This week marks the first official day of autumn and I’m already enjoying some changing seasonal colors outside. It’s hard to believe that fall is here -- and our opportunity to welcome new and returning students to LBCC on Monday. As we head into the new academic year, I want to share a few updates and reflections.
Start of Fall Term
As you saw in an email earlier today (now posted to our covid website), our executive team has been busy finalizing preparations for the start of the term, especially as related to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. I hope you found the information informative and helpful in addressing any concerns you might have about the college’s plans or policies. In general, our approach has been to arm employees and students with the resources needed to make good choices. I am particularly proud that we are hosting a vaccination clinic on the first day of classes. While vaccinations are not mandatory at this time, we strongly encourage students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated, which helps offset serious illness and minimizes community spread of the virus. Next, I want to thank those who have chosen to teach in-person this fall. We know that many of our students need a face-to-face experience to succeed and thrive. There are a lot of people who are nervous about being back in the office. We have tried to address questions and concerns, but I realize we cannot assuage all of your worries. I’m directing managers to check in on employee well-being as the fall term gets going, and will be checking back in with them to make sure we are doing all we can to help address concerns. On behalf of the college, I pledge to continue to do everything possible to keep our employees and students safe and healthy this year.
I can’t find enough positive words to summarize my impressions of LBCC Welcome Day. Finally, the campus was abuzz with student energy! Like many of you, this type of electric atmosphere is very motivating and rewarding for me. I enjoyed the tables with a wide variety of student activities, community resources, and informative college services. Mostly, it was just a fun and engaging way to onboard new students and in many cases, their family members. Thank you to ALL who helped plan this event! Our Marketing team linked some photos if you’d like to see some smiling Roadrunner faces.
Thank you to all who participated in our fall in-service, and to all of you for viewing. For me, a highlight was hearing from students about their perspectives on the college, including their suggestions for improvement. As I mentioned in my in-service address, I am also pleased that our athletics teams are back in business. I loved this article about a West Albany High School Volleyball graduate who is thriving on LBCC’s Volleyball team. I know it’s been a struggle for our teams, coaches and staff. Thanks, Coach Frazier and our volleyball supporters for hanging in there. Best of luck for a great fall season!
Meeting with Past Presidents
At the end of the summer, I had great meetings with LBCC’s three most recent presidents. In August, Rita Cavin shared her wealth of knowledge about community connections for the college, and made gracious introductions to a few influential community leaders. I also met with Jon Carnahan in Salem last month for a sunny afternoon conversation about all things LBCC: staff morale, alumni, and capital construction. Earlier in September, Greg Hamann and I continued to compare notes on Capitol happenings and national community college trends. I appreciate their wisdom and perspective on LBCC leadership.
Cheers for Chessie
I wanted to alert you to an article by our very own Chessie Alberti, Instructional Specialist in the Writing Center, that was recently published by WLN (Journal of Writing Center Scholarship) on their blog. In the article, Chelsea chronicles the move from campus-based to virtual-based writing support during COVID. She gives great examples, and uses data and humor (two of my favorite things!). I am proud to see Chessie published and LBCC highlighted in this highly-regarded national journal.
The “Maltese Roadrunner” -- getting ready for the LBCC virtual gala
The LBCC Foundation has moved their annual dinner and auction to an online format, and I hope you will all plan to join me in watching online on Saturday, Oct. 23, to help raise funds for student scholarships and LBCC programs. To get as many participants as possible, the Foundation Board has come up with a clever game in the form of a film-noir movie mystery…”The Maltese Roadrunner!” Episodes of the “movie” are being released each week -- here is the first one. Big thanks to all the staff and community members who you will recognize in the episodes!
Last weekend, I enjoyed a beautiful, though blustery, ride around the Scio area as part of the fundraiser for the community’s new fairgrounds/event center. While it was much wetter than hoped, my dad and I had a great time biking and checking out the covered bridges in the area. I got to meet many Scio community leaders, including LBCC retiree Roger Gaither and Scio Fire Chief Levi Eckhardt. Thank you, LBCC Foundation Board member JoAnn McQueary, for the ride suggestion. Please let me know if you have any ideas about local events I should attend, especially if they involve cycling . . . and perhaps even good weather.
On the home front, the girls have gotten settled into their school year. Emily’s move-in to OSU did include long lines, but she hung in there and got settled into Sackett Hall (which, we learned on moving day, does not have an elevator!). Ella has gotten the hang of 7th grade, though she reports that her locker combination is still vexing at times and the lunches are too short. Actually, I remember feeling the same way in middle school, so perhaps there are some constants amid all the changes that have taken place over the years :)
Best wishes to you all for a successful, safe, and rewarding fall term. I am glad we’re all on this journey together.