UPDATE FROM PRESIDENT, JASON S. WOOD, Ph.D. – March 20, 2020
Thank you so much for participating in our zoom conference today. It was good “to see” everyone. As you heard, many, many people are doing their best to help each other. We don’t have all of the answers but we do have everything we need to move forward and help people be in a better spot. Please accept this update which will be the last one until Monday unless something significant needs to be communicated.
- Good news moment of the day:
- Financial Aid Checks were scheduled to be mailed next week but, due to the great work of Margaret Chubb, Sara Bahl, Amy Campbell, Matthew Baute, Karen Forseth (student-worker), and Ashley Crubel…those checks went into the mail today! Imagine for a moment, if you will, one of our students in a desperate situation and how important it will be for them to get their money. This means hundreds of thousands of dollars will reach our students sooner enabling them to take care of their families. So very grateful for the people who made this happen.
- Our plan if there is a national or state lockdown:
- We have been working towards this increasingly more likely scenario over the past several days by moving more and more of our services online as we recognize it is only a matter of time before positive tests begin occurring in our service district.
- Compliance will be we simply do not provide access to campus – in the meantime, if you need to access campus, please contact Dan Imhoff, Josh Bedward, or Nicole Nelson to coordinate your visit remembering the fewer people who visit, the better.
- Longer-term implications are being considered as we plan for various scenarios – my deepest gratitude for the folks serving on the Emergency Response Team for their focused and determined efforts to create solutions.
- Please remember our priorities:
- Stay healthy and take care of our families – please limit your travel and restrict any interactions with others AND cherish the time you do have together by creating meaningful memories. My younger daughters set a leprechaun trap with glitter as bait on St. Paddy’s day and caught a box of Lucky Charms, although the leprechaun was clever enough to evade capture.
- Help our students learn – please be accommodating to the needs of our students and empathize with their situations. Darnell Wiegman is putting together a plan for faculty/staff who need work assignments to contact every single student and help address their situations. Stay tuned for more details.
- Serve our communities and local businesses – please practice simple acts of kindness. Some faculty and staff are reaching out to local restaurants and sending meals to colleagues via gift certificates.
Please remember the words of wisdom of Mary Englebreit, “If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” It is not easy being held hostage at home to an invisible enemy that brings pain. We have never faced something quite like this and the unknown is as stressful as what we do know. Please, take a moment to breathe deeply. Reflect. Ponder. In those quiet moments, I know in my heart of hearts we can overcome this crisis because we have good people who trust each other as we strive to help our students. Please remember the role of happiness in providing the mental and emotional strength necessary to be successful in anything – the five habits are included as a post-script to this message. And, in closing, if you need something, please let me know. I will do my very best to help you…as will so many others of our Southwest Tech family.
P.S. The Happiness Habits from Shawn Achor and our Orange Frog training:
- Gratitude Exercises. Write down three things you’re grateful for that occurred over the last 24 hours.
- The Doubler. Take one positive experience and spend two minutes writing down every detail about that experience. As you remember it, your brain labels it as meaningful and deepens the imprint.
- The Fun Fifteen. Do 15 minutes of a fun cardio activity, like walking the dog around the block. If you can’t go outside, look for free workouts and exercise routines online. The effects of daily cardio can be as effective as taking an antidepressant.
- Meditation. Every day take two minutes to stop whatever you’re doing and concentrate on breathing. Even a short mindful break can result in a calmer, happier you.
- Conscious act of kindness. At the start of every day, send a short email or text praising someone you know. Our brains become addicted to feeling good by making others feel good.