Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mt. Mansfield on a sunny afternoon in April & two friends

I just had to add this picture which I took yesterday afternoon - the snow on the mountain with the bright sun shining on it IS Vermont - WE get views like this all of the time and I, for one, never take it for granted.  It speaks to what WE have here, right in our backyard on any given day.  P-Day was a great celebration and activities on campus were plentiful but this picture shows the contrast that we DO get to have.  This second picture shows two wonderful young women - Jill Monahan and Kaitlin Kaster.  I have known Jill since she was in high school and her three brothers who graduated from SMC used to have her come up and visit and, of course, they told her that she HAD to come here - fortunately for us, she listened to them and the whole Monahan Family is an important part of this College - Thanks Margie and John for sending us all four.  Kaitlin has been in most of my classes and is bright, committed to making a difference in our world and someone who adds so much to every class.  Both of these young women are in my Men & Masculinities class this semester and the class is better for that.
take care and be well

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The MLK Talent Show and another P-Day

Last night over 400 students crowded into McCarthy Arts Center for the annual MLK Talent Show.  This has always been one of the most popular events of the spring semester and a great deal of work and effort goes into making it the yearly success that it is.  This year I was asked to be one of the judges for the show and I was happy to oblige.  The talent, for the most part, was exceptional and the student audience clearly was appreciative of the efforts of their peers.  It takes a LOT of courage for students to go up on that stage in front of their friends and perform - the look on one young woman's face when she looked out into the audience was priceless.  I am still so proud of our students - 400+ students on a college campus on a Friday night so thoroughly enjoying themselves for several hours supporting and cheering on their friends - way to go!!

Today is P-Day and I was just over at the Alliot Rotunda to watch the infamous "trike race" which today, even though it is COLD and there WAS snow on the ground this morning drew a couple hundred very energetic and engaged students as they rode tricycles around the rotunda while being hosed with COLD water, splashed with flour, shaving and whipped cream AND the cheers of their friends.  After 30 years of watching this event, you would suspect that I would get tired of this but it is still hysterical.  Well done.....

Home baseball and lacrosse games this afternoon as our seniors are honored on Senior Day.  There will be music, great food, fun and games and a LOT of memories created on the 300's field this afternoon - I will be at the baseball and lax games for a while and then mingling with the students on the 300's field for their festivities. 

Of course, that will all take place after I complete even more grading - the semester comes to a crashing end on Wednesday and with a number of final papers and projects to grade, I better get back to that....

Take care, be well and please keep all of the members of our military and our veterans and their families in your thoughts and prayers.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

41 student-athletes honored for a 3.7+ GPA and a presentation.

As I mentioned earlier this week, it has been a very busy time on campus. Last Friday afternoon as the President of the United States was speaking in Burlington and then driving past the campus on his way back to the airport, the College recognized 41 of our 400+ student-athletes who have achieved a 3.7 + Grade Point Average. This is the first of what we hope will become a yearly recognition through what is known as National Student Athlete Day. OUR President Jack Neuhauser spoke as did Athletic Director Geri Knortz and VP for Academics Karen Talentino. Each student was presented with a framed certificate acknowledging their accomplishment. It is difficult enough for today's students to be taking a full load academically AND to be part of an athletic team which also requires a good portion of their time BUT to do that AND excel in the classroom is worthy of recognition. The President told them how proud he is of their accomplishments as did Geri and Karen. As the FAR (NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative) I recognized the student-athletes AND also spoke of the success being the result of an active collaboration between our students, coaches, faculty and both the Athletic and Academic Administration PLUS the added support of our President. We have 21 varsity teams and each team has a faculty affiliate who volunteers to assist in whatever capacity students need to help them be more successful in the classroom. Well done to all of our community for this accomplishment.

Over last weekend, many of our students and two advisors traveled to Troy, NY and Russell Sage College for the Northeast LGBT Conference. There were 433 students and 73 advisors from all over the Northeast in attendance and we were invited to present a talk on our It Gets Better video which, as of last week had over 8,500 hits on YouTube. This collaborative effort on the part of both our Student Athletic Advisory Council and our Common Ground organization on campus is a unique collaboration in that SMC student-athletes joined with LGBT students AND allies in this project. We spoke to approx. 50 students at the Conference and it was great to see how well-spoken our students who had written the script, filmed the video and who spoke in the video were in front of an audience - as always, I am so proud of our students. We drove down to Troy that morning and returned that afternoon after our workshop. If you have NOT seen our video, I would urge you to go onto You Tube and just put in Saint Michael's College It Gets Better and view it. We also found out this week that Athletic Management Magazine has published an article in their most recent edition on OUR It Gets Better video - this magazine goes out all over the country so we are pleased with getting the word out. Of course, our goal continues to be to help prevent ANY young person from ever taking their own life simply because they are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgendered........ The responses to our video continue to be positive, both on campus and, obviously, outside of SMC.

Off to spend time with family over this Easter weekend - the grading of papers can wait.

Take care, be well, and please keep all of the members of our military and all of our veterans in your thoughts and prayers.

Have a peaceful Easter.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Incredibly busy weeks......

These are very busy times for all of us. Students are completing major projects, speakers have been here on campus challenging us and "dinner at Dave's" continues to be fun. The top picture and the one on the right above are of the last two of five "dinner at Dave's" which I have been hosting at my home for the past five or six years. Students love getting off campus AND getting a home cooked meal. Even with some who are gluten intolerant or lactose intolerant or vegetarians :) we manage to feed everyone and have a relaxing and comfortable time. I usually have to ask them to leave around 11:00 OR those who know me well already know that they HAVE to leave by 11:00 so I can catch the Daily Show........

We also had an amazing speaker on campus last week. LZ Granderson is a well-known reporter for both CNN and ESPN - an openly gay sportscaster, he has been seen a LOT lately, especially on CNN as the coverage of the Trayvon Martin tragedy unfolds. He did two Skype interviews while he was here on campus. Some of us had dinner with him before his 7:00 presentation where he spoke to a packed house for an hour and forty minutes. I have been here for 30 years and while I love our students, their attention span usually is relatively short and they begin to leave after an hour - not this time. He held their attention, answered excellent questions from the students and at the end, the place was STILL packed. What a great opportunity for our students and this community to host someone who is so thoughtful and who has amazing insight into our world. His advice - "it is not always easier to love than to hate but LOVE is better" - his call, both to us and in one of his most recent columns on for JUSTICE and NOT revenge was so powerful and the students listened...... he is pictured with Mark Litchfield, advisor to Common Ground and me after a group of us had breakfast with him at Sneakers in Winooski. He met with Journalsim classes, individuals within the Journalsim program, students in Alliot at lunch and anyone else who wanted a chance to talk with him. Thanks LZ - we all learned a LOT. We also may have hooked him on Vermont Maple Syrup too :)

Classes are excellent, registration for the fall semester is well underway (NO seniors, you cannot register for classes for the fall - you ARE graduating) - the long Easter weekend is coming up and the school year is almost over with. Please take care, be well and PLEASE keep all of the members of our military and their families and our veterans in your thoughts and prayers.