Jan Baptist is a member of LSC’s Class of 2007. She is an adjunct professor at Bristol Community College and an active volunteer locally.
What do you do at Bristol Community College?
I have worked for Bristol Community College since 1974 in a variety of roles. I retired in 2009, as the Director of the Office of Disability Services, having managed the ODS staff and delivery of disability services at four campuses. I currently serve as an adjunct professor in two college departments, teaching Introductory Psychology and Developmental College Reading.
How are you involved in the community?
I’ve volunteered on regional and state Equal Education Opportunity boards throughout my professional life. Locally, I served as the president of the YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts for eight years and also chaired the New Bedford, Human Rights Commission. Currently, I am the chair of the Alma Del Mar Charter School Board and the Vice Chair of the Cape Verdean Association in New Bedford Board.
What did you find most valuable about your LSC experience?
I would Identify the information that was shared each month as we visited with agencies and government offices as the most valuable, second only to the connections made with like-minded people. I found the information was up to the minute and came from original sources; talking to people who were involved in the front-line work was powerful.
2020 has been a year like no other. How are you leading during these unprecedented times?
The COVID climate and the imperative for anti-racist work drives me to dig deeper into my mental and energy resources. This is what drives me. I am utilizing technology to continue my work as vigorously as possible. I am increasing my skills with alternative communication platforms and staying up-to-date, informed and relevant. Resilience and self -care is necessary in these challenging times.
What leadership advice would you give to the LSC Network in light of these unprecedented times?
Leadership has to have a greater focus on equity and leaders need to be actively anti-racist, nimble, resilient, creative and think out of the box. We must ask ourselves what do we want 2021 to look like and how can we be ready to lead into that future? How will our current experience inform our future practice? What values are deserving of keeping and what values need to be replaced? Research and learning must be continual.