COVID-19 Update: : Conquering the First Official Week


Dear Colleagues,

Congratulations Vikings! We have conquered a full official week in this new remote world. And we did it very well. We pulled together like the great team I know we are – working to ensure that every area of Long Beach City College was considered while essentially creating a whole new way of LBCC life in a short amount of time.

This week’s Board of Trustees meeting was a testament to who we are and all that we do. We rallied together while apart. IITS and Communications had us up and running the livestream through ConferZoom so that the Board members, the Vice Presidents, our amazing Board Secretary, Student, and Constituency leaders and I could all conduct a productive and professional meeting. Something I heard throughout the meeting form our Board and others were your names. The praise and admiration that the campus leadership has for all of you – faculty, classified professionals and managers/administrators – was resounding, making me very proud to return to Long Beach City College as your interim Superintendent-President.

When we stop to think about this effort as a whole, there isn’t anyone who hasn’t needed to go above and beyond. Moving 2,012 class sections doesn’t happen without faculty and staff working closely together. Conducting 32 workshops in nine days for 1,200 faculty moving to remote instruction has certainly been a heroic effort between classified professionals, management and faculty. And cleaning, closing and securing two large campuses is not as simple as the turn of a key. Nothing has been easy, but that does not stop us from rising to the challenge. After all, we are warriors!  

It’s been very rewarding to hear how the campus community is coming together to support our students and each other.  I want to share a few examples with you and will continue to do this in future emails.

  • Malu Miranda in Payroll and Chris Dorsey in IITS led a phenomenal effort in partnership with HR to create a process to facilitate payment of the differential to on-site AFT members.
  • Sota Sunleng in Contracts and Purchasing created a process using Adobe to collect digital signatures for contracts, eliminating the need to route physical documents.
  • All custodians working on-site to preserve the safety and health of other essential personnel have completed a deep cleaning and sanitizing of each building. Kudos to Aaron Culpepper, Jessie Parker, Dewayne Green, and James Welton who completed the deep cleaning of the T Building yesterday.
  • The managers and staff who helped with the Viking Vault-Grab and Go Pre-bagged Grocery distribution on Tuesday. More than 300 bags of groceries were handed out to students. Thank you Alisia Kirkwood, Deborah Miller-Calvert, Teila Robertson, Sonia De La Torre-Iniguez, Nohel Corral, Sergio Grimaldi, Maria Ek Ewell, Di Lohay, and Derek Oriee.
  • The OLET team, led by Dr. Hussam Kashou, for their work on the faculty resources webpage and the 1,200 faculty enrollments in online trainings. Also, the leaders of the Instructional COVID-19 group — Michael Robertson, Suman Mudunuri, Wendy Koenig, and Melvin Cobb. Academic Services led by Michelle Grimes Hillman and Brent Gilmore and their teams for their work to reclassify classes. Deans and DHs for moving the “difficult to convert” science labs, CTE courses, art classes, theater classes, child development, health sciences to remote instruction as much as possible. The academic support personnel – faculty, staff, and administrators – for moving these services remote.  The faculty leadership including Jeri Florence, Diana Ogimachi, and Karen Roberts for their creativity, cooperation, and collaboration. 
  • Thanks to Stacey Toda and her Communications team for all of the COVID-19 communications. Thank you to Marcia Parker and the Outreach team for really thinking out of the box with re-configuring the upcoming Discover LBCC event and finding ways for our future students to tour our campus virtually.
  • And from a student: “This difficult time has truly shown me how dedicated my professor Kristin Beeler is. It is especially difficult to transition our class online since it is an in-person art class, but she has given us the consistent communication and flexibility we need in order to continue learning. She ensures we remain engaged with online lab hours and tutorials on how to use google drive so we can share our progress as we work at home. At our first online class she unmuted everyone and simply asked us to tell her we were okay, and in this time that meant the world to us. I know that she is taking on an enormous amount of work to adjust her curriculum for us. It is caring, invested teachers that are the reason LBCC is such an amazing institution.”

Even though I haven’t been able to see all of you  in person, I do want to thank so many of you who have welcomed me back this past week. I love that our Viking Pride doesn’t fade and that we all have the good of the institution in our hearts. 

One of our colleagues recently shared a story. They recalled reading in the LBCC 75th Anniversary History Book a section on the 1933 earthquake. In some ways we are channeling the staff and faculty of Long Beach Junior College in 1933 after that quake because what they did to improvise when they could no longer teach in their classrooms. They improvised! They improvised so much that one of the anatomy instructors started transporting the class skeleton between her car, her apartment and the outdoor classroom at Recreation Park!

So here we are, 87 years later… doing more improvising. Recreation Park, however, is now known as our new friends named “Canvas”, “Zoom” and “Skype.”

Keep on improvising and adapting Vikings! You are all doing an incredible job!

Enjoy a relaxing weekend because you deserve it. We will be “in touch” apart, next week.

Take good care of yourselves,

Lou Anne Bynum
Interim Superintendent-President