I love my job. I spend my days in a community organized for the purpose of developing and disseminating knowledge and putting it to use for the common good. I work with students and colleagues who are passionate about making a difference on campus and beyond. My everyday activities are integral to my own personal quest to awaken people to their capacities to shape their lives and worlds. And, oh yeah, I work in a building that has a coffee stand, a bookstore and a food court. Life is good!
This community—our UMBC community—is enriched by every member who takes the time to care for other members. I’m grateful to the amazing student leaders I connect with every day. But I’m also grateful to the people who hold the door open for me when my hands are full, or wave me on when our cars arrive at an intersection at the same time. I love telling new students at orientation sessions about how friendly UMBC can be, because I know from personal experience that I’m speaking the truth.
A few special thanks as the academic year comes to an end . . .
- to Gaby Arevalo, Nimit Bhatt and the writers and editors of The Retriever Weekly, for going the extra mile to educate and entertain the campus community even in the face of serious behind-the-scenes challenges;
- to the Student Events Board, for superhuman efforts to produce inspired events that enrich campus life; and especially to Katie Dix, a graduating senior who has been an SEB leader and also organized this year’s student Homecoming events;
- to James McCauley, Jen Kent, Christine Paul and Josh Michael, all seniors who are concluding four years of SGA involvement having made a real difference for UMBC students;
- to Savita Moses, Damani Lewis, Kaylesh Ramu, Collin Wojciechowski, Nathan Rehr, Rosy Chirayath, Yasmin Radbod, Saqib Ashraf, Mitch Case, Alex Gaines, Reema Sharma, Joey McElroy, Steve Reckard and the other first-year students who have plunged into campus service and leadership roles with both feet—on the First Year Council, in SGA and SEB, at the STRiVE leadership retreat, and across the spectrum of student involvement;
- to Corey Jennings and the SGA Election Board for a job well done;
- to everyone who had the courage to run for a position in SGA;
- to Delana Gregg, my teaching partner and creative colleague in the cause of promoting civic agency and social entrepreneurship;
- to Elliot Hirshman, Nancy Young, Michele Wolff, Ed Orser, Lee Boot, Greg Simmons, Kriste Lindenmeyer and Yasmin Karimian, campus leaders and brilliant educators who took the time to share their insights with the students in my Civic Imagination and Social Entrepreneurship course last fall;
- to Vivian Armor and the Kauffman Faculty Fellows for supporting campus entrepreneurs,
- to Roy Meyers for moral support and for inviting me to connect with UMBC’s scholars of the present and future,
- to Diane Lee, Bev Bickel, Joby Taylor, Pat Scully, Kim Leisey and Robert Deluty, all of whom make vast contributions to the campus as members of the faculty and administration, and all of whom accepted my invitation to join my doctoral dissertation committee and devote their time to helping me develop as a scholar;
- to Collier Jones, Karin Readel and the Office of Information Technology for their creativity and responsiveness;
- to Rose Huber, Stanyell Bruce and many others in the Office of Institutional Advancement who are working to build a sense of community that encompasses everyone affiliated with UMBC (and good luck to Rose, who is leaving UMBC next month);
- to Elan Schnitzer, Ross Dixon, Mark Stewart and the other UMBC alums who have kept in touch with me despite having moved on;
- to Jill Randles, Janet McGlynn and the Office of Undergraduate Education for tireless work to support student learning;
- to the Physical Plant staff for extraordinary efforts during the Snowpocalypse;
- to the staff of The Commons for behind-the-scenes work we all rely on without always noticing and appreciating;
- to my Office of Student Life colleagues Lee Calizo, Jen Dress, Corin Gioia, Nick Lennon, Jerilyn Johnson, Lisa Gray, Erica Johnson, Sheryl Gibbs, Kate Meyer and Dusty Hogenson for teaching and caring for me and so many others;
- to everyone who reads and leaves comments on this blog,
and . . . if I thank anybody else by name others may feel left out if I forget to mention them, so I’ll stop. Suffice it to say that my list is nowhere near complete, I appreciate UMBC’s people very much, and it is a privilege to be a part of this community. Good luck this week, enjoy the summer, safe travels . . . and congratulations on reaching the finish line for 2009-2010.