Published: Feb 20 2017 12:00AM
<i>Maria Adams Davidson, a recruitment and College access coordinator, has worked at Montgomery College for 19 years. She has served in governance since its inaugural year, when she was appointed to the Academic Services Council to fill a staff vacancy. Since then, she has been elected chair of the Academic Services Council twice, vice chair and chair of the College Council, and chair of the Student Services and Success Council, the position she currently holds.</i>
<b>MC Governance (MC): What motivated you to serve in governance?</b>
Maria Adams Davidson (MD): I was eager to serve the College in a new way and to grow more professionally.
<b>MC: What is it like to be a council member? What do you actually do?</b>
MD: Council members attend monthly meetings during the academic year, learn firsthand about new initiatives, share information with constituents, and provide important feedback. Serving as a governance member has been an interesting opportunity, allowing me to learn an extensive amount about the College, particularly regarding new initiatives and the rationale for major changes. I feel more engaged as an employee. There are people I have met through my governance service that I probably might not have known otherwise, and my MC journey has been enriched profoundly as a result.
<b>MC: What would you consider a few of the most important accomplishments of governance?</b>
MD: I believe governance members across the councils have worked diligently to make a difference over the years. An example of a major accomplishment was the non-reprisal statement, which was a modification to the Employee Privileges policy that provides protection to employees participating in governance or College public forums from fear of retaliation. The Staff Council developed the language, which was supported by the College Council, and then approved by the president and the Board of Trustees. An additional example would be the feedback provided through governance on policy and procedure updates.
<b>MC: What are some ways that governance can have an impact on student success?</b>
MD: The work of governance has thoughtfully considered student success in different ways over the years. This year there is an intentional emphasis on the opportunities for governance to make a tangible difference in the success of our students across the College. In addition, having students at the table with faculty, staff, and administrators allows students to provide a significant and direct voice to share concerns and to make recommendations. The expansion of the shuttle bus hours is a great example of governance fostering student success. The Student Council and Operational Services Council brought attention to the need of some students for expanded transportation options. This year the Student Services Council has been working closely with the transportation and parking manager about ways to address the needs of student shuttle riders.
<b>MC: Do you think governance makes an impact on the College overall? If so, how?</b>
MD: Yes! We make a difference through every council. Governance provides a true voice for each constituency. I believe that students, faculty, staff, and administrators all collaborate to bring our participatory system to life.
<b>MC: What advice would you give to someone considering whether to serve?</b>
MD: I encourage members across our College community to review the governance website to learn more about the different councils and to reach out to council members. Determine which council is the right fit for you and consider running for a council position. I hope you will feel encouraged and empowered to voice your concerns, feedback, and ideas. Governance members are advocates for student success and for our College to become the best place to work and thrive.
<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