Thursday, February 26, 2015

Welcoming New Students - our Springtime Comes Early at CW!

Welcome to our new evening and online students!  Spring comes early for us every year when we hold orientation and welcome students who start classes in the dark days of winter but bring Springtime and light into our halls and our online classroom, Moodle!  While all of our students are special, the ones who decide to start classes during the coldest part of the year really amaze me.  So many people just want to nest and hibernate until Springtime.


That's me talking to some of our new students - yes, it is evening and everyone
has already had a long day at work, and now they are starting class.  Aren't they amazing?
I have to applaud all of our students who continue to literally plow through the winter and attend classes, succeed and graduate.  As Spring begins, Commencement is not far away, the most wonderful time of the year for any college!  As our students graduate, we accomplish what we really want to do, help them self-actualize, clarify and realize some of their dreams.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Third of The Four Agreements or When You Assume, You Make an Ass of You and Me


For those of us who are “Odd Couple” fans, we remember that famous Felix Unger line from the kangaroo court episode.  When you assume, you make an ass of you and me.

Sitting a session with a client recently, she asked me if I had read the book The Four Agreements, written by Don Miguel Ruiz, and published in January, 2001.  According to About.com, this is a wonderful book for stress management and personal growth.  http://stress.about.com/od/products/fr/fouragreementsf.htm

My client mentioned one of the four agreements, “don’t make assumptions”, which we discussed at length. 

A dear friend of my husband gifted him a copy years ago, and he devoured it.  I just never got around to absorbing it.  But it came up again this morning, specifically about assumptions.  Jumping to conclusions is such an easy thing to do.  As we navigate this corporate landscape of CW, I find it important to remind myself to give the benefit of the doubt.

How often do we make assumptions about others that are incorrect?  In this contemplative time of year, Spring and new beginnings, here are some pearls from The Four Agreements.

1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.


3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.


4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Welcome back to returning students, faculty and Greetings to New Students of The College of Westchester

Happy 2015!

Hello everyone, and Happy New Year!  It is CW's 100th anniversary as a college this year, and it is a great year to celebrate!


The 2015 economic outlook is bright, and that means that it is also bright for CW grads.  If you are a new CW student, or a continuing student, keep your eye on the prize.  While a CW education has almost always proven to be recession proof, in pursuing and securing employment in the field in which you have chosen and immersed yourself throughout your studies, the local, regional, national and global economy is catching up.

I attended a function last Thursday, January 8, featuring Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino's plans for Westchester in 2015, followed by an economic overview from Lisa Shalett, head of investment and portfolio solutions, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and roundtable discussion on economic trends for the business community in the year ahead that featured  William Cuddy, CBRE, Guy Leibler, Simone Development Companies, Christopher Meyers, Houlihan Lawrence, Inc., Ayall Schanzer, Friedland Realty Advisors and Glenn Walsh, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.

Overall, the tone was positive.  Jobs are up, real estate is appreciating in both private and commercial sectors, and the investment (stock and bond) market is healing and growing locally and globally.  This is all good news.  The best news, to me, is that consumers will begin to drive the market and lead economic growth.  

Translation, more jobs, better pay, more disposable income for people.  Economic and financial freedom means more choices, a chance to breathe.  After a tough time for so many, I am hopeful that this will mean great things for our students, grads, families and CW family too!

So Happy New Year, everyone!  Prepare to continue to work hard, have a personal and profession vision including goals.  Don't be afraid to be patient, roll up your shirt-sleeves and believe in yourself and the value of your college education.  Put it to work now.

County Executive Rob Astorino's plans for Westchester in 2015, followed by an economic overview from Lisa Shalett,head of investment and portfolio solutions, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and roundtable discussion on economic trends for the business community in the year ahead. 


Moderator:
William Cuddy, CBRE

Panel:
Guy Leibler, Simone Development Companies
Christopher Meyers, Houlihan Lawrence, Inc.
Ayall Schanzer, Friedland Realty Advisors
Glenn Walsh, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
- See more at: http://westchester.org/article.php?a=553#sthash.MJfHuXul.dpuf
Hear County Executive Rob Astorino's plans for Westchester in 2015, followed by an economic overview from Lisa Shalett,head of investment and portfolio solutions, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and roundtable discussion on economic trends for the business community in the year ahead. 


Moderator:
William Cuddy, CBRE

Panel:
Guy Leibler, Simone Development Companies
Christopher Meyers, Houlihan Lawrence, Inc.
Ayall Schanzer, Friedland Realty Advisors
Glenn Walsh, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
- See more at: http://westchester.org/article.php?a=553#sthash.MJfHuXul.dpuf
Hear County Executive Rob Astorino's plans for Westchester in 2015, followed by an economic overview from Lisa Shalett,head of investment and portfolio solutions, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and roundtable discussion on economic trends for the business community in the year ahead. 


