The group that has been most culturally relevant for me, has been the First Year Residential Experience cohort. I was pregnant when I was hired and was out for 6 weeks during my first semester at GCC. This made it hard to connect with my department.
The FYRE meetings were my favorite part of my first year. It was a place that I felt connected to and that I belonged. Everyone no matter their age, life, past work history, etc. are all starting new at GCC. This made it easy to connect and feel welcome. Chris Neilson cultivated a judgment-free space for us to feel safe asking questions. He was always available to talk to and about anything. My whole cohort was comprised of individuals that I admire still to this day and have continued to be valuable members on the campus. We span multiple departments and act in many different roles.
I feel so blessed to have had them in a challenging time in my new faculty life and still regularly get together with them to discuss the campus and life as a probationary faculty member. This is our final year as probationary faculty. I cannot wait to see where we grow from here!