A Note from the Dean
Congratulations to all for the tremendous work and achievement you have fostered in our College this year. May your summer bring you sunshine, an easier pace, reflection, and joy! Thank you for providing so many great opportunities for our students, programs and research. On Saturday, that was particularly evident in the words of commencement speakers. Here is just one brief address offered by Dr. Rita Sommers-Flanagan, who gave me permission to share it with you:
Welcome to our Counselor Education and Educational Leadership Graduation ceremony. It is really an honor for us to welcome everyone today, certainly our graduates, and maybe even more, all of you family members and friends who are here, celebrating this day.
Graduate school is not exactly a cake-walk for anyone—students and all those who love those students are immersed in a journey of discovery—discovering new knowledge and skill, but also, discovering more about yourselves. Pearl Bailey once said, “You never find yourself until you face the truth.” Not to be outdone, Dolly Parton said, “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”
In the best case scenario, that’s what happens in graduate school. You face all kinds of information parading as truth, and you have to sort it all out. This is a lot of work, and often causes students and those around them to wonder what in the world they’ve gotten themselves into. It is a process of discovering the temporary and longer-term truths, and discovering how that all fits into these complicated entities we think of as ourselves.
Erma Bombeck wrote: “There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, 'Yes, I've got dreams, of course I've got dreams.' Then they put the box away and bring it out once in a while to look in, and yep, they're still there. These are great dreams, but they never even get out of the box. It takes an uncommon amount of guts to put your dreams on the line, to hold them up and say, 'How good or how bad am I?' That's where courage comes in.”
And that is exactly what happens in graduate school. The dream is out of the box, the questions about self, others, life, and truth get put right in the middle of the table, and yes, it takes enormous courage to face this onslaught of external and internal information and be shaped by it in the service of our professions and the world.
For your faculty, graduation day is always a day filled with mixed emotions. Pride, sadness, wonder, exhaustion… but I found a saying by Benjamin Disraeli that explains it best. He said, “I feel a very unusual sensation - if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude.”
I want to close this little welcome message with a huge thank-you to all of you. Grads—Thank you for your courage in being here--in getting your dreams out of the box and into action. And of course, you didn’t get here all by yourselves, and you didn’t make it through all by yourselves. So I offer thanks to all the loved ones in your lives that helped make this day, and this journey possible.
~ Rita Sommers-Flanagan
PJWCoEHS the Site of Provosts’ “Converge 2012: A Showcase of Digital Innovation in Learning” Symposium
More than 80 guests, vendors and university faculty and staff attended the Converge symposium on Friday, April 27, 2012. Featured keynote speaker Gary Lopez of the Monterey Institute of Technology and Education opened by speaking about “Open Educational Resources: A New Community-Guided Publishing Model for Education.” Attendees were able to attend break-out sessions as well as tour the Digital Playground, SpectrUM display and WEPM (Work Physiology and Exercise Metabolism) lab directed by HHP professor Brent Ruby.