Friday, February 17, 2012

Presidents' Weekend break

I am sitting up in my office on the second floor of Saint Edmund's Hall grading papers from my Men & Masculinity class and looking out onto the campus - OK, so no snow - which has really impacted our state economy as tourism has been hit hard by our LACK of snow - students grumble and I do too as I have NOT been snowshoeing once this "winter." Our students have a long weekend with no classes today - there are still a lot of students around as we have a number of sporting events this weekend and some just stayed to work on projects. Classes are going very well and it is hard to believe that we have already completed 5 weeks. The papers I am grading are in response to my question: How Has Your Father Influenced Your View of What a Man Is? - they continue to fascinate me as most have never been asked this question before. I have compiled a large number of these essays over the past several years and (with permission) they are part of a book I am in the process of writing on FATHERS.

Our Mental Health Task Force met this past week as we finalize some of our work on how to effectively acknowledge and deal with the mental health of our campus. There are so many pressures on our entire community and while our "safety net" is always there, we are hoping that the Task Force deliberations will enable us to report to the Board of Trustees and perhaps expand on some of our current policies and procedures.

I am also on the Admission Office's Task Force on Military Recruitment/Retention and am so glad that we are working on ways that SMC can create a supportive and accepting community that welcomes our returning veterans and their families as students here.

Our It Gets Better video (YouTube - Saint Michael's College It Gets Better) continues to receive a number of "hits" and so far, on just two sites, we have had over 8,500 hits. The collaboration between our student-athletes (Student Athletic Advisory Council - SAAC) and Common Ground - our GSA is unique and we have received such positive responses to the collaboration between these two student groups - I continue being so proud of our students who spearheaded this effort.

Dr. Leo Shea III, an alum of SMC is coming to campus on Monday and he will be speaking to my Practicum class and also doing an open presentation for the whole campus sponsored by the Psychology Club and Psi Chi (the international honor society for psychology) - Leo is a neuropsychologist and he will be speaking about the future of psychology and exactly what neuropsychology is - he will also be explaining the work he is doing with PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury) and our veterans - I am looking forward to meeting him and to his presentations - we always appreciate our alumnae returning to campus to share their areas of expertise with the campus. My own doctor, Frank Landry, also an alum of SMC was in my Men & Masculinities class a couple of weeks ago speaking about men's health issues and, of course, women's health issues - another example of our alums giving back to the place where they received their undergraduate education - much appreciated.

Back to grading - take good care, be well and, as always, please keep all of the members of our military and our veterans in your thoughts and prayers.


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