Monday, October 24, 2011

Offering Help, Hope in Tough Times

To view the video blog, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsMIWom85ao.

If you have any comments on this post, please email me at presblog@mvcc.edu.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Double Rainbow

What a gift to be living in the Mohawk Valley and experience two amazing speakers in the short span of seven days. Last week, Dr. Maya Angelou shared her gifts with 2,200 of us proudly seated in our new Robert R. Jorgensen Athletic & Events Center on our Utica Campus, and just seven days later, the Herkimer/Oneida County Community Foundation generously brought our community the Mayor of Newark, N.J., Cory Booker, who shared his uplifting message with an energized crowd in the beautiful Stanley Theater in Downtown Utica.

Dr. Maya Angelou speaks at Mohawk Valley Community College on Oct. 12, 2011.

Dr. Angelou’s message came through in her deeply authentic and insightful performance – never stop learning and never stop being kind to other human beings. It is said that one of the hardest things to do is to take the complex and make it simple and crystal clear – that’s just what she did. By encouraging us to take all the good fortunes we have in life and call them rainbows and to imagine our challenges as clouds, Dr. Angelou’s message was centered on the notion that there are rainbows in every cloud – opportunity and blessings exist in every challenge and heartache.

Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker spoke at the Stanley Theater Oct. 19, 2011.

Similarly, Mayor Booker challenged us to see our community not as it is but as it will be. He said we can accept things the way they are or we can take responsibility for changing them. He reminded us that small acts of kindness, love, and generosity done authentically and tenaciously can inspire and create tremendous change in both individuals and communities. Mayor Booker’s presentation spoke to the need for our community to rise above the enormous challenges we face – challenges that communities are facing throughout the country – and come together to focus on a few important and focused priorities that will create momentum for positive change and renewal.

To have these two incredibly inspiring figures speak to our community in the span of one week certainly gives me pause. The power of their messages, in light of growing incivility in society and individual pressures and stress unknown, gives me a sense of renewed hope and personal focus to live more intentionally, and to spend more time in the moment knowing the future will come regardless of my actions – so I might as well stay positive.

As Mayor Booker said, “You can be a weathervane (letting winds that blow determine your direction) or a compass (defining and maintaining your true north).” The similar message from Dr. Angelou about seeing rainbows through your clouds underscores the importance of a positive outlook on life in everything we do. The two of them together certainly made for a double rainbow to shine upon us here in the Mohawk Valley, and for that I am grateful.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bringing Culture to our Campus, Community

To view my vlog on the MVCC Cultural Series, click on this link:

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Go Hawks!

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