To combat the fear and dread the coronavirus pandemic has sparked, Kojo Quartey, president of MCCC, has been sending daily messages of encouragement to all college employees and Board of Trustee members.
Quartey said he wants the messages to act as “a common thread” to keep staff, faculty and administration connected although they are apart.
“We are in this maelstrom together, and must stay united in these difficult times,” Quartey said.
The emails have been sent since March, just before MCCC’s campus closed.
“I began sending messages once we decided to close the campus as a way of communicating with our employees about what was happening at MCCC and to keep them encouraged during this time of crisis,” Quartey said.
Inspiration for his messages’ content comes from many sources, Quartey said.
“Sometimes just my inner thoughts, divine inspiration (I will not apologize for that), the news, meetings, and others who encourage me with their words,” Quartey said in an email.
He said some other inspirations have been from commentary on the global situation, but most of all appreciation for all the employees.
All of his emails end with words of encouragement, Quartey said.
His April 21 message reminded its recipients to remain hopeful despite the uncertainty they may feel.
“Underlying all this uncertainty is one thing – hope,” the message read. “Regardless of the circumstances, we must maintain hope.”
Although the content of Quartey’s messages vary from day to day, they always end with the same phrase.
“I always end with ‘… and this too shall pass,’” Quartey said.
Various MCCC staff and faculty have expressed their appreciation for the messages.
“I am glad he continues to remind folks that ‘this too shall pass,’” said Ken Mohney, professor.
Mohney said he also checks the daily messages for any new information regarding MCCC.
“By staying in contact, I think it shows that he is engaged and cares enough to keep us in the loop,” Mohney said. “If you don’t keep folks posted in a situation like this, rumors tend to start and that is never helpful.”
Parmeshwar Coomar, dean of Applied Science and Engineering Technology, said the messages remind him to have hope for the future.
“To hope is good and inspiring,” Coomar said. “As a civilization and as a species, we will overcome this.”
Mohney expressed similar sentiment.
“In this era of doom and gloom news, I appreciate him reminding us that there is light at the end of the tunnel,” Mohney said.
Quri Wygonik, coordinator of Institutional Research, Evaluation and Assessment, said she has been encouraged by seeing the messages in her inbox every morning.
“I appreciate the overall tone of the messages as being supportive of faculty, staff and students as we manage the changes in our lives due to COVID-19,” Wygonik said.
Wygonik said the messages make her feel supported by MCCC’s management and administration.
“To me, his messages mean hope,” Wygonik said. “They make me feel as though we will press forward as a united college through the COVID-19 challenges to create a safe environment for staff, faculty and students.”