Letter: Christine Whittington for CMC board
I am pleased to announce my candidacy for Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees, representing District 6. My career in higher education as a faculty member, librarian, and administrator and my dedication to affordable lifelong learning attest to my suitability for this position
My higher education career began more than 40 years ago. I was a reference librarian and head of the arts library at Penn State University, head of reference at the University of Maine, and library director at Greensboro College and at CMC Leadville (2014-2018). I assisted students nationwide as a librarian for the AskAcademic chat reference service after retirement.
As a librarian, I taught thousands of students critical thinking and research skills. I taught credit courses and was an academic adviser, first-year seminar director, teaching and learning coordinator, and study abroad adviser. As first-year seminar director at Greensboro College, I devised and administered assessment tools consistent with accreditation requirements.
My philosophy of education is simple: Learn something every day. Students’ motivation to learn is sparked by mentors who encourage intellectual curiosity. As a first-generation college student, I treasure the advisers who taught me to be a college student and cherish my ongoing connections with my own students and advisees.
My management philosophy is to hire the best people possible and enable them to do the work they love. The heart of Colorado Mountain College, or any college, consists of faculty and staff who engage and challenge students. CMC Leadville belongs to its community, including residential, commuting, and concurrent enrollment students and community members who want to continue their intellectual and physical development. I co-led community education film series and held Meet the Author discussions that brought community members onto campus and reinforced CMC’s value. In May 2017, I was named Leadville Campus staff member of the year, after only 2.5 years in my position.
I am dedicated to academic freedom, freedom of speech, and academic integrity as well as participatory governance by faculty and staff. I support the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and was a founding member of the American Association of University Professors chapters at two colleges. I am a member of the American Library Association’s Association of College and Research Libraries. My professional life grounded me in best practices for higher education, a commitment I brought to every position and will continue as a CMC trustee.
My community activities include the Lake County/Leadville Dog Park Committee, the Collegiate Peaks Forum Series Board, the Leadville Film Commission Board, Friends of Lake County Public Library Board, Planned Pethood Leadville, and Leadville Legends Gunfighters. I participated in Lake County High School’s mentoring program.
Colorado Mountain College enables students to follow their dreams and become lifelong learners affordably, whether it is learning how to tie flies, detect fake news, predict avalanches, or simply learning something they did not know yesterday. As a CMC trustee, I will use my higher education and leadership experiences to enhance CMC’s value to our community of learners.