In every team and department at Northwest Vista College, there are always great stories to tell that show faculty and staff going above and beyond.
While it’s hard to capture every story, we hope to periodically share in this space some of the major accomplishments or projects that are taking place. Members of the executive team will write about important topics that they feel NVC employees should be made aware of.
– Debi Gaitan, NVC Interim President
As we reflect at the midpoint of the fall semester, we are energized, excited, and full of Pertenencia! Our faculty, staff, and administrators have been diligently working on the many great initiatives we have going on here at NVC as we continue to serve our students and community. We are excited and honored to reflect on the authentic dialogue and programing we have to offer in Academic Success.
The semester began with a reflection of who we are as an institution and how we help foster Pertenecia (Belonging) for our students and community. We heard some wonderful keynote addresses from Dr. Laura Rendon and Dr. Vanessa Sansone about being a validating and intentional Hispanic Serving Institution and infusing those approaches into our pedagogy. This authentic dialogue has carried us through the beginning of the semester and created a collaborative space for us to discuss these keynote themes and the work convocation narrative of our new Interim President, Debi Gaitan. Discussions of the book, We Want to Do More: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom,by Bettina Love, facilitated by our history instructor, Sarah Ball, has already fostered creative and interesting ideas, and we all look forward to the next conversations and applications.
Northwest Vista College also celebrated International Peace Day on Sept. 21 and officially welcomed the San Antonio Peace Center to our campus. We heard from our colleagues Migdalia Garcia, Neil Lewis, Dr. Julie Moore-Felux, Dr. Eric Castillo, as well as past president Dr. Jackie Claunch and other community dignitaries. In his remarks, our Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer shared a quote from Bell Hook’s book, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom:
The academy is not paradise. But learning is a place where paradise can be created. The classroom, with all its limitations, remains a location of possibility. In that field of possibility we have the opportunity to labor for freedom, to demand of ourselves and our comrades, an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress. This is education as the practice of freedom. (p. 207)
Recognizing and celebrating the partnership between the San Antonio Peace Center and NVC highlights our desire and commitment as an institution to foster a sense of belonging for all.
Our Employee Development Day, on October 28th, will provide us all opportunities to weave the threads of DEIJ intentionality into our work and service, in addition to opportunities for fun and relaxation. Already slated on will be Yoga by the Lake, Painting, Nature walk, just to name a few. We will have an opportunity to follow Dr. Vanessa Sansone’s Convocation keynote with a recap of her message and a question-and-answer session, so bring your questions. We will have sessions led by our expert faculty with various roundtable discussions, presentations, and poster sessions highlighting our best practices and strategies for growth.
As we recognize our history, lean on who we are and who we serve, and approach the future with intentionality, our future at NVC is bright. We are excited to engage in the conversations, immerse ourselves in the work, and look forward to basking in the fruits of our efforts….. together….leading our community’s college.
Dr. Russell Frohardt, dean of NVC Academic Success
Dr. Robert Ayala, dean of NVC Academic Success