Friday Letter, 12-8-17 (guest author)

Dr. Murray is off this week and requested that I sub as a guest lecturer, so this week you get an exciting HR addition of the Friday letter!! As you all know, there is nothing more exciting than Human Resources…

It’s hard to believe that it has been 6 months since I joined the Cascadia team; it has been a blur. Thanks to all of you for being so welcoming and friendly. It didn’t take long for me to feel at home here. I have done my best to meet all of you and I apologize if we have not had time to chat, please feel free to stop by the HR offices anytime and say hello.

In this special HR addition, I wanted to accomplish two things:  tell you a bit about myself and provide a brief update on one area that has been at the top of my list since coming aboard, Title IX.

About me: Who is Martin “Marty” Philip Logan? (Side note: I had many people in high school who did not know my last name, it was always just “Marty”).

  • A native of the Pacific Northwest – I have lived here almost my entire life within about 5-15 miles of the College. No reason to leave because, so far, I have not found a better place in the country.
  • A huge Seattle Sport fan – any team, you name it. Big win last Sunday for the Hawks, hopefully you are sporting your blue Friday gear today. Looking forward to watching the Sounders rematch of last year’s MLS cup tomorrow.
  • A career HR professional – some past roles include: many years in customers service management, HR Consulting with Waldron (Seattle based firm), recruiting with the Seattle College District, and HR Director at North Seattle College.
  • A lifelong learner – I am always looking to expand my skills and knowledge. As far as my formal credentials go, I have an AA from Edmonds CC (also spent some time at Shoreline), a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from U-Dub, and a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from Seattle U. I also certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) a Career Transition Consultant.
  • Family focused – both my wife and I have most of our family in the area and we enjoy spending time with all of them whenever we can. We also have a rescue dog that has quite the personality. She is about 6.5 lbs and can run like the wind. Gold star for whoever can guess the breed. Hint: She is an unusual combination, with one breed associated with a bus line and the other with a Mexican fast food company.

About Title IX: What is it? Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in educational programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX states that:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Title IX has been a hot topic with the current administration. In September, Betsy DeVos, US Secretary of Education, announced she would be rescinding Obama’s Title IX sexual assault guidelines. The Department of Education will need to engage in a formal process to make any changes. This has not been done yet. For the time being, the College will maintain the Discrimination Complaint Procedure recently adopted by our Board of Trustees. This procedure outlines how Cascadia handles Title IX complaints. It is based on a model policy created by the Attorney General’s Office and has been vetted by our legal counsel. You can view all the information here:

www.cascadia.edu/discover/governance/policies/default.aspx

Cascadia just sent seven employees to a Title IX training at Bates Technical College. We hope to use this additional expertise to further define our processes moving forward.

Thanks for your time and have a great weekend. GO HAWKS and Scarves UP!

Best,
Marty

Friday Letter, 2-3-17

I was asked yesterday in an interview how we communicate within the organization.  I mentioned that “important” topics get at least three touches from our various communications technologies, e.g., email, Newsletters, Friday Letters, etc.  As well, REALLY important topics get moved into All Campus Forums.  The DIA around budgeting, the on-going Parking Forums, the Master Plan forums, and the Town Hall about Safety are examples. One of our major goals from the executive team this year has been to think critically about how we communicate and to be intentional.

I want to thank the campus for participating in those opportunities for discussion.  We had a parking forum this week (the next one is February 13) and I led a TED talk on Wednesday with great attendance.  The TED talk is a part of our Cavoline and Pluralism learning series and Bryan Stevenson was our “speaker”.  I left the talk having learned something: to fight injustice, we need to resist hopelessness, get uncomfortable, get closer to the issues, and change the narrative by acknowledging our past.  Talking about these issues with our employees definitely made me hopeful.

To continue the discussion, let’s focus next week on Human Rights Awareness Week.  Our full program is listed here and I am encouraging ALL employees to attend at least one event.  Within the week is our Border Doors Reception and the official unveiling of the painted doors comes on Tuesday night, starting at 5.  Here is the invitation for that event.

On a lighter note…last night I watched a TV reality show that plays in Germany.  They follow a German millionaire on his adventures.  I am not sure anyone would want to follow ME on my weekly adventures.  I was in Olympia all day on Monday meeting with legislators.  That involves a lot of waiting.  I led the parking forum and TED talk…so no need for cameras since many of you attended those things.  And then I was in a whole bunch of meetings about campus operations.  Next week I’ll be in a whole bunch of meetings (again) and attending HRAW events (which should be great!).  I will also get to tour the new Bothell City Manager around campus next week.  Should we do a Video Friday Letter sometime?

