Hi. It's Friday. Air high-five!
Earlier this week, Portland High School hosted its graduation. I caught a little of it live on NPR, and I wondered why I was hearing lots of car horns - it dawned on me. Ahhhh.....it was a drive-thru ceremony.
I shouldn't have been surprised.
On May 9th, we hosted virtual Commencement exercises for the Class of 2020. It certainly wasn't the ceremony any of us, or our graduates, expected or wanted. To make matters stranger, it snowed that day. I still feel, as I did then, that it was important that our College marked that special day, somehow. More on the Class of 2020 in a future post.
With all.....this....as a back-drop, I've been thinking a lot about jobs, careers, happiness, and purpose. I wonder about those Portland High students - how their senior year ended up, how they'll handle what comes next. I wonder what our graduates headed off to in May, and I wonder what jobs and careers await our Class of 2021 in several precious months to come before they graduate.
At Saint Joe's, we've taken intentional steps this summer to coordinate our approach to academic advising and career development. We believe there is a clear tie between the classes and topics you'll explore in the classroom, the rich out-of-class experiences you'll have, and the pursuits, jobs, and endeavors that wait for you after you leave Saint Joe's.
Previously two separate offices, Career Development and ACE have now been intentionally merged to provide the space and resources for conversations about how your educational experiences relate to your next steps. We're still calling it ACE, as you've had enough change for one year, (just maybe I'll lobby for the "C" in ACE to change to "career" next year).
Under the leadership of Assistant Dean and Director of ACE, Shanna Webster (herself a 3x alumna of Saint Joe's), her staff will provide academic and career coaching, academic accommodations, advising, tutoring, as well as support for the first-year experience.
Days ago, I mentioned "new faces" as a concept. So, here we go.
She's hired three new staff to assist in implementing this new approach. One of them, Victoria Robbins, joined the College in February, but since I can't even remember what life was like before February, it's likely you may have missed her. Take it from me, she's fantastic.
Two additional staff, Krissy Cosgrove, (who began her work on August 3rd - welcome!) and Chris Kidger (who starts on August 17th) have also been added to Dean Webster's already-stellar team. We should have a socially-distanced welcome party for them.
As we enter the weekend, I hope you are able to do whatever you need to do - get out on the water, meet up with friends (bring your mask), or do some underrated nothing. It's all good.
I'll be back with a post tomorrow and Sunday - and if that's part of your weekend, I'll see you here.
Matt Goodwin is the Dean of Students at Saint Joseph’s College.
Along with a team of life-long learning Campus Life professionals in the areas of Student Engagement & Residential Living, Counseling Center, Health & Wellness Center, Campus Safety, and the Mercy Center, Campus Life supports students’ holistic personal development, learning, and empowerment in service to a global community.