By Geghard ARAKELIAN
Dr. Dawn Lindsay is Glendale Community College’s newly appointed president. She recently presented the annual state of the college address to staff and students and now offers insight as to how her academic institution could form a stronger relationship with La Crescenta.
According to Lindsay, GCC serves to “reach out to the community and let them know what it is that we’re exactly doing.”
“Quite frankly that’s one of the interests with La Crescenta – I don’t think we’ve had near the bridge I’d like to create with them.”
Lindsay, who was just appointed on April 19, stressed that GCC should not be thought of as an institution exclusive to Glendale. Rather, it is meant to be a stepping stone in education and job training for anyone who is interested.
To the new superintendent, La Crescenta is an “area that by boundaries we’re supposed to be serving. But when I look at where we’ve put a lot of our efforts into the community, it’s been pretty much in the local area.”
“So we’re wanting to reach out to La Crescenta [and] La Cañada,” she added.
The administrator’s ultimate goal is to have GCC become the college of choice for anybody within driving distance.
Beyond making GCC the institution of choice for citizens of La Crescenta, Lindsay seeks to make more collaborative bonds between her academic institution and the foothill communities.
For example, the junior college works hand in hand with the Montrose Professional Development Center along with the Verdugo Workforce Investment Bureau to help train people for the general workforce.
“I’d really like to see us getting involved in more partnerships with the community like that, with the business community, because there is a need there,” said Lindsay. “I just believe that we are not as involved in the business community in La Crescenta.”
An idea that might be in the works is one that involves courses under GCC’s supervision at the La Crescenta library. Talks have been made between city officials and the junior college to see if such a plan would be viable.
“Whether it’s the internal constituency on campus, whether we’re dealing with our classified employees or faculty, or administrators, the students, or the community: I’m just a believer that you’re a whole lot more powerful when you come together as a whole” said Lindsay.
The State of the College Address, held April 29, was yet another example by the campus to reach out to the community since the address was really about “letting the community know why we’re here, what we do, that we care, that we want to hear from them” said Lindsay.
During her address, the president presented a slide with campus statistics and at one point cited a demographic chart. Though the president is proud of the campus’s ethnic diversity it did draw her attention to a problem she would like to alleviate.
“In La Crescenta, an area of the community I really want to continue bridging with…is the Korean population” said Lindsay. “From what I understand we have a Korean population of 22,000 in La Crescenta. They’re certainly not represented here on our campus.”
“I’ve been down to the Korean delegation in L.A. We’re trying to balance it all out. We need to understand the population that we’re serving” said Lindsay.
And there are some students who live within the college’s boundaries who decide to enroll in different academic institutions.
“We know however we also have students living within our boundaries that are choosing to go elsewhere. So we’re going ‘well why is that?’…And that’s some of the information we’ve been trying to attain” said Lindsay.
A means of understanding why a potential applicant may enroll elsewhere could be found by creating communication lines through neighboring communities.
“It’s important to us that we provide a learning opportunity for anyone who’s interested in coming here” said Lindsay.
And since GCC is a tax based institution it thrives of off the taxpayer’s support and patronage.
“Glendale is known as the jewel of the community but we want to be a gem in that crown” said Lindsay.
A former lecturer, the new president rose through the administrative.
“With teaching, it’s just so wonderful and I really love being in the classroom. And now I love being an administrator because I think I can make changes on a different level” said Lindsay.
Despite being an experienced staffer the presidency takes up most of the once former professor’s time.
“The thing about a position like this is you take it with the understanding that you’re making a life commitment [and] a lifestyle commitment to the organization you are working with” said Lindsay. “It’s definitely not a nine to five job or an eight to four job.”