Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Building Community – January 10, 2020
January 10, 2020
New Year‘s Greetings, Colleagues.
As we continue to recruit and enroll students for spring 2020, I share an article discussing different ways to build a sense of connection and community for students – especially community college students who do not live in dorms and who may have work and other commitments that leave them little time to participate in club and other college activities and events. Many of the ideas listed in this article are already in place in classrooms by our faculty and staff who create spaces for students to learn, explore, and participate in programs that interest them.
It’s also a reminder of the opportunity to create a sense of community and belongingness at every touchpoint along the student journey. From the moment a student contacts Westchester Community College, throughout the enrollment process, and as we help them navigate their way to classrooms, we all play a role in creating a Westchester Welcome to our new and continuing students. Research shows that connecting to and having a sense of belonging to a college community aids in student success, retention, and ultimately, program completion.
As a community, we celebrate the achievements of our colleagues who have published articles, written or contributed to books, and so much more. This week we celebrate the academic achievement of Dr. Rachele Hall (Student Involvement) who has completed her Doctorate of Education in Executive Leadership. Congratulations, Dr. Hall! Please share other accomplishments with us so we are aware of how our community is evolving.
Communities also grieve together as we did over the break mourning the loss of Alyssa DeMonte, faculty member in our Culinary Arts, Hospitality, Nutrition and Dietetics Department. Professor DeMonte provided support and assistance to our students both in and outside the classroom and was poised for significant impact on the college and our student success goals. Alyssa’s family has asked that donations be made in her memory to the Aneurysm & AVM Foundation (https://taafonline.org). If you wish, clinicians from the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) are available to provide support. Please contact EAP at 914-995-6070. Additionally, please refer students who wish to share their thoughts, to the Personal Counseling Center in Room 224 of the Student Center. As a college community we will keep Alyssa’s family in our thoughts and prayers.
Thank you for your contributions and commitment to our Westchester Community College community. Through our collective efforts we support and challenge our students, edify each other, and build a stronger Westchester.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles