During our spring Professional Development Week, I announced that the College is actively working to make Channel 53, the College's cable channel on Comcast, a more valuable resource for our city and its residents. The station has undergone a number of significant changes. These include primary oversight by Academic Affairs, the creation of a new management structure and intensive work with faculty and staff to offer additional educational programming, much of it locally produced by a rich array of faculty, staff and students. Our goal is to make the Channel one of the city's premier resources for stimulating educational programming.

The first step in this revitalization process began early in the Fall 2008 semester. Those first weeks of programming included "A Promise in Jeopardy," a national live broadcast involving five community colleges across the nation, with a focus on the presidential candidates' views on higher education. The College's segment featured six of our students, hosted by Ed Cunningham of WHYY, responding to questions on the role of community colleges in internationalization and workforce preparation.

Another of our original programs is the first lecture in a series by Wayne Williams, chair of the College's department of Economics and Accounting, on the "Economics of Our Times." It clearly and concisely explains the origins of the nation's current financial crisis and has met with rave reviews. Viewers have said Wayne's presentation is the "fullest, clearest and … most accessible presentation" on this complex topic.

Thanks to our talented faculty and Audio Visual staff, as of January 15, Channel 53 began airing its new full schedule of programming, including the first in our Career Series. This installment, introduced by Randy Libros of the Physics department, is focused on nanotechnology. There also are programs on learning Spanish, French, Chemistry and Psychology, with introductions by Chris DiCapua, chair of the Foreign Language department; Kathy Harter, chair of the Chemistry department; and Donald Bowers, chair of Behavioral Sciences, respectively.

Programming also includes an award-winning, full-length documentary, "Living in New Hope," written and directed by Allan Kobernick, visiting lecturer, Photographic Imaging department. The film follows the lives of 19 executives, managers, educators and consultants and provides insights into leadership and organizational behavior. Additional programs include a series sponsored by the Center for Law and Society. One discussion in this series will be introduced by Kathy Smith, director of the Center, and is an in-depth analysis from a historical perspective of the inauguration of Barack Obama, with perspectives provided by Judith Gay, vice president for Academic Affairs; and Jacqueline Akins, chair of the History, Philosophy and Religious Studies department. Also planned are a series sponsored by the Center for International Understanding, student and faculty performances, a Saturday morning reading program for children and even a cooking show.

I hope you will support these efforts through your own viewing and through your encouragement of our many colleagues who are making this important transition possible.

Stephen M Curtis
Stephen M. Curtis