Lorain County Community College student Jessica Olin, of Avon, was named a 2016 Coca-Cola New Century Scholar and to the All-Ohio Academic First Team by the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC) click now. The New Century Scholar is awarded to the top scoring student in each state.
LCCC student, Kevin Klanac, of North Ridgeville, was also named to the All-Ohio Academic First Team.
Olin and Klanac will be recognized for their achievements during a luncheon at the Ohio Statehouse on April 21. Olin will be also recognized as the Ohio New Century Scholar at the American Association of Community Colleges conference on April 12 in Chicago.
The All-Ohio award recognizes community college students for academic achievement, as well as leadership and community service. Olin and Klanac will receive scholarships for their placement on the team.
“Jessica and Kevin are two students making a big difference on campus and in the community,” LCCC President Roy A. Church said. “Being named Ohio’s New Century Scholar and to the First Academic Team are well-deserved honors. We are thrilled and exceedingly proud of them.”
Olin, 38, is studying psychology and carries a 4.0 grade point average. She will earn an associate of arts degree in 2017 and plans to continue on to earn a bachelor’s degree through LCCC’s University Partnership program with Cleveland State University.
Olin is an active member of LCCC’s chapter of Psi Beta psychology honor society, in which she takes a leadership role in complex research projects. She’s presented research at two conferences and attended the American Psychological Association conference in Toronto in 2015 to represent her research team, which was awarded second place in the ASA Committee on Associate and Baccalaureate Education Student Presentation Contest. She is now working on writing a manuscript to publish their findings. Olin also helped create a speakers bureau for Psi Beta, hosting monthly sessions on relevant psychological subjects that are open to the campus community.
Both Kevin and Jessica are members of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for community college students.
Olin is a mother to three boys and is a first-generation college student. She briefly attended The Ohio State University after high school but quit school to get married and start her family. She now does her homework alongside her children. Olin chose LCCC because it’s close to home and the schedule fits with her family’s busy life. Olin is treasurer for the Avon High School Academic Boosters and a member of the Avon Heritage School Boosters.
She plans to earn a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in psychology and develop programs for veterans.
“Jessica not only excels academically within her classes, but she also creates opportunities outside the classroom in which to further enhance her academic experience,” explained LCCC assistant professor Michelle Foust. “She is a role model for students of all ages as she is fully engaged in enriching her life through academics, research, and leadership. She sets the bar very high in our psychology department, and we feel very lucky to work with her.”
Klanac, 27, is studying accounting and has a 4.0 grade point average. He will earn an associate degree in accounting in May 2016 and will continue on to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Hiram College through LCCC’s University Partnership.
Klanac graduated from Lake Ridge High School and earned a full scholarship to The Ohio State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He worked labor jobs for five years before deciding to enroll at LCCC to pursue accounting. In addition to his studies, he is completing an internship at an accounting firm.
During his time at OSU, Klanac did not participate in many organized activities. He came to LCCC determined to get involved, and he has positively impacted campus in numerous ways. He served on the LCCC Student Senate as the Outreach Representative and accumulated more than 60 volunteer hours. As a Connect 2 Complete Peer Advocate, Klanac develops presentations to help his fellow students learn about the resources available to them on campus.
“As a Student Senator and in his academic work, Kevin has shown that he is a true leader on our campus and in the community,” said Church.
Klanac plans to earn his CPA license and become controller or CFO of a large corporation, or a partner at a large public accounting firm.
Created in 1997, the All-Ohio Academic Team provides recognition to outstanding students in Ohio’s public two-year colleges.
To be eligible, students must be nominated by their college president to the All-USA Academic Team. Nominees have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5. Winners are selected based on leadership qualities, community service and academic performance.