College president’s video adds light touch to heavy topic The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

College president’s video adds light touch to heavy topic

College president’s video adds light touch to heavy topic


Whether its grade school, high school or higher education, the pandemic has made things pretty bleak for students.

But Chandler Gilbert Community College President Dr. Greg Peterson decided to add a dash of humor to a video he made for students on how most classes will be online this semester.

Almost from the first minute of the five-minute video, titled “Another Very Important Message From Our President,” Peterson gets the chuckles rolling.

Peterson has his feet up on the desk, his nose buried in a book, in the opening shot.

“Oh, hello there, I didn’t see you,” he says, his eyes peering above the book. “I was just reading one of my favorite books – the ‘Chandler Gilbert Student Handbook and Course Catalogue.’ Have a copy? No? No worries.”

Then he tosses the book over the shoulder, explaining how the book is online.

From there, Peterson maintains a light-hearted but informative tour of part of the campus to illustrate everything students can do online – including taking classes.

The entire fall semester will be online at Chandler Gilbert – except for a small cohort of classes requiring hands-on training such as our electric utility technology, aircraft maintenance technology and some fine arts courses.

The online format marks a stunning departure from the college’s normal routine.

Last year, 1,311 of its 1,918 courses were in-person. This semester, only 218 of its 2,021 courses will be that way.

As for the spring semester, the school is monitoring federal and state guidelines regarding fully reopening for in-person instruction “and will make a decision when appropriate,” a spokeswoman said.

Likewise this semester, out-of-classroom campus life also has become virtual.

The Student Life And Leadership Team have transitioned clubs to online with meetings via video conferencing. Student Life held orientation “open houses” online as well.

The video was Peterson’s brain child and he worked with the marketing and tutoring departments, Angel Fuentes-Figueroa, associate dean of workforce programs; Dr. Enjolie Lafaurie of the psychology department; and Student Life Director Michael Greene.

Their collaboration – produced by local video vendor Fervor Creative – helped Peterson achieve a balance between a pleasantly light-hearted but seriously informative walk-through of the new normal at Chandler Gilbert that was shared on the college’s social media channels and its website,

“We also hope the community watches the video and remembers the joy and energy that education and learning can bring,” said Jenna Kahl, associate vice president of community relations.

“We want our students and our community to know that we are here to support them,” she said. “Even though nothing seems normal right now you can still achieve your educational goals with our help.”

For the most part, the pandemic hasn’t dissuaded thousands for signing up to continue their education at Chandler Gilbert.

“Our current full-time enrollment is 10,436,” said Felicia Ramirez-Perez, dean of enrollment services.  “We anticipate our enrollment will increase as we have late-start courses starting next week through mid-October.

“Our late-start courses allow anyone to start classes throughout the fall without missing out.” 

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