Superintendent-President Romali on her first State of the College Address.

Story and Photo by Maila Bringas and Karen Ramirez

Superintendent-President Reagan Romali starting her first State of the College Address.
Superintendent-President Reagan Romali starting her first State of the College Address.

Superintended-President Reagan Romali had her first State of the College Address speech on Friday, Feb. 2 at the LAC Hall of Champions gymnasium.

In 2017, LBCC also celebrated its 90th anniversary, having been established since the fall of 1927.

Among the attendees included, President board of trustees Jeff Kellogg and many sponsors that have helped the college.

Attending his second state of the college address, journalism major Antonio Ruiz, 70, thought that there’s many challenges with community college since they are not given attention to as much as statewide colleges.

“The vision becomes reality,” said Ruiz. “I get to see it everyday when Im in class. [We] are not as well funded as big colleges and the uniqueness about LBCC that I’ve discovered is that there is an interesting age range, with different needs.”

Romali reviews projects from the previous year, stating the incredible impact LBCC has been involved with in the community.

The recent openings of new buildings and programs in the PCC were reviewed, giving a place for the senior studies center and electrical programs.

Adding to recreational matters, renovations of buildings in the LAC are also said to be on the right track to be finished soon, improvements from 2002 bonds showing how much the campus have changed.

It is assumed that by 2041, the campus will be fully transformed with better learning facilities in preparation of the new generations of tomorrow.

Technology was a big topic of the speech, the superintended-president encouraging the audience to ‘live-tweet’ the event with #LBCCSOC to encourage wide participation even on the web.

Due to the new solar panels, recycled water systems and other sustainable energy technology added, the campus was recognized by the Green Education Inc. to name LBCC as the Green School of the year in Long Beach for 2017 as a result of being the first community college to be wise about environmental foot print.

In addition, increased security has also been added for the safety of students and faculty.

“I think it’s exciting,” said Executive Vice President Ann-Marie Gabel over the recent changes. “I’ve been here 10 and a half years and it has changed drastically over the years, but it’s also for the better.”

Romali also assures that bond money being received is being invested for the future of the college, paying off with a stronger economy and educated work force along with the impact that it had made for small businesses in the town, helping more than 325 local businesses and creating over 1000 local jobs.

Achievements from the previous year included Viking Athletics’ achievements, astronomy department’s Planetarium Nights event, robotics competition, a Telly Award for LBCC’s counselors and awards achieved by the journalism students of Viking News.

Foster Youth coordinator counselor Candace Meehan, 36, thought that President Romali had done a lot to ensure focus on a student-driven campus.

“For staff, its kinda like a fresh air knowing that she supports students the way we support students and that helps us do our job better.”

A strategic plan for the college was introduced, outlining the goals for the college through 2022 included boosting recruitment efforts of enrollment rates, moving registration dates earlier, supporting and expanding accelerated learning, better management of call center, and improving registration and admissions processes for the students.

“I love it, I’ve been listening to people to see know what they want to see out of this college” said Romali about speaking on her first state of the college address. “It’s not about my ideas, it’s my ability to bring those ideas to the forefront and make them happen. It’s about faculty, it’s about staff, it’s about administrators, it’s about students, it’s about community. It’s not about me, I’m merely the person that brings it all together, so to be able to show the community what we have done in the last year, to show how we brought it all together and deliver it for the students? Essentially benefiting for the community? It’s exhilarating.”