Update From President, Jason S. Wood, Ph.D. – September 18, 2021

Hi Folks,

When I interviewed for the job here at the college approximately six and half years ago, I shared this video about moving seemingly impossible obstacles from our paths.  If you have a moment, I would appreciate knowing if anything in the video clip stands out to you.  Listening to your observations usually serves as wise counsel on opportunities for me to learn, grow, and improve.

It seems relevant to remember, refocus, and/or redefine our efforts as a college given the divisive barriers we face in society.  Please stay tuned for the results of our listening tours with local businesses and employers.  We will ask you to consider their feedback so we can all help determine how we prepare our students for the workforce.

In the meantime, I will emphasize the importance of respectfully working together with grace, compassion, and integrity to achieve the common goal of learning.  We are striving to reopen campus safely so our students can improve their lives through their vocations.

I am reminded of the last stanza of a poem by Robert Frost which says:

“But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For heaven and the future’s sakes.”

  1. COVID
    1. We have updated our COVID exposure response for individuals that are not vaccinated.  You now have the option to test and provide negative results to shorten the isolation period.  Testing can begin the 5th full day after the exposure.  If the results are negative and you remain asymptomatic then you can return to campus on the 7th full day after the exposure date.  If you choose not to test, then the current process of isolating for 14 days remains in place.  Staff must provide test results to Human Resources.  Students must provide test results to covid19response@swtc.edu.
    2. Several people have asked about community immunity, also known has herd immunity.  Here is a fairly concise summary from the Mayo Clinic for your consideration.
  2. Student Senate Update
    1. The Student Senate leaders attended exec team again.  We discussed a few situations the students are aware of in an effort to understand how our time together will work best.  We will look into timely textbook availability, name badge options, and support resources for students facing emergencies/trauma.  The students will discuss how they’d like to be involved in facility planning, fundraising, and student recruitment.  This will be a regular opportunity and we will support the students in their leadership journey.
  3. Project RISE
    1. Please see the attached update which will be shared at the next Board meeting.  The project is still on budget but we are concerned about remaining on time.
    2. We continue to appreciate the many people across campus who are going above and beyond to work on Project Rise.  One person in particular who deserves a special shout out…Danielle Seippel has put in a tremendous amount of work, on top of her regular job, and is also a key lead in our data governance efforts.  Danielle graduated from the Wisconsin Leadership Development Institute (what a time to study leadership!) this week and we are fortunate to have her at the college. 😊
  4. HyFlex Courses at Southwest Tech!
    1. HyFlex (Hybrid-Flexible) Courses are face-to-face lecture courses offered at specific times that combine options for in-person or virtual connection via Zoom delivery as approved/determined by the instructor.  Students may choose the option that works best for them on any given day.
    2. Thank you to Beth Cummins (Lead), Chantel Hampton, Tamara Griesel, Karyl Nicholson, Ken Bartz, Lisa P. Riley, and Kim Maier for leading the innovative efforts to help more students be successful.  For more information, please see the attached summary.
  5. Kudos to…
    1. Tonia Breuer!  She does so much so well and I encourage you to read the attached Shout Out from Cynde Larsen to learn more!
    2. Holly Straka!  While still new at the college, according to Cynde Larsen, Holly helps improve the decisions of the Academic Council.  You can read more in the attached Shout Out. 😊
    3. Robin Hamel!  According to Cynde Larsen, Robin is doing excellent work with co-curricular assessment!  Please see the attached Shout Out for specifics.
    4. Jake Mootz!  Again, Cynde Larsen is thankful for Jake who goes above and beyond to help.  Details attached.
    5. Thank you, Cynde, for recognizing your colleagues with sincerity and authenticity.  I am grateful to work with you because of your perpetual positivity and your efforts to kindly thank others for their efforts.  (Anyone can complete a Shout Out here😊)

Hopefully you are able to do something you enjoy with someone you love this weekend…aka putting the glass down.  Text a pic of your fun stuff (phone number in the email sent to staff), if you are so inclined, and I will respond with a photo of me canoeing and fishing, hopefully, with my daughters!

As always, if you have comments, feedback, or suggestions, please let me know.  I am also happy to help you if there is something you need.

Take care,


Posted in COVID-19, Update