Greetings from Mary Gross, Incoming FA President
We asked our 2022-2024 term incoming FA Executive Board members some questions so that the full-time faculty could get to know them better. Read more below to see how Mary Gross fits the bill for your FA President.
What attributes, strengths or experiences do you bring to FA Council (FAC)? Within which department, committees, clubs have you served?
It has been my privilege to serve on the FA Council since its inception and as the FA’s Ombudsperson for the past six years. I have a long history at MiraCosta starting as an Associate Faculty member in 1994 and returning as a full-time faculty member in 2005, leading the Credit ESL program as Department Chair and also teaching in the Letters Transfer Department. Throughout my time at MiraCosta, I have held positions on Academic Senate, Academic Affairs, Basic Needs Workgroup, CARE/EOPS Advisory, Student Success, Lodestar, Accreditation, Fringe Benefits Committee, and numerous negotiating teams. I have been a strong faculty advocate and leader who, through direct experience, recognizes the needs of both smaller and larger departments as well as both Credit and Noncredit programming. I have also worked hard to understand and support the work of counselors, directors, and librarians, knowing the contributions we make as faculty—whether classroom or non-classroom—are equally impactful to our collective mission.
All of these experiences have allowed me to use my skills as a communicator, critical and strategic thinker, and consensus-builder to protect and advance the working conditions of full-time faculty and the mission of the college at large. I am known to be an ethical, respectful, and diplomatic leader who is objective and empathetic in my work as a faculty advocate. I am sensitive to the diversity of our faculty and the varied needs and interests among us. I pride myself on the positive reputation and relationships I have developed with faculty, both full and part time, administration, Board members, and classified professionals. I will continue to develop these relationships and utilize my skillset to work collegially and collaboratively with the amazing FA Executive team as well as FA Council to ensure the strongest contract and working conditions which allow us each the opportunity to flourish in our work.
What do you feel is most important to convey to new faculty about the role of FAC?
The Faculty Assembly serves as your exclusive representative for all working conditions issues and concerns. We have a strong Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which details your rights and many responsibilities as a full-time faculty member. As new faculty, you will be assisted and guided by the FA, along with the Academic Senate, in your transition to becoming fully tenured faculty members where you will join an outstanding group of individuals who will become your mentors, friends, and colleagues alike. There is much to learn as a new (and even longer-term) faculty member. The FA is here for you… ask questions, come to one of our meetings or events, learn about your contract and the many AP/BPs that impact your employment, know your rights, find out how you can contribute to our organization. My sincere advice to you is to appreciate what a privilege it is to be a full-time faculty member at MiraCosta College and never take that for granted. I wish you a long and successful career where you are always involved, inspired, and contributing to your discipline, governance work, and most importantly, the students we are here to serve. Welcome aboard!
What my bitmoji above says about me…
Other than my home in Oceanside, I find my bliss in Maui. The first vacation my husband Dan and I took after we graduated with our Master’s degrees back in the ‘80s was to Hawaii. I was in love at first experience—the land, the people, the water, the warmth of the tropical sun. The word “Aloha” is the Hawaiian word for love, affection, peace, compassion, and mercy … all things I strive to extend in my daily life. Little did I know back then how much this word, which many recognize as just a friendly Hawaiian greeting, would teach me and over the years come to have such a significant impact on the way I live my daily life. So as we depart to our summer adventures, whatever they may be, I wish you all sincere aloha and look forward to reconnecting in the fall.