Saturday, March 12, 2011

Prayers for Japan - Spring Break for our students

As the news continues to come in about the devastation caused by the earthquake and resulting Tsunami in Japan our thoughts and prayers continue for the people of Japan. Ryan Layman graduated from SMC a couple of years ago and he has been living in Japan for a number of years. He visited campus two weeks ago and was excited to return to Japan and a new job. Thankfully, he is alright and let his friends know through Facebook that while he is alright, he cannot get to his home there. We have many students from Japan studying at SMC and their friends have been so supportive as their fears for families back in Japan prevented them from being able to do much more than watch the unfolding tragedy in their home country - again, our thoughts and prayers go out to all of them.

Our students began their Spring Break after the last class yesterday afternoon. Many will travel to warmer climates and some will remain here working on senior projects or continuing to spend time on their academic internships. Several of our students have traveled to Boston with Ari and Molly for the Eastern Psychological Association's annual conference - a number of our students are doing poster presentations either by themselves, or with their faculty.

I will be on campus grading papers most of this week and then next Saturday I will once again be speaking to over 500 parents of high school sophomores and juniors on the transition from high school to college. This is part of the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation's annual College Pathways. While the students learn about a variety of topics they need to know, I have the opportunity to address the parents on issues that THEY need to understand. I will be presenting what we are calling "Conversation Starters" for the parents with what will hopefully be helpful suggestions on how to deal with topics that "scare" most parents. This is the third year I have done this presentation and I also will be doing it at Lyndon State and Castleton over the next few weeks. VSAC is an amazing organization which provides valuable assistance to families and students as they weave their way through the oftentimes confusing and complicated process of college selection and college finance.

Please take care and as always please keep all of the members of our military and their families and all of our veterans in your thoughts and prayers.


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