Monthly Archives: December 2020

A Few Minutes With … Glenda Izumi

Photo of Glenda Izumi

Glenda Izumi

Current position: Success Coach since September 2019

Work Life Before Lane: Glenda is a lifelong educator and prior to joining Lane was the site administrator for an adult education program that served more than 12,000 students in southern California. She holds a Ph.D. in human development. 

Prior Work at Lane: Glenda has worked at Lane for nearly seven years and previously was an adjunct faculty member for ABSE and ESL. She also has assisted with qualitative data analysis work in support of student success.

Personal Look: Her second grandchild (a granddaughter) was born recently. She has three adult children and a 3-year-old grandson. “I’m a happy mom and grandma.” She plans to retire at the end of December.

Q: What interested you in your current position? 

A: It was my dream job to be able to work one-on-one with students. That was my sole purpose to help them. When you teach, you’re helping them, but you have multiple students. As a coach, i feel like I can interact more and find out really how I can help and share the resources. A lot of them don’t know what’s available at Lane. Lane is crazy full of opportunities for them and the community. 

Q: Tell us about your role as a success coach. What is it and do students find you … or do you find students? 

A: Prior to this year, I was more involved with counselors and students who needed help meeting Academic Progress Standards. I’d be a liaison between the counselors and students. If they were having academic challenges. I’d set up appointments for them to meet with the counselor and help them navigate resources and identify solutions. My role has evolved since we’re not putting students on alert now while we’re in our remote environment. Now, I’m working primarily with First Year Experience students and providing support as they navigate the Moodle course. I still get referrals from Early Outreach, tutors, retention counselors and financial aid as I have built up rapports with them and am eager to help our students.

Q: Have you had to alter how you approach your job as a success coach during the pandemic? If so, how? 

A: We’re now working largely through email and I think a lot of our students aren’t used to communicating or focusing on email. So, when I learned I could request a phone, I decided to get one. I love having it because going back and forth on email with a student, it takes a little longer because they don’t always immediately respond like some of us to email. Sometimes, it could take a few days or longer to get their issue resolved just by email. Before, students also would come to our office. There’s something to be said by talking to someone face to face. You can tell by their body language if they’re anxious or nervous and through email, you can’t tell. Phone is tricky, too. I miss that authentic way of communicating. We have to adapt to that. Like everyone else, we need to be more patient. The empathy is certainly still there. I feel for them. This is tough. Also, just being in the same workspace is helpful. Cheryl (Shaw) and I worked well together and with the part-time coaches. If there was a student that had an issue that we didn’t know how to deal with it, we had the other coaches there and we could bounce ideas off each other. Or, I could walk over and bring in a counselor. Now, I have to text or email them and it’s a slower process. I’m afraid that we may lose some students in the process. I think younger people want immediate results or immediate solutions and that’s hard. We’re all doing the best we can. I also miss the camaraderie and support of counselors and success coaches. 

Q: Are you receiving questions that you didn’t hear/read prior to the pandemic? If so, what are some of them? 

A: Yes. Some of the things I hear: I’m fine but my teacher has no idea what’ he’s doing (technology-wise). My friends and I decided we’re just going to be patient with him. That’s not very often, but it just goes to show that everyone, regardless of one’s role, is struggling with this new normal. We have students who have Internet access challenges. I refer them to the SHeD. I just had a student who was having problems learning chemistry remotely, so I referred them to the tutoring center. Most of the students we’d see are new students, or those that are not necessarily resourceful. In the past, we were able to walk them to resources. Now, if it’s through email, you have to send them a link or a screenshot. It’s hard to have a warm hand-off remotely.

Now, students face new challenges staying at home with parents, grandparents, and/or children 24/7 while juggling work and school. The vast majority of students I communicate with are first year students.  So, in addition to dealing with the new role of being a college student, many are suddenly thrown into working full-time as well, helping their parents with childcare, or even being caregivers for family members at home.  This all on top of adjusting to remote learning and using technology in newly discovered ways.

Q: What do you think employees may not realize about the needs of our students who reach out for success coach support? 

