LSSC students and advisors distribute $570K for student activities

On March 14, a select group of advisors and student leaders at Lake-Sumter State College gathered to decide how $569,262 would be divvied up.

LSSC Theatre Arts Society gets ready for "Godspell"

In April Lake-Sumter State College students will get their first chance to see Godspell, the LSSC Theatre Arts Society’s latest production.

Angler Staff attends the Annual NYC College Journalism Conference

Recently the Angler Staff was in New York for the annual College journalism conference.

Recycling allows students to help environment and move up in SGA

Blue bins with pyramid-shaped tops can be found all over Lake-Sumter State College’s Leesburg campus, encouraging students to recycle their empty soda cans and bottles.

Building hope bridges

A candid interview with LSSC President Dr. Charles Mojock

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

S.A.F.I.R.E. holds its first official card game day.

By: Mark Valentino, Features Writer
players learning the ropes from Matt Byrd,
 the magic instructor for the table.
Photos by: Mark Valentino

On April 8 the students of SAFFIRE hosted their first TCG card tournament. There was a modern format Magic the Gathering Tournament, as well as a tutorial table  new players could register their names to accrue points on a world wide scale, and also to learn how to play the most popular trading card strategy game on the market.

 The sealed pre-constructed decks that were available for students to learn from were provided by Breakpoint Games of Mt. Dora. The modern format tournament also had a prize payout. With a very high dollar card and five booster packs of the current standard format sets. 2nd place received two Theros booster packs and two born of the Gods boosters. While third walked away with a respective 2 boosters of born of the gods and one booster of Theros. While wandering about during the tournament there was also a learning table for students and faculty to learn the fundamentals of the game. Each student who attended the learning seminars were gifted a deck to learn with containing one f the primary five colors of Magic the Gathering. Everyone would then learn how to play the game with someone else all under the watchful eye of Matthew Byrd, who was the main instructor for the table. " I just enjoy helping newbies learn how to play one of the best games out there" he explained while teaching Faith Gadson how to cast her creature spell
Joe Hamby stopped by to check out what the tournament was all about, "Heck man if I knew they were going to be playing magic over here today I would have brought my deck". He chuckled as he walked by and checked out the hottest new cards in the standard format.
Luckily the author brought his own deck.

players going all out against one another for a shot of the prizes
The booster packs and the decks were provided by Breakpoint games of Mount Dora, Dave Hemsath, the owner of breakpoint was on hand to help with the event. " I look forward to becoming active with the SAFIRE
and would also welcome everyone to stop by the shop, whether you are a experienced gamer or just looking for a new pastime, We hold demos of new games all the time." 
For more information on attending any of the tournaments held by SAFIRE or want information on breakpoint games contact Mrs. Raechel Gump in the library or just look in the student services building on the Leesburg Campus, there are always SAFIRE students there playing a video game in the student lounge area.

Selling long locks could be an unconventional answer to tuition

Story by: Katie McKay, Staff Writer
Photos by: Erin McKay

Blonde hair fetches some of the highest prices per inch. Selling it can be a quick fix for a big bill.
Remember that scene from Les Miserables where Ann Hathaway cuts her hair off? It might not be such a bad idea, especially when human hair can sell for more than the price of a semester’s worth of classes.

A woman in Indiana sold 31” of her hair for $4,000. Another in Utah sold hers for the same amount, and a man in New York got $600 for 27” of his. Average prices are around $500, but exceptional hair can go for much, much higher. On, a girl named Cheyenne from North Carolina is currently asking $5000 for 35” of light blonde locks so she can pay for college, and she’ll probably get it. A quick scan around a hair-selling website will reveal that the idea isn’t so rare or strange after all; sellers and buyers from all over the world regularly meet up to trade tresses for cash.

Almost any kind of hair over ten inches can sell, but certain types will garner higher prices. First of all, buyers like hair to be “virgin,” meaning it hasn’t been dyed, treated, blow-dried, permed, or straightened. Hair from a non-smoking environment is preferred, as are locks that haven’t been washed every day or cleaned with harsh shampoos. A healthy diet and exercise are both desirable as well, since these factors can affect hair quality. Prices also increase dramatically with length.

