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In Remembrance Of Kabwe Chanda

Posted on: 04/12/2020

Please take a moment to read the below email from Dr. Seher Awan, President of Los Angeles Southwest College.

President's Header

April 10, 2020

LASC Family,

Earlier this week, Dr. Francisco Rodriguez, our chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), announced the passing of an employee in the district from COVID-19. It is with the deepest of sadness that I want to officially confirm that the individual who passed away is Kabwe Chanda, who was a Regional Manager for our district's Information Technology Department, which included overseeing the IT operations at Los Angeles Southwest College (LASC).

Kabwe left a wonderful mark at LASC during his three stops at the college: As a Computer & Network Support Specialist from 2006 to 2012, College Information System Manager in 2018 and finally as Regional Manager, a job that he started just a month ago and included overseeing the IT operations at West Los Angeles College and Los Angeles City College.

This loss is devastating for our college and our community. As many of you can attest, Kabwe had an incredible spirit. He was more than a co-worker, but a friend to almost all he interacted with. He was quick to smile and laugh and also quick to support his colleagues. No matter the difficulty of the job, you could always expect Kabwe to be prepared, calm and ready to offer critical assistance. His positivity resonated throughout any room that he was in and was transferred amongst all of the individuals in it.

Despite working full-time at our college and answering plenty of phone calls after hours, Kabwe also found the time to be an adjunct instructor at West Los Angeles College teaching Computer Science. He had great enthusiasm for offering students of all ages guidance so they could find success in their own careers and left a lasting impact on these students just like he did with all he interacted with on our campus.

I know that many of you are struggling with Kabwe’s passing and want to show your support for him, his wife and son. At this time, due to the nature of COVID-19, a traditional service or funeral is unlikely. We will do all we can to provide a virtual remembrance for Kabwe so the college can thank and remember him for the impactful person he was.

As we work through this time of grief, I would be remiss if I didn’t encourage all of you to take care of yourself and look to support your colleagues who may be struggling with this news. Please utilize LACCD’s Employee Assistance Program or the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Hotline for grief counseling.  The County’s Mental Health Hotline is available 24/7 at (800) 854-7771 or text to "LA" to 741741. Our EAP can be reached 24 hours a day and seven days a week at (800) 327-0449.

Also, make sure that you are taking the necessary precautions during this COVID-19 outbreak. Stay home, cover your face if you leave the house, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and maintain a safe social distance of six feet whenever outside of the house.

Kabwe’s personality as well as positivity and passion for his work will not be forgotten. I remember his warmth, his smile, and his joy in recent weeks in being able to return to his LASC family within his new role as Regional IT Manager. He will forever remain a part of our LASC family through his spirit, his love for our students, and our memories of him as a colleague and friend. This is a tragic time for our college,  but we will get through this together. I encourage all of you to remember Kabwe and honor his memory by continuing to support our students and one another with empathy and kindness. This would be a great celebration of his life.

Rest in peace dear friend,

Seher Awan, Ed.D, MBA, MPA

President,

Los Angeles Southwest College

Follow me on Instagram @LASCprez and on Twitter @SeherAwan13.

#LASCtheplacetobe

Pronouns: she, her, hers