Friday, October 25, 2013
This past week was an important step for Wright State as we celebrated the numerous successes of our 2008-2013 Strategic Plan RELENTLESS, and President Hopkins unveiled our new 5-year Strategic Plan EMPOWER. Our mission remains the same - We transform the lives of our students and the communities we serve - and our new plan focuses on 5 important goals that position us to be leaders in innovation, inclusion, and impact in the region and far beyond. CoLA has been slowly and carefully developing our own strategic plan as we participated in the larger university-wide planning, a process that will now speed up as we work to align with EMPOWER.
And check out the cover of EMPOWER. You will see our own senior dance student, Alim Barrie, as well as Assistant Dean Jennifer Buckwalter and Michelle Cipriano, Spanish.
Congratulations are in order for Elliot Gaines, Communication, the newly inducted President of the Semiotic Society of America. Over the next three days he is hosting the society's annual conference here in Dayton where the large group will be participating in workshops, panel discussions, and presentations about language, signs, and symbolism, broadly defined. The keynote address by Terry Prewitt brought me back to my anthropological roots. Congratulations Elliot! And thank you for bringing such a distinguished and intellectual group to Wright State.
I was visiting the set design studio the other day and walked in on Pam Lavarnway's scene shop class. The students were expertly painting stone window archways on easels strewn amongst what was obviously the painted barn set for the upcoming production of Oklahoma. I couldn't help myself, so I opened with a loud "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO................" That's as far as I got before I was immediately shut down by the class. It seems they have heard enough of that one little vowel. And the show hadn't even opened yet. OK. I get it. I won't take it personally. Much. I just want them to know that back in the day I played a mean Dogpatch Villager in L'il Abner. Just sayin.
So, the opening for Oklahoma was last night and even though I have tickets to two other performances, I just had to go. The excitement of opening night is palpable! And boy what a performance! I truly cannot say enough about how fantastic this production is. And our students! They are over the top awesome. I was standing in line for the restroom listening to the long line of women (why is that always the case?) rave about the show and our students, stating that this is as good as any Broadway production. Kudos to the Theatre and Dance faculty and staff, especially Director Greg Hellems and Choreographer Teressa McWilliams, as well as Scot Wooley, Tim Judge, Bruce Cromer, Pam Lavarnway, Matt Benjamin, James Dunlap, Deborah Thomas, and our student Stage Manager Jason Richard and student Assistant Set Designer Julie Allen. The dream scene is beyond imaginable. You won't want to miss this one!
Things are starting to get a little spiffed up around the Dean's Office. The first thing we did was make sure that the building sign identifying Millett Hall in the front and back listed College of Liberal Arts at the top, allowing us to add the Multicultural Center and the University Honors Program to the sign where they weren't before. In the hallway outside the Dean's Office we moved the College of Liberal Arts sign so it could actually be seen, and most importantly we now have our CoLA Outstanding Faculty and Staff Awards wall up and looking great! Come check it out! And we are planning something big and bold for the near future. And I mean BIG and BOLD. Soon.