I was inspired this week after following the news about the death of former President Bush. My inspiration comes from the documented friendship developed between the Bush, Clinton and Obama families. Both the Clintons and the Obamas formed a bond with the senior and junior Bushes despite their differences on issues and in approaches to governance. They formed channels of communications post-presidency that led to dignity and friendship. If only…
If only in all of our differences, we could learn to respect the stories and perspectives of others.
If only we could use that respect and understanding to help others prosper.
If only we could use that prosperity to create access and opportunity available to all.
I think Cascadia works to model those principles. This week the search committee for the Executive Director of Equity and Inclusion narrowed the pool down to 3 finalists. Next week they will come to campus to interview with the executive team and me. They will also lead a presentation and have a drop-in Q&A time for all employees to stop by. We will be recording the presentations for those who are not able to be there in person. I hope you’ll engage with this process and provide feedback to me as I make a decision.
I am also in the process of interviewing candidates for our new Trustee positions. We will have two vacancies next fall and I have 5 excellent candidates. The chair of the Board (Dr. Julie Miller) and I have been vetting these candidates and will send a list of their strengths to the Governor for his consideration. He will make a final decision next spring. Each of these candidates mirrors the enthusiasm and service-orientation of our current Trustees.
Thanks to Stephan Classen for helping the Foundation recently. Stephan noticed around campus the “giving flyers” for the Foundation to help students attend college. He worked with Mark Collins to get the foundation set up with Amazon Smile, so that if you make purchases on Amazon, AND you sign in to smile.amazon.com instead of the normal Amazon, Amazon makes a donation to the Foundation based on a percentage of your purchase. Super easy…just go to smile.amazon.com. It will walk you through how to sign up. It’s a great and easy way to do normal purchasing and still give to the Foundation, especially if you’re unable to donate directly.
Speaking of helping support our students….There are just a few more weeks of the Cascadia Employee Giving Campaign. The Foundation has set a very modest goal for its campaign and is just over halfway there. Check out the homepage of go.cascadia for information and to hear what our employees have to say about why they give.
Another shout out goes to Larissa. This comes from 3 students:
Student #1: Cascadia students were able to attend the “Queer I Am” conference back in October thanks to Larissa and the Center. The conference was very useful, and we just wanted to thank Larissa for her hard work organizing everything and taking care of the logistics.
Student #2: Thank you, Larissa, for organizing everything so that a group and I could go to the Queer I Am Conference. As a gay man, it is not often that I get to be surrounded by people who are not only accepting me for who I am, but are celebrating me for it. I learned so much new information about the people I share a community with and was able to connect and hear other’s stories. None of it would have been possible without you providing us with the opportunity to go to this conference!
Student #3: Thank you for organizing the queer I am conference, it was a worthwhile experience and I learned a lot. I enjoyed learning more about current issues that are affecting both the queer and community college students. The conference gave me many new ideas on how to help students be successful and feel supported on campus. Thank you again for making this possible.
As a way to spread holiday cheer and say Thank You to all of our employees, please stop by the President’s Kaffeehaus next Tuesday, 10:00-11:30, CC2-261. There will be coffee (and flavorings), tea and hot cocoa along with some pastries. (I did not make them this time. Sorry!)
Have a great weekend.