A Word from the President

Birgitte Ryslinge

Dr. Birgitte Ryslinge, OCCC President,

Birgitte Ryslinge, PhD

The mornings are nippy, and fall is in the air. While new and returning students may only now be thinking about resuming their studies, the staff at OCCC have been hard at work since last Spring planning a successful Fall 2021 for Lincoln County learners and career builders. Fall of a new academic year is always an important milestone for the College, but 2021 is particularly critical and challenging. We are now 19 months into a world-wide pandemic, with new variants putting at risk the ground gained by the efforts and sacrifices of so many. The ‘20-‘21 school year was a remote experience for most OCCC students, and while many adapted (and some even thrived) we know that relying solely on “learning at a distance” significantly diminishes the richness of the educational experience for some, and for others, makes the pursuit of learning untenable.

For the new school year, we have planned a variety of learning modalities (in-person, hybrid, full remote synchronous and asynchronous, high-flex) to suit the many different needs and preferences of our students, all delivered in an environment promoting health and safety. This includes our Community Education offerings, which may be of interest to the readers of Rising Tide. Have you missed spending time at OCCC, learning to play guitar, cook, paint, meditate, or speak conversational German? I encourage you to take a look at what’s available!

We also have a fun way for you to support students while also securing a chance to win a unique one-of-a-kind piece of art by a renowned local artist. Last Spring, we announced the generous donation of Ella, a salmon created by the late, great Michael Gibbons. Originally meant to be a part of the OCCC fundraiser, ‘Schooling Salmon,’ about 10 years ago, Ella took longer to create than expected. She’s spent the last few years on display at the Gallery Michael Gibbons in Toledo. Judy Gibbons has donated Ella to the OCCC Foundation. Ella raffle tickets are on sale now. Only 250 will be sold, at $100 each, with a drawing set for 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28. The drawing will be streamed live from the OCCC Central County Campus in Newport. Purchase a raffle ticket online!

New to the Newport campus this Fall is the OCCC Art Show, featuring art produced by our students, faculty and board members. The Art Show will be open to the public for viewing on Fridays in October from 11am – 4pm and will be auctioned for sale to the public online beginning October 6. There are truly remarkable pieces that you will not want to miss.

As always, I close by thanking you for your support of the students and the College. OCCC’s success and ability to make a difference every day can 100% be attributed to the people who have believed in and invested in the concept that the central coast needs and deserves its own College. That’s our faculty, our dedicated leadership and staff, our students, and donors such as yourselves. Please read the contribution included in this issue from Dr. Patrick O’Connor, a former president of OCCC, about the early days and how our buildings came to be, and how he continues to support our students and College.