Chris Blanton wins FCSAA award

Chris Blanton, Sophomore Catcher from Timber Creek HS, has been awarded the prestigious Bill Tuten Baseball Scholar-Athlete from the FCSAA Baseball Committee.

Professor Ziesemer helps students find and thrive in new careers

Professor Ziesemer has been connecting students at LSSC with jobs since 2000.

When it comes to questions the Learning Center is there

Students take advantage of tutors and updated technology in the Learning Center.

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

Friday, August 29, 2014

First things first

Comic by: Katie McKay

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Professor Brandy Ziesemer helps students find and thrive in new careers

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

LSSC alumni Teena McKay and Ana McGlohorn stand before Florida Hospital Waterman, where they both work thanks to the guidance of Brandy Ziesemer.

Beth Hudson started out waiting tables. She wanted to give her daughter “the life she deserved,” and worked hard to make it happen. Today she works at Florida Hospital Waterman, with July marking her eighth year there. She now helps physicians with documentation and timeliness, making sure their forms are filled out quickly and accurately. She also helps medical coders ask the doctors questions when needed. Hudson loves her job because it ends up helping the patients, and most importantly, her daughter has the life that Hudson wanted for her.

Teena McKay worked in a school kitchen for 13 years to put her daughters through school. While going through a divorce, she lived in a one-bedroom apartment with her two daughters, working full-time in the kitchen as well as taking classes at Lake-Sumter so she could support herself in the future. Today she works at Waterman along with Hudson as a medical coder, assigning codes to written diagnoses for billing by insurance companies. She now has the career of her dreams, and recently, a new home as well.

These women are just two of the many students who found their new beginning in Brandy Ziesemer’s classroom. Ziesemer was asked to help start Lake-Sumter’s Health Information Management (HIM) course, and saw it accredited in 2000. Since then, she has helped thirteen graduates get a job at Waterman, eight with the Central Florida Health Alliance and eight at South Lake Hospital.

Ziesemer has been helping HIM students at LSSC find careers since
the course began in 2000.
“We have almost 100% placement rate for our degree graduates and for our coding and billing graduates,” says Ziesemer. Besides the major hospitals, she has helped graduates secure health information management jobs with accountable care organizations, the Lake County Corrections Institute, the Orange County medical examiner, the county jail, Lifestream, nursing homes, individual small practices and more.

Jessica Yelvington, who has been at Waterman for nearly four years, was hired because of a practicum that Ziesemer arranged. “She picks cool places close to you,” says Yelvington. “Brandy was a really good teacher. She really knew her stuff and knew what to teach you.”

According to Susan Bump, the Health Information Services (HIS) Operations Coordinator, Ziesemer also instilled in her students a good work ethic for their future careers. “She emphasized that our participation in the course was kind of like a job. Our attendance was important; if she were to refer us to a job or recommend us or act as a reference, she could say what we did in school as far as attendance and performance.”

Ziesemer was the one who helped Bump get her first job coding job with Per-Se Technologies, before she moved to Waterman. Now, Bump returns the favor by overseeing those who Ziesemer sends in for practicums. “I want to always give back to Brandy because of what she’s done for me and for everybody. She’s a good advocate for the profession and for her students and former students, and she’s a friend.”

Susan Bump found her first job in HIM through Ziesemer. She has since become the
Heath Information Services Operations coordinator at Waterman.
Teena McKay is the most recent of Ziesemer’s students to find a career at Waterman, having just been hired September of last year. “[Brandy] was just there whenever I needed her; she was a great advocate for me, helping me to get a job, helping me to learn. She’s always made comments that just encourage me to keep going.” McKay calls Ziesemer a blessing from God, saying, “I thank God for putting me where I’m at right now. I asked him to give me favor with Brandy and with my new supervisor… and he did. I give him the glory.”

To Ziesemer, helping students succeed is like a hobby. She is constantly making connections in the health information field that allow her to find jobs for those in her classes. “I just try to keep my fingers in as many pots as possible, because it all winds up helping my students,” she says.

