Monday, November 28, 2011

DGV & the Holiday Season

The effects of globalization appear in the news daily. Whether it’s the economy, technology, or politics, globalization is a major factor in society today. As the “Holiday Season” is now in full swing, it’s important to raise our consciousness about what globalization means this time of year. While Thanksgiving is widely celebrated in the United States, it warrants pause to recognize the literary license that led to Thanksgiving as we know it today (e.g., Thanksgiving from a Native-American perspective). If we are to think of ourselves as “modern Americans,” in this age of globalization, shouldn’t we also be more intentional with our language and appreciation for the variety of Holidays that comprise the term “holiday season?”

In addition to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s celebrations, many cultures worldwide, including several within our own community, celebrate Chanukah, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, Day of ‘Ashura, and several other New Year celebrations that do not follow the Gregorian calendar. As our community becomes more diverse, the ability to recognize and respect other cultures is key to thriving in a flat world.

The Holidays, in all their variety, are a good time to re-emphasize the unique nature and importance of MVCC’s Diversity and Global View (DGV) graduation requirement (http://www.mvcc.edu/dgv/home). For the past three years, all degree-seeking MVCC students must complete one DGV-designated course; four online DGV modules; and confirm attendance at four DGV-designated events as part of our growing Cultural Series. Certificate-seeking students must complete one DGV course along with two modules and two events. We’ve made improvements to the DGV process each year and will continue to refine the processes documenting and assessing the student DGV experience.

When I mention our DGV requirement to colleagues around the country, the most common response is, “that is a commitment like no other.” MVCC DGV is truly a great and unique offering that sprung from the creative minds of the faculty and staff at MVCC who saw the world was changing and were committed to emphasizing the importance of understanding diversity among the student body. It’s a great example of what we can do when we think big, set goals that stretch the experience of our students, faculty, and staff, and then work together to achieve success.

The commitment to MVCC’s Diversity and Global View program inherently implies a commitment to understanding and appreciating others – their beliefs, values, cultures, individuality, circumstances, and humanity. MVCC’s formal DGV graduation requirement is the perfect complement to an ongoing effort we are very interested in here at MVCC – that of increasing the civility with which we interact with each other at every level. After all, the Holiday Season can be a great reminder about the critical importance civility and diversity play in our personal lives, in our efforts to achieve student success, and in our roles as world citizens.

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

Monday, November 21, 2011

Giving Thanks

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches and we reflect on the things we are thankful for in our lives, I’m compelled to reflect upon things at MVCC for which I am most thankful. In these challenging times with such uncertainty in so many parts of our lives and communities, it’s often humbling to be part of such meaningful work as helping advance the mission of this great organization.

I am thankful for our students. This fall we have a record number of individual credit students (unofficially more than 7,600 enrolled for credit) and what’s likely to be another record-breaking year of students enrolled in our noncredit offerings. Our younger students provide such hope as they continue their educational journeys and define and clarify their career paths. Our older students provide tremendous inspiration as they recalibrate their complex lives to integrate a college education into their daily schedules of work and family.

MVCC students eat lunch on the lawn outside of the Academic Building on the Utica Campus.

I am thankful for our faculty and staff. I’m amazed on a regular basis by what I see and hear from everyone who works here. Faculty are continuing to refine the art of teaching to reach students and bring content alive in new and interesting ways. And staff, whether working directly or indirectly with students, seem to be increasingly understanding of the critical role they play in helping to create the student experience as we know (and will know it in the future) today. With the civility project gaining momentum, I’m encouraged and thankful to see colleagues paying closer attention to each other and holding themselves and others accountable for behavior.

More than 150 MVCC faculty, staff and students participated in the 2011 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in October. Team MVCC raised more than $4,500 for the cause.

I am thankful for our community partners. Together with our partners, we are making great things happen. Working with our partners in government to help meet our operational needs; working with school districts to seal the leaky educational pipeline; customizing training for employers to create capacity in their workforce; collaborating with local non-profit partners that help us make college education more accessible for so many underserved populations in our area; and having the friends and supporters we do through the MVCC Foundation help us bridge that margin of excellence to further realize our potential expands our presence as an anchor institution in this community.

While MVCC hosts most of its courses on its Rome and Utica campuses, the college opened the MVCC Education Center at 524 Elizabeth St. in Utica to make education more readily available to the community. The center is in partnership with the Utica Municipal Housing Authority.

Working at MVCC allows me to plug in to a 65-year storied history that has great meaning and respect. As a member of the MVCC community, I get to be part of something so much bigger than myself – it’s meaningful work. Our community faces many challenges, and I’d be hard pressed to identify a challenge or problem that could not somehow involve MVCC as part of the solution. These are a few of the many reasons I came here to be a part of this – all that’s happening at MVCC now and that which is yet to come. So much of our recent successes sometimes seem beyond my imagination and yet it feels like I’m just starting to understand it all – and that simultaneous feeling of wonder and knowing … for that I am extremely thankful.

If you have questions or comments on this post, please contact me directly at presblog@mvcc.edu.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Tribute to a Longtime Coach

To view the video blog, please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR3hRwHzKRA.

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

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011


View the vlog here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-Q8nZZJRCI&feature=youtu.be

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