Friday Letter, 9-30-16

Week one. Done.  And a busy week it was.

Today’s letter contains Celebrations, Updates on our Bachelor’s Degrees, and info on DIA’s and Cavolines.

Let’s start with celebrations. Over the last few weeks, we realized that we are not very systematic about how we announce and celebrate retirees.  Gina Lorenz’s retirement is next week.  Deborah Pontillo has announced her official retirement as of November 2.  (Many of you know she is a founding faculty member who has struggled with health issues over the last years, but has retained her status with us.) Dede Gonzales will retire on December 2. Kathy Biagi has let us know that she will be retiring in April. And Catherine Crain has announced her retirement effective in June.

We will celebrate each quarter in which someone retires so as to honor them and help us cherish not only the employee’s contributions, but this wonderful next step in life. (Given that the retiree will endure a celebration in their honor.) I’m always looking for a good reason to celebrate, and I think this is one.  All of these folks have made valuable contributions to Cascadia.  The Friday Letter will be used to announce these retirements and celebrations.

I think we should also celebrate Lindsay Custer. I recently learned that she received the happy news that she had a chapter published in a new book. The chapter is “Undoing Gender: Making the Invisible Visible.” The book is Teaching Gender and Sex in Contemporary America. Take a look at the link: Congrats Lindsay.

Thank you to all of the staff and faculty involved in our Bachelor’s programs. Erik T, Brian B, Rosemary S and I traveled to Blaine this week to meet with the State Board and present our Statement of Need for the new Mobile Applications BAS.  The meeting went well and I am impressed by all of the work needed to make this application possible.  As well, we now  have 18 students entering Year 4 of the Sustainable Practices Degree and 21 students entering the next cohort (or Year 3).  Many of these new students (13) earned associates degrees from Cascadia and 6 of them have served in the military.  The program seems to be doing well, again due to the hard work of faculty and staff.

This year we will not have three all-day DIAs (Days of Inquiry and Assembly) related to pluralism. Instead, we will return to our routine: three half-day DIA’s on three different topics.  Our next one is on Wednesday, October 12 from 9:00am-12:15pm. The theme is Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and in a few days you will receive the full agenda of activities/presenters from Samantha Brown. Doors open at 8:30am and a light breakfast will be available at that time. The program begins promptly at 9:00am. You have each received an Outlook invitation from Samantha that will show on your calendar. Your RSVP by October 5 is key to ensuring enough coffee, food, chairs, and materials for all. When you RSVP, please click the option to send Samantha your response. If you do not see your invitation, email Samantha ( and she will send it to you. I look forward to seeing you there.

And finally, I want to make you aware that within a couple of weeks you will be receiving a catalog via email announcing our opportunities for Intercultural Development training this year. We looked at your suggestions from last year’s process and have hopefully made improvements that will be embraced and excite you to participate again.  The catalog offers multiple options for participation, including Cavoline-style groups as well as opportunities for film watching, book reading, skill building, and TED talks.  More to come on this!

Thanks for a great first week. Have a great weekend.

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