From pecan bars, to reviving a dried creekbed, to national competitions in computer-aided rocket and drone building, Clark President Robert Knight discussed successes during 2017 and goals for 2018 in his State of the College address.
The Gaiser Student Center was filled mostly with staff and faculty on Jan. 18 from 11 a.m. to noon for Knight’s overview of changes in the college community this past year.
After acknowledging board members and state representative attendees, Knight applauded the first attendees of the new culinary institute.
“The pecan bars are my favorite,” Knight said.
“I’ve got a pecan bar for you!” a culinary student said, waving a napkin in the air as audience members chuckled.
Knight praised Guided Pathways, which is at the two-year mark in its four- or five-year implementation. He said the American Association of Community Colleges selected Clark to receive national support for personal connections with students.
Knight said his goal is to help graduation feel more obtainable. “The focus will be not on students being college-ready, but on us being student-ready,” he said.
Knight said Clark faces problems like legislative inaction for the Boschma Farms budget and lower enrollment due to a predicted 15 percent job growth in Clark County.
Knight recognized the success of several Clark alumni and added that all students should have equal opportunities to succeed, which he claimed Guided Pathways would help provide.
He then announced a project to restore a salmon habitat in a dried creekbed at Boschma Farms led by STEM instructor Erin Harwood and Biology Professor Kathleen Perillo.
Knight’s speech concluded with presidential coins awarded to Associate Dean of Instructional Operations Rachele Bakic, Director of Workforce Education Services Armetta Burney and former Washington Senator Al Bauer for their support of the college and its students.