Sunday, August 30, 2009

Kick-off Day

Today, Sunday, August 31st, marks the beginning of a new and remarkable segment in the lives of DCAD's new incoming students. As I looked out onto 6th Street, I saw a group of students walking from the Saville Apartments to the main building, and what was so striking was that they were obviously new students, as illustrated by the way they marched up the street to the crosswalk and made the 90 degree turn to cross the street. Once they become more comfortable in their surroundings they will likely cut some of those angles down to more of a curve, one would imagine, but to see them today and see their willingness to follow instructions (and pedestrian laws) was to see their naiveté. Very touching.

The day was divided by hot dogs, many hot dogs - Johnny's - in the park across the street that provided a brief respite from the swirl of activities surrounding the students' real first day at DCAD (the move-in day, Saturday doesn't count; too much like work and Monday, September 1st classes commence) and another opportunity to meet their classmates and some of their faculty. While most tried to look "cool" and as if nothing fazed them, underneath, there might have been more than a few nervous stomaches, to digest both the hot dogs and the new life on which they have embarked.

The faculty also appeared in full force today at the all-faculty meeting called by Dean Catherine Drabkin for the late afternoon in preparation for the new academic year. Welcoming back colleagues and introducing new ones made for much of the "new business" in the agenda. Catherine has worked very hard in preparation of the upcoming year and has shared her results and plans with the faculty. There will be a visit by representatives of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in November to monitor DCAD's progress since the last accreditation visit. Catherine and Traci (Parman) have been spending many hours in research to address the nature of Middle States' visit and to work on the report that's due by October 1st. Lots-o'-work and not much fun, to be sure, but gratifying to see the actual developments in data gathering, assessment, planning, and implementation that's happened in two short years. Kudos to both!

As this year officially opens, DCAD is poised to exceed all expectations. Now, we just have to do it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Daily

This is the launch of the Daily DCAD, a blog that is intended for the DCAD community. In it will be items of interest to students, faculty, and staff with selected announcements and highlights of the College. I can't think of a better way than to begin with an image of Pie Day, a social gathering of DCAD staff (with invited guests, i.e. anyone who happened to be in the building at the time, and a few faculty members) who brought pies, pies, and more pies of every ilk and type. There were (past tense of course) fruit pies, cream pies, custard pies, a tomato pie, turnovers, empanadas, and quiches galore. This photograph shows the counter before the attack and looks much more orderly than the "after" picture. There was a little more than enough to go around, just a little left, which spoke to the healthy appetites in the room and the delicious pies that were sampled. The staff has worked extremely hard over the summer months preparing for the new fall semester while recently holding their own during a week of two concurrent external audits. Today's event was a sweet way to express their collective dedication to the College and to each other - a gastronomic show of solidarity (and fun).

Please watch for staff artwork in the upcoming annual faculty and staff exhibition, and you'll see another side to these remarkable people.