Dale Gresson - Columbus State Community College 50th Anniversary

One only needs to chat with Lenore Schneiderman for a few minutes to come up with a single, descriptive word.

Pistol.

Schneiderman was the opinionated, outspoken dean of the Human Services Department at Columbus State Community College for 25 years, from 1984 until her retirement at age 83 in 2009.

Even then, she didn't want to retire. "I was in good physical condition and I liked my job," Schneiderman explained. "But, my husband Hal wanted to travel more. So, I retired so we could travel and the son of a gun died on me two years later. I'm so pissed at him."

I met people who came back to college who never thought they could. That's the kind of student you get in a community college."

Schneiderman had completed just one semester at Wayne University in Detroit when she and Hal Schneiderman married. Over the next 15 years, she moved around the country, following Hal's work as the director of the Jewish Federation. She attended several colleges, earning a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in social work.

When the new mental health and mental retardation program began at Columbus State's predecessor, Columbus Technical Institute, in 1973, chair Steve Wilson called Schneiderman to see if she was interested in joining the staff. She wasn't. She liked her job with the Family Counseling Center, where she was doing group counseling sessions with welfare mothers, and had no interest in leaving.

A year later, Lenore's boss at the counseling center announced that they were going to start charging for the counseling sessions. This so outraged Schneiderman that she called Steve and was immediately hired by the school.

In teaching at Columbus State, she found her true passion.

"I met people who came back to college who never thought they could," Schneiderman says. "They were in school and gaining confidence; it does so much for one's self-esteem. That's the kind of student you get in a community college."

Although retired, Schneiderman continues to be involved in fundraising for the Steve Wilson Scholarship Fund for students in the Mental Health / Addiction Studies / Developmental Disabilities program.

Images: A Year in the Life of Columbus State