These are all factors that sellers can control; others are up to the genetic luck of the draw. Naturally blonde hair will fetch more than brown of the same length, and hair of European descent is worth more than the same amount of Indian or Asian hair, since selling hair is a more common practice in those places. A ponytail with a circumference of four inches or greater is more valuable, and when it comes to texture, completely straight is the rarest and thus the most expensive. All types of hair can sell for a good price, but someone with two feet or more of virgin, thick, straight, light blonde will be looking at a payout in the thousands.

Several websites specialize in this business. was one of, if not the first to connect individual sellers with buyers. More sophisticated sites such as have since been created. These sites charge various fees to host hair ads, but it is a small investment compared to the reward. Ebay and Craigslist offer free ads if the seller doesn’t mind that prices there are usually lower and fewer responses come in than from a dedicated website. Hair-selling websites also bring the benefit of providing information about common scams to avoid and tips for writing a successful advertisement.

Sellers are advised to keep an open mind. While many buyers will purchase a ponytail to use for wigs, extensions, doll hair, or art, others may have more radical requests. Some will pay to have the seller model a certain haircut. Others will ask to cut the hair themselves, or to give the seller a makeover. Sellers will have to decide what they are comfortable with, and at what price.

The longer the better in this business. The author's hair had multiple offers for $1,700.
Who would do such a weird thing? Well, for $1,700 I decided I was comfortable with going bald. After seeing my ad, a company called Magic-Makeover contacted me through, which I used after another site called didn’t turn up any results. The makeover website initially looked suspicious, but after extensive research and lots of phone calls with the buyer, I deemed them legitimate and accepted the offer.

For $1,700 plus the cost of travel and lodging and three complimentary wigs, the hairdressers at magic-makeover will have the freedom to give me any number and style of cuts that they please, ending with a bald head. That kind of money will pay for quite a bit of college, and it’s not like selling a kidney on the black market: selling hair is generally safe, and it will grow back.

There are a few scams out there that potential sellers need to be aware of. Generally, only PayPal should be used for transactions, and hair should only be cut and sent after full payment is confirmed as received. One scam involves buyers sending a fake check or money orders for more than they offered and then requesting the extra portion back. Another involves getting sellers to send their hair while a PayPal transaction is pending, before the payment is rejected as a fake credit card.

Most serious sellers will ask for additional pictures of the hair they want to buy, but some will ask for an inordinate amount simply so they can have the photos. Sellers should also be wary of snipping off hair samples, as it can invalidate legitimate offers and reduce the hair’s worth.

Selling one’s hair for money may seem radical at first, but it can be a good way to pay for classes, bills, or a fun vacation. Besides, summer is coming. A cooler hairstyle and a few hundred bucks could go hand in hand.

When it comes to questions the Learning Center is there

By: Mark Valentino, Features Writer
Photos: Mark Valentino

group studying is a great way to help figure out what it is
that you as a student need help with.
The Learning Center has finalized the technological upgrade that was begun in the fall. The school purchased 24 new Dell Latitude computers as well as 24 new elite book tablets for the students to use. All that is needed to check out a laptop is your name, X-ID number, and a photo identification. You can also check out Rosetta Stone in French or Spanish the same way.

Audrey Dench, senior tutor for LSSC was able to sit down for an interview between helping students proof read thesis papers. "We recently were able to test a few different tablets for the next upgrade that is due any time now, we already have these nice new laptops for the student to enjoy". She explained. "We went from a laptop that had a battery life of about 2-3 hours, and now these laptops have the newest windows operating system, and will go for a good six to seven hours on one charge. Depending on the work load". With finals looming on the horizon the added battery life comes at a much needed time. When students are trying to get as much studying done and do not want to deal with the screen going blank before getting to save.

While taking classes on Lake-Sumter State, one would be wise to go to the learning center whenever they have questions with any course that the school offers. There is always someone who is there to help you understand whatever you are having trouble with.
 “I have been a tutor here for over a year now, I spent a lot of time on campus to begin with so it felt like a natural fit. It (tutoring) helps keep me sharp and I get to assist fellow students who need help." Kim Emery explained as she sat alongside Sana Mahmaud, who also felt that strongly about the learning center "Coming to the learning center is really a treat to the students, it is really helping me enhance my skills to be a better student."
The expanded online tutoring also received an upgrade. Students can now access tutoring through the blackboard system on the LSSC website. Virtual tutoring hours can be found online with expanded hours on Thursday. While most students use the learning center for tutoring, did you know that they also lend textbooks that you need. Check the lending library if your lacking the funds for a book next semester. But act quickly the books go fast. Students can even reserve conference rooms for study sessions if they call ahead. Few students do realize the advantageous scope the learning center has to offer. 

