Friday Letter, 10-9-15

Hello! Four topics today.

ONE. While some of you chose Pez (sans dispenser) last week, and some of you chose Play-Doh, others received a different green bucket item. As it turns out, I ran out of Play-Doh due to its popularity so I had four packs of modeling clay in reserve. I distributed one pack each to the Veteran’s Center, the Center for CC&I, the International Programs Office, and the Math/Writing Center. I asked each group to model me something using their collective talents. As of today, I have received the Vet’s Centers results. Check it out here.

I’d like to challenge the other three offices to compete. I’ll throw in a pizza for the winning department. John Calvin, our Vets Navigator, reported that it was fun and “in light of the events at North Seattle, a bit therapeutic.” Thanks John for producing some awesome clay figures and for helping our Vets find their way at Cascadia.

TWO. By clicking this link, you will also see that we got featured in 425 Business Magazine this month. I met the editor of the magazine at a Kirkland Business Roundtable event many months ago. They have continued to be intrigued by Cascadia and opted to do a small feature on us. This is a good example of what I hope to accomplish by being in the community; we become known as a resource and via these connections we can promote Cascadia.

THREE. What makes us special are examples like the following.

Dave Dorratcague recently wrote:

Earlier this week, I mentioned how thankful I was for Laura Hedal and our Help Desk in helping my ESL Level 2 & 3, newly flipped and hybrid, “Project I-DEA” (Integrated Digital English Acceleration) class get off to a smooth, successful start.  Their help with this Gates grant-funded project started months ago when we needed to order nearly three-dozen laptops and Verizon mifi/jetpacks, the latter of which are essentially a personal, portable wifi hotspot for their laptops.  I had heard some grim tales of other schools in earlier phases of Project I-DEA not having their laptops for their students on day one, which is absolutely crucial.  Laura’s willingness to listen, communicate and accommodate went above and beyond last spring and summer quarter in preparing for Project I-DEA.  Before the quarter began, each laptop was imaged, tested, synced with a jetpack, and then bundled into a carrying case with a power supply, mouse, mic-enabled headset, the aforementioned jetpack, laminated instruction pages and a USB Flash drive. 

[Insert 3 more paragraphs edited out by Eric for brevity.]

“Help” appears in this message a lot.  I have a hard time finding other synonyms because “help” is exactly what they have given, be it proactive in planning for Project I-DEA, or in responding to students – and an instructor – in need.  Laura and her team have truly impressed me and my students, and I am more thankful than ever for their work.

What strikes me about this message is not only the outstanding work by Laura and crew, but the unassuming manner in which Dave relays that we have a Gates grant-funded project which assigns laptops to his students. What?!?! I vaguely recall hearing or reading about this in one of my updates, so the fault in not recognizing this before falls on me. BUT, the importance of this, in conjunction with Laura helping to make this happen, is now more clear. Dave…a shout out to you too because this is exactly the type of innovation, problem-solving, and high touch that makes Cascadia valuable to our students.

Congratulations to both sides of this equation.

FOUR. Safety and Security.

Behind the scenes, the administration is continuing to think about how to provide the safest campus possible. We are training for multiple scenarios, we are asking the UW police force and the Bothell PD to be a bit more visible, we are upgrading communication systems and equipment, and we are in discussions with UWB about the future of our safety office. One of the important questions we’ll answer in the next few months is: Should we have commissioned officers (i.e., an actual police force) staff our safety office? Both UW and Cascadia have task forces comprised of various campus employees who are seeking answers and providing recommendations to leadership. Terence is chairing our Task Force. There are multiple models along a continuum, so we will look at all options.

Until that time, please know that Bothell PD can have 10 officers on campus within 2-5 minutes of an incident; 40 officers within 10 minutes. They are prepared to the serve the campus. Both Bothell PD and the UWPD are advising us on prudent next steps and I will keep you informed as we make decisions.

Have a great weekend.

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