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Listen | On grace, the pandemic, and A-B Tech

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“This pandemic has caused a societal change that is unlike anything we have ever seen,” said Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College president John Gossett. “Employers are begging people to come to work. And they’re just not coming back. We’re begging students to come to school. And they’re slowly trickling in, but not like we thought they would.”

In the latest Awake58 podcast, Gossett and A-B Tech Vice President of Instructional Services Beth Stewart provide lessons from running a community college during the pandemic — including the importance of grace.

I interviewed Gossett and Stewart over the course of multiple visits spread across 15 months. My first visit was during Gossett’s first month on campus — just a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic. Other visits included a trip in Oct. 2020 as the case counts were rising, March 2021 as vaccines were beginning to roll out and optimism was increasing across the campus, and Aug. 2021 as the Delta variant began to spread.

Listen for the lessons and stories Gossett and Stewart shared. You may also find the podcast on Apple or Spotify.

Nation Hahn

Nation Hahn is the chief of growth for EducationNC.

Alli Lindenberg

Alli Lindenberg is an executive fellow for EducationNC.