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#121 Chris Nelson, Staff
(Coordinator: Academic Skills Center, Basic Skills Initiative, & Learning Communities)

I began my career at COD as an adjunct composition instructor, but I didn’t really get involved until Ed Morante, my boss at the time, dragged me into a planning meeting. “You should get involved in this stuff!” he said, and I did. By that time I was working in the Academic Skills Center, still an adjunct, but I found myself spending more and more time on campus. Eventually I was hired on full time as Coordinator of the ASC, and I joined a bunch of committees.

I did much of this because I believed in the power of planning and because I kept meeting people"faculty, administrators, and staff"who were willing to go the extra mile and do the extra work to improve things for students. I could make a long list of such people, because COD is blessed with many skilled, thoughtful folk who are as committed or more committed than I. Of course, it was not always easy. We disagreed at times, and more than one committee that I served on aimed at making a horse but came up with a camel! But at least some of those camels are still trudging along carrying the load across rough country.

And then there is the ASC"the love of my life!! I am a very lucky manager to work with staff so committed to students, so willing to put in long hours of planning and building, but also so ready to simply greet a student with a smile, and be willing and able to help them. They have all been a blessing to me and to COD students.

I’ve been at COD for about 20 years. I want to thank the students here who taught me about learning and the rest of you who taught me about living and working well. It’s been a pleasure.