Ziesemer worked as a middle manager for a managed care organization in New Jersey and northern California before moving to Florida in 1993 to help with a personal business. She went from working 60 hours per week to 20 after the move, and to fill in the extra time she asked to teach a continuing education coding course at what was then Lake County Area Vocational Technical Center. When Lake-Sumter Community College asked her to teach shortly after, Ziesemer had all the experience but none of the accreditations needed to formally teach. So, within eight months she completed the entire HIM course and took the National Certification Exam so she could teach. In 2003 she earned a coding certificate just to make the program more credible.

Now she is a Registered Health Information Administrator, a Certified Coding Specialist and an American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) – approved trainer for ICD-10 coding. She has a Masters in English, as well as 18 Masters-level graduate credit hours in healthcare informatics. She has also published a textbook – Medical Office Management and Technology: An Applied Approach – and co-authored and contributed to several others.

Besides being well-qualified, Bump says that Ziesemer also keeps the information she teaches up to date. “It’s a really, really good course,” she says, and adds that she would recommend the program to anyone due to its value in the career field.

According to Hudson, one of the best features of the HIM field is the great variety of possible jobs and the opportunities to branch out. She originally wanted to become a coder, but found that she liked working with the physicians most because it ultimately helps the patients. This fact gave her work a purpose, so that for her it is more than just a job.

Beth Hudson found a career she loves by branching out in the field of HIM.
Yelvington handles birth certificates, which she says “are always fun.” One of the highlights of her job is getting to see all the interesting and strange names that come through. For McKay, a Certified Coding Specialist, her work is “kind of like solving mysteries every day.” She takes a written record from a doctor, finds diagnoses in it and assigns a code to each one so that insurance companies can be properly billed.

“I love the job I have just because of the people I work with and the professional atmosphere there,” she adds. This was a sentiment expressed by several others in her department, including Bump, Yelvington, and Ana McGlohorn, who codes ER records as well as auditing others’ work. She has been with Waterman for nine years so far, and says, “It’s been a great place to work.”

All it takes for a student to get a career in Health Information Management is a few courses at LSSC, and the HIM workers at Waterman have some advice for the journey. McKay’s counsel is to “Buckle down, take advantage of all the help Brandy has to offer, be diligent, don’t let up. Stick to it. Focus. If a student in Brandy’s classes works hard, and shows her that they’re working hard and they’re really trying, she will advocate for them every way possible.”

Hudson’s advice is to be flexible, and not to expect to learn everything at once. There is lots of information in the HIM course, and it changes often. She also reminds students that they may have to work their way up to the job that they want. Hudson initially spent two years answering phones before advancing, and has since played many roles as she moved up through the ranks.

Yelvington counsels students to pay attention to the rules of the medical information field, and Bump stresses that those in the HIM course should “definitely take [the] credentialing exams. Do it soon after you graduate. It’s something you’ll have forever. Brandy always impressed that upon us.”

Jessica Yelvington became acquainted with Waterman through a practicum that Ziesemer arranged. Now, she works with birth certificates there.
The course may seem daunting, but many of Ziesemer’s students made note of the help she gave them. “Brandy helped me the most in that she never let me give up,” says Hudson, who was going through a divorce and raising children while in Ziesemer’s class. She says Ziesemer makes sure that her students know she understands them and cares about them. Even before and after class, “if you ever needed help, she was there,” McGlohorn remembers. McKay sums it up by saying, “If you’re working hard and you’re really trying, she’ll be there for you.”

This goes back to the almost 100% placement rate that the HIM course has achieved. According to Ziesemer, the rare few who don’t immediately get jobs are those who simply don’t interview well. “It has nothing to do with the technical part of the job,” she says. Lacking skills such as communication, a good work ethic, confidence and critical thinking, rather than a failure to learn, is what most often prevents a student from finding employment. If a student works hard and makes a good impression during their practicum, they are almost guaranteed a job at the end of the course.

