GPA with my doctoral degree, and I received the ‘Outstanding Contributor -Top 25 Employees in the World' award when I worked for Ethyl Corporation." 

Dr. Weber shared his thoughts, feelings, and experiences in being inducted in the Lakeland Community College Alumni Hall of Fame. "My ‘Teaching Excellence Award' from Lakeland and my Alumni Hall of Fame induction are my two greatest awards of my career. I have accomplished much with God's help and these two awards are the ones that put the greatest smile on my face. When I looked at the other names of the inductees I felt humbled to be among such a wonderful group of individuals. Each individual has substantially touched the lives of so many people. I am deeply honored and humbled by the award. The Teaching Excellence Award was one of the best things, seeing as how students rated me on places like ratemyprofessor.com. I loved their comments and it gave me motivation to always do better and help them more," said Dr. Weber. 

He says he traveled from his home in South Carolina to attend the induction ceremony (he's lived there since June 2016), and he's received very positive feedback from family and friends since being inducted in the Lakeland Alumni Hall of Fame. "About 10 of my family and friends attended the alumni award ceremony. In fact, my daughter Danielle was in the PSEO (Post Secondary Enrollment Option) program at Lakeland during her junior and senior years in high school…she absolutely loved Lakeland Community College. In addition, two of my students from my anatomy and physiology class from Lakeland attended the ceremony and so did my aunt and uncle who drove in from New Jersey to attend. My dad and my daughter still live in Ohio in Mentor. My mom went to be with ‘The Lord' last year, but I know she was there at the induction ceremony in spirit." 


Dr. Weber has achieved so much in his career and says he has personal and professional goals for his future, and when asked how does he hope to achieve those goals, and how will his education at Lakeland give him the incentive to do so, Dr. Weber said, "God certainly has blessed me with many achievements. For the future, I would like to take more senior roles in a college or university setting and hope one day to be a college president. Lakeland has given me a solid foundation into the true meaning of education and community." 

He adds, "I saw firsthand the power of having the great start of taking classes at a community college like Lakeland, and later using that foundation to achieve many goals. My passion is to invigorate students and communities to further embrace education to organically grow communities and help them prosper for the future. I also have a passion of medical and faith-based missions in the United States and abroad. I am starting discussions about how to take the skills of our physician assistant students to other areas in need and to help those in need of physical and spiritual healing." 

When Dr. Weber drives past the campus of Lakeland Community College, or walks the halls of the campus, special thoughts and feelings come to mind. He says, "I have so many great thoughts. It's hard to describe but I feel ‘at home' and peaceful. I fondly remember my days as a student as well as an adjunct professor. I still stop in offices to see instructors such as Jamie Landis, Phil Roskos and Jason Thomas. Also, whenever I stop up to see Cathy King, Barb Van Epps, and Deborah Hardy I'm always greeted with a warm hug and huge smiles. I also love spending time with Bob Cahen…his warm personality, and his love of Lakeland is always so inspirational. Bob is a true hero of Lakeland and I'm honored to call him my friend."

Lakeland is an asset to Lake County and Northeast Ohio to Dr. Weber as he says, "Lakeland is one of the most special organizations I have ever been blessed to be a part of. The community has gained a tremendous benefit from Lakeland in so many ways. First, there are the employees of Lakeland…I have never met a more passionate and dedicated organization for helping students and the community. From my very first day as a student, to my very first day as an adjunct professor at Lakeland, I could feel the passion to help. Next, there are the students at Lakeland…they ‘are the community.' A diverse group of men and women from every aspect of the community are students at Lakeland. As a student I was able to learn so many life skills from those students' who were older than I was. They helped me understand course materials, but more importantly having a diverse group of individuals helped me understand life."

Special words of advice Dr. Weber would give to a prospective student of Lakeland are; "Set your dreams high and go for it! Life is not a dress rehearsal. Every day is a chance to make a difference in your life and the life of those around you…Fear nothing, explore everything. Be inquisitive. Have fun. Help others and live life as if every day is the most perfect and beautiful day that you can imagine." 

Dr. Weber's unforgettable impressions of Lakeland Community College, are, "Words cannot express my warm love and appreciation for the entire Lakeland family. I will forever be grateful for the dedication and support of everyone at the college. I'm also grateful for the community for supporting the college with resources to keep the mission alive to help future students. I have always been impressed by the community efforts to support and honor Lakeland with financial resources. As a student, I appreciated their support in creating a special and unique environment for learning. As an adjunct faculty member I appreciated the communities support in helping me have the tools to teach the next generation of students…and I will always be grateful to the great citizens of Lake County for their wonderful support." 

He finished by saying, "In summary, a warm thank you to Lakeland Community College. It has been one of the greatest blessings of my life to be part of the college and I pledge to continue my support to the Lakeland Community College Family." 

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