Things to Know – Monday, February 6, 2017

Whoever said we are living in uncertain times has my attention. As I begin my third week at Southwestern College (SWC), I wanted to touch bases with you. There are too many newsworthy issues happening around SWC, and I hope we can stay focused on what is relevant to our students. I hope you will join with me in ensuring a safe, caring, and inclusive environment where every student knows that we (the faculty, staff, administration and board) care about them, and will provide a quality educational experience to help them achieve their goals.

As these uncertain times unfold before us, our students, and our community, I try to stay optimistic and focused on the good things we at SWC do for students and the communities we serve. I believe it is more important than ever for all of us to provide critical hope for our students. I share with you an essay by Jeffrey Duncan-Andrade,  Note to Educators: Hope Required When Going Roses in Concrete (our opening day speaker for Spring 2015). As Jeffrey notes “we must purposefully nurture our students, colleagues, and ourselves through the cracks, knowing we will sustain the trauma of damage petals along the way.” The essay was published in the Harvard Educational Review in 2009 and is worth a read.

Did you know “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”
― Maya Angelou

Congratulations to Sandra Cortez for having a scene from SWC’s Anna in the Tropics selected for a performance in the Evening of Invited Scenes at this year’s Regional Festibal by the Region VIII Governing Board from the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival.

Congratulations Graciela Saez Kleriga and Jordan Mills for organizing Southwestern College’s Policy Debate Tournament earlier this month. Paricipants included teams from ASU, Weber State, Gonzaga University, San Francisco State University, USC, SDSU, UNLV and Monmouth College in New Jersey. Bill Smelko, one of the debate judges noted:

In terms of helping your students, Grace and Jordan are doing more to advance their educational opportunities than you can possibly imagine – – – I had the pleasure of judging two Southwestern Teams. The students were bright, eager to learn and highly motivated. Where Grace and Jordan’s sponsorship of the Tournament makes something of an unseen difference in your students’ lives, however, is found in the CONTACT that those students were able to make with the Coaches and Professors from 4-year Universities, many of which offer scholarship and grant help to students who debate.  

Congratulations to our Associated Student Organization for organizing the #United event last Thursday where students shared their personal stories of hate and intolerance directed toward them. The stories were sobering, but showed us the resilience of our student leaders to inspire us all.

Thank you to Foundation Director Cynthia Reyna, USE Credit Union and Donovan Correctional Facility for their recent $1,025 donation to the Jag Kitchen Food Pantry.

The following quote by an educator provides a great context for our work “The difficulties of democracy are the opportunities of education.” Nicholas Butler Murray.