Monday, November 9, 2020

Stressed out? Not sure who to turn to? Talk to a Faculty Mentor.

Now that we have reached mid-semester, it's a good time for some self-assessment. Take time to ask yourself how you are doing and how your classes are going. If you're feeling stressed out and sometimes do not know where to turn, consider contacting a faculty mentor. A Faculty Mentor can help guide you and offer advice on where to find the help and resources you need.

Faculty mentors do not provide tutoring in course content; rather, they can assist you in addressing the following issues, among others:

  • Addressing difficulties with your courses;
  • Balancing your personal/work life with your academic life;
  • Managing learning during a pandemic or in a remote learning environment;
  • Finding additional help and college resources; and
  • Developing a positive mindset about education

Appointments can be made for one-on-one Zoom sessions. To sign up, go to

Questions? Email

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Monday, November 2, 2020

Student Voting - Concerns?

 Student Voting

  • Majority of student voters (43%) plan to vote in person on election day.
    • 23% by mail; 22% in person, early voting; 7% absentee ballot and dropping off in person; 4% do not plan to vote; 1% other


Student Voting

Voter suppression (23%) is a predominant concern for student voters, followed by voter fraud (21%).

  • 18% U.S. Postal Service issues; 17% foreign interference; 8% lack of sufficient health precautions for voting in-person; 3% lack of sufficient poll workers; 10% other

Thursday, October 29, 2020

A Shout-out to Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work.


A Shout-out to Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work.


The book Callings (edited by David Isay, published by Penguin, 2016) is in essence a guidebook about how to talk with the people who have made a difference in our lives.


In some of your classes this semester, your professors will be using parts of the book Callings, which is the NCC Common Text for the 2020/2021 academic year. Callings is a collection of 53 interviews collected in five different chapters: “Dreamers,” “Generations,” “Healers,” “Philosophers” and “Groundbreakers.” Callings is subtitled “The Purpose and Passion of Work,” so the interviews have a united focus in exploring career choices that folks make. But what sets these interviews apart are the deeply personal relationships that are explored between interviewer and interviewee in discussing issues surrounding work. In many cases in the collection we have a child (or a grandchild) interviewing a parent (or grandparent). And there is love and caring in the conversations presented.


For example, in one exchange, Marat Kogut, who is a 31-year old NBA referee, talks with his dad, Leon, who is a barber, about Marat’s chosen profession. Not only do we get insight into the life an NBA ref, we learn of the undying love and support that a father has for a son.


Leon:  Everybody told me, “Your son is in the NBA? No, it’s impossible.” I say, “Yes.    He is.” Now all the customers in my shop, everybody ask me about you. And    everybody’s looking for your games to watch, then the next day they call me up,        say, “Oh, Leon, I saw your son!”

Marat: I still go to your barbershop to get haircuts, and every time there’s a customer,      you say, “Hey, this is my son,” and the first thing that comes out of their mouth is,     “Oh, your father always talks about you.”


And in another exchange, Lillie Cotlon, talks with her son, Burnell, both living in the ninth ward of New Orleans, about his desire and success in opening the ward’s only grocery store in the aftermath of the devastating floods caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


Lillie: You were a very curious child from day one, and you always willing to jump off     into things you had no business doing. [Laughter.] I used to wonder why you         would always leave home earlier than everybody else. I didn’t know where you          were going. But from what I understand, you were buying candy from a candy             factory down the street and selling it at school. So that told me that you were an   entrepreneur-type person.

Burnell: Well, I learned a lot from you about how to prepare myself for the future. You   and Paw Paw – your father – taught me so much about saving money


Each interview is, on average, five pages long. And each is illustrated with a photo of both interviewer and interviewee together. And they are all insightful and inspiring to read.


This semester, my English 100 and English 101 classes have been reading excerpts from the book and students have been conducting their own interviews. Interviewing in the middle of a pandemic has its own challenges, as many student interviews have had to take place on Zoom or FaceTime rather than in person. But my students have been learning about chapters in the live of their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or mentors that they have never truly explored before. They are not just conducting a required assignment for an English class, but digging into their own family histories, allowing the interviews presented in Callings to inspire them to probe more deeply. These are fractious times we are living in; now, more than ever, we need to learn from and celebrate the people most important to us.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2020

FYE Conversations About College - Fall Workshop Series


The First Year Experience (FYE) Committee   

invites the campus community to the following  

'Conversations About College' Workshop:  




“Career Callings”,  

Darren Petronella,  

Tuesday, October 13, 2020 10am - 11:15am  


All are welcome!

For Zoom link please contact