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Campus Center Building

President's Office

From President Kristina Whalen

Spring 2023

June 5, 2023 — President's 12345

President’s 12345

Happy Monday and Welcome to week 9. Moving forward, I hope to communicate to the campus through the President’s 12345. It’s a weekly message with a playful take on our unique address. Each week I’ll highlight 5 messages: initiatives and events where I hope we can partner–in thought, spirit, or location–to advance connection and community.

  1. Show your Pride.

    June is LGBTQ+ History & Pride Month! Tomorrow I will be at the District Office flag pole participating in the LGBTQ+ Progressive Pride flag raising ceremony from 12-1:30 pm. The celebration starts at 11:30 am at Cesar Chavez Plaza, a Pride March will head through campus and down to the District Office for the Flag Raising Ceremony. As I placed my LGBTQ+ Safe Space sticker on my door this morning, I pledged to work with you to manifest an entire campus that feels safe, inviting, and encourages all to be their authentic selves. 

  2. Wear your Hawaiian gear.

    On Wednesday, June 7th, the Foothill Collegeenf of the year celebration June 7 noon to 2 pm Foothill Library Quad End-of-the-Year Celebration from 12-2 pm in the Library Quad is not to be missed. It will be a Hawaiian themed extravaganza that celebrates the accomplishments of the year. And it gives us all a chance to recognize our retirees from Foothill and Central Services.  I’ve witnessed the energy, planning, and decorations for this joyful event. There will be music, food, refreshments, cornhole, giant connect four, bubbles, snow cones, hilarious awards, and other games. Also, of note during the celebration, is the 13-55 Poster Session. Each Strategic Vision for Equity workgroup will be showcasing their year-long efforts on vibrant posters.

  3. Recognition to our Student Leaders.

    On Thursday, June 8th, l will be at the ASFC Student Leader Awards presentation from 3-5 pm in the Dining Hall. Student Leadership has been exceptional this year and I look forward to joining many of you in recognizing the amazing direction our students have provided.

  4. Challenge yourself.

    The Business Innovation Challenge is this Friday from noon to 4 pm in the PSEC Quad. I’m more than a little excited to attend my first Business Innovation Challenge as a “Shark Tank” judge. This event is known throughout the community and garnered some attention from our community press.

  5. Felicidades!

    Finally, I’m honored to attend Reconocimiento/Latinx Graduation Celebration on Friday night from 6-8 pm. Catalina Rodriquez eloquently stated, “Reconocimiento aims to celebrate the accomplishments, contributions, and vibrant cultural heritage of the Latinx community within our school. It will be a joyful occasion for students, faculty, and staff to come together, reflect on the past year, and acknowledge the achievements of our Latinx students.” 

Yours in service, 


May 25, 2023 — Unauthorized Postings Found on Campus

Dear Campus Community, 


Early Monday morning, a few employees reached their worksites and found 11 X 17 posters— 3 pages total—attached to exterior doors and buildings.  The first two pages were an open, anonymous letter to me expressing displeasure over answers I provided about antiracism and allyship in my public forums. Text on subsequent pages criticized the Black Lives Matter movement. One page reproduced a placard that read “White Lives Matter” followed by a screed dated August 17, 2020.  All six posters were discovered before 8am and removed before any discernable student presence arrived on campus.

FHDA police were notified, collected the posters, and are investigating. We have no reason to believe a threat to campus safety exists. Yesterday, I learned that postings discovered around campus were being discussed. After talking with Chief Acosta, I am sharing the details. I recognize that these posters are unsettling. Those that have championed equity work and been the target of harassment may feel that more intensely.

I want to thank Chief Acosta and his team for his rapid response and continued assessment of the writings. I also want to thank Ron Herman, Mary Thomas, Antoinette Chavez, and Simon Pennington for recognizing that these postings do not follow our free speech policies and removing them. Working with Chief Acosta and the Chancellor, I will keep the campus appraised of any developments. If you see any more instances of postings of this kind, please call FHDA police so that they may document its placement.

Yours in service, 


May 4, 2023 — Club Chats with President Whalen

Thank you, Foothill College, for a wonderfully planned and thoughtfully delivered Welcome Month. Attending more than a dozen “meet and greets” has been a joyful learning exercise. I've gathered knowledge on where programs and services live, the people that power both, and a little bit about the passions and aspirations of those that have been here for decades or even just a few years.

