The Spirit of Giving

This fall, the giving spirit has been alive here on the Nichols campus. Last month nearly 40 students participated in a Community Service Day, volunteering at the Webster Cat Connection shelter, picking up trash at the Shepherd Hill High School athletic fields, and washing fire trucks and bays at the Dudley fire house.

More recently on campus, first year students (along with some faculty and staff) participated in the Bison Stampede, an afternoon walking and service event for first-year students and staff/faculty volunteers. The goal was to build a sense of camaraderie among the students and begin a tradition of service we hope they will continue throughout their time here. The students donated nearly $220 in cash, 335 food/toiletry items, and several coats and blankets for the Webster-Dudley Food Share. The total reached nearly $270 when faculty and staff donations were added in. The history club has also been collecting spare change here on campus for the Food Share.

I am pleased that students and the campus community have taken the time to give back and make the lives of those less fortunate at least a bit brighter.

Personally, I am most thankful for my amazing family, including my husband Dave, our two children and their spouses, and our grandchildren Grace and Liam. I’m very fortunate to be able to see my kids and grandkids nearly every weekend and to spend time with the little ones as “Nana.” I would also be remiss to not also state how fortunate I am to be at Nichols–the most caring and collaborative college community that I have ever experienced.

Wishing all of you a very special Thanksgiving with your family and friends.

Making the most of college

Recently, an editorial of mine focusing on the first year college experience appeared on
the (Boston Globe) opinion section.

The article highlighted the ways colleges and Nichols specifically are dedicating themselves to providing first-year students with a compelling experience—one that will carry them successfully through their undergraduate careers.

For the complete article, click here.

The Institute for Women’s Leadership: Creating Mentors

In the first weeks since its launch, the Institute for Women’s Leadership (IWL) has sponsored a number of events for female students, faculty, and staff alike. Creating the Institute has been one of our goals, and it is rewarding to see this vision become a reality.

Recognizing the value of mentors, the IWL recently sponsored the first industry mentors in-residence which gives female students the opportunity to gain inspiration from female business leaders. The first session was for Business Communication students and featured Paula Goudsmit, President of High Impact Coaching + Consulting, LLC. This was the first of a number of IWL-sponsored events aimed at developing the leadership potential of our female students.

This past week, IWL sponsored a wine and cheese reception for female staff and
faculty. As part of the event, each woman wrote on her nametag the name of a
woman she admired which ranged from mothers and grandmothers to first bosses
and mentors to fellow co-workers.

While the woman I chose doesn’t fit into any of these categories, my selection, Annie Oakley, is still someone whom I admire. If you don’t know much about Annie,
she led an inspiring life. After a childhood of poverty, and mental and physical abuse, she rose above her circumstances and learned to hunt in order to support her siblings and widowed mother. She quietly supported young women, and it is believed that she taught more than 15,000 women to use a gun. So, I admire Annie for rising above difficult circumstances, excelling in something that was previously reserved for men, and for mentoring and supporting other women who came behind her. The Annie Oakley exhibit at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame contains her quotation which I believe is still applicable today.

“Aim at a high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, nor the second and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will
make you perfect. Finally, you’ll hit the bull’s-eye of success.”