Friday Letter, 4-15-16

This week has been one of my more busy weeks and my head has been full. I always begin this letter by pulling up the letter from the week prior as my template.  As I did so, I couldn’t remember what I had written.  I hope you remember.  My mood lightened when I saw that I had written about the return of the President’s Pub on April 29.

Speaking of my mood…allow me to structure this letter based on my emotional stability during the week.

When I have a lot of meetings, my days get long and tiring. Monday was a day with few meetings, so my mood was pretty good.

On Tuesday I was at an all-day conference in Bellevue at Puget Sound Energy. I was invited to be part of a steering committee to help determine criteria and evaluation tools for setting up community-based projects that lead to healthier communities.  This initiative was created by Leadership Eastside, an institution that Cascadia has close ties to.  One of the eight domains is Education, hence my role to represent that perspective.  It looks like it will be an exciting project over the next two years.  Trustee Louis Mendoza and President Amy Goings from Lake Washington Tech also participated.  I left the conference feeling good about Cascadia’s visibility in this project.

The highlight of Wednesday, and a mood lifter, was a meeting I had with Terence and UWB Vice Chancellor Ana Karaman. We discussed the Residence Hall, parking, bathrooms, and safety, among other things.  The meeting was refreshing.  An air of collaboration and opportunity was felt throughout the meeting.  Terence reported on most of these topics in his letter to the campus last week, so I won’t repeat the info and we will continue to keep you informed as these projects progress.

Thursday was my spring Ted Talk with the classified staff. That hour ALWAYS makes me feel good.  It gives us a time to sit back and reflect on the positive things we do at Cascadia.  Our Ted Talk this time around was about bamboo.  Need more info about why bamboo is important, please talk to one of the staff who attended the meeting.  =)

And today. Today is the Governor’s Conference on Race and Equity.  While I don’t expect the Governor to be on campus all day, he will arrive shortly and we’ll welcome the participants together.  Playing host to this conference speaks to our values about intercultural competency and, despite one’s political perspective, having any Governor on campus affirms Cascadia’s role in our community and state.

I had several discouraging things happen this week in my life outside Cascadia. Being able to reflect on the good things that my work brings to the table helps me stay balanced.

Finally, I would like to talk to you about the future of our own intercultural competency initiatives. Thank you to those who have been actively engaged in our DIA’s and Cavolines. I appreciate your commitment to this work. Because of the Cavolines, important discussions are taking place about how we can individually and collectively support a more aware, inclusive, and socially just campus and workplace environment. The Cavolines will continue next year and I would appreciate your feedback about how that will happen.

The opportunity to provide feedback will be May 3 from 11-Noon in CC1-041.  During this time, Human Resources will facilitate an activity to collect a lot of feedback in a short amount of time.  This feedback that will be used to refine a suggested approach detailed in this Budget Proposal Council Action Plan. (For those not opening the link now, you may find the plan titled “Cavoline Sustainability” on the Budget Proposal Council site on My.Cascadia.) Please email Samantha Brown if you would like to attend the feedback session and she will send you an invitation. If you are unable to attend, email Samantha prior to the meeting date and she will provide you with an alternate way to offer feedback.

One of our three DIA’s next year will be devoted to intercultural competency while the remaining two will cover other topics. How we determine themes for the Cavolines, how we determine facilitators (because Ilsa and Caprice will no longer be facilitating) and how we continue building a trusting environment so we can discuss these topics will be the focus of our feedback session.

Have a great weekend.

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