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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Coffee, conversations and computers

Pierce College President Alexis Montevirgen virtually opened his doors on Oct 14. to host the second Zoom session of Coffee and Conversation with the President.

Montevirgen said he continued these events during the pandemic with the goal of uniting the campus community because it’s become more difficult to feel connected.

“Pre-COVID being a new campus president, what I really wanted to do was provide an opportunity to get to know and interact with every member of the campus community,” Montevirgen said. “It’s great for me to have these opportunities to look at issues through a different lens, and what I’m trying to do now is to have it so students have additional avenues to still be involved.”

Montevirgen made sure that those attending the virtual event felt welcomed to voice their experiences or concerns.

Kristine Ayvazyan from the Graduation Office brought up the need for a new graduation evaluator to be hired.

According to Ayvazyan, Pierce is one of the largest colleges in the district. Since students are preparing to transfer in the fall, the number of graduating students is growing.

“I really appreciate the fact that he allows everyone to be able to reach out to him and give us a contact point for him instead of trying to make an appointment,” Ayvazyan said. “It gives us the opportunity to point out that we are a large school, we have a large transfer population for students and we are requesting to hire another graduation evaluator to help separate and balance the workload better.”

Academic Senate President Barbara Anderson says that Montevirgen’s virtual events are excellent opportunities for faculty and students to engage with each other and feel supported.

“Everyone is trying to do their best to meet the needs of students. We all need extra support during this time, and the coffee with the president is a great example of that,” Anderson said. “The President is trying to help students and staff process the concerns that they’re facing. It’s symbolic of how supported students and faculty are. It conveys the message that we can get through this together.”

The upcoming Coffee and Conversation with the President events will be on Zoom next week on Oct. 19 from 4-6 p.m. and Oct. 22 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

The Zoom ID is 747 9405 5729.

Montevirgen said he encourages and invites the campus community to participate in these virtual events.

“I think we are making the best darn lemonade that we can out of the lemons that is COVID-19, and there’s no shortage of sugar or sweetener with the faculty and staff we have,” Montevirgen said.

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