Published: Mar 9 2017 12:00AM
<i>Jennifer Haydel, an associate professor of political science, started working at Montgomery College in 2008. She is currently in her second year as an instructional faculty representative on the Germantown Campus Council, where she serves as council secretary.</i>
<b>MC Governance (MC): What motivated you to serve in governance?</b>
Jennifer Haydel (JH): I think that the voice of faculty is important in decision-making, and if we want to have that voice, we have to be willing to serve. I also enjoy the opportunity to interact with and learn from people who contribute to our students in very different ways. I think that I become a better teacher when I understand more of what's going on at the College beyond the classroom.
<b>MC: What is it like to be a council member? What do you actually do?</b>
JH: The Germantown Campus Council meetings are some of my favorite meetings. We're a laid-back group, and we definitely want to do what we can to make the Germantown Campus a friendly and supportive place. A lot of our work consists of relaying constituent messages to the appropriate office and connecting constituents directly to resources with which they may not be familiar. Montgomery College is a large and complex organization; we play a role in helping people find their way through it when they have concerns.
<b>MC: What would you consider a few of the most important accomplishments of governance?</b>
JH: During my time in governance, many constituent concerns have been related to College security and emergency preparedness. I think that the governance system has been important in fostering and supporting this conversation and in supporting efforts by the Office of Safety and Security to provide training.
<b>MC: What are some ways that governance can have an impact on student success?</b>
JH: The Germantown Campus Council has worked to increase our connections with students, and as a result we have had more students bring specific concerns to us. This has created another channel to improve communication with students and helped us learn that we could do better in terms of making students more aware of available resources, such as increasing signage about the College shuttle and the availability of tutoring supports.
<b>MC: Do you think governance makes an impact on the College overall? If so, how?</b>
JH: I think that governance creates a very important space for communication. That impact isn't always easy to quantify, but it matters.
<b>MC: What advice would you give to someone considering whether to serve?</b>
JH: It's definitely worth serving, and we need a wide range of people to be involved. It's a great opportunity to get to know a whole new set of people at the College.
<b>MC: Are there ways for people who aren't formally on a council to participate?</b>
JH: Yes, absolutely. In fact, we need you to. For example, meetings start with a time for constituents to bring forward concerns or to highlight accomplishments. I would encourage everyone to come to at least one of our meetings. If you aren't comfortable coming to a meeting, or if your schedule conflicts with meeting times, you can also contact one of your representatives.
<i>This article is one in a continuing series. To read about the experiences of other governance members, please visit the governance website:</i> http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu/mcgovernance