Friday Letter, 10-7-16

Happy Week Two. I know we all continue to stay busy and I appreciate everyone’s efforts.

This week you may have read a letter sent by both Dr. Yeigh (Chancellor at UWB) and myself regarding an incident on campus. I’ve had feedback that the letter didn’t provide enough context, so I wanted to add a bit today.  A flyer was found among the UWB buildings this week that depicted a figure stating various controversial phrases.  The flyer suggested you visit their website.  Upon doing so, you soon come to realize that it is filled with hate and messages counter to our value of Pluralism.  UWB reached out for our support in condemning such flyers and messages.  And, of course, I whole-heartedly agreed.

While no one was a direct victim of a crime, our campus will not stand for hate. We are united with UWB on this front and wanted to take swift action.  This flyer represents just one of many actions we might encounter.  One day there could be graffiti, one day there could be something more invasive, one day there could be a crime against a person.  Whenever possible, we wish to remind the campus that each person on our campus deserves respect.

On to other news: I would like to congratulate Louis Mendoza on successfully serving 5 years as a Cascadia College Trustee.  He rides off into new adventures this month and we celebrated his tenure  after the September board meeting.  His focus on critical thinking, issues of diversity, and social awareness were excellent contributions.

I now have the opportunity to introduce our newest Trustee, Dr. Sabine Thomas. Dr. Thomas will begin with us at the October meeting.  Here’s a little background:  Dr.  Thomas received her undergrad degree at Mount Holyoke and her doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr.  After being an instructor and research associate with Bastyr, as well as a private practitioner, she accepted an offer to become the Executive Director of the Washington Association for Infant Mental Health.  As an immigrant to the United States, she has experiences relevant to many of our students and her ties to Bastyr compliment Cascadia’s work to support that pathway.  We are grateful to the Governor for making the appointment.

If you want to Google Dr. Thomas, you may also see that she has been on King 5’s New Day helping audiences learned about ways to care for themselves. I invite you to this month’s Board meeting to learn more about Dr. Thomas.

The Navigators met this week. So did the Committee on Social Justice and Pluralism.  I give a shout out to these two groups because they are fantastic advisers to me and great representatives for you.  Please check out the list of Navigators on their my.cascadia site.  (Or in Paul’s words…Kody’s Stool Box.)  The Navigators are here to represent you and each assembly sends representatives.  Our two at-large members, Gordon Dutrisac and Shao-Wei Wang, are also available to hear concerns and provide guidance.  The Navigators discussed budget issues, parking issues, and a number of other issues this month.  The minutes will help you learn more.

The SJP committee also met and reviewed this year’s proposed Cavoline structure (coming soon!), heard about the flyer incident mentioned above, and discussed a few other emerging issues that are affecting our campus. You can check out who is on that committee by also visiting their site. They advise the administration on how best to respond to issues regarding diversity and also prepare themselves for emerging conversations.  The group will welcome Erin Richards and Debra Waddell at a coming meeting as we discuss how to have the healthiest environment for political discourse.

To round out today’s letter, I’d like to direct you to two more publications by our faculty. I offer these references out of a desire to not only recognize the individuals, but to affirm just how cool Cascadia is.  Not every community college can state that they have a publishing faculty.  And that means we stay cutting edge.


Cardenas, Soraya. (2016). “A Climate Change Tale from Mexico: Privilege, Globalization and Poverty.”  In P. Godfrey & Denise Torres (Eds.), Systemic Crisis of Global Climate Change: Intersections of race, class and gender. Routledge Press.

Richards, Erin E. (2015) “Teaching at the Community College: Faculty role, responsibilities and pedagogical techniques.”  In Ishiyama, J., W. Miller and E. Simon (Eds.) Handbook of Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Very nice. Have a great weekend.

One thought on “Friday Letter, 10-7-16

  1. Hi Dr. Murray, What lovely news to hear that Dr. Sabine Thomas is joining your Board of Trustees! I know that Cascadia will benefit tremendously from her brilliant resourcefulness, global perspective, and warm graciousness.

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