I wish you a great weekend and thank you for staying focused thinking about the critical issues we face every day.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Letter, 11-18-16

Guest Writer – Rosemary Sutton

I’ve been thinking a lot about anger.

I spent 10 years studying teachers’ emotions – especially anger and frustration and the way teachers report managing or self-regulating their emotions.  The impetus for this research was personal.  A chapter I wrote in 2007 began:

A first year teacher with a class of 13- to 14-year old students sternly says, “Jessica, a reminder I want to see you after school.” Violet (Jessica’s best friend), then says, “Miss you shouldn’t punish Jessica, you both just lost your tempers.”

This incident from my first year teaching is still vivid and contains elements of a line of research it took me more than 20 years to begin. As a beginning teacher from a family that stressed the importance of managing intense negative emotions, I was embarrassed that a 14-year-old girl believed I had “lost my temper,” even though I had decided not to punish Jessica before hearing Violet’s advice.  For many years I believed my experiences with anger and frustration in the classroom were idiosyncratic and that other teachers did not experience them.[i]

However, after 20 years of talking to K-16 teachers and reading the research literature it became clear that the vast majority of American adults often experience anger and struggle with “managing” their emotions especially their anger.

I learned a lot from my research about anger.

For example, emotions, from a social psychology perspective are complex processes comprised of multiple components including judgements, subjective experience, physiological change, emotional expression, and action tendencies.

The judgements may be instantaneous and unconscious, and/or slower and conscious.  Anger typically includes a judgement that someone is to blame for a blocked goal, or an arrogant entitlement of unfairness.  I find it so much easier to understand the anger of people with goals similar to mine or those who view an “arrogant entitlement or unfairness” in the same way.  The recent election highlighted how hard it can be to understand the anger of others – especially others we have little contact with.  For example, I grew up on an isolated farm and, as a young adult lived in small towns in New Zealand and Missouri.  However, since then I have lived in college towns or urban areas so understanding the contemporary lives of rural Americans is difficult.  I’m trying to learn, and a helpful recent book is Strangers in Their Own Land, Anger and Mourning on the American Right, by sociologist Arlie Russell Hochshild. Read an excerpt here.

The subjective experience of anger refers to the private experience of an emotion. Anger does not feel like sadness, guilt or joy.  We often use metaphors to help us understand this private experience and in the Western World the metaphors for anger often involve heat, fire, or blowing off steam.  Anger can feel comfortable or uncomfortable – some people enjoy anger and seek to prolong it whereas others do not.  I sometimes think about prolonged intense anger (especially about some “arrogant entitlement”) as the center of a whirlpool – when I get to close it seems impossible not to get sucked down into the vortex.

Physiological changes associated with emotions involve body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.  Emotional expressions include changes in facial expressions and the angry face typically involves narrowed brow, thin lip and flared nostrils (examples of emotional faces). There is some evidence that the angry face is similar across various cultures even though the triggers and subjective experiences of anger, as well as the norms of the appropriateness of expressing anger vary among cultures.

Anger frequently invokes action tendencies that motivate a person to action – moving against the situation or person, hurting the target, or changing the situation.  This is in contrast to an emotion such as sadness which typically has an action tendency of withdrawal.  Anger can be a powerful motivator for efforts associated with social justice and is integral in my long efforts to fight various forms of sexism (see the photo below at a Take Back the Night March in 1980-1. It really is me).

Emotions also influence how we process information. When angry, we tend to blame and seek to punish other people, we are slower to associate positive traits to a member of the out group, we are less trusting of others, we take more risks, and we remember more of our own angry incidents.[ii]   According to reports in the media, some Democrats, especially those who actively worked in the Clinton campaign, are blaming others and taking risks going on the record with their complaints.  Clearly, they are angry.

A lot of Americans are angry now.  The teachers I studied reported using a lot of strategies to “manage” their anger in the classroom.  These included reframing the problem or incident that triggered the anger, working on preventing the incident or problem in the future, exercising, or doing something else enjoyable.  Some teachers found talking to each other about their anger or the incident helpful – others said that talking could intensify their anger unless it involved reframing the problem or a lot of humor.

I don’t have any special insight into what happens in the US in the future.  I am glad that I work at Cascadia where we try hard to live our values of caring and pluralism and our day to day work remains transforming lives.

rosemarysuttondemonstrates

Rosemary Sutton, circa [don’t ask] Click to enlarge photo.

 


[i] Sutton, R. (2007). Teachers’ anger, frustration, and self-regulation. In P. A. Schutz, & R. Pekrun (Eds.), Emotion in education (pp. 259-274). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

[ii] http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/jenniferlerner/files/lerner_tiedens_2006_0.pdf

 

 

 

Cascadia’s Cornucopia: Earth Week 2016

Have you been enjoying the edible food forest on campus? Ever thought, “Hey, how could I contribute and help keep this garden sustainable?” Well, today is your lucky day, because we have a whole week where you can find out how to give back to your planet, and more specifically to Cascadia’s Cornucopia!

