About Us

Who We Are

Welcome to Our Newspaper!

We are a student publication covering Northern Virginia Community College, based out of the Loudoun Campus in Sterling, Virginia. Although we focus on our home campus, we hope to cover news and events across the college's six campuses and two centers, as well as news across our wider community in Northern Virginia.

We are called The Loudoun Lantern, because, as student journalist James Moon (who won the naming contest) explains "A lantern sheds light onto darkness. A lantern can be like a beacon for a community." Please read about us, and come join us as we uncover our campus, college and community.

Want to Join Us?

Working for the Loudoun Lantern is a great way to improve your journalism skills, prepare for a job in the media world, and have a lot of fun.

We welcome all students. Send an email to rrusso@nvcc.edu and asked to be added to the staff list. You'll get a chance to start writing, editing or snapping photos right away!

Want to earn credit, while getting published here?Sign up For Intro to Journalism through the Extended Learning Institute!

Introduction to Journalism (ENG 121) will be offered online through ELI in the Fall 2014 semester. Check the ELI schedule of classes to sign up!


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Fall 2014 STAFF

Krupa Bhatt - Writer

Samantha Dapkewicz - Writer
Taylor Dehner - Writer

My name is Taylor Dehner. I am eighteen years old. I am studying to achieve my dream of becoming a sports broadcaster. Sports have always meant a lot to me in my life. They provided a forum to find people who understand what I am talking about when I mention the infield-fly rule or being offsides, which is hard to do. My absolute favorite sport is hockey. One of my favorite things to do is to go to sporting events. Every year I try to attend at least two sports games. This past year I went to a few Nationals and Orioles games and I also attended a hockey game.

In my free time, I love playing video games, adding to my extensive DVD collection and reading classic books. I find it really difficult to pick favorites when it comes to my things. Instead, I typically try to pick favorites from each genre.

If I could wish for one thing right now (other than the stereotypical wishes of more money and infinite wishes), I would wish for a Dodge Challenger SRT8 with a white exterior with racing stripes and a black interior. I think that I will always be missing something until I get this car.

David Ellis -- Writer

David James Ellis is 21 year old student with various aspirations and goals. Over the course of time, some of these aspirations and goals have changed, but his aspiration and goal to connect with and understand people more efficiently has not. As of now, David is currently finishing up his final semester at NVCC and plans on transferring to George Mason University in the fall of 2013, where he is looking forward to obtaining his Bachelor's Degree in Communications-Public Relations. He currently works in retail at a local running store (Potomac River Running), and is currently keeping his eyes open for an opportunity to work in the field of Communications and Public Relations. Most recently, David was voted by fellow students of a Communications course to compete in a campus wide speech competition, where he competed against 15 other students from various Communications classes within the NVCC Campus that he attends. Though David has had many different aspirations and goals throughout his life, his most gratifying moment came when the girl that he fell in love with at age 11 became the girl that he is currently in a healthy and loving relationship with now; and through this, David truly believes that as you put your faith in God and strive for a relationship with the Lord, He will lead you to more gratification and successful opportunities than you can grasp on your own. As a student, David prepares for future endeavors and obstacles by continuing his schooling and keeping his focus on his aspirations and goals.

Rafael Fernandez -- Writer

I am Rafael Fernandez, 20 years old, I was born and raised here in Northern Virginia; I have been living in Herndon for the last six years, graduating from Herndon High School in 2010. Currently, I am undecided about what major to pursue at the moment. My favorite sport would have to be soccer. I grew up around it, watching it with family and relatives. Playing in clubs and pickup games, anywhere a game was around. I am a diehard Atletico Madrid fan who play in Spain, which somehow have a nonexistence fan base in the United States, as I've yet to meet another supporter. But they're making history this year, breaking much of their clubs records, second place in their league behind the best soccer team in the world, who has broken almost every record there is in soccer. For as long as I can remember I have always loved camping, and hiking on national trails, and parks, because of the amazing views, animals, and simply gratifying feeling you get in the great outdoors, spending time with friends and family. Just recently I've been slowly paying more attention to issues of climate change, and the impact it has on nature and us, so I try to get out and appreciate the beauty of the outdoors when I'm not making excuses and being lazy. Finally, I'm just an average student, juggling school and work, hanging out with friends when theirs time, and trying to learn new things every day.

Ali Gee -- Cartoonist


Victoria Gingras -- Writer, Photographer


Taylor Hart -- Writer


Leslie Hernandez Portillo -- Writer


Paige Hughes -- Writer


Sydedah Hutchinson-- Writer

I am an aspiring writer with a desire to work in the motion picture industry. I was born in Washington D.C., but grew up in Reston, VA. I have always had a vivid imagination as a kid. I enjoyed creating different soap operas with my Barbie and Ken dolls. After my doll baby phase, I crafted my first story when I was 13 based on the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. From there, I continued to write frequently and passionately. Ranging from fictional stories to writing poetry and prose about the way I felt about life and issues. By high school, I had made the decision to go after my dreams and got accepted into Temple University's Film/Media Arts program. That dream was cut short when I had to return home after 3 semesters because I had run out of money to attend. For two years I had to work my way back into community college despite job losses and financial hardships. Now, I can focus my energy on trying to maintain a decent GPA and personal goals as a writer. I plan to utilize the skills that I am developing in the film industry. Hopefully, I will get to work behind the scenes of movies as a production assistant or screenplay supervisor. Not only do I love movies, but I admire the people who work behind the scenes. These are the individuals that sacrifice the most of themselves in order to ensure that a director's vision is executed in the best way. Aside from movies, I like baking, shopping, listening to music and playing video games. My favorite one is the Sims by EA Games. I've been playing it since I was 13 years old and enjoy the new changes that are available in The Sims 3.

