In the final drawing this semester for a Starbucks gift card, employee Amy Wruck’s name was chosen randomly from among those who notified the Garaventa Center about making a personal human connection (or two, or three) in this oddest of semesters. Thanks to Amy and many others, well over a hundred Person to Person interactions kept the spirit of community alive and well even when most of our relationships were conducted in 2-D. We’re grateful to you all for helping us meet that goal of 100 personal links in the Fall semester!
University of Portland community members will have a unique opportunity this coming January to participate in the Windrider Forum at the Sundance Film Festival from the comfort of your own home. The Windrider Forum is an immersive experience alongside the viewing of Sundance films that provides an encounter with the filmmakers to honor their craft, listen to their stories, and find thoughtful, spiritual themes in their work.
Participants will be provided access to 7 Sundance Films curated by the Windrider team, along with the Windrider events during Sundance (January 29 – Feb 1) and further Windrider programing that will be available throughout the spring semester (January 7 – May 28, 2021). Through a partnership sponsored by the Garaventa Center and Campus Ministry, UP students, faculty and staff have access to this opportunity at the reduced rate of $150.
Video recordings of all Fall 2020 Garaventa Center lectures are now available for viewing on our website using this link, including such thought-provoking topics as “What We Can Learn about Cancel Culture from the Index of Forbidden Books,” “Mother Teresa: A Case Study in Christian Mental Health Stigma,” and more.
We’d also like to take this opportunity to say we are soooo grateful to everyone in our campus community for sticking with us during this autumn’s tectonic shift to online programming. As much as we missed seeing people in person—and we DID!—we were gratified by the expansion of our audience across many time zones, and noted that all our webinars took on extra life as people shared the links with their friends afterwards.
Visit up.edu/garaventa for a preview of events planned for this spring to help ignite your sacramental imagination!
This week’s moment of quiet beauty is the opening of the Book of Psalms. Fun fact: the squiggly lines in various hues are voiceprints of different groups praying; Benedictine monks, Jews, Native Americans, Muslims, Taoists, Buddhists, Hindus, and Greek Orthodox. Each form of prayer—an essential human urge—has a distinct shape, producing this lustrous tapestry of humans reaching out to the Divine in joy, pain, confusion, contrition, and awe. UP’s Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible is a gift from Allen and Kathleen Lund. Questions about these glimpses of the illuminations can be directed to Karen Eifler, Garaventa Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen Eifler, professor of education and co-executive director of the Garaventa Center, has been named as the next executive director of Collegium after founding executive director Tom Landy’s retirement on June 30, 2022. Collegium was founded in 1992 to help faculty at Catholic colleges and universities better understand the mission of Catholic higher education, and to invite and help prepare them to become leaders in advancing that mission in creative ways. The administration of Collegium will be transitioned from College of the Holy Cross to University of Portland.
Collegium is best known for its annual week long summer colloquy on faith and intellectual life, where faculty of all religious backgrounds and disciplines can learn about the legacy and priorities of Catholic higher education, think about their own vocation as teachers and scholars, and discern how their commitments and talents can enhance the mission of their institution. Nearly 2,000 faculty have participated in these colloquies over the last 27 years. Keynote talks, intensive small group discussions and opportunities for reflection and prayer are interwoven in ways that leave participants feeling intellectually invigorated, with a renewed sense of purpose.
Members of the Collegium search committee unanimously brought Eifler forward for board ratification finding her deep integration of the Catholic intellectual tradition, her humility, and her commitment to Collegium made her the obvious and natural choice for the next executive director.
For more information contact Norah Martin, philosophy and environmental studies, at email@example.com.
Congratulations to Lisa Reed, associate dean in the Pamplin School of Business, on being this week’s recipient of a Starbucks gift card after a random drawing from names of UP staff and faculty who have been trying to cultivate and nurture human relationships during these days of so much enforced solitude. An anonymous donor has provided funds for these cards, to encourage community building when it’s really hard. To enter, send a quick email to Karen Eifler in the Garaventa Center (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the number of human contacts you have made—no other details! For each, your name is entered in a weekly raffle. The more contacts you make, the more chances you have to win.
