What brought Dr. Jermaine Williams to MC?

Students, faculty, and staff talk values, concerns, and goals in casual meet and greet with the new president

Samantha Miranda, Staff Writer

The college’s student-centered approach is what attracted Montgomery College’s new president to seek out that position, Dr. Jermaine F. Williams told faculty and staff at a “meet and greet” on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus this month.

On Friday March 11, the Board of Trustees and the Office of the President hosted a meet and greet to give an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to welcome the new president and create dialogue about prides or dislikes of the college. The event was organized casually as seats were arranged in a circle in the Commons Building Atrium, which created an environment to have an open conversation with the president and the other attendees.

The students are the reason why we are all here,” Williams said. “Supporting faculty and staff to create this student-centered atmosphere, where we want to help students achieve their goals,” was a big component of the college’s attraction for him.

Those who attended the event were faculty and staff. The attendees represented many departments and offices including Facilities, Recruitment, and the Department of Public Safety.

Before the meet and greet formally began, Williams introduced himself to many attendees. He asked them what department or office they work in and how long they have worked for the college.

A representative from the Board of Trustees began the event with an explanation that the meet and greet was an opportunity to share positive attributes of the college as well as opportunities for the college to improve. The representative described Williams as having a “thirst for knowledge” about the college. Williams also opened the conversation as an opportunity for him to listen and learn.

Attendees that evening expressed a sense of pride for how welcoming and inclusive the TP/SS campus community is. Attendees also described Montgomery College as an institution with endless opportunities. One staff member shared their journey from student to staff member at Montgomery College. He explained he felt that at the college there is representation, a sense of belonging, and a feeling of home.

Along with positive things said about the college, faculty and staff were unrestricted in expressing ways the college can improve. Some of the concerns expressed by the attendees include deferred building maintenance, maintaining the importance of the arts, and collegewide training about the college mission. The Recruitment and College Access Manager, Camille Cauley, mentioned the improvement of software, which many universities already use, that could streamline communication between the Recruitment office and prospective students.

At the end of the “meet and greet” a staff member asked Williams what attracted him to Montgomery College. Williams explained that what attracted him was the college’s “student centered atmosphere,” actions towards equity, past and current innovative and transformational approach to education. When speaking of the overarching goals of the college, Williams said, We want to leverage education to make an impact on societya positive impact on socially mobilityameliorate if not eliminate gaps we see in society.

There will be a Virtual Meet & Greet with Employees on Tuesday, March 29th at 4:00 p.m. via Zoom. For more information, email [email protected].