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 has been connecting students at LSSC with jobs since 2000.
Students take advantage of tutors and updated technology in the Learning Center.
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.
LSSC's Theater Arts Society prepares for a Halloween-themed production.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
|Cindy Lackey is well-known around campus for her helpfulness and dedication.|
This year, she was nominated for and received the Bob Graham Distinguished Service Award, given by the Florida College System Student Government Association. There are several categories for this award, including community supporter, community college student, community college employee, and SGA advisor. Any of 28 different colleges in the FCSSGA can nominate people for these awards. A selection committee then reviews each nomination and makes a choice.
“I’m very honored that our students here at Lake-Sumter nominated me,” Lackey says. “I feel like I just do my job every day, but I’m happy they think that I do a good job of that, enough to nominate me for an award like this. It’s very… humbling, I guess, is a good word for it.”
The plaque reads, “The Bob Graham Distinguished Service Award is presented to Cindy Lackey in honor and recognition of the outstanding dedication and service you have rendered to your community college. Through your extra efforts, the lives of those you have interacted with have been enriched. For this reason you have been selected from nominees throughout the state as an individual who truly typifies the community college spirit.”
|Lackey states that receiving such a prestigious award is an honor and a humbling experience.|
Lackey didn’t seem too upset. “I got a good laugh in the van on the way home,” she said. “Misspelled words tend to catch my attention. Plus, the period is missing, so the whole sentence kind of reads weird, but it was still an honor to get the award. It’s just that the plaque is funny. That in no way belittles the award.” She says that she didn't want it remade; its quirks will stay with her forever.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
|Officials Jackie Spradley, Sara Corvil, Kristin Smith and Jeffrey Rivera talk science at a meeting.|
The STEM club has to do with meta-majors, which are something new this year. These are broad focuses of study that allow students to explore several majors in a particular field while staying on track for their degrees, according to the Florida College Access Network. Lake-Sumter State College recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to create a STEM program designed as an academic resource for students with meta-majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The STEM club’s mission statement reflects this, stating that their goal is to “foster excitement, confidence and literacy by enabling the student body and community to engage in an exploratory learning environment that advances knowledge, application and nurtures success.”
Officials of the STEM club are currently preparing for Connections Week, an academic showcase for the clubs and programs on campus which will be held on Sept 10 and 11. Members Jacqueline Spradley, Adviser Sara Corvil, Secretary Kristin Smith, and Student Government Association Representative Jeffrey Rivera have discussed topics for experiment ideas that would gain interest of those who attend LSSC.
The STEM club will be hosting its first official meeting on Sept 18 at 5 p.m in the Student Center, Room 108, and it will be open to anyone interested. They will discuss be future plans of the club and the benefits that STEM offers to students.
To submit live experiment ideas, students can send an e-mail to LSSCSTEM@gmail.com
Thursday, September 4, 2014
|The Big Red Bus comes to LSSC approximately every eight weeks, and is met with many loyal donors.|
She wasn’t the only one drawn by the desire to save lives, or in some cases, by the desire to cash in on the rewards of donating. The Big Red Bus saw lots of traffic on Aug. 27 as students came by to exchange life-saving blood for movie tickets, beach towels, gift cards and coupons.
|Burnai Capron decided to save lives on her birthday, donating for the first time.|
Taylor Blackman is a part-time student as LSSC, and is included in the “loyal donor” crowd. His loyalty is inspired by a friend who made a habit of donating, as well as his friend's wife, who worked for a blood center. “It’s good to know that everything stays local; it’s very cool to help out your community locally. I like that part as well,” he says. To those thinking of donating, he adds, “It doesn’t take that long, and you know it goes to a good cause. Plus you get free stuff.”
|Loyal donor Taylor Blackman shows off his bandage after donating double red blood cells on the ALYX machine.|
The Blood Bus returns approximately every eight weeks, so students can prepare to donate again sometime at the end of October.
|Lawana Young displays a recent donation on the Big Red Bus, where students and teachers alike help save lives.|
|Auditioning for Castle of Blood are Matt Hyland, Josh Roberson, Lynne Beasley, and Jacob Kerner.|
Castle of Blood intertwines Edgar Allen Poe’s Masque of the Red Death, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus. The production itself is based around the premise of all the stories occurring in the same castle centuries apart from each other.
The play will have its first preview show on Oct. 9 and a second on Oct. 10, both at 7:30 p.m. Opening night will be on Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. with shows running through Oct. 19 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets will be free to students and faculty of Lake-Sumter, and will be $5 for the general public. The Theater Arts Society is hoping for student support for this production, and aims to have everyone on the edge of their seats. For more information about Castle of Blood or the Theater arts Society, contact the Theater Arts Society’s director Gary Rogers at the Black Box Theater, or contact the Theater Arts Society’s president Chris Stevens.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Photos by: Glenda Libby
|Students gather for information at the Ask-us-Anything tables on the first few days of school.|
She estimates that hundreds of students came by the Ask Us Anything tables, which were stationed near the Language Arts building. Most of the visitors were new students looking for their classes or specific campus buildings. Others came to get parking decals or browse the Buck-a-Book sale on an adjoining table.