Next time you need a PC or a tablet to use and cannot get back to your home, swing by the learning center. Brian Tillman was busy  working on one of new HP laptops doing his math homework, when asked what he thought about the new laptops that are available he thought it was a great thing for the student body. “If you don't have the internet at home, you can grab a tablet or a laptop and get all your online homework done. Also if you don't understand part of the material, then you have the tutors right here to help you, and that is a big plus for me."

 The hours of operation for the Learning Center on the Leesburg campus are Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information about virtual tutoring online call the Learning Center at 365-3554 or

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lake-Sumter simultaneously hosts luau, egg hunt, and study hall

Story by: Katie McKay, Staff Writer
Photos by: Katie McKay

Students and faculty lined up for a luau feast provided by the SGA.
April 16 was an eventful day for Lake-Sumter State College’s Leesburg campus. The Angler, Student Government Association and Youth Outreach Department Alumni Association together offered three different events to help alleviate final exam stress.

The Angler and SGA teamed up to offer the biggest and largest event, combining an Easter egg hunt with a Hawaiian-themed luau. Other groups were represented as well. The Society for the Advancement of Management had a table set up, as well as students raising funds for the Students Helping Students scholarship.

SGA president Matt Guy gracefully demonstrates his limbo skills.
Long before the luau started, Angler staff members snuck around campus hiding basketful's of Easter eggs. Most contained candy, but a few golden eggs were hidden with notes inside that could be redeemed with a member of the Angler for gift cards. As of noon that day, Abram Ramirez was the only student to have found one. Hiding places included the quad, Pete’s Preserve nature trail, the fine arts building, and more.

The Aloha Summer Luau event was by far the largest of the day. SGA members served shish kabobs, rice, smoothies, and pineapple upside-down cake along with giveaways like flower hair-clips and sunglasses. Across from them, a DJ played music and directed games. First up was a hula hoop contest to get students moving, followed musical chairs, limbo, and other competitions. One of these, a musical scavenger hunt, involved participants dashing out into the crowd to collect whatever item the DJ requested. Crowd members gave up purses, driver’s licenses, and belts (which then had to be replaced by the players) as needed.

One challenge from the musical scavenger hunt was to help owners put their stolen belts back on.
Student and SGA member Shannon Simpson enjoyed the luau, saying it was “pretty cool” and, “It gets you out of the norm.” She said she hoped more would come in the future. Charlotte Preston, another student, said, “I’m very impressed with it [the luau].” Her favorite aspect of it was that there were activities and things to do. “It boosts student morale.”

Grayson Allen and Marissa Bjorkland (back) study during the YODAA Scream Day event.
YODAA’s Scream Day and Study Hall event didn’t garner as much attention due to the other activities going on at the same time. Members met in the Lake Hall building’s computer lab and provided a quiet, friendly atmosphere for studying students. Along with a large selection of free food, this event also offered peer mentoring, individual study opportunities, and help preparing for exams. Jaylen Ishall and Grayson Allen were both slated to give helpful presentations to the attending students, who mostly came in between classes. Screaming by the lake was also on the list of activities, but there is no record of how many people actually did. For anyone who still doesn’t know exactly where Lake Hall is, it is across the lake from the Fine Arts building and behind Student Services.

Awards, Smiles, laughs and tears; LSSC holds Student Life awards

By: Mark Valentino, Leesburg Campus
Photos: Mark Valentino 

Each honoree received a lapel pin and a medal for their exemplary
work this semester.

On April 18 the Student Life awards were presented in the Magnolia Room on the Leesburg Campus. The awards celebration acknowledged those students who had shown outstanding leadership and fortitude. Each student was recognized with an award consisting of a medal to be worn at graduation with lapel pins for each part of student life that they were recognized. Heather Elmatti was the emcee for the evening. President of LSSC Dr. Charles Mojock, gave the opening welcome speech and was also presenter of each of the awards.