A: In the beginning, when I started this job, I was surprised myself because just because they’re younger and know social media does not mean that they check their email and know how to check for links. We can’t assume that they know how. Emails are seen as an archaic form of communication to many students, so LCC needs to acknowledge that students are not necessarily email savvy. Even just navigating Moodle, they’re not aware of all the possibilities or how to access all the information in a shell.. Also, that they have amazing struggles. We need to acknowledge that. I think we need to just know that if it’s hard for us, it has to be hard for these students, especially first time students who may or may not be supporting families, or even their parents during this time. 

Q: Have you started any new work practices to help you better adapt to our remote work environment?

A: I have a white board that I glued onto my back door because there’s a lot of new information that I want in front of me: changes in CRNs and due dates. There are some adaptations I’ve had to make because the FYE has a few different expectations. I set up an office space. I originally would work in my kitchen, but found that it was not as effective. I moved things around and I have a work space now and I actually “go” to work. I have coffee in the kitchen and then I go into my work space room. 

Q: What are you most looking forward to when we can use the term: post-pandemic? 

A: Being face to face with students and colleagues. Absolutely. Being able to walk students to where they need to go and introduce them. Laugh with people. 

Q: Since you are retiring, what will you miss most about Lane and your work? 

A: I hope that I’ll be able to help continue to serve, help people. I think I will. I’ll miss that. Selfishly, hopefully, people will give me feedback. That makes my day when students do that. When we had furlough days in summer, I volunteered to deliver Meals on Wheels, it was so great. People were so appreciative. I didn’t know what to expect, they were so kind. I may continue that. I need to figure out next steps. The idea of retirement is still new to me. Hopefully, I’ll find something. I have an immigrant Zoom group that I started with my ABSE/ESL students. When I was teaching we’d meet every other week, and now we do a (Zoom) book club. Most of them were students at Lane and from Iran, China, Taiwan, South America, Hungary. Hopefully, i’ll be able to devote more time to that. 

A Few Minutes With … Doug Ford

Photo of Doug Ford

Doug Ford

Current position: Fabrication and Welding Faculty  

Work Life Before Lane: Spent earlier career in kitchens and was a chef when he decided to change careers. He was a student in LCC’s welding/fabrication program and is a certified welding inspector and certified welding educator through the American Welding Society, the organization that sets the global standards for structural steel and piping. 

Prior Work at Lane: In 2015, joined college as an aide/instructional specialist in the welding and fabrication program and has been a full-time faculty member since 2018-19.

Abstract painting by Doug Ford.

Personal Look: During the pandemic, Doug has spent more time on his art. He’s an abstract painter and enjoys painting with acrylics to explore colors and forms. 

 

 

Q: How did you get into welding/fabrication and what drew you to becoming an instructor?

A: I needed to change what I was doing for my life. There’s not a lot of upward mobility or insurance working in the restaurant industry. It’s great money and stable money and pre-COVID, there was always a job and the ability to travel. But, I was ready to settle down and that meant focusing on my education and going back to school. The reason welding? It’s working with your hands and it seems silly but it kind of seems like wizardry because you have electricity that you’re using to fuse metal together. It’s like magic really. It’s fusion. You take two pieces of metal and make them one piece and you can’t tell the difference. It drew it to me, electricity, the heat, the fire, the flames. All the different facets of welding. There are so many different genres you can get into. Everything is welded unless it’s made with wood. It’s like the magical glue that holds the world together and I was interested in being a part of that. 

Q: Welding. Fabrication. What’s the difference? 

A: Welding is fusing two pieces of metal together. Fabrication is being able to read a blueprint and create something. You could become a parts welder and never see the final product. A fabrication welder would be able to read the blueprint and understand it. It’s like learning another language. When I teach blueprint reading, I let students know that it is a new language of symbol and numbers. Fabrication is learning a different language of symbology to read from a blueprint. A welder would weld parts of the box. The fabricator would build the box.

Q: Have you had to alter how you approach your job/instruction as a welding and fabrication instructor during the pandemic?  If so, how? 

