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May
17

Welcome to Summer 2018

 

Welcome to the start of summer and the beginning work to prepare for an outstanding upcoming 2018-2019 academic year. With the official end of our 30th Anniversary celebratory year, 2018-2019 marks the first year of new excellence as we begin the next 30 years of excelling as a learning-centered college.

During our end-of-year all-employee gathering, I shared a number of projects that we will engage in during this “summer of building for the future.” These projects are noted below.

Shaping our Spaces

  • Renovation of 10,000 sq ft of Q for the new Integrated Health Services Center
  • Enhancement of student spaces in the E Building and further visioning for an integrated learning center
  • Improvement of the outdoor learning spaces in the G,H, K Courtyard

Building our Team

  • New faculty hires: Nursing, Biology, English, General Business, CIS, Engineering/Physics
  • Re-establishing our marketing unit
  • Filling the vacant Director of Development position

Building and Strengthening Programs

  • Continued work on Guided Pathways and alignment with Puma Pathways
  • Further work on Critical Thinking Academy
  • Re-introducing the pre-engineering program
  • Enhancing our Student Success Initiative targeting new students
  • Addressing critical educational attainment equity gaps

Additionally, during our all-employee meeting, I recognized several faculty and staff as recipients of the Puma Pin award

  • Terri Siemer – for her outstanding leadership of the custodial team
  • Jon Storslee – for his service as Faculty Senate President 2016-2018
  • Carolyn Miller – for her service as classified staff representative 2016-2018
  • Ellen Hedlund – for her leadership of the college’s 30th Anniversary celebrations
  • John Douglass – for his long-term leadership of the Honors program and work with undergraduate research

While the summer of 2018 will be focused and productive on the work at hand, I ask that all of us find time this summer to maintain life balance and carve out time to relax, refresh and re-energize.

 

May
14

Life Lessons Learned From a Valued Colleague

Below is an excerpt from my remarks to the 2018 PVCC graduates during commencement exercises held on Friday, May 11, 2018.

Several weeks ago, our PVCC colleague, Cranston Forte, adviser to our MEN’s program, unexpectedly passed away. It is at these times we tend to take pause and reflect on what life lessons are harvested from grief. Cranston’s life demonstrated three important lessons that I know you will finding meaningful.

I learned from him that of the many reasons why we are here on this earth – two of the most important are: 1) find a cause you believe in and do everything you can in a tireless, relentless manner to make it better, build it up, give it energy and life; —- and 2) conversely do not hide from an issue of concern that you believe is wrong, broken, unjust or unfair and do everything you can to challenge it, to fix it, to make it better.

While these two divergent pursuits, alone are not novel or transformative. The third, I believe is. The larger lesson gleaned from Cranston’s life is that one should pursue both courses of action – that of building up and that of challenging to fix the broken –  in the same exact fair-minded approach, to the extent that anyone observing from afar, would not know the difference in personal tone, careful reason of thought, levels of empathy and concern for others – finally with the same personal humility and courage.

So graduates with this “fair-minded” approach, challenge yourself to be more fully engaged to change your state of mind between the unknown and known; between hatred and empathy; between confusion and curiosity; between disarray and synthesis; between self and citizen; between apathy and action; and finally to change your state of mind to act and lead with personal congruence whether you are building something up or bringing the end to an unjust cause.

 

 

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