Students from each club who made a difference in student life were recognized for their hard work and devotion to making the experience at LSSC a better one for current students and future as well. Heather Elmatti presented the angler staff with their medals and pins. Mrs. Lackey presented the SGA awards for the Leesburg Campus; while Mrs. Karp awarded both college diplomats and SGA awards for the South Lake Campus. “I can't believe that I am crying," remarked Sherikey Mobley after receiving her medallion and pin for an outstanding job as one of the main college diplomats at South Lake.
Nicole Tinny presented awards for the Student Nurses Association as well as Mrs. Raechel Gump who presented the award for the Safire Club. Both of the Odyssey staff members editor in chief Alyssa Wright and Elizabeth Detres were recognized for an outstanding job with the hard work implemented into the publication." It feels good to be recognized for our hard work" explained Alyssa Wright.

The ceremony was finalized with the awards of the student life awards who were presented to Jeremy Van Cise and Wesley Blake at the end of the ceremony. Each student was presented with a special plaque and a monetary award as well. When Jeremy Van Cise was awarded the student life award for Leesburg campus the crowd erupted into a standing ovation and cheers for all the hard work that Jeremy has put into everything that he has done over the years.
Patrick Endicott: The hardest working student in LSSC
Towards the end of the Ceremony the most awarded student, Patrick Endicott hijacked the microphone to make a small speech and to honor Mrs. Susan Lackey and Mrs. Linda Karp for all their hard work and attention to the students who they have helped shape into the outstanding students and people they are today. Congratulations to everyone that was presented with an award. As Patrick Endicott put it during his five minute off script speech, “As you go on, you’re leaving a legacy behind."

Monday, April 21, 2014

LSSC is accepting Ambassador applications for the fall

By: Kevin Trinidad, South Lake 
Photo By: Kevin Trinidad

Lake-Sumter South Lake Campus
Funded by the Hans & Cay Jacobsen Foundation, which aims to provide students in Lake and Sumter County with integral opportunities in education and leadership, the Lake-Sumter Ambassador program is a great opportunity for students to do just that: demonstrate the skills they possess in leadership and service duties in becoming a representative for LSSC.

The Ambassador Program is currently seeking applications for the fall of 2014; the deadline to apply is July 16. Students contemplating applying must have a 3.0 GPA, and LSSC Development Manager, Erin O’Steen-Lewin, insist that “Students are encouraged to apply only if they believe the program and service commitment will enhance their educational goals without hindering academic progress.”

A $600 pay per semester and $700 scholarship per term are financial benefits the Ambassador Program institutes, but the paramount of information that will be obtained in the field of leadership and organization is integral. O’Steen-Lewin accredits the position of Ambassador as opening many doors for students, “Being a student ambassador allows students to meet influential people in the community, including business owners and potential employers.” The Ambassador Program can also bring along opportunities to be awarded scholarships.

Some of the duties that being an Ambassador entails are leading the Lake-Sumter campus tour, ushering at Performing Art Series functions, representing Lake-Sumter in outreach capabilities, assisting with receptions, attending student leadership workshops; but most importantly, representing Lake-Sumter in the best manner and being a role model for current and future students.

For more information, call Erin O’Steen-Lewin at 352-365-3506 or e-mail As students, the act of procrastination happens naturally; the application can be found at, and getting it turned in as early as possible is beneficial.

The image of fame

Comic by: Katie McKay

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Scholarships and where to find them

By:Bonnie Russ Leesburg Campus
Photo By:Jesus Hernandez, Media Editor 

Student could use some extra cash when going to college. Why spend your paycheck on books and tuition or paying back student loans; when you can receive scholarships to pay for all or most of it. Here are five ways to find/ apply for scholarships:

First way to locate scholarships is to go to the LSSC website. Hover your mouse over the student tab at the top of the page and click on scholarships under future students. When you get to the scholarship page it has a link for financial aid and for the foundation website. The foundation website link takes you the scholarship webpage and at the top it tells you the deadlines to have the application in by. You need to apply online and contact Claudia Morris at or you can call her at her office number 352-365-3539.

Another way you can apply for scholarships is to go to the LSSC website and type in scholarships in the search bar on the main page. It brings up documents and web pages with information and ways to apply for scholarships. If you click on the first one it comes up as a word document and is a press release from 2011 for the Lake Sumter College Foundation and how they “awarded 116 scholarships totaling $68,782 to students attending LSSC for the summer semester”. This foundation has scholarships available for students who are pursuing degrees in certain fields, nursing, criminology, public relations, business administration and a few others.