Moderator:
William Cuddy, CBRE

Panel:
Guy Leibler, Simone Development Companies
Christopher Meyers, Houlihan Lawrence, Inc.
Ayall Schanzer, Friedland Realty Advisors
Glenn Walsh, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
- See more at: http://westchester.org/article.php?a=553#sthash.MJfHuXul.dpuf

Friday, December 26, 2014

Fail Better in the New Year!

As a college president, I do not encourage our students to fail, however, there is a place for failing.  When we try something new, we will not always succeed.  I was recently in a meeting.  One of the participants, CIO for a large financial firm who hires new networking grads, said that the number one attribute that he always wants in a new hire is curiosity, and desire to learn, to solve a puzzle, to not be afraid to fail.

This was a significant statement that stuck with me.

Inventors know this is true.  Here's a quote from Thomas Edison; "I have not failed.  I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."  What if Edison gave up?  We might not have had all the wonderful inventions that we now take for granted.

And for those of you who want more education related inspiration; "Learning starts with failure; the first failure is the beginning of education." -- John Hersey

If we knew everything, why would we bother to learn.  And we all know that we don't always get it right.  Trial and error, guessing, trying again, cultivating curiosity, a thick skin, the ability to go back into the fray and keep doing it until we get it right.

I always found that I strove to learn more when things were not as comfortable, when situations were on the precipice of tipping over the edge.  While in social work school, I learned about homeostasis, which is a balance, but often an uncomfortable balance.  We are not happy in that homeostasis, quite often.  Do you remember being a child on the playground, up at the top side of the teeter-totter?  We knew that if our fellow teeter-totterer was kind, we would land gently, but it was just as likely that we could come down with a crash.  I don't know about you, but I would often climb down from that tippy top place (which felt so high up as a young child), so I would not come crashing down.  I learned a new way.

courtesy of http://minneapolisparkhistory.com/2012/09/24/now-thats-a-teeter-totter/
 The 11/16/14 issue of NY Times Magazine is the innovation issue, or as they state; "this issue is dedicated to innovation's less remarked-upon cousin, without which there would be no better mousetrap:  failure." (p39)

And often, when we get lost, we find new things to explore and love.  "We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success.  We often discover what will do by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake, never made a discovery." -- Samuel Smiles

Here's to a New Year filled with discovery, joy, innovation, tipping the balance and failure!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Some awesome CW info to share

Just busting to show you this awesome commercial that features College of Westchester graduates and faculty.  Thanks to you all for participating!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

CW Visits Washington, DC

As part of our continued responsibility to CW excellence, a group including myself, Dr Joann Mulqueen, Dr Warren Rosenberg and Dr Beth Coyle attended the Middle States Commission for Higher Education's annual conference, Dec 3-5.  The Commission has just spent the last few years revamping and updating the guidelines by which colleges innovate and maintain excellence, called the Standards of Accreditation, formerly called the Characteristics of Excellence. These characteristics were approved by all member institutions.   Much discussion was held regarding peer review, government intervention, and the need to embrace the importance of independent oversight.   The College of Westchester is a member institution of the Middle States Commission.  Click here to see a complete list of member institutions. 

While in DC, we visited House of Representatives congressional members including Dr. Virginia Foxx, Chair of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training, We also visited with aides of Congressman John Kline, chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.  While it is always a good idea to visit with congressional members, these particular members are involved with oversight of higher education community, with an eye on making certain that students are immersed in studies that will help make them employable. We shared with them all of the wonderful things we do at CW, including graduate job placement, connection to our corporate community, educational innovations, community involvement and student and family support.
Congresswoman Virginia Foxx & MB Del Balzo

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Best Wishes for a Healthy, Joyful Holiday Season

When the cold weather comes around to stay for the season, I always begin to think of what I am grateful for, and for this life we live.  I look around at our students, catch up with grads on Facebook, LinkedIn, at events, through calls and emails, and am always renewed by seeing the world through their eyes.

One fairly recent grad, Michael Adebiyi , CW Class of 2012, attended our alumni homecoming event a couple of weeks ago. I was lucky enough to have Michael as a BBA intern.  Smart, insightful, ambitious – it was a pleasure working with him.  Even before he graduated, Hertz snatched him up.  Michael is now a manager, and trainer of managers at Hertz’s largest Brooklyn location.  Clearly, he is happy and not finished climbing the success ladder.

This is what we at CW do.  We continue to be the facilitators and launching pad for thousands and thousands of young people like Michael.  The stories of success are endless!

I am grateful for the community of CW.  You all make this journey at CW worth it every day.

May the coming holidays be ones of great joy for you and yours, and may you find something fascinating in the everyday.  May you feel camaraderie and take comfort and support from those around you.  May your challenges bring unexpected opportunities, and as your best laid plans go awry, may you find that your life is joyous, unexpected and new.