Health Information Management is a solid career choice for any student. Though pursuing it takes some work, caring and enthusiastic teachers like Ziesemer bring it within reach. When “you know your teacher appreciates or notices what you’re doing, it encourages you to work harder,” says McKay. “If it hadn’t been for Brandy, I wouldn’t be working where I’m at now.” One person can sometimes make all the difference in a student’s career, and for many at Waterman and other hospitals all over Florida and beyond, that one person has been Brandy Ziesemer.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Catcher Blanton wins prestigious FCSAA Award

By: Patrick Endicott, Leesburg Campus
Photo By: Patrick Endicott 
Sophmore Chris Blanton showing determination at bat, just like he does in the classroom.
Photo By: P.Endicott
Chris Blanton, Sophomore Catcher from Timber Creek HS, has been awarded the prestigious Bill Tuten Baseball Scholar-Athlete from the FCSAA Baseball Committee. The Bill Tuten Baseball Scholar-Athlete Award was createc to honor an FCSAA baseball player who combines academic success with citizenship and athletics. The award is named after Bill Tuten who served as the FCSAA Athletic Commissioner and NJCAA Region Director for twenty-four years. A member of the FCSAA Hall of Fame, Bill Tuten’s high regard for the importance of a quality education along with athletic opportunities for student-athletes has been a driving force for academic excellence in Florida.

Blanton is one of the most highly regarded student-athletes in the programs history. His breadth of academic excellence can be seen in the classroom and on his transcript as he has achieved a 4.0 GPA and been named to the President’s list every semester at LSSC. Blanton has been on the FCSAA and Mid-Florida Conference All-Academic teams in the past and is slated to achieve these honors again this year as well as NJCAA Academic All-American honors this year. Blanton was also selected by the LSSC Student Government Association to attend the Florida Model United Nations Program, last fall at Santa Fe College. Blanton was recognized at this program as a “leader, having a good sense of humor and strong professionalism”, by his peers. Blanton has also served on the LSSC Student Life budget committee for two years and has been a representative on the College Wide Student Government Association advocating for his fellow teammates on the Lakehawks Baseball team as well as students within the college overall.

Photo Courtesy of LSSC Athletics
In addition to Blanton being a leader in Academics, he was the starting catcher for the team for the past two seasons. Blanton only committed three errors during his career with LSSC boasting a .994 fielding percentage and has thrown out 44 percent of all baserunners. Blanton played in 73 games during his collegiate career, starting in 65 of those. In the 2013 season Blanton was credited with 12 RBI's and 27 total bases, he followed that in the 2014 season with 33 total bases and one home run.

Blanton has also found time to be involved in community service activities serving as a elementary school mentor, reading to students as a part of the “Read Across America” reading program, “buddy” for the North Lake County Miracle league, volunteer at local little league clinics and also assisted with the Habitat for Humanity projects in our local community. Blanton having now completed his Associates Degree at Lake-Sumter is moving on to attend the University of Central Florida in the fall.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The final apocalypse

Comic by: Katie McKay

Students look back at the semester and at what lies ahead

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

Rebecca Nour looking at textbooks for future courses.
With mid-terms vastly coming to an end, students tend to forget all of the hard work they have put into school throughout these past four months. At the end of this spring semester, some students will be graduating from LSSC and moving on to bigger and better things, others will be reaching the half-way mark toward their AA degree, and others will proud to say they have survived their first semester in college. The common denominator within all of the students at LSSC is the drive to continue studying and pursue higher level education.

Jack Moynihan is a student at Lake-Sumter and can be commonly seen in the Learning Center focusing on homework. This semester is crucial for Moynihan because once the fall begins, he will no longer be a LSSC student; Moynihan will be enrolled in our partner in education school, the University of Central Florida. Moynihan feels “relieved” that graduation is only days away and is optimistic for the future, “I’ll be studying Sports & Exercise Science and can’t wait to be at UCF.”

Amanda Media was in the library, rapidly typing away on her laptop and wearing earphones to cancel out any noise that could possibly distract her. Media is finishing up her second semester and it “feels good.” Though Direct Connect is high on everyone’s plan for schooling after Lake-Sumter, Media is keeping her options open and is considering other Colleges and Universities in Florida to attend. Aside from studying for finals, Media is also preparing for summer courses.