The financial aid office is also a huge resource for different type of scholarships. You can go to the financial aid office located in the front of the student services building. When you walk in the financial aid office there is a wall in the back of the office and each cubby is labeled with names of different scholarships. They have scholarships based on cultural background, financial status, first generation college student, and many more. If you need help with choosing which scholarship best suits you, you can ask a 22financial aid specialist .

Academic Advisors are also great resources for scholarships. “Based on what career you are thinking about going into they can point you in the direction of scholarships that fit your needs”, says McKinzy Mask. Make an appointment with an advisor and then ask how they can point you in the direction of possible scholarships.

Last way you can find scholarships are googling scholarships. The first one that pops up is FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Most colleges want you to file for this grant. It is commonly called the Pell Grant because you do not have to pay any of the monies back. This is like a scholarship which you also do not have to pay back unless there are circumstances listed in the contract. FAFSA award money gets paid to you through your Lois account. Lake Sumter takes out tuition cost and books if you choose to get your books form the Bookstore. The rest of the money gets put on a Florida Pre-paid credit card for you to use for whatever you need to use it for. For example it will pay your bills, get you a new computer, and dinner. To apply for this scholarship go to


Comic by: Katie McKay

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tax Day Deadline Approaches

By:Jesus Hernandez, Media Editor 

Photo courtesy of Internal Revenue Service 

April 15 is the much dreaded Tax Day and as Benjamin Franklin once said "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." It is the Internal Revenue Service's official filing deadline for 2014. Franklin's quote still holds true today in fact according to the Journal of the American Medial Association deaths from traffic accidents rise 6% on Tax Day. After the deadline unpaid taxes are penalized unless one files for an extension prior to the deadline. For additional information visit

Helpful Tips for Students

By: Breanna Griffin
Photo By:Jesus Hernandez, Media Editor 

Before signing up for classes, students can browse through the college handbook, which lists every class available. Classes are under each major, they may be required for, along with credits and information about that major. Students can go ahead and sign up for classes according to their major but it is always advised to stop by advising and speak with an advisor on campus about mandatory classes and the exact route that is best for that particular student. Depending on if or where the student may be transferring in the future, they could be authorized to take particular classes to meet the university’s requirements. Another way to browse classes are through the express registration on the college website. This feature can be located under “Class Schedule” from the homepage. This is where the student can look for classes under any subject or even instructor. Once the student enters in either a subject or instructor to browse, they will see various classes open that meet the requirements entered. This will display available classes including their times, credits, and costs.

The next most important thing a student needs to decide, after picking the right courses, is deciding on the right professor. Having the right professor is critical for the student’s success in the class. How can students know a professor is going to be right for them ? There is a website that helps students with this struggle called The website has every college campus and many of the professors from those colleges featured on the site with previous students’ feedback. Many students do actually use this site and comment their constructive criticism of the course with the particular professor. Carolyn Sherry, a college student, says, “I always look at the site before I sign up for a class so I try to comment on my professors when they are great or if maybe they aren't that great so others can be aware. When I add a comment on a professor that I wasn't a big fan of I always make sure I add every particular reason that professor was tough for me because others may not have a problem with everything you personally do so it's good to say exactly what bugs you about them so others can analyze the professor fairly.” This is very helpful because after reading the comments the student can decide for themselves if this is the right professor for them or not. If a student struggles with lots of research papers or extremely strict grading methodology and they see a professor they were thinking about taking is known for these things, the student will be prepared or has the opportunity to switch the class for a more suitable professor. “I have went on the site to look up professors before, after signing up for a class and have seen some not so good comments about them which are basically things like grading too strictly, not communicating well, or work having nothing to do with the course and changed instructors but I have never seen anything out of line”, Sherry says. College is suppose to be most beneficial to the student so having the right professors can help make that student successful. College websites are the best place to get any information about important dates, events, and campus opportunities. The Lake Sumter State College website has their calendar of important dates posted right on their homepage. Some important dates that are posted include the dates classes end, final exams begin and end, term ends, and grades available. This is where you would find deadlines for signing up for classes, submitting financial aid applications, and payments. There is also, on the homepage, a column for news including information on events and organizations. Your college’s website is there to help students and contains a plethora of information They are also updated frequently so the information is always valid for the students’ convenience.