Daniel Jackson -- Writer


Shayne Miller-Westfield -- Writer

Shayne Miller-Westfield was born in Toledo Hospital in Toledo, Ohio on August 10, 1990 to Caucasian mother, Teresa Miller, and African-American/Cuban father Keith Westfield. Shayne's parents overcame many hardships to keep their family together. They were both disowned by their parents who were equally un-accepting of their ethnic differences. To make ends meet, they worked odd jobs and rented a small two bedroom apartment in the notorious ghetto known as the Bran Woodlocks. Eventually, the disconnect from close family members proved to be too much for them to handle. They separated when Shayne was four years old, and his mom moved him and his brother to the Coast of South Mississippi. Shayne grew up on the Coast in a drastically different setting than he was born into. Unlike Toledo, the Coast was calm and quiet. There were no gangs or gunshots to worry about in this small country town; it was the perfect place to raise a family. Shayne hated it. In August of 2005, the Coast would change forever. Hurricane Katrina hit south Mississippi, and neighboring Louisiana devastating everything in her path and taking lives of over 1,800 people, some of those being close friends of Shayne. This event encouraged Shayne to live every day as if it were his last. Three years later and two weeks after his graduation, Shayne packed all of his belongings, sold his car, quit his job and moved to San Diego, California. There he met up with an older high school friend with whom he shared his first apartment. California gave Shayne everything that he wanted out of life, but it also sparked his curiosity for travel. After a year in San Diego, Shayne made the choice to move back to Mississippi where he stayed for six months before making his next big move. He now lives and attends college in Northern Virginia where he contemplates his next adventure.

Omid Najafpoor -- Writer


KaitLynn Norton -- Writer


Camina Rocha - Writer


Christopher Samp -- Writer

My name is Christopher Samp and I am a part-time student pursuing the Professional Writing in Business, Government, and Industry certificate at Northern Virginia Community College. My career goal is to be involved in international development by working with a non-profit organization or a federal agency. In addition to school, I am a research assistant in Washington, D.C. and I swim to keep myself in shape.

For fun, I love meeting new people and traveling around the world. The latest trip I took out of the country was my week-long vacation in Shanghai, China. My favorite part of the trip was the local food (dumplings and Wonton soup). Also, I swam in a pool that was 79 floors above the ground at the Park Hyatt. What a great view

Danielle Seaboy - Writer

My name is Danielle Seaboy. I am currently a part-time student at NOVA and I am working towards an Associate's Degree in Music. My career goal is to be a lead singer and a songwriter for a rock band but if that doesn't happen, I wouldn't mind being a famous martial artist who stars in movies, a psychologist or a lawyer. Although I do keep myself pretty busy with two jobs, three classes, and being involved in several activities and clubs at NOVA, I always find time to do other things that interest me such as writing song lyrics and poetry (I hope to one day have a poetry book published), blogging, reading, dancing, spending time with my family, bowling, and martial arts. I also love to do research and learn new information. At least twice a week, I try and learn more about psychology and the legal system since I'm fascinated by it.

Kala Scott - Writer

Hi my name is Kala, I'm 21 I live in Ashburn. I graduated from Stone Bridge High School in 2010 this is my second semester here at NOVA. Right now I am completing my general education classes in order to transfer to VCU this upcoming fall. While at VCU I plan on obtaining a Journalism degree. My dream in life is to be a sports radio host. Watching sports has been a hobby of mine since I was in high school. I enjoy watching and talking about so much that making that my career only seemed natural. I have some experience in working with sports radio and that only increased my interest in the field. I listen to sports radio everyday and love the nuances in each broadcast. The different personalities, opinions, and facts continue to further intrigue me every time I listen. My favorite sports teams, to the dismay of some, are not in this area. I am an Eagles fan, Flyers fan, Phillies fan, and Oklahoma City Thunder fan. I love my Philly teams, except for the 76ers because Kevin Durant is my favorite player. I will not falter or change my loyalties to my teams despite me living so close to Washington D.C. Outside of watching sports I do enjoy music and watching movies. I wouldn't necessarily say I have one favorite genre of music, but I do listen to mostly hip-hop and rock from the 60's and 70's. I try not to limit myself to my choice in music since there is so much out there. My love for movies came from my mom. She has a lot of movies that I would sneak out of her room to watch. My favorite movies are The Godfather pt 1 and 2, Goodfellas, Terminator 2, and the original Star Wars trilogy.

Yash Shevde -- Writer


Ashlei Sutton -- Photographer

Andew Haynes -- Web Designer

This web newspaper was designed by Andrew Haynes, who completed the Communication Design program at NOVA-Loudoun last year..

Our Mission

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NOVA-Loudoun (Photo byRob Scheirer)

As a student-run newspaper, our mission is to cover life on our campus, and our community.

We strive to be fair, accurate and careful in our reporting.

We hope to use our publication to foster a better sense of community through our storytelling.

Want to join? Have questions or suggestions? Find our faculty advisor!

Want to join up? Have a question? Or want to let us know about an event or idea you think The Lantern needs to cover?

To learn more about this paper, contact the faculty advisor, Prof. Robyn Russo, who teaches in the English department at NOVA's Loudoun. Visit her office, Room 316 in the Learning Commons building, or send an e-mail to rrusso@nvcc.edu


While this is a newspaper produced by the students of NOVA-Loudoun, this is not an official publication of the college, and the staff is solely responsible for its content. The opinions and ideas expressed in this publication are solely those of The NOVA-Loudoun Student Newspaper and do not represent those of the college, its faculty, staff, or students.