Each member of the Gavilan family has chosen the path of service to the greater good

By Dr. Kathleen Rose

Dr. Kathleen Rose

As I reflect back on 2020 I want to take a moment to express my deep appreciation for all that each member of our Gavilan College family has contributed in serving our students and communities during the many months of the global pandemic.

No one could have imagined the steadfast resiliency, courage, and dedication needed to continue our critical work to support the educational goals of our students, month after month after month. Through it all we have learned a great deal about distance education, student basic needs, global citizenry and social justice, yet it has not come without the impact of fatigue, trauma, and sadness.

During the past year our college has persevered through a cybersecurity incident, wildfires, power outages, economic recession, global pandemic and the outrage of racism. We have had crucial conversations, joined together to raise awareness, and are gaining strength as an institution even though we are surrounded by uncertainty.

Each member of the Gavilan family has chosen the path of service to the greater good, and we have kept our students at the center.  Here is the evidence:

  • 664 sections taught fully or primarily online in fall 2020.

  • Faculty dedication to professional development and curriculum reform to match the changing community college environment.

  • More than $1.4 million distributed directly to students through CARES dollars, and more than $25,000 distributed through our Student Emergency Fund, led by our Educational Foundation.

  • Ten food distribution events during the fall 2020 semester, serving 3,020 duplicated families.

  • The Gavilan Homeless and Housing Insecurity Program has had 39 referrals, with 31 served, seven in hotels, nine with rental assistance, 15 referred to local agencies and two permanently housed.

  • 1,249 individual calls made to students through our outreach efforts to check in and refer to services as appropriate.

  • The daily work of our maintenance and security teams, keeping our beloved campus safe and sanitized.

  • Laptop distribution: 184 in the spring, 55 in the summer and 250 in the fall.

  • Award of our newest Title V grant to support the work of Guided Pathways and ethos of care.

  • Kept to the Measure X timeline and selected the design-build team for the San Benito County campus.

  • Professional Support Staff engaged in the Caring Campus Initiative, to further strengthen the relationships that support all areas of student service.

  • Welcomed our newest board of trustees member Patricia Mondragon, and fondly said goodbye to Mark Dover after 20 years of service on the board.

  • Celebrated the Community Spirit Awards by visiting the awardees in their own backyards.

  • Sent Centennial Celebration graduation sashes, diploma covers, a commemorative program and other items from ASGC to recognize the 2020 graduates.

  • Learned that Zoom can connect us in rich and satisfying ways . . . just ask our students in Puente, Student Voices Forums, President’s Forums, or our weekly staff briefing.

I could add many more. This list gives me a sense of pride and an energetic burst as we enter 2021.  It will continue to be challenging, but there is hope. Gavilan College will continue to navigate these challenging times with passion, creativity, and commitment.

I look forward to continuing the shared work that empowers the lives of the students we serve each day.

Dr. Kathleen A. Rose, Ed.D., is the superintendent/president of Gavilan Community College.


Guest Column