Starting this month, I hope to continue learning through conversational Service Clubs. These temporary “clubs” are designed to deepen understanding. Moreover, they offer me a chance to return the favor of hospitality! Each club is organized by service years. Based on the number of years you've been employed at Foothill College, you will be invited to join me for refreshments and a guided and honest discussion about how Foothill College’s culture, climate, and service to students is shaped by your unique positionality and institutional history.

Employees within each category should be receiving a calendar invitation early next week. Each club will be offered an in-person and virtual option. 

Over 20 Year Club

Tuesday, May 16. 1:30—2:45 P.M.


Thursday, May 18. 12:45—2:00 P.M.

in person (Room 1901)

16 — 20 Year Club

Tuesday, May 23. 1:30 — 2:45 P.M.


Thursday, May 24. 1:30—2:45 P.M.

in-person (Room 1901)

11 — 15 Year Club

Monday, June 5. 2:00—3:15 P.M.

in person (Room 1901)

Thursday, June 7. 2:30—3:35 P.M.


5 — 10 Year Club

Tuesday, June 13. 1:00—2:15 P.M.


Wednesday, June 14. 1:30—2:45 P.M.

in-person (Room 1901)

Under 5 Year Club

Tuesday, June 20. 1:30—2:45 P.M.


Wednesday, June 21. 1:30—2:25 P.M.

in person (Room 1901)

If the dates for your service years do not work for your schedule, let Antoinette Chavez know and you can crash another club. I look forward to hearing your thoughts about navigating leadership transitions, our challenges and opportunities as a college, and what makes you proud to be an owl. 

May the 4th be with you,


April 26, 2023— ICYMI: It's Black Student Success Week!

Dear Community,

We are midway through Black Student Success Week. The week has certainly lived up to its title!

At noon today, the Campaign for College Opportunity announces its 2023 Champion for Excelling in Equitable Course Placement, an award Foothill College has been recognized for in the past.  Press releases will go out after the announcement, but the awards are already posted on their website. In our award letter, Foothill College was recognized for the following:

  • Campuswide English Enrollment: Successfully supported 100% of their students to enroll directly into transfer level English coursework. 
  • Latinx English Enrollment: Successfully supported 100% of their Latinx students to enroll directly into transfer level English coursework.
  • Black English Enrollment: Successfully supported 100% of their Black students to enroll directly into transfer level English coursework.
  • Campuswide English Success: Foothill College finished in the top 3 of all California Community Colleges in supporting their students who enrolled in a transfer English courses to successfully complete it within 1 year of their initial enrollment.
  • Campuswide Math Success: Foothill College finished in the top 3 of all California Community Colleges in supporting their students who enrolled in a transfer level Math courses to successfully complete it within 1 year of their initial enrollment.

This is timely news to receive as we are lifting a framework of excellence!

I look forward to joining the #BSSW event at the Hearthside Lounge today–in less than one hour–at 11:00 am for Fresh Prince of Bel Air Porch Talk w/ Umoja and a “meet and greet” with the African American Network afterward. It’s also not too late to RSVP for Equitable Outcomes in Healthcare with the renowned Dr. Robert Ross, 5:30–7:30 p.m., Appreciation Hall 1501. Reserve your seat! 

Kristina Whalen in President's Office

Yours in service,


April 17, 2023—April is Community College Month

April is Community College Month, which represents an opportunity to lift the value of the nation’s community colleges. You may have seen posts like this one from Michelle Obama on social media, amplifying the promise of access and transformation. More importantly, the month is designed to increase awareness locally through outreach. It’s perfectly aligned with Day on a Hill

cake with foothill presidential seal

My second week at Foothill College and the first week of the spring quarter have been filled with joy (and a lot of cake!). 


Two of the pictured cakes accompanied theKristina Whalen in front of a cake with a green image Chancellor’s welcome. I met so many wonderful lovers of Foothill College at Tuesday’s medal ceremony and welcome lunch. Students, staff, community members, local governmental officials,Student Services commerative cake and educational partners all voiced their admiration for the college. My family in attendance described the college and its community as warm, generous, gracious, and of course . . . sweet!   


I enjoyed my visit to the Academic Senate at the KCI.

The body was deliberating on important topics, briefly interrupted for empanadas. The hospit

ality continued through the division meet and greets. I started with the STEM division. The network of support offered to students astounds–the STEM Center, Pass the Torch, SLI, and initiatives like Possible Self, where I met the incomparable Karl!

Kristina, Mario, Konstantin, Sharon, and Zach

Thanks to Mario, Konstantin, Sharon, and Zach for taking me through the tutoring centers near the division office and the labs and classrooms in the PSEC complex.  I enjoyed a lunch filled with fellowship and passionate attention to student learning and success.

