Notes from the President

Jan 17, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

Yesterday, Bellevue College observed the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday and this week there are events for our community to participate in so we may reflect on Dr. King’s legacy and take action to bring us closer to the realization of his dream. As we rebuild the connections within our own BC community—and deepen our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion—I’m reminded of his words: “Our goal is to create a beloved community, and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”

I hope you can join us this Thursday, January 19 for an MLK Week keynote address, “Rebuilding Our Communities Post-Pandemic” in the Carlson Theatre, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. and live-streamed for those who can’t participate in person. Keynote speakers include Hiawatha D., a Seattle native and artist who uses his paintings, ceramics, and wood carvings to disrupt the narratives of trauma that typically depict Black lives, as well as Veronica Very, the founder and visionary of Wonder of Women International and the nation’s newest cultural destination experience, WOW Gallery. Many thanks to all who helped organize this event, including Multicultural Services, the Science and Math Institute, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Office of Student Engagement, and the Bellevue College Foundation.

Our Library Media Center has also created a virtual display to complement this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. week with a series of e-books and streaming videos about Dr. King and a listing of local community events.  

Bellevue College Foundation Gala

It was a real joy to participate in the Bellevue College Foundation’s Gala on Jan 7. The community came together to celebrate the important work of Bellevue College. We heard from alumni, shared the great work being done, celebrated our wonderful event space, and most importantly, raised money to provide scholarships and support for our students and campus community.

I want to thank the faculty who donated items to the fundraising auction – proceeds of which will be directed back to their programs. I also want to thank the students and faculty who volunteered and worked at the event. The entire campus came together to celebrate and it was felt by all of the attendees.

Lastly, a huge congratulations to the Foundation Board of Directors; Rebecca Chawgo, Vice President of Institutional Advancement; and Melissa Johnson, Executive Director of the Foundation, and her team who put on a truly festive, fun, and heartwarming event. More than $350,000 was raised and a wonderful time was had by all.


BC Governance

During fall quarter, I had the pleasure of attending at least one meeting of each BC Governance council. During my visits, I observed thoughtful discussions, dynamic debate, and action-oriented discourse among faculty, staff, and students around several topics, including improving staff morale, increasing enrollment, addressing equity in hiring, improving campus safety, and prioritizing students’ basic needs. I encourage each of the councils to put forth their proposals through the BC governance system; and the Cabinet and I look forward to reviewing them for possible implementation. The BC Governance system involves over 100 students, staff, and faculty members, and I urge everyone to consider joining a council in 2023. It’s a great opportunity to represent your colleagues, get a behind-the-scenes look at the decision-making process, and expand your own professional opportunities as well.

Art Murals on Campus

You may have noticed that some of the beautiful art murals around campus have sustained damage due to rain and wind recently. We are working with the vendor Urban Artworks on making repairs and hope that work will be completed by the end of February, weather permitting.


Sara Sanders Gardner

Congratulations to Sara Sanders Gardner for presenting last fall at the Neurodiversity in the Workplace Conference based in Slovakia. Sara invited session participants to consider neurodivergence as a culture using E.T. Hall’s Cultural Iceberg as a model for better responding to actions and communications that might be confusing or misinterpreted. 

Sonya Doucette

Congratulations to Sonya Doucette who was recently recognized by the American Chemical Society for her work leading the way incorporating social justice into modern STEM coursework

Gary Locke

Interim President