Most colleges have on campus part time and full time job opportunities. Students must meet all requirements, which could include a degree. Some positions include director admissions, computer technician, and learning center tutors. There are also work study positions available to offer jobs to students who need to earn funds to help pay for their educational expenses. To provide a work experience which will enhance the student’s educational and/or occupational goals, and provides additional services which would otherwise not exist for LSSC and for participating public or private non-profit organizations . As well as on campus work-study, there are Federal Work Study Community Service Learning opportunities for students. The student can do work that benefits the community and residents. Hiring events are held on campus for students currently seeking employment in the Health, Education, Public and Human Services fields. Some tips to prepare for the event include creating a professional resume that emphasizes your skills and practice good interviewing skills because the event is part of the interview, make a good impression.

College students usually try to find cheap entertainment. It is a good idea for students to keep their student card on them at all times because many places offer a student discount. “College students get discounts on movie tickets, bus tickets, and various stores offer a percentage off at each purchase. A lot of students get their books online rather than the bookstore because they're cheaper and I usually use Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and they have an "Amazon Student" account you can sign up for to get discounts”, says college student, Eduardo Bracero. Along with discounts there are a lot of others way students can find cheap entertainment, even on campus. The Theatre Arts Society at the college usually puts on different plays throughout the semesters, right now at Lake Sumter State College there is a play going on April 5th, 6th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th called “God Spell”. There are also baseball and softball games students can attend, which are free for LSSC students. The next baseball and softball games are both held on April 5th at 1:00pm. Students can also get involved in on campus clubs such as FCA, College Democrats, Brain Bowl, S.A.F.I.R.E, and Theatre Arts Society. Many students ask about working out in their college’s health center so they do not have to add a gym membership, of approximately $50 a month, to their expenses. Students do not really think about cheap entertainment as being an easy thing to find but it really is. There are free museums that students could go to, parks, libraries, bike riding, nature walks, free local live music events, art galleries, community festivals and events, free campgrounds, taking pets to the dog park,volunteering opportunities, and even getting a couple friends together for a board game or puzzle. Especially when you are with a group of friends, anything can be enjoyable when you need to get away from all the stress for a while.

Even though stress is inevitable for college students stress reducers like help choosing classes, professors, finding important deadlines, discovering on campus employment opportunities, and knowing the cheap entertainment nearby can help students so they can focus on what really matters to succeed. College campuses are there for the students’ benefit so I highly recommend when walking down the hallways of campus, looking around at the billboard posts and flyers containing information on all sorts of information for students to keep updated. The greatest way for students to be aware of these simple but important top five tips is to encourage your fellow students to check them out.

Monday, April 14, 2014

LSSC offers many scholarships as tuition rises

By: Clayton Chak, Leesburg Campus
Photo courtesy of everystockphoto

With the prices of college tuition, it may be difficult for students to afford the rising prices of tuition each year to attend community, state or university colleges. At Lake-Sumter State College, the cost of tuition depends on factors such as whether or not the student is a Florida resident, the student is pursuing a Certificate and Associate (AA, AS and AAS) degree program, or if the student is earning a Baccalaureate (BAS) degree.

Tuition for any of the degree programs can be expensive, but there is a variety of ways to earn money on campus through scholarships, Financial Aid and on-campus clubs who award its members by participating in group events. The first step to applying for free money should be to find the Financial Aid office, located in the Student Services building at the Leesburg campus. The advisors in the office will help direct new and current students on how to apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a government assisted financial aid program distributing money to students based on the information provided on their tax returns. 

If the student is a dependent, they will have the option to file under the tax return of whomever he or she is dependent upon. Another way to earn money is by submitting an application to the LSSC Foundation. The foundation spends year after year reaching out to local businesses and foundation members for donations towards student scholarships, which can only be awarded to LSSC students. Roseanne Brandeburg, Executive Director of the Foundation, is one of the foundations members who collects money which helps many students pay for tuition and books. According to Brandeburg, the LSSC Foundation raised $261,380 for student scholarships in 2013, and has currently opened the application process for the month of March 2014. 

The foundation offers applications three times throughout the year for students to get scholarships. If students enjoy participating in extra-curricular activities, several clubs on campus offer scholarships to those who participate avidly in the organized events. Other groups that may provide scholarship money are Brain Bowl, College Diplomats, Odyssey, Student Government Association, among other groups.