Next, I had tea and wonderful lemon cookies with Lené, Allison, and others supporting Online Learning. Among many topics, I loved hearing from faculty coordinators and instructional designers, who joined me via Zoom (of course!) on the push to ensure that the best practices for humanizing the online classroom are resourced and shared broadly.


My last stop on last week’s tour was the lower

SF Giants Themed Student Services Event

 campus–a progressive lunch at the student services building. This Giants-themed extravaganza hit all the right notes. Three floors of food, fun, and rich conversation on equity-driven practices for serving students.  As an aside: I deeply appreciate the many A’s fans adopting the orange and black for the occasion.

By the end of this week, I will have a similar opportunity to meet with faculty and staff from many more divisions. Powerful authenticity is greeting our students, both online and in person, daily. I’ve seen that on full display. 


Remember, if you are on social media, use the #CCMonth hashtag and tell your CC story. And while you are there, be sure to follow me as I continue my month of welcome (and beyond).


Yours in service,


April 10, 2023— Welcome to the spring quarter!

Welcome to the Spring quarter! Last week I enjoyed the commotion of thousands of area students convening in Smithwick Hall for The Physics Show. The young learners cheered for glowing things, bowling bowl tricks, and a lesson in inertia. I’m taking that lesson of inertia to heart—never losing sight that what’s in motion, stays in motion. This morning I enjoyed walking the campus and seeing the coffee carts—these “energy stations”  are a warm kickoff to a Welcome Week organized by students.  The students are forces of nature themselves and I look forward to working with them to amplify our common commitment to keeping our campus in motion. 

With that in mind, the Spring quarter promises to provide many opportunities to further arouse our intellectual curiosity, service, and commitment to a community in motion (a COMmotion?). One program on the move is the Global Experiential Learning Initiative. At the end of this month, well over 30 students will leave for Florence to enjoy 10 weeks of instruction immersed in the rich, iconic history of Italy. Let’s keep the momentum. On April 24 at 5 p.m., an information session for a study abroad opportunity to London will be held. Please broadly share this opportunity.

Also in April, many more of the opportunities exist to further energize the campus. Some include

April 21: Earth Day at Foothill 

April 22: Day on the Hill 

April 24: HealthyU Resource Fair

April 24– 27: Black Student Success Week! Look for events Monday - Thursday.

April 26: The Business Innovation Challenge: INSPIRE–join this workshop to hear from speakers about the power of the Business Innovation Challenge this Spring. 

April 29: Possible Self STEM Expo 

And, of course, I hope you will join me tomorrow for my official welcome event and medal ceremony, starting at noon. Appreciation Hall may only have a few seats left, but if you cannot snag a seat, I hope you will join the festivities in the Smithwick courtyard following the brief ceremony. The planning committee has arranged a lively time with food and music. I hope I see you there! 

Yours in service, 


March 31, 2023— Hello Owls, it's my first day at Foothill College

two women walking with wooden building and trees in background


Today I’m delighted to take my first steps on this breathtaking campus as president.  Before today, I enjoyed meeting student journalists, attending the tenure award celebration, and a few governance meetings. These interactions heightened my excitement. Each one confirms the testimony from alumni, friends, faculty, professionals, and students: Foothill College is a special place. 

The one celebration I was sad to miss was the tribute to Bernadine Fong.  Foothill College - 25 Years, which I recently read, captures snippets of Bernadine’s trailblazing impact. Her infectious love for the college has supercharged my onboarding as an Owl. She has given her time, talent, and perspective to my growing knowledge of the college, its people, and its history. Her remarkable record of achievement during her first presidency and now a “second term”  inspires. Thank you, Bernadine!

To start my first day as president on Cesar Chavez Day is especially poignant. Cesar Chavez’s adjacent history as a South Bay community organizer brings added focus to his impact. It is important to note that Chavez repeatedly lifted the promise of education as a mechanism for social mobility. The United Farm Workers biography notes, "Cesar thought the only way to get out of the circle of poverty was to work his way up and send the kids to college.”  I also want to mention that this is the last day of Women’s History Month. I’ve been blessed to meet Dolores Huerta during my own community involvement in San Francisco. Her contributions to the labor movement, alongside Cesar Chavez, deserve our acknowledgment. 

Without the students on campus, my first full week will be quiet. If the opportunity presents itself, give me a shout as I travel the campus, learning about the buildings, services, people, and footpaths. I'm so happy to be here and cannot wait to hear your stories and aspirations.

Yours in service,





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Dr. Kristina Whalen, President


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