Lovens Lauvore has completed his first year of college and is grateful for what it has taught him, “You get a good understanding of what is expected from you, and what school is like in larger, more dynamic University.” And though Lauvore had a successful year, his ambitions to transfer to Santa Barbara City College will be met in the fall, for the start of a new school year.

Rebecca Nour works in the Cooper Memorial Library, which is conveniently located on the LSSC South Lake campus. In between checking out guest with their books, Nour tells me of an eight page paper she has to finish and a five minute presentation she has to prepare. Nour has always been a hard worker and that is part of the reason why she is dual-enrolled, attending East Ridge High School when she is not at Lake-Sumter. Nour says she likes attending both schools, “I am able to advance in my educational career and get college credit while still be in high school,” and now she is contemplating which classes to take next term.

When asked what they would have changed or done differently about this semester, universally the answer was “try harder.” In any situation, all you can do is try your best, and by the looks of it, these students are on to even more achievements that what they have already accomplished. Congratulations to everyone on another successful semester, and may prosperity follow for the summer and fall term.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

LSSC Math Emporium is coming to LSSC

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

Patricia Velez standing in the soon-to-be math emporium.
In 2015, not only will Lithuania adopt the Euro currency and Queen Elizabeth II exceed Queen Victoria as the longest-reigning monarch, but the much anticipated South Lake Math Emporium will unveil. It will open in Jan. and act as an embarkation for the New Year and new semester. The target audience is any student enrolled in Developmental Mathematics I, Developmental Mathematics II, Intermediate Algebra, and College Algebra.

The Community Room located on the second floor of building one that has been home to many events in the past, most recently with the spring Welcome Back bash, will now host the Math Emporium. Once students enter the double doors leading into the emporium, they will be welcomed by a large, highly technologically advanced laboratory style room with touch-screen computers and tables waiting to seat students ready to learn math.

The unofficial mantra of the emporium would be something along the lines of “math is the way of life.” Mrs. Sybil Brown, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at LSSC and Math Redesign Coordinator, indicates that “students [will be] engaged in working on their math homework, watching instructional videos, getting one-on-one assistance, taking tests and feeling a sense of accomplishment as they are given personalized, individual attention.” The emporium is strictly a math zone, so generally it would be the math way or the highway, except there is no highway, and that is why there will be a vast amount of assistance.

LSSC faculty members will have the opportunity to recommend students in higher level math courses that will serve as Peer Assistants. Students who have taken higher level math courses with the addition of an AA degree or higher will fill the role of Instructional Assistants. LSSC’s own current full-time and adjunct members will be Math instructors. Math Emporium Coordinators will be full-time employees who have the task of overseeing the daily functions operating the emporium and spare mathematics and technical assistance to students in need.

Part of what will make this a success, and has already on the Leesburg campus, is the notion of interaction and how heavily stressed it is. An interactive environment combined with an atmosphere that caters to any kind of student will allow them to prosper in mathematics: students who have an easier understanding of math will be given the opportunity to advance ahead and even take tests earlier than usual to finish the course before the end of the semester; students who have a harder time comprehending math will have the opportunity to receive individual help in order to finish the course on time.

Mr. Thom Kieft, Mathematics Department Chair at LSSC, feels strongly about the emporium, and though the idea is innovative, Kieft says it will still contain conventional classroom methods, "The Emporium courses will also include a traditional classroom component (about 1 hour per week) in which students connect in a group setting with their instructor." And for students who struggle with similar issues Kieft says forming groups will be key, "There will be an opportunity for a small group of students to receive small group assistance if they have similar needs."

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

By: Mark Valentino, Features Writer
Photos by: Mark Valentino

players learning the ropes from Matt Byrd,
the magic instructor for the table.
On April 8 the students of SAFIRE 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. Second 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 of 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. Rachel 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.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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 Vice 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. Cindy 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. 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