Published September 11, 2020

To the Shasta College Community:

I want to acknowledge right at the beginning of this message the significance of today’s date.  19 years ago, I know exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard the news of the 9/11 attacks.  I recall the feelings of numbness and disbelief that it could be happening.  Many of our traditional observances of this anniversary are not happening this year locally with the poor air quality and other emergencies being managed, but I want to encourage each of you to reflect upon this day in your own way.

Additionally, I trust you are continuing to cope with our current difficult situations.  Early last spring, some of us were discussing the difficulty we might face with potential emergencies on top of the pandemic emergency (i.e., fires or power shutoffs).  Well, we are in the midst of that happening, with loss of power and several large trees blown down early this week and the heavy smoke in the air from the fires surrounding us.  I want to recognize our campus safety and physical plant staff who are continuing to step up and serve us all with excellence.  Thank you so much for your service!

Success Stories
First, here is a link to the Women in California leadership Foundation announcing the scholarship awardees for this year:  Two of our STEP-UP students were successful applicants this year. We are very proud of Alisha Cetina and Ashley Tirado and they’re leadership in advocating for female empowerment and mentorship in our community. I believe there were about 1000 applications for scholarships, and about an 8% award rate.

Second, I have a success story to share that causes mixed emotions for me.  I want to congratulate Greg Smith, as he has accepted a position at the San Diego Community College District as their new Vice Chancellor of Human Resources.  The San Diego CCD is the third largest district in our system, and it is a real testament to the high level of Greg’s talent and knowledge to be hired into this role.  Please join me in congratulating Greg – he will be missed here at Shasta.  His last day working with us will be October 14. 

On a personal note, early last month I injured a knee and have to have an ACL repair done. This surgery is scheduled for September 23rd, and Kevin O’Rorke will serve as Acting President for a time during my recovery. 

Finally, I want to encourage all of you to continue to help our students during this difficult time.  I am hearing and experiencing, both directly and indirectly, that our students, our communities, and yes, even each of us, are simply worn out, tired and shorter-fused than we want to be.  Remember, our students often look to us for help through tough times, and we need to help one another so as to have the emotional strength to lend support to our students.  I encourage you to be especially aware of your interactions, your assignments, and your communications to your students and each other during this time.  By doing so with more intentionality and positivity than ever, I believe we can make even greater difference than usual in the lives of those we interact with every day.  I encourage you to be especially conscious of your levels of self-care so that you can continue the important work you are doing.  

Thank you again for your extraordinary service.  Stay safe – I hope you will carve out some time this weekend for rest.

Joe Wyse
Shasta-Tehama-Trinity Joint Community College District
11555 Old Oregon Trail
Redding, CA 96049