Kane notes a great turnout in terms of volunteers as well. 61 faculty and staff members from all over school signed up to help in one to two-hour shifts, and were joined at various times by members of the South Lake campus Student Government Association, the Student Ambassadors, the intramural sports teams, and the student body in general.
The Ask-Us-Anything crew was well-prepared this Fall with more documents and more ways to help, as well as a laptop so students could easily look up information. “It gets better every year because we learn,” says Kane. Some past problems, such as serving chocolate that melts in the heat, were easily avoided this year. Others, such as guiding students who signed up for a class on the wrong campus, are reoccurring issues, but each Fall brings another opportunity to adapt and make the first few days of school run a little bit smoother.
Friday, August 29, 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
|LSSC alumni Teena McKay and Ana McGlohorn stand before Florida Hospital Waterman, where they both work thanks to the guidance of Brandy Ziesemer.|
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.
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.
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.|
“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.|
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.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
|"Everybody needs a home here," says Dr. Searle, who |
overseers many of the programs that benefit students.
Though new to our school, Dr. Searle is no novice in terms of her career. She has been working in higher education administration for more than 20 years in at least six universities, which include one public college, two state colleges, and three private Christian universities. She has also worked hard for her knowledge, with three degrees to show for it. From the University of Wisconsin she earned her Bachelor of Science in Marketing Education; from the University of Tennessee, her Master of Science in Adult Education and College Student Personnel; and from Indiana University, her Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration.
Though she attended larger colleges, Dr. Searle has always preferred small towns. She grew up in Tennessee and Wisconsin before moving to Florida and staying for 12 years. Now, after three years in Kentucky, she is back in the Sunshine State. “It’s good to be home,” she says. Part of the reason she joined LSSC was her desire to return to Florida, where she can be closer to her parents, brother and sister-in-law.
LSSC was also appealing to her because of its size. “I like small college environments. I like to know the students,” she says. “I like to know the faculty and the staff. When you’re in a big school, everybody’s a number.” The overall aim of the school was appealing to her as well. “I believe in the mission of the state college system, where students have access to education. And we’re really the most affordable education students can receive, so I believe in that mission.”
Another draw was the challenge. She aims to reverse LSSC’s recent decline in enrollment (which is a problem she has had success solving at other schools), improve the rates of retention and graduation, and get students more involved in their school. Connections, she says, are top priority. “Everybody needs to have a home here – everybody needs to have a connection,” whether it is through clubs, sports or some other activity.
In reality, helping students is the whole purpose of her job. As the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Affairs, she oversees the departments that directly benefit students: Student Development (which includes student life, disabilities services, advising, etc.), Youth Outreach Programs, Student Affairs for Sumter and South Lake campuses, Admissions, and the Registrar.
Her work days are filled with meetings that help the college make decisions about policies, procedures, budgeting, mentoring, training staff, hiring, and more. Her administration position also means that there is “unfortunately, not as much contact with students as I would like.” As an avid people-person, she attends as many school functions as possible to get to know the students better.
In her free time, she takes full advantage of what Florida has to offer. She loves boating and going to the pool, as well as visiting the Historic State Theatre and cultural festivals. Shopping, entertaining guests, and playing with her three Shih Tzus are also activities she enjoys.
Most spectacular about her free time, however, is her travel record. “I’ve been very fortunate,” she says, that her parents instilled in her a love for travel by taking her on family trips every summer while she was a child. After college, she visited Europe for the first time. Today Dr. Searle has visited all 50 states, and about the same number of countries. Not many “small town” people can say the same.
Overall, Dr. Searle is an outgoing and highly-involved addition to the Lake-Sumter family. Students might consider her position to be “behind-the-scenes,” but her work enriches the college as a whole and helps futures soar even higher.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Photo By: Patrick Endicott
|Sophmore Chris Blanton showing determination at bat, just like he does in the classroom.|
Photo By: P.Endicott
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|
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
Photo By: Kevin Trinidad
|Rebecca Nour looking at textbooks for future courses.|
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
|players learning the ropes from Matt Byrd,|
the magic instructor for the table.
Players going all out against one another for a shot of the prizes.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
|Blonde hair fetches some of the highest prices per inch. Selling it can be a quick fix for a big bill.|
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 buyandsellhair.com, 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. Hairwork.com was one of, if not the first to connect individual sellers with buyers. More sophisticated sites such as buyandsellhair.com 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.|
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.