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Lansing Community College bids 2020 farewell

Lanisng Community College
Posted at 1:46 PM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 13:46:53-05

LANSING, Mich. — As 2020 rushes to a close, LCC pauses to look back over the year’s successes and challenges.

It was March 18 when COVID-19 closed its grip on the state and the nation, and the college moved to an online-only environment. “As COVID-19 continues to spread, we must resort to an online-only environment to protect our students, faculty and staff,” said then-LCC President Brent Knight. “We must act now to help stop the spread of this virus and flatten the curve.”

Facing the unknown, LCC faculty and staff met the challenges they faced. Faculty pivoted to teach online, many of them for the first time, and students continued to receive a quality education.

College events also moved from on-campus to online. The year saw numerous virtual event successes, including the 62nd commencement ceremony to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of our graduates. LCC Assistant Professor and Music Program Faculty Chair Dr. Jonathan Ten Brink, in a show of solidarity, brought together students, faculty and staff for a virtual choir as an expression of hope and resilience. Their rendition of “We Shall Overcome” has been a delight to the LCC community and the Greater Lansing area.

A motorcade with more than 100 vehicles participating served as a send-off to Dr. Brent Knight as he retired after nearly 12 years of service as LCC’s sixth president. Dr. Knight is the first president in the history of the college to be awarded the title President Emeritus by LCC’s Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees unanimously passed the historic “Resolution Addressing Racial Injustice through Equity and Inclusion.” This bold declaration challenged the college to continue on its path to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion are weaved into every fabric of the college and in doing so the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will soon release an Equity Action Plan.

The month of July saw the beginning of a new era at LCC. Following a nationwide search, Dr. Steve Robinson became the seventh president of the college. He arrived in Lansing from the presidency at Owens Community College in Ohio, bringing with him nearly 30 years of community college experience. A lifetime educator, Dr. Robinson returned to LCC where his career began as an intern teaching WRIT 121.

Coming to the college during these unprecedented times Dr. Robinson said, “The faculty and staff of LCC are a constant inspiration for me. My first few months here at the college have been rewarding because of the talented and dedicated people I get to serve with to fulfill our mission.” Robinson continued, “My favorite moments have been spent interacting with our students, faculty and staff. It has also been amazing to hear from leaders in our community about the impact LCC has in the region. We are highly regarded and respected. One highlight for me has been the time I have spent listening; I enjoy being present and hearing multiple perspectives in gatherings such as Academic Senate, student clubs, and the "Hanging with Dr. Robinson" sessions organized by Layne Ingram in our office.”

Dr. Robinson also made mention of the Board of Trustees’ historic resolution saying, “While I have been excited about every aspect of my role, our work on the Equity Action Plan has been one of the most engaging and rewarding projects of my career. I am so proud of our college wide dedication to equity and student success.”

As COVID-19 has continued to impact the college, Dr. Robinson has not missed a beat and continues to steer the ship and move the college forward.

Other 2020 highlights include:

· EDSmart.org ranked LCC among the best colleges and universities in Michigan.
· Schools.com ranked LCC as the second-best community college in Michigan.
· Nursingprocess.org ranked LCC among the best nursing schools in Michigan.

Rankings were based on many factors, including the selection of available programs, affordability, and retention and graduation rates.

Beyond academic credentials, LCC is consistently recognized for its financial stability, which includes recognition from the National Procurement Institute for excellence in public and nonprofit procurement. LCC is one of only two agencies in Michigan and one of only 15 higher education institutions in the U.S. and Canada to receive the award. 2020 marks the 18th consecutive year the college has been so honored. LCC’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s RISE Institute received the Equity in Education Award from the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrar’s and Admission Officers (MACRAO) at their virtual 2020 Annual Conference.

LCC graduates are staffing the frontlines of COVID-19 response. LCCs nursing program has been nationally accredited for more than 40 years. Three-quarters of all regional allied healthcare professionals received their training at LCC. Graduates from LCC’s Fire Academy, EMS program and the Mid-Michigan Police Academy account for a majority of the region’s first responders, police and fire personnel.

Our exceptional training for careers in the trades, insurance and so many other areas of interest are also highly lauded. Our community education has been a favorite for those seeking a respite from 2020. The college continued to offer workforce solutions through our Business and Community Institute, and virtual entertainment through our Performing Arts Department.

Our alumni have gone on to complete bachelor’s and master’s degrees and Ph.D.’s. They serve the community as first responders, welders, aviation maintenance technicians, teachers, electrical lineworkers, and robotics technicians. They are college presidents, elected officials, and recognized nationally for their career and community-based achievements.

Faculty and staff from across the college are often called upon as subject matter experts by local and national media, and in 2020 many received individual awards for their service to students and the community.

Lansing Community College is truly a college like no other, and 2020 has been a year for the ages. We are looking forward to 2021 and another year of delivering quality education to our students and being a great place to work for our faculty and staff.

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