These days, creating a sustainable “work-life balance” feels as elusive as a unicorn, but it’s an absolute necessity to ensure you are still whole and healthy by the time we get to The Other Side of the pandemic. A recent article by Rebecca Pope-Ruark in Inside Higher Ed lays out several doable strategies for college teachers managing their own stress as they tend to the needs of their students, and is worth a read. If you only have five minutes, these four questions she poses may steer you in the direction of prioritizing your own well-being:
- What fills your cup and gives you energy? What can you do from home to recreate these energizing activities or moments?
- How might you design a morning routine that eases you into work at the start of your day and an afternoon ritualthat shuts down your workday?
- What activities can you plan for the times you are “off the clock” (for example, taking a walk, doing a puzzle or paint-by-number, playing a game with your children)?
- What can you not do? What can you put on hold for the time being so that you can focus on priorities and well-being?
If you have a favorite tip for taking care of yourself in these oddest of days, the Teaching & Learning Collaborative is all ears, and happy to compile a treasure chest full of these lifesaving nuggets. Send your shareable tip(s) to Karen Eifler, email@example.com.
Over a dozen Person to Person connections have been noted in the first two weeks of outreach by the Garaventa Center, and it’s great to see those personal relationships that make UP a special place getting nourishment. The first two winners of Starbucks gift cards are Michele Leasor (Office of Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement) and Randy Hetherington (School of Education). Keep us posted on the connections you make (no details necessary). Just let us know that you made a personal connection with a UP colleague, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our goal is 100 encounters this semester. Everyone who reports making contact goes into the hopper for a gift card drawing each week, paid for through a gift from a donor who wants UP to stay strong in building human relationships, Person to Person.
Of all the things we are missing these days, human connections are near the top of the list. It’s “The UP Way” to create and feel part of a vibrant, caring community. The Garaventa Center offers a modest proposal for connecting with colleagues: a new program we call Person to Person. Reach out to have a physically distant cup of coffee with someone when you’re on campus. Call someone to ask them their best Zoom tip or, even better, just see how they are doing. People who’ve been here a while check in with our newest colleagues and make a human connection.
Over the years, many friendships and collaborations have been formed at Thirst Fridays, and while those are shuttered for now, Person to Person might help us remember that we are all in this extraordinary endeavor together. The goal is 100 connections made by the end of the semester. Let us know you’ve made a personal connection (email@example.com) –no details needed, just tell us you’ve connected with someone from UP. A private donor committed to nurturing humane, collegial relationships has provided funds that allow for one person each week to receive a Starbucks gift card. Names will be pulled on Fridays from all who have noted they made a Person to Person connection (again, NO details needed; this is 100% honor system). The more Person to Person connections you make, the more chances you have to win.
The Garaventa Center offers its patio on the 3rd floor of Franz for your conversations. It’s also a great place just to think and Be. You are most welcome here.
For more information contact Karen Eifler, Garaventa Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the new school year officially and remotely launched, this is a good time to make sure you know where to find answers for your teaching and learning questions, especially those related to remote instruction. Colleagues were busy throughout summer leading workshops for each other, testing out new digital tools, and sharing wisdom about self-care. This first Teaching Tip of the Week points you toward those resources, each one worth lots of poking around in while you enjoy a triple shot latte:
Moodle Basecamp for Hybrid & Online Teaching. In addition to the tools and advice, the interactive forums are live, a great way to join in conversations and pose questions about teaching online.
TLC website: The Teaching & Learning Collaborative houses practical peer-produced videos, dozens of teaching tips, links to how-to tutorials and inspirational shots in the arm to renew your dedication to your craft.
Campus Coaches: we have talented and generous colleagues willing to chat with you about tools, confidence and course design. Add your name! Suggest a friend!
TLC is listening! If there is a topic or type of support that you are not seeing, let us know, and that will be remedied. Contact Karen Eifler (email@example.com) with suggestions. And no, making a suggestion does not automatically mean you will be asked to lead it…but we can’t provide the right support until we know it’s missing. Please don’t suffer in silence!