A: We had to make it happen. I used some of the big hitters in the industry’s  training videos. The training videos have benefited the student because there is a lot of trial and error and hand eye coordination with welding. The traditional way is: let’s get in a welding booth and go for it. This way, I can pause the video and let them see a weld-pool close up. With a weld pool or puddle,  you’re noticing 15 to 20 things at the same time, and with the video I can hit pause and blow it up on the screen and point out details that might be missed otherwise. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of it and really helps get into a student’s head so they can see what the puddle is.   

As far as transition to hybrid style and teaching online, it is propelling us into a new way of teaching that wouldn’t have existed otherwise, at least not for a while. It’s worked out really well. I see the students coming and being further along sooner with this hybrid style of teaching, rather than the traditional style of teaching, because I’m able to pinpoint what I’m talking about on the screen.

Q: What do you mean by pool and puddle? 

A:  The weld puddle is the small area of molten metal that is present for a just a second while the electrode is directly over the spot being welded. Once you take the welding arc off of it, there’s a brief amount of time when the pool is liquid. We’re dealing with a lot of unseen forces, magnetism, gravity and it could start to droop on you. If it’s not hot enough the toes of the weld aren’t welding in. There quite a few things they need to consider: the right angle, the right travel speed, right parameters on the machine. I need to be sure that they can see that weld puddle correctly. I can’t see through the eyes of the pupil, but I can see what they did because it’s frozen in the weld pool. You can read the welds. I can tell if a student was holding their breath, the angle they were using, I can tell what they did each step. 

Q: How have students adapted to the hybrid model?

A: The practice of welding, it’s almost impossible to teach online, but you can get the basics online. How to position yourself, wear all your clothes correctly, set your shade (different shade numbers for lenses). Some people haven’t had much hand-eye coordination, so we’re doing training techniques that we wouldn’t have used otherwise. We wrote out COVID protocols early on and ordered PPE, printed out signs for the floor and were able to reopen the last three weeks of spring term and all summer and now, fall. The nature of the welding booths, they’re already sectioned off and each has its own ventilation system. You’re not breathing in anyone else’s air and the booths are already six feet apart. We were already 90 percent there to be able to bring students safely back into the space. 

Q: Is there a demand for welding/fabrication jobs during the pandemic? 

A: We’re continuing to grow our committee advisory through this pandemic. Most of the fabrication shops in this region are still rolling. We added four new folks to our advisory group. We just met with a boat fabrication company that needs people. There’s a steel fabricator on Mohawk and they’re just crushing it and growing exponentially. There will also be needs in the community related to rebuilding after the wildfires. We can place everyone of our students locally who finish this year and next year. I don’t have any concerns about that at all. There’s also the boomers who will be retiring, so it’s an in-demand trade. If they want to travel, it’s even more money. 

Q: What do you think other LCC employees may not realize about the needs of our students during this time? 

A: Kindness. Courtesy. Just understanding that our students right now are under a whole lot of pressure and they may not always understand where that pressure comes from. They don’t have a lot of experiences. They grew up in the cell phone era. There are these anxieties that we need to have compassion with. Caring, kindness and compassion. That’s what I try to do without degrading their instruction. Flexibility when ushering this new era of technology and instruction. 

Q: Have you started any new work or general practices to help you better adapt to our remote work environment? 

A: Yes, because I can’t get as close or do as many demonstrations or go back and forth and be in the booth with the student. I’m focusing more on terminology and articulating what I teach. So that when we talk to each other they understand exactly what I want rather than me showing them what I want. I’ve also had to train myself. I really got on the ball with training myself to become more efficient and run online classes. Half of my students when I started were more adept then me at computers. In a way, it creates a bond, when one of your students tells you: ‘you know you can save time if you do it this way.’ I’m learning from them, too. 

Q: What are you most looking forward to when we can use the term: post-pandemic? 

A: (Laughs) There’s not going to be a post-pandemic. Our department didn’t miss a whole lot, but I really miss being able to be more hands on and getting into the booth with the students and work with them a bit more closely. I’m looking forward to more hands-on mentorship.