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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thomas and Lightner Renovations Impress


The Thomas and Lightner renovations are complete, after three summers of work. As always with residence hall renovations, the priorities are safety, comfort, and then amenities. The first phase of the project was an upgraded fire alarm and sprinkler system. The heating and cooling was completed and then this summer a lot of work was done in rooms and corridors.

Thomas Hall will be a Sophomore College building and Lightner is for juniors and seniors -- as part of the upperclass area. The big little change in Thomas is ceiling fans. This is an addition introduced by Director of Physical Plant John Greene. I was not very supportive until I saw the ceiling fans. I do worry about maintenance and wear (okay, and drunk guys) but I think the fans will make the rooms feel more homey.

In Lightner, the floor lounges are complete (they weren't carpeted last year). The rooms were improved similar to the ones in Thomas Hall. The cherry on the top of all of this is the Lightner Tea Room (pictured). It is now fully accessible. It will also be open to residents 24/7 and will also be available as a program space. I would like to see some wine and cheese events up there for seniors with faculty.
To see more photos of the renovation, scroll all the way to the bottom of the blog to view some slide shows. What do you think? See the poll at right (and down). Not pictured is the new computer lab on the third floor of Thomas Hall.
The renovations worked aout to about $60,000 per room. That is pretty staggering, but most of the costs are in the building infrastructure. Under John Greene's leadership, the renovations were done to LEEDS specifications. The beds and chairs are even environmentally friendly.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Washington Heights

The Student Affairs staff participated in a one-day workshop with presenter Dr. Jamie Washington on July 16. The session was intended for all of our staff members to continue to explore the important issues around culture, power, and our interconnectedness as a community. This is important to the Student Affairs staff, as our strategic and programmatic plans are to develop competencies in these areas with our students.

The staff is responsible for helping students explore issues on living and working with others who share similar and different backgrounds and perspectives. This supports the staff's mission to develop true global citizens.This workshop was just the beginning for the staff in considering the subtle and persistent issues that we all face while trying to create a just and caring world.

Pictured: Mary Butler of the Mail Center spends time with VP Felicia Lee at the morning breakfast. Residential Life Coordinators can be seen in the background preparing to take the day seriously. Reverend Nickle makes an important point to Ankita Rakhe, of CCI.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

We're Bad... We're Nationwide

Trinity University has gone national with the attention our athletes and former athletes have been receiving. First, one of the real good guys, Jerheme Urban, is heading back to NFL training camp again. Jerheme is in his second season with the Arizona Cardinals. He is a 2003 graduate of Trinity University and starred here in track and as a wide receiver on the football team. Not only has he come back and helped with Athletics here on campus, he has also held a camp in his community, took time to work with the Dean's son (an aspiring high school receiver at Central Catholic), and most importantly, is married to a former RA and star in her own right.

Second, out of nowhere, Trinity baseball is in the news with the relationship that has been sparked between major league sensation Josh Beckett and members of the Trinity baseball team. Zach Fregosi sent along an ESPN story that is really fantastic and lots of fun. Mr. Beckett was on campus the day after the All Star game, pitching in front of baseball campers and another Tuttle son, who reported his fast ball had plenty of velocity.

Finally, the football players, coaches, and announcers involved with the Miracle in Mississippi apparently had a great time at the ESPYs, which aired on July 20 on ESPN. James Hill from Athletics has sent along a link to a KAAB Sports feature. Go to Sports and then Sports Video on Demand to see a terrific piece.

The soccer team unofficially won the championship this year and baseball had its own miracle. Congratulations to all of our athletes!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Announcing the Half Marathon Challenge

I am excited to announce the first Dean of Students Half Marathon Challenge. The San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon will be on Sunday, November 16, and all members of the Trinity community are invited to participate. A half marathon is 13.1 miles short. With a decent running base and some training, anyone can do one! One of the best resources out there on this and other running topics is Runners World. We will wear Trinity gear and show San Antonio that Trinity Rocks! Okay, well, maybe it will just be me. Most students I have mentioned this to have seemed enthusiastic. I hope they were being true and not just "yes-Dean"-ing me. This year, the goal is to determine the interest level, have fun and develop camaraderie by training together, and focus on personal health. The long-term goal will be to connect with some sort of charity and community service project. This year's group will offer recommendations for that. We will have some guest speakers and do a pre-race pasta dinner from the Dean's Office. This program is in line with the Student Affairs values related to health and wellness, and in the future, social responsibility. If you have a hint of interest, please sign-up to be placed on the e-mail list.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Boys of Summer




The first Trinity Guys Night at the Missions baseball game was Thursday, July 10. Coincidentally, it was $1 night for soda, pizza, hot dogs, and beer. Much was consumed, though cups and pizza slices were suspiciously smaller than usual. Gary Neal, director of Counseling and Health Services, Ben Newhouse, Assistant Director of CCI, and Dennis Ugolini, Professor were pegged to participate in the fourth inning tricycle race. Ben won a hat and bragging rights. Physics instructor, Dr. Ugolini, ironically had trouble with his wheel spinning too fast as he pedaled. Note in the video that Ben Newhouse was doused with water as he passed the Missions dug-out. Jared Pack and twin brother Travis are pictured. Jared works for ITS and is at right... unless he is the one on the left. See more pictures on the slidehow, elsewhere on this blog.


video

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ogg Blog

My old dorm at UW-Madison can't talk, so I will dare to speak on its behalf. I had written about this building in the Trinitonian and then my friend, Paula Apfelbach, at the UW Alumni Association asked if I could re-work it for the On Wisconsin magazine. My old Ogg buddy Don Schutt (aka: Muff) sent me a link to watch the tortuous demolition live as the old hall comes down one brick at a time. In March I got to see the new building - across the street - during a reunion with my old Ogg RA (House Fellow) buddies. As a side-note, we were met with grumblings of "old people" as we entered one of our favorite old night spots. We are a lot like Ogg I guess. And we don't mind.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Body Image Goes National

Trinity University should be very proud of the Body Image program. Dr. Carolyn Becker, in our Psychology department, has done extensive research on her Body Image program. She has included women from Trinity sororities in this venture as researchers, planners, and participants. She has also been a valuable campus and local resource, working collaboratively with the Trinity counselors, Dean of Students, and several thrertapists off campus. Her work, and that of the sorority women, has been acknowledged by the national Tri-Delta sorority as they prepare to launch the program nationally. The program was also recognized in June on the blog of Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN (scroll down to the June 9, 2008 entry).

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Costs of Education

Congress is looking at making costs of education more transparent. This is a critical issue for students and families making huge financial commitments for college. As the Division of Student Affairs puts the final touches on its strategic plan, emphasis will be on continuing assessment of our services. These assessments are often called learning outcomes. For example, by living on campus, how have students changed? The Division and the Residential Life Office has aked these questions in past assessments. This has, in part, led to the creation of the initiatives that are part of the upperclass task force recommendations. By demonstrating that programs such as REAL LIFE have made a difference, and that the Sophomore College has shown promise, the department has been able to increase staffing and to improve the student experience, including learning outcomes. The Student Affairs strategic plan will show what the division values, express the importance of our residential mission, and focus on goals related to collaboration with faculty, social responsibility, student development, and assessment. The better we do, the greater value we create, which will hopefully justify the costs of attending Trinity. While much of the value is about the classroom, the Student Affairs staff sees learning outside of the classroom as equally valuable, and deserving of the same kind of development of the academic side of the University.