MATTOON (JG-TC) — For Annette Lynch of Charleston, Lake Land College isn’t just a place to take classes or earn a degree; it’s a way of life.
Lynch, who retired from teaching science at Charleston Middle School in 2001 after 35 years, returned to school, enrolling at Lake Land College in order to keep herself up-to-date with the world around her. However, beyond the role of student, Lynch spends countless hours volunteering her time to the college by working with fellow students, participating in Club IT, and working with the Business Division on projects related to the Information Technology (IT) programs.
“I may have retired from education, but I never stopped learning,” said Lynch. “My mom always read and kept her mind sharp, even in her older years. I wanted to stay sharp, so I decided come to Lake Land College.”
According to Scott Rhine, coordinator and instructor of the IT programs, Lynch serves as a positive role model to her fellow students in the IT programs. He said that she is the unofficial advisor for the digital media students and is an advocate for students, helping them acquire the services and supplies they need.
Lynch is also an active member of Club IT and takes on a leadership role in the club, although she has never held an official officer position. Rhine said that Lynch is perhaps the most influential club member, because she serves as the club’s task master, motivator, public relations person and service-learning mentor.
“Annette was instrumental in creating and planting the Club IT garden, and has spent countless hours maintaining it,” said Rhine. “She organizes clean-up days around Webb Hall and is instrumental in challenging other club members to adopt a building on campus for clean-up.”
Lynch regularly promotes social outings for the students in the IT programs, and for the Business and Computer Contest, hosted by Club IT, Lynch serves as the unofficial hostess and caterer. In the classroom, Lynch serves as an unpaid lab assistant, directly improving the quality of the IT programs. She regularly cleans and organizes specialized equipment and ensures it is functioning properly so that it is always available for students to use. Rhine said that Lynch is the go-to person if someone in the IT programs needs something, and if she can’t make something happen herself, she will find a person who can.
“Annette is a tireless champion of Lake Land,” said Rhine. “With her youthful spirit and energy, she epitomizes all that Lake Land stands for and uses every opportunity to improve the Business Division and the college, and we greatly appreciate that.”
In addition to earning a digital media specialist certificate, Lynch takes classes in the Radio/TV program and DJs for 89.9 The Max Alternative radio station on campus. She said that being on-air, announcing for alternative rock music has been quite a learning experience for her, but that it is something she greatly enjoys. She also earned an esthetics certificate in 2007 and a massage therapy certificate in 2008.
“Whether it’s planting a garden on campus to creating high-tech videos, Annette has devoted her life to improving Lake Land College and to that we are grateful,” said Lake Land College President Scott Lensink.
Because of her service to the college, Lynch will be honored for her outstanding commitment to Lake Land with the 2013 Distinguished Service Award at the 46th annual commencement ceremony, Friday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m. The award is designed to acknowledge an individual who has rendered outstanding service to Lake Land College.