Five bidding for two LCC trustee seats
By Maddy Warren
Editor In Chief
U.S. citizens residing in the LCC district can vote on or before Nov. 3 for LCC trustees candidates.
Five candidates are running for two open seats on the LCC Board of Trustees. The winners will serve six-year terms.
According to the Ingham County Clerk’s Office, Michigan legislature states that any qualified elector residing within the community college district is eligible to be chosen as a board member.
The candidates are:
Andrew Abood, a Lansing resident, lawyer and current LCC Trustee;
Kimberly Kaye Azima, a Haslett resident who is currently retired;
Greg Sinicropi, a Lansing resident and co-owner of Art’s Pub and D. Coy Ducks;
Howard Spence, a long-time Lansing resident and MinorityADR LLC employee;
Lashunda Thomas, a Lansing resident and state of Michigan employee.
Abood and Larry Meyer are the two trustees whose terms are expiring Dec. 31. Meyer has chosen not to seek reelection.
The Lookout recently interviewed all five candidates. Their answers to the following questions are listed alphabetically:
Why are you running for the Lansing Community College Board of Trustees?
Abood: “I am a life-long resident of the great Lansing area. I graduated in 1983 from Sexton High School; in 1987 from MSU with a BA in Finance; and in 1990 from Cooley Law School … I was married for 21 years and have four children … three of the four took classes at LCC. I am also a life-long student at LCC.”
Azima: “I am not running for the LCC board because I want a stepping stone to other political offices. I am only running because I have come to care about this college. I want to serve the college and to make a difference where I can.”
Sinicropi: “I’m running for LCC trustee because I think I can help make a difference. I’m very good with business operations and think that will translate well and work with college budgets. I love the community and want to help make one of the crown jewels of the city even better.”
Spence: “I have a long history of community service and activism, and now that I am older I am hoping to extend that public service working to maintain and improve a number of community organizations and projects as a board member … I am very much aware of the great contribution that LCC has made to the greater Lansing area.”
Thomas: “I will bring previous board experience, along with being a previous Lansing Community College transfer student … I have had a passion for students and education for many years, and my goal is always to push our next generation into success.”
Why do you think you are a qualified candidate for this position?
Abood: “Because of my experience, my lifelong commitment to Lansing and to education, and my understanding of the impact student loan debt can have on a family, I believe I am uniquely qualified to serve another term.”
Azima: “I was a nursing student at LCC. This experience helped me to understand what it is like to be a student … Since then I have married a professor from LCC who taught there for over 40 years and also served on the board himself … I attend most board meetings, so that I can keep up with the current issues.”
Sinicropi: “I am qualified to be on the board because of my business experience and other boards I have been a part of. I am a trustee for the Ebersole Foundation and also sit on the DDA and LDFA in Leslie, where Crossroads (another restaurant he owns) is located.”
Spence: “I myself have a wide-ranging experience in education and I have accumulated master’s degrees in business admin, law, public administration, human resources and criminal justice administration … I have been active on numerous professional boards and also non-profit boards … I have experience with budgets, decision making, strategic planning, and organizational oversight.”
Thomas: “I will bring previous board experience, along with firsthand experience as an LCC transfer student. I have counseled many children and their parents, allowing me to be the bridge builder between faculty and students … I have received my bachelor’s in public administration and community development, and I am currently in my second year at Spring Arbor University for my master’s in social work.”
If you were to be elected/re-elected, what would you hope to accomplish during your term?
Abood: “We need to study our development education program to make sure that we aren’t taking advantage of our students by charging the students for college credits … and yet the student never earns any college credits. We need to make sure that our programs don’t have disparate impact in terms of race, gender, national origin, religion, etc.”
Azima: “I would like to see LCC strengthen its recruitment and advertising efforts … see (The Equity Action) plan include reaching out to K-12 students … the idea is to engage and intrigue the young people early on … I would like to see true shared governance at LCC.”
Sinicropi: “I would hope to see an end to declining enrollment and start growing our student base again.”
Spence: “I would want to work with the other trustees to help assure a smooth transition of LCC, which is bringing on a new president for the first time in almost a decade … be a strong advocate for the rights of students, and help identify strategically what courses and programs would benefit both students and other members of the community into the future.”
Thomas: “I would be committed to keeping a keen eye on what is currently working and what is not working, to make sure students are successful and completing their educational goals.”
In your opinion, what is one strength and one weakness of LCC?
Abood: “Lansing Community College is regularly ranked nationally for many of its high-quality programs and yet it is ranked in the bottom third or quartile among the 28 community colleges in Michigan in terms of price per credit hour. As a trustee, we can still do better.”
Azima: “One major strength of LCC is its faculty and staff. They have been able to pull the college through changes in the community and various college administrations, through hard economic times, and now COVID … A weakness of LCC has been the emphasis on beautifying the buildings and landscaping, rather than strengthening the academics, which I hope will change with the new president.”
Sinicropi: “A strength is the sheer beauty of the campus and its proximity to downtown life and culture. Also it’s very long operation and reputation. A weakness is the declining enrollment and the battle we face to get new students.”
Spence: “The strength of LCC to date has been a willingness to provide a wide range of services and training to students at fairly reasonable and affordable rates and costs … I am not aware of the “weaknesses” of LCC, but … it may be working hard to assure that every student gets the support to complete their program of study in an affordable, effective and timely manner.”
Thomas: “Lansing Community College is strong in their commitment to student success, with innovations that are current and at times in front of educational trends … I do not see a true weakness with LCC, however what I see is efforts to continue open communication and dialog across departmental lines.”