I’d like to nominate Charles W. Clemons, Sr. Vice President for Advancement at Santa Fe College, for the 2017 Board Appreciation Award.
In Oct. 2016, on my first day as the Multimedia Specialist, Vice President Clemons told me “I want you to spread your wings as a photographer. Go be creative.” A few weeks later, our volleyball team qualified for the national tournament for the first time in school history. I asked if I could go document the team’s trip to Wyoming. Much to my surprise, Mr. Clemons gave me the thumbs up to go. For him to trust me, whose work he hadn’t really seen much of yet, speaks volumes to how much he values and supports photography. After I returned, he bragged about the images of the trip to many around campus, including the president.
About a month later I get a text from him asking if my passport is up to date because he wanted to send me to Cuba. The president and others from the college were going to Havana to visit schools and meet with artists to build a relationship between them and the college. Mr. Clemons wanted me to go and document the historic trip. “You did such a great job documenting the volleyball team Wyoming that we want you to go do the same in Cuba.”
Within the span of four months, he chose to send a photographer, who had just started at the college, on two big assignments. These are assignments which the college doesn’t typically send a photographer, but he saw the value in having them documented and worked to find a way for me to go.
I’m a better photographer now because of Mr. Clemons. He understands the value of professional photography and how it can help promote the college.