Courtesy of Gavilan College President Kathleen Rose:
This is not the usual First Friday column as this is not the usual month of March. As I write this column, I am in my home office as we are sheltering in place in accordance with the Santa Clara County Health Department directive.
Similar mandates have occurred in San Benito County, Santa Cruz County and Monterey County. Businesses are closing, people are working from home, and we all are focusing on our health. Our globe has become smaller as all people around the world learn about Covid-19 and the impact a pandemic can have on all aspect of our society. Here at Gavilan, our decisions have changed each day as the news reports changed, and with the support of our Board of Trustees, we have made the best decision possible to continue our instruction and student services to the best of our ability…fully online for at least the next few weeks.
We are issuing daily updates, and provided helpful links of information. Students and faculty have connected and are ready to engage in a whole new adventure of learning. Students making this adjustment now have some distinct advantages…they already know other students in their classes, they are familiar with the course requirements, they know how to access Gavilan’s support services, including tutoring, the Library and Cranium Café.
All of those now working and studying from home may find that time management becomes a new skill, or that you have to find a quiet space for study and reflection as you learn in a new format. If there si something you need to be successful, please ask. Communication with your faculty, department chair or Dean in the days ahead will help to ensure your continued success in your Gavilan classes and a strong finish to the semester. We do not know how long the coronavirus pandemic will impact us, but we will continue to support you to meet your educational goals. We have done so for the last century, and have gained some skills along the way!
If this had been a “usual” March, I would have written about Women’s History Month, our Centennial celebrations, and midterms leading up to spring break. But again, nothing about this month is usual. I will close by saying something about the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, and that is “An equal world in an enabled world”. I am proud that in my lifetime there have been some great improvements in women’s equality and that we continue to make positive gains. It all begins with a progressive mindset and a strong voice, and we have many of them at Gavilan.
I was all set to record my podcast this past week that would have introduced you to three inspiring voices…all women, all mothers….who have found their academic home at Gavilan. Unfortunately, the events around Covid-19 prevented me from recording their stories. But stay tuned: Norma Sanchez, Melissa Quintanar and Sandra Quintanar, all Dean’s and President’s List recipients, have inspiration to give to other students. I look forward to introducing you to them very soon.
Take care and be safe in the days ahead, and I will see you on campus (or online) soon.