A Campus Conversation: Transitioning to a 'new normal'

As ACC continues to monitor the changing dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic, the leadership team gathered for a live Campus Conversation with the Chancellor to provide an update on how the college is adapting.

"I've been in higher education administration for 40 years, (and) I've never seen such a convergence of storms that faced our college, state, nation, and community," said Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC chancellor.

Dr. Rhodes shared a perspective on the ripple effect of the pandemic. The initial health crisis led to an economic crisis due to job losses. Within weeks, the region also faced a social/emotional crisis due to isolation periods.

"This has been a very dynamic and fluid environment that we've been in for the last year with so many unknowns hitting us, but what I have witnessed in the Riverbat family is patience. I've witnessed flexibility. I've witnessed resilience, and I've witnessed grace. The Riverbat family has come together not only for the students but for each other," said Dr. Rhodes. "As Chancellor, I couldn't be more proud of the response of the faculty and of the staff and of our students."

Faculty and staff also joined the discussion to share their experiences and perspectives adapting through COVID-19 including what it is like for those who have returned to campus. Participants included:

  • Dr. Richard Rhodes, Chancellor
  • Dr. Charles Cook, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Dr. Molly Beth Malcolm, Executive Vice President of Campus Operations & Public Affairs
  • Mike Midgley, Vice President of Instruction
  • Dr. Shasta Buchanan, Vice President of Student Affairs
  • Brette Lea, Vice President of College Communications & Marketing
  • Dr. Wayne Maines, Vice President of Safety & Operations
  • Mike Garcia, Executive Director of Regulatory Affairs
  • Sharrion Jenkins, Associate Vice President of Campus Ops, Quality Control & Project Management
  • Dr. Gaye Lynn Scott, Associate Vice President of Academic Transfer Programs
  • Troy DeFrates, Welding Professor & Department Chair
  • Dr. Nina Almasy, Professional Nursing Professor & Department Chair
  • Dr. Ruth Reinhart, Associate Vice President of Student Support Services
  • Christine Hall, Admissions & Records Supervisor
  • Joshua Cardenas, ACCelerators Interim Executive Director

Visit the Campus Conversations webpage to watch the full conversation. To follow updates on the college's response to COVID-19, visit austincc.edu/coronavirus.