Godspell skillfully brings song, dance and a message to the stage

Story by: Katie McKay, Staff Writer
Photos by: Katie McKay

Godspell actors sing and dance during the curtain call, also considered to be the resurrection of Jesus.
Not far into Godspell, Chris Stephens walks to the front of the stage wearing smart-looking glasses, a dress shirt and slacks. He’s playing the part of Jesus. With a flick of his wrist the glasses skitter across the ground. He tears off his shirt to reveal a Superman symbol, and snatches off the slacks to show bright red pants with rainbow suspenders, thus setting the stage for an over-the-top, 70’s retelling of the gospel of Matthew.

Written in 1971 by John-Michael Tebelak, this play was designed to tell the gospel in what was then the modern day, and to recount it with joy. It has been performed both on and off Broadway and around the world, and was made into a movie in 1973. Since it deals with the story of Christ, it is a fitting play for the Easter season and is loved by church groups especially.

Lake-Sumter State College’s Theatre Arts Society decided to put their own spin on the show after seeing how cost-effective the set was, despite having to pay royalties. It is also a favorite of director Gary Rogers, who performed in the play at the beginning of his career. They couldn’t have planned it for a better time, with Easter only a little over a week away.

The actors really came into their own with the Godspell music. Ethan Earls had the first solo as John the Baptist, and carried the rolling melody of Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord with aplomb even as he walked down the auditorium steps. Stephens had solos throughout the show that allowed him to show off his enchanting tenor voice, called surprisingly good by some of the LSSC students who had seen the show. Haley Murk presented another notable solo, performing Turn Back, O Man with rich tone and style. Monica Lamud, Murk, and Stephens also made for a close-knit trio in By My Side. Lamud gave the song a personal, intimate feel, and drew the audience in closer because of it.

Chris Stephens plays the part of Jesus in the crucifixion scene.
Jackie Spradley opened up dramatically on stage with a spunky, free style of acting, and she paired well with Jacob Kerner in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Kerner inserted timely comedy throughout the play, such as when he shouted, “I’m coming, Elizabeth!” while feigning death. Jakob Preston excelled in all areas and even pulled off some gymnastics at the curtain call. Playing the part of Jeffery, Michael Griswold starred in the catchy song We Beseech Thee while sporting a Mario-esque look with a red had and drawn-on mustache. Sarah Gray filled multiple roles by choreographing the show as well as skillfully singing and dancing in it as the character Joanne.

Performing beside the actors for the entire show was the ensemble, which consisted of a piano, drum set, and an electric, acoustic and bass guitar all conducted by David DeHoog. They accompanied the play perfectly and added a special element to it with their talent. DeHoog even had a solo in the play, singing duet at times with Gray. The talent for the ensemble was gathered from varying places. The electric guitar player David Rowe, for instance, learned to play from YouTube videos, and actually wrote his own solos for the performance.

The play as a whole was carried out in a reverent way. While they actors did lend their enthusiasm and dramatic touch to the gospel, the Biblical message was never taken lightly or derided. “I believe [Godspell] was written with respect for the material it was based upon. And each time I have performed in it or have seen it presented, I believe that same respect is evident in the staging and acting as well,” Rogers notes in the program. At the performance he said, “I haven’t heard any complaints.”

Sarah Gray and ensemble director David DeHoog perform On the Willows together.
While lack of respect wasn’t a problem, some LSSC students commented that the play was a little too religious for them. Donald Henderson, who came to support the theatre group, said, “It’s more about the acting. I’m not so keen on the Godspell part of it,” indicating the broad connections between the performance and scripture. Jesus’ lines, for instance, are almost verbatim from the Bible, and the same is true for other characters at various points in the play. Another student shared Henderson’s view in passing during the intermission, saying that he liked the singing and dancing, but not so much the rest of it.

Stephens had no such problem while playing Jesus. He was approached after the show by audience members who had noticed his tattoos of an Ichthus and the star of David and wondered if they were temporarily applied for the show. He assured everyone that they were real and said, “I love Jesus in real life, so it works out for the show.”

Jakob Preston added, “I thoroughly enjoyed every single message that was in this play.” He said the best possible outcome would be for members of the audience to walk away with something good from Godspell. Haley Murk explained that while she isn’t a religious person and originally had reserves about the theme, she soon enjoyed her part in the production, saying, “I can rock out to this; this is cool.”

