CSS Inspire – Lake Erie College adds course, degree offerings


Lake Erie College continues to expand course and degree offerings.

Beginning this fall, students will not need to pursue a bachelor’s degree in fine arts to continue their musical training at Lake Erie College.

“Lake Erie College is delighted to offer a new minor in music,” said Jennifer Swartz-Levine, dean of the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. “This minor was primarily developed under the extraordinary leadership of our voice instructor, Ms. Lauren Feola. One of the minor’s distinctive features is its focus on music performance, of both the vocal and instrumental variety. Moreover, students who choose to pursue this minor will have the opportunity to study with our entire gifted music faculty.”

Other members of the music faculty include Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer Bryan DePoy, (trumpet); Sanni Tenkku Kearns (piano) and Mary Crow (choir).


The 17-credit minor will require fundamental courses along with three semesters of applied lessons and two semesters of ensemble or performance workshops, in line with demands for flexible, interdisciplinary learning.

“When I was asked to create the music minor, my first thought was, ‘what would benefit the students’?” Feola said. “Both Dr. DePoy and I agreed the answer was a performance-based curriculum that included fundamental, core aspects of music, like theory and music history. The coursework provides an extraordinary opportunity for current and future students to simultaneously work toward their major degree while refining their musical skills as a vocalist and/or instrumentalist.”

Feola has a master’s degree in music, performed with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and studied with Claudia Pinza Bozzolla and Canadian opera singer Victor Micaleff of The Tenors.

DePoy is also very passionate about performing arts. In a previous interview he said Lake Erie College has a unique and important role to play in serving as an arts and culture hub for the region.

DePoy holds a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate in music. He has performed professionally with ensembles such as the Memphis Symphony, Calvary Choir, Louisiana Philharmonic, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Arkansas Symphony and New Mexico Brass Quintet.

According to the news release, the new music minor offers a built-in outlet for creative expression that also enriches students’ personal and social experiences at college, accommodating diverse interests, perspectives and career goals.

“Students will also have the opportunity to work with Lake Erie College’s Organist-in-Residence, the renowned artist Todd Wilson,” Swartz-Levine said.

For more information about the minor, contact Swartz-Levine at [email protected] or 440-375-7456.

LEC is also launching a new major in visual communication and graphic design through the college’s School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Conceptualized by Assistant Professor of Digital Technology, Graphics and Design Anthony Ezzo, the new major is geared toward students interested in working as graphic designers, web designers, animators, creative directors, or in other related careers. Ezzo has produced award-winning work, including “All Night Long” which earned the Pixi Award from American Greetings in 2006, and “Color Play” which earned the Aquent International Award in 2001. He is also the owner of PIXER-Video and Graphic Design and Studio 127 Design Studios.

The VCGD major is set to launch in the fall semester and replaces the college’s previous degree track in integrated media, digital art and technology, the news release states.

Coursework required for the major includes studies in graphic design, typography, digital illustration, motion graphics, web design, package design and more, providing a holistic understanding of the career paths students may pursue.

Ezzo, who has worked in the design field since 1998, said students are increasingly interested in design-related careers because of society’s growing reliance on mobile devices.

“Students are realizing this field offers high-paying jobs designing interfaces for mobile apps and user testing,” he said. “We developed the curriculum in our VCGD major around the belief that the graphic designer is a visual thinker and problem solver who effectively explores a variety of solutions, regardless of industry.”

By the end of the program, students will have created comprehensive portfolios of their work to use as they seek employment following graduation.

“Graduates of the VCGD program will have the skills to create design solutions for a variety of businesses including nonprofits, ad agencies, design studios or corporations or even as freelance designers,” said Ezzo.

For more information on the visual communication and graphic design major, contact Ezzo at [email protected].

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