Friday Letter, 5-5-17

TOPIC 1 of 7:

Cinco de Mayo. From Wikipedia:

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration to commemorate the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a significance beyond that in Mexico as a date associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture. In Mexico, the commemoration of the battle continues to be mostly ceremonial, such as through military parades. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is sometimes mistaken to be Mexico’s Independence Day—the most important national holiday in Mexico—which is celebrated on September 16, commemorating the Cry of Dolores that initiated the war of Mexican independence from Spain.

Topic 2 of 7:

In addition to celebrating today’s cultural significance, let’s also take a moment to celebrate the newly wrapped Mobile Collabortory, which we call “Mo”.  Check out Mo here.

Students in Chris Gildow’s fall quarter art class developed this design for the trailer. The students took as their inspiration the garden in which the trailer resides when not on the road and the theme of mobility.

Thanks to Chris, his students, and the College Relations staff (Meagan, Sara, Susan, Elise, and Anne) for all their hard work. Mo is officially ready to be used as a lab, mini museum, gathering spot. Midori Sakura has it checked out for wetland day on May 25 when it will be used as a photo booth and check-in for wetland tours and mud pies. If you are interested in programming the trailer for a lesson, an exhibit or an event, please email

Topic 3 of 7:

I’d like to take a moment to highlight some other student work. As a class project, one of David Ortiz’s classes (HUM 107) built small pantries to be placed in the Center for Cultural Inclusion and the Veterans Resource Center.  David and Larissa have been instrumental in keeping the pantries stocked, and they have been well used by many of our students facing food insecurity.  They are hoping to make these permanent fixtures on campus and using them to engage the campus community on issues of Food Insecurity.  They would like to assure that all employees are aware of the pantries and enlist some help for a small group that will keep them running.  If interested, please email David (  or Larissa (

Topic 4 of 7:

Thank you to Jared, Dianne, Chris, and Samantha for leading our Cavoline series this year. I believe we have landed on a sustainable model for our growth in Cultural Competency.  As such, Jodie Galvan, Mohan Raj, Sarah Zale, and Tasha Walston have been selected to design and lead next year’s series.  They will meet with the current team this quarter to transition and then start developing our options for next year over the summer.  I look forward to working with them and inspiring your continued commitment to become more culturally competent.

Topic 5 of 7:

Please note that we are soliciting nominations for employee service awards. Email Mark Collins for details or to nominate someone by the end of next week.  Note that part-time staff are also now eligible for the awards!!  Thanks to the Foundation Board for widening the criteria.

Topic 6 of 7:

I appreciated everyone’s participation at the DIA. This was an important day for us as we keep everyone up to speed on our current priorities and use your feedback to shape future priorities.  It is expected by our accrediting body that we do this, so it was a nice way to meet the requirement and also gain valuable feedback. If you would, please take a few minutes to complete this short, anonymous follow-up survey to help us improve future DIA and Closing the Loop meetings. Please complete the survey even if you were not able to attend.

The survey will remain open through next Wednesday (5/10/2017). Please direct any questions concerning the survey to Glenn ( Thank you in advance for providing feedback.

Topic 7 of 7:

Safety Check…do you have the number for Campus Safety pre-programmed into your phone? If not, I’d suggest you find out the number and do so that you can be prepared to call for help when needed.  (I could give you the number, but the teacher in me thinks you can find a way to figuring it out and that this would be better pedagogy.)  =)

Remember to always identify yourself, give your location, and clearly state the problem with calling Campus Safety.

Have a great weekend.

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