Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Together We Overcome – January 18, 2019
As we mourn the loss of Dr. Joseph Hankin, we celebrate the success made possible by his stewardship of our mission, the team that he assembled, and those of us privileged to follow in doing the work of increasing access to opportunity. There is a wide range of emotions flowing through our college community. There are those whose personal relationship with Dr. Hankin began with their job interview, to those who had not met Dr. Hankin but nevertheless see his influence and lasting legacy at the college. I firmly believe that he would be proud of our mission-driven work, our continued commitment to student success, and of the college as a firmly rooted institution continuing to meet the ever-changing needs of the workforce of the future.
Thankfully, the snowstorms held off for the annual GROW Conference and last full day of registration before spring classes begin. The Gateway Center was filled with abundant energy as entrepreneurs and the people who support them gathered for a day of workshops and networking. Eridania Camacho and the Workforce Development and Community Education team have done a great job creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs to expand their operations and find new pathways to success. Likewise, this is a busy day for staff registering students for classes starting in Valhalla and extension centers. For some students, this is their last semester before graduating in May, and your counseling is paramount to ensure they have the information they need to stay on track. It’s also a time when we welcome new students, including those at the flash orientation organized by Tiago Machado and the Student Involvement Team. And several people accompanied Provost Dr. Vanessa Morest and Faculty Senate Presiding Officer Dr. Heather Ostman to a Guided Pathways Institute meeting, where we continue to forge innovative programming and pathways for academic and career success. For some of our students, we are the only option, and for most of them, we are the best option. All of them deserve a chance to succeed.
During times when we experience loss, we nevertheless continue our work in the midst of processing our own thoughts and feelings as well as managing myriad other tasks. What better way to honor colleagues no longer with us than to rise up to today’s challenges and provide more opportunity for student success tomorrow? Thanks for everything you do for the college. I look forward to welcoming everyone back next week!
Finally, as we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I share the following with you. “I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Oslo, Norway, 1964
Dr. Belinda S. Miles