Michael Griswold enthusiastically leads the cast in We Beseech Thee.
The audience was mostly comprised of older Lake county citizens looking for a good show. Joan Wright heard about the play through the Orlando Sentinel and came with her husband to buy tickets before the theater doors even opened. “I knew it was very popular,” she said. “I want to see their rendition of it.” She already knew what Godspell was about, and was able to give a brief summary of the plot. Several others heard about it through word of mouth and came with friends.

Noticeably lacking in the crowd were LSSC students, save for a few who came for extra credit. Director Rogers acknowledged that it is difficult for students to attend during normal play hours. Several matinee times were offered, but the majority of the audience was still made up of outside community members and parents.

Overall, Godspell was an uplifting experience that packed a powerful message. Both actors and audience alike were happy to share their favorite bits. Several patrons noted that they loved the personality of the characters, and how they were all individuals. Henderson cited the sheep and goats scene as the best, and others commented on the show’s fun atmosphere.

Chris Stephens sings Save the People while showing off his ironically appropriate tattoo of the star of David. 
Of the cast, several pointed to dancing as a favorite aspect of Godspell. Spradley said it “was definitely a fun element to the show.” Singing, dancing and acting all at the same time, she says, was “tiring but fun.” Stephens agreed that it was a challenge. His favorite part of the play: “All the people I get to work with.” Others mentioned bonding and extra credit as their motivation.

Various audience members – some of whom had just visited LSSC campus for the first time – affirmed that they would be back for future productions. This, if nothing else, can be counted as a mark of success for LSSC’s Theatre Arts Society. Godspell has left a lasting impression, and it’s a good one.

Friday, April 11, 2014

LSSC holds beach themed BBQ

By: Kevin Trinidad
Photos By: Kevin Trinidad

Hunter Blaise and Jessica Lord enjoying the sand.
Having been in the talks since last year, the joint venture between the Diplomats and Student Government Association was erected on Apr. 10 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on the Sails Pavilion ground at South Lake. The Beach BBQ looked like a success since its conception, and based on today’s observations, the assumption could not have been more accurate.

Being that March is Kite Month, the SGA were aware and a newsletter was sent to LSSC students advising them to “Watch out for our upcoming kite event!” Ultimately the kite event was incorporated into the Beach BBQ, and it was as suiting as the sun that shown down, making it feel like real beach weather.

Rebecca Nour and Brandon flying kites.
Student, Jessica Lord, was right in the center of the pavilion when the event started. Fresh out of Chemistry II class, Lord was happy to get some free time, “It’s nice to be able to come out here and sit down to relax, and the pork sundae tastes really good too.” The beach atmosphere did not escape Lord, “It was well done, there is sand and water to play with, and if everyone were in their bathing suits it would really look like a beach.”

With a Southern twist on the classic ice-cream sundae, the ones at the Beach BBQ consisted of a clear cup filled with: pulled pork, baked beans, mashed potatoes, BBQ sauce, and a tiny tomato. If it weren’t for the distinct size variations and inconsistent texture from what is usually put on a sundae, the Pork Sundae’s would have easily been perceived as ice-cream. The BBQ sauce was reminiscent of chocolate syrup, as was the tiny tomato to a cherry. Also for consumption was a bake sale, in which the proceeds benefited the Students Helping Students Scholarship.

Students expressing their creativity and creating sand art.
One of the first songs the DJ played was “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, and it was symbolic of the way everyone was feeling.

Students were also able to take pictures with a surfboard backdrop and a floor covering that gives the illusion of sand; hula-hoop as much as much as one can desire; fill fish-shaped key chains and pirate bottles with sand of various colors, creating what is known as sand art. A mountain bike was auctioned off to a lucky winner.

Timothy Lord, student and winner of the bike, helped set up the Beach BBQ and was satisfied with the outcome, “It’s barely 12:30 and there are about 50 people here right now.” Lord mentioned the benefits that come from the social aspects of events like this, “People can get to know one another here. I met Charles Gregory (fellow Diplomat) and Carmen at an LSSC event, and not only are we good friends, but Carmen informed me about SGA and I attend now.”

Returning student, Joanne Millendez, graduated from Valencia Community College, and is back to Lake Sumter to further her education in nursing. Millendez recalls what her first impression on Lake-Sumter was, “It has really grown a lot. I initially did not want to come here after I graduated from East Ridge High School in 09’, but now it seems and looks like a real college.”

Heather Luis hula-hooping.


Comic by: Katie McKay