Published: Oct 18 2016 12:00AM
Catherine Giovannetti has worked at Montgomery College for 26 years, first in the Budget Office and then, after earning her CPA, in the Finance Office. She is currently finance director for Workforce Development and Continuing Education. Catherine recently reflected on her experiences in governance and its impact on the College community.
MC Governance (MC): How long have you served in governance and in what capacities?
Catherine Giovannetti (CG): I served on the Operational Services Council as secretary for two years prior to being elected to the Academic Services Council this year. I am currently the chair of the Academic Services Council, and I was also elected to serve as secretary of the College Council.
MC: What motivated you to serve?
CG: Change is inevitable, exciting, and somewhat uncomfortable all at the same time. Being part of the change has proven to be the best option for guiding and reaping the most benefit from the process of change for me. Being part of the governance system offers each member an opportunity to gather insight and have a voice in the many varied activities of the institution. Staying informed and informing others supports the opportunity to do business better.
MC: What is it really like to be a council member? What do you actually do?
CG: Council members attend meetings (once or twice each month) to
*listen to constituent concerns,
*inform on relevant topics of concern or change,
*network to other councils or departments for response, and
*kindle recommendations in response to policy change or other College actions.
Listen, Inform, Network and Kindle = LINK.
MC: What would you consider a few of the most important accomplishments of governance?
CG: While serving on the Operational Services Council I saw firsthand the request for input on many policies of the College. The impact of council input and recommendations is less obvious in some respects but relevant across the institution. Notable accomplishments can be attributed to advocacy efforts coming forward from various councils in support of student and employee success. Among the more visible impacts is the MC Shuttle service expansion provided between campuses and the initiation of training, such as safety and security training.
MC: Do you think governance makes an impact on the College? If so, how?
CG: The governance system provides expanded, inclusive information and input opportunity on policy, firsthand information on the many activities of the institution, and a vehicle for communication with College decision makers. One of the most important features of the current governance structure is the composition of each council that allows for sharing of perspectives from different constituent groups across the institution. This combination provides for empowering opportunities.
MC: What advice would you give to someone considering whether to serve?
CG: Be prepared to listen to others as well as share views, commit time to meetings and communication. Be part of change and not just have change happen to you.
MC: Are there ways for people who aren't formally on a council to participate?
CG: There are several ways to participate such as attending council meetings, presenting a concern to a council, and serving on ad hoc committees.
This article is one in a continuing series. To read about the perspectives of other governance members, please visit the governance website: http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu/mcgovernance