Press Release
Posted March 3, 2022

The League for Innovation in the Community College is recognizing four Lorain County Community College faculty members making a difference on campus and in the community.

The League for Innovation in the Community College is an international nonprofit organization with a mission to cultivate innovation in the community college environment. LCCC faculty members receiving The League’s Excellence Award for 2021-2022 are:

Vincent Granito, Jr., Ph.D., professor of psychology and women’s basketball coach
Harry Kestler, Ph.D., professor of microbiology
Hope Moon, Ph.D., professor of nursing
Christine Sheetz, library coordinator and professor in the teaching and learning support division

Headshots of four LCCC professors
Clockwise from top left: Harry Kestler, Christine Sheetz, Vincent Granito, Hope Moon

Kestler and Moon received the award in recognition of their service to the LCCC campus and community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. From the onset of the pandemic, Kestler provided scientific data that informed LCCC’s COVID response. In his popular “COVID-eo” YouTube series, Kestler used his background as a virologist to inform the public while maintaining a calm and reassuring presence. In total, Kestler made more than 80 COVID-eos with over 100,000 views. In creating the series, Kestler said he aimed to follow the advice of Fred Rogers and be a helper during challenging times.

“When the pandemic began, we were all frightened. There was a lot of misinformation circulating and I am a virologist. So, I became a helper,” Kestler said.

As a nurse, Moon felt called to improve public health during the pandemic. She became a member of the Ohio Medical Reserve Corps and trained to administer COVID vaccines. She volunteered at countless vaccine clinics in the region, vaccinating hundreds of people against COVID. Additionally, Moon played a critical role in bringing vaccine clinics to the LCCC campus for students, faculty and staff. Throughout her career as a nurse and a nurse educator, Moon said the drive to help others has always been at the forefront.

“I was simply doing what nurses do in a crisis and what we as LCCC do to serve our community,” Moon said.

Granito and Sheetz received the Excellence Award for their work in supporting student success through the creation of LCCC’s new Teaching and Learning Center. The pair led a group of LCCC faculty and administrators who helped develop the concept and mission of the center.

“I am thrilled to be recognized for my service to the LCCC students, faculty and community,” Sheetz said.

LCCC’s Teaching and Learning Center promotes and supports transformative, innovative teaching and mentoring for the campus community through collaboration and reflection across all stages of an academic career. The center places an emphasis on inclusive excellence, evidence-based practices, quality and innovation to enhance professional learning in an effort to foster a culture of teaching excellence at LCCC.

“I believe the strength of LCCC has been the faculty and the innovative teaching practices directed toward the success of our students,” Granito said. “This has really been true over the last two years and the adjustments made during the pandemic.”

LCCC President Marcia J. Ballinger, Ph.D., said Granito, Kestler, Moon and Sheetz went above and beyond to fulfill the mission of LCCC by helping students, employees and the community during challenging times.

“As our region experienced hardships related to the pandemic, these remarkable faculty members rose to the challenge and did their part to make our campus and community a better place for all,” Ballinger said.

The award winners will be recognized during The League for Innovation in the Community College’s annual awards celebration on March 3, a component of this year’s virtual conference.