First of all, Earth Week 2016 is going to be a week long celebration (April 18-22)  of information and activities that will grow your relationship with this planet we call home. With over a dozen events designed for Earth Week, you can find the best way for you to engage – film screenings, information fairs, becoming an activist, sustainability tours, tree plantings, and so much more. There will be literally something for everyone!

For a detailed schedule, please visit our Earth Week 2016 event page.

We’d like to highlight the Vegetable Planting in the Food Forest taking place on Thursday, April 21 from 12pm-3:30pm. Help our Organic Landcare gIMG_5426ardeners plant some new vegetables that will soon be available for your consumption!

We encourage you to participate in one, two or all of the activities taking place next week and help make an impact in your campus community!

Would you like some garlic with your garlic?

Although the Cascadia Cornucopia blog posts have been sparse, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t musings taking place in the edible food forest. Sure, it appears a bit barer than we remember it from last summer/early Fall. Have no fear; the berries, the kale, and the hazelnut will all reappear!

For now, Tyson is going to tell us about one plant that is working its magic underground and plans to join us in Summer 2016: The Garlic! The health benefits of this specimen are enormous, as are the sense of smell… uh, benefits.

Green Tip: Wait to pick the garlic until mid-summer.

Bonus Green Tip: Remember that to maintain a sustainable food forest, please do not use Cascadia’s Cornucopia as your grocery store. Save some for the masses, and pay attention to harvesting tips and techniques!

tyson and garlic

Cascadia Cornucopia: Why so bare?

Some of you may have passed by the edible food forest recently and wondered, “Why does it look so bare?” “What are those stalks standing in some of the piles of dirt?” or “How is that garden sustained during these colder months?” Yes, I’m sure these are the big questions on your mind right now.

Well, thanks to the help of our Cascadia/UW Bothell gardeners, we’re getting an inside look at why the cornucopia looks the way it does and how it is maintaining itself throughout the winter. Robby, a new face in the gardening staff, is going to share some fun facts about winter maintenance!

Robby and Winter Care

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire… or in the Cornucopia!

We tend to hear about this edible nut during the holidays, but what do we really know about the chestnut? Did you know they were almost extinct in the U.S.? Thank goodness there was a campaign to help bring them back! These low in calorie, fiber-loaded, vitamin-C bearing nuts are a great afternoon snack to help keep you focused on your finals coming up. To learn more, watch Adrian share his chestnut knowledge below.

Green tip: to roast chestnuts, make sure to create small incisions over the dome-side to prevent them from busting!

adrian and chestnuts

Cascadia Hunger Games: Primrose in the Cornucopia

No, we are not referring to Katniss Everdeen’s little sister, but rather that lovely yellow flowering plant that exists in the Cascadia Cornucopia. Like all of the other beautiful plants in the garden, the primrose is edible-leaves and petals! Adrian is back to share some fun facts about the flower, and why you might want to nibble on this plant.

Green tip: Yes, you can eat the leaves.. really!

adrian and primrose

A new gardener, chocolate cake decor, and Cornucopia beauty!

Today we welcome Zach Bateman to Cascadia’s Cornucopia blog series. Zach has worked with the grounds crew off and on since 2010, and is excited to talk with us about his favorites in the edible food forest. If you’ve been taking a fancy to the edible garden, then you may have noticed a pretty purple and yellow flower popping up in one of the patches. The viola, while pretty to look at, is also a great medicinal flower and has been used for years as an antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic agent.

So, where do chocolate cakes fit into this? I’ll let Zach share his favorite way to prepare the viola!

Green tip: violas are sometimes annual or perennial, so please leave some for others so that it may grow and return year after year for all to enjoy! And, thank you to the secret planter to shared this gem with the Cornucopia!

zach and viola

Magic in Cascadia’s Cornucopia!

Tyson Kemper is back with us today to talk about the wonders that take place in the Cornucopia. All of the green beauty is a wonder… all of the edible plants is a wonder… all of the sustainability is a wonder… yet, Tyson is referring to the plants that mysteriously appear, and the gardeners were not responsible for planting said seeds. Our gardeners take serious care of any plants that pop-up in the food forest, like the two types of parsley discovered in the Cornucopia recently. Typically, you might think of this relative-to-the-celery as a garnish to your dish, but did you know that “rock celery” is highly nutritious?! #whoknew

Green tip: Watch the video below to learn how to harvest this biennial plant, and discover other fun facts about the parsley!

 

tyson and parsley