By Ken Stone
Chancellor Constance Carroll has led the San Diego Community College District since 2004, with 2020 paving the way to her own personal commencement. In late January, she announced her retirement in 2021.
Coronavirus had other ideas.
Now she oversees the three-college district — including 100,000 students and a Continuing Education division at seven campuses — from home. At 74, she Zooms to work — including during the current spring break.
“It was a herculean task to move more than 6,000 class sections to alternative modes of instruction,” Carroll has said. “But district faculty and staff understand what’s at stake for our students and for our community as we all collectively work to stop the spread of the coronavirus.”
In the latest chapter of our interview series with prominent San Diegans at home, Carroll is brief but focused.
Times of San Diego: How are you working during this pandemic? What telework tools are you using?
Constance Carroll: The San Diego Community College District is on remote operations. I am working from home, using a desktop computer through which I can process emails and participate in meetings via Zoom.
How many in your household — number of kids and adults?
There are no other people who permanently live here.
How are you getting food and other necessities? How often do you personally go out, or are you taking delivery mostly?
I try to avoid going out, but do shop for groceries about once a week.
Aside from official local, state and government channels, how are you getting news about the outbreak? How much social media do you use?
I pay close attention to the news, using newspapers and magazines (both print and electronic), as well as social media sites, including Twitter, CNN, BBC and some others.
How do you ward off negative emotions — fear, anxiety, depression? What steps are you taking to preserve mental and physical health?
I stay in close touch with friends, via telephone and Zoom. I also meet some of them for long walks. I also exercise regularly, which is important for one’s mental health as well as physical health.
What else do you want people to know about your own personal response to the outbreak?
It is important to stay well informed regarding the health protection and contagion prevention protocols. However, it is also important to continue one’s life as best as possible outside of this pandemic by enjoying nature and relationships.
Fourth in a series. We invite suggestions for interview subjects — prominent San Diegans in politics, business, nonprofits, sports and the arts. Write to Ken Stone, contributing editor, or post a comment.
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