“Have students changed since I was there?” I am often asked by alumni. Of course they are different in terms of their life experiences shaped by national and international events, what is taught and not taught in high schools and in the home–and how they learn. Still, the major differences I notice are that my students are younger and younger–even the “nontraditional” ones! To better understand why I need only look in a mirror or at my photo in 1977 when I first set foot on the campus:)
Today is a Commencement for me of sorts I am fully situated into my new (temporary) office–other than sorting through boxes. A used bookstore is only a few steps from where I park my car in front of the Art gallery entrance. How delightful to walk past art galleries, photography labs, and beautiful creations of Carroll faculty and students. The chapel (usually empty) is peaceful. The ambiance surrounding my new office (and my new office neighbors) may well lend itself to enhancing creativity in my remaining work. In January I have agreed to be part of a Saskia de Rooy’s insightful sculpture project: sculpture portrait project.
What might prove useful resources to (re)visit as Carroll begins a Strategic Planning Process? Payscale.com’s recent release College/University ROI data base (see below) reminded me of the value of being aware of such resources and of the importance of understanding their value, their assumptions, their limitations, and their potential uses and misuses. Below are a few of my favorite data resources. What have I missed?
- Payscale.com’s recent release of 2017 College/University ROI data base
- CollegeScoreCard (click on link and try it) wonderfully introduces an important trend toward TRUE TRANSPARENCY in data sharing and a very useful interactive data base for comparing schools
- the UW Accountability Dashboard similarly exemplifies this healthy trend.
- College Results Online is such a gem in the rough.
Chronicle of .Higher Education (I pay for premium access.)
AAUP Salary Data: Source: Chronicle of Higher Education
Executive Compensation at Private Colleges: Source: Chronicle of Higher Education
IPEDS (individual institutions and comparisons
Here is a link to the U.S. Department of Education’s data base “trove” that drives its data base.
Dear 2017 Carroll University Graduate…
Now is a good time to gather together some last thoughts about and for you. Because of my
age seniority good looks length of time at Carroll and rank of Full Professor, I march at the front of the line at Commencement (following Faculty Marshall Gary Olsen). That gives me an ideal seating position for seeing and hearing speakers, but forces me to be on my best behavior (awake, disconnected from my Ipad, resisting wearing my Brewers’ or Carroll College hats).
For those of you I have met, I have done my best to teach you well but I am only human. Every student I teach is different, special, and teaches me. You have enriched my life, and I welcome the opportunity as you become alumni to continue and perhaps to even expand upon our relationships. Thanks for the lessons.
Many people (family, staff, faculty, administrators, and trustees) have worked very hard, in addition to you, to try to provide you with the best education that Carroll can provide both within and outside of the classroom. I often think that we ought to set aside a time for recognizing those unsung “guardian angels” who have done their best to make Carroll a caring community and a better place. I urge that as time and circumstances allow join them in giving back (without expectation of receiving “convocation points”) your time, wisdom, networking resources, prospective student recommendations, and examples of skills or values developed here at Carroll that have served you well.
Give Carroll its due credit when it has earned it, but also offer constructive criticism when the institution has failed to meet your expectations for it. Seek out opportunities to do “a” right thing. Use your mind to think carefully and critically, but don’t forget that there are indeed many times when it is appropriate to follow one’s heart. I envy your youth and the many opportunities that lie ahead of you to share your talents and to make the world a better place. Stay in touch. Oh, yes… Here is a final exam.
With many fond memories, David Simpson, Professor of Psychology
The closer I get to retirement, the more meaningful Carroll graduations, past traditions, and the relationships I have formed with students become. Carroll has changed greatly since I wrote the message to seniors below. Baccalaureate is now at 5:00 Saturday evening without Faculty regalia; Commencement is now at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The physical appearance of Carroll continues to change daily with new buildings. Soon there will be a transition of Carroll Presidents–I have personally known five of them since I arrived in February of 1978. Emeriti faculty look younger to me every day:).
My feelings about my overall Carroll experience haven’t changed from what I wrote five years ago (or how I felt almost forty years ago) so I re-share them here–with a few photos since then!
As is my habit of the past 35 years, I am sitting in my office on this Sunday morning of Commencement, reflecting. I drive in early to ensure getting a parking place before the proud families start arriving. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, babies, babies-soon-to-join-the world—-the campus explodes with sounds, colors, emotions, and celebratory chaos. Often I walk around campus taking photos (or accepting an invitation to be photographed).
My emotions are mixed–not unlike that of the soon-to-be-graduates. Joy–sorrow–elation–sadness–weariness–rejuvenation. At the end of a long the day sometime around 4:30 –emptiness, and some poignant, positive residual reminders. I often tease my graduating research assistants that upon their exit from campus I “exorcise” our shared office space to better allow me to adjust to the temporary emotional vacuum caused by their absence from “Dr. David’s Neighborhood.” When you graduate, you remain in my memories as I have come to know you–and forever at that age! Forever young.
I can hear chapel bells. Soon I’ll hear the chimes of the campus hymn and that of the alma mater. At 10:00 I’ll attend the Baccalaureate ceremony marching in wearing my cap and gown. According to the “certificate of appreciation” I recently received this is my 35th year of service to the institution. I’ll immediately follow Provost Passaro, and Dean Byler into the auditorium. Sitting in the front row has its liabilities as I’ll feel that I must behave uncharacteristically well-mannered!
Each Carroll Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremony is special to me just as is each student whom I have gotten to know. I have chosen (or been called) to teach and to learn and though they (you) may not realize it, I truly do learn so much from my students and from the challenges of trying to teach them well.
Thank you, graduating seniors past and present (and for a few ever so short more years future) for all YOU have taught me. Put to good use your many talents, your energy, your playfulness, your empathy, your resilience and your creative ideas to make the world a better place. Come to appreciate (as I did upon graduating from Oberlin College in 1971) that you have been privileged to receive a good education due not only to your own sacrifices and hard work but also to the many members of the larger community whom you may never have met or whom you took for granted–Board Members, Administration, Staff, Faculty, Physical Plant Staff, and Alumni–who deeply care about you.
The bells call me. And I have promises to keep…
I try to build into my working day an opportunity just to “check in” and touch base with my student research assistants. This is the time of the year with myriad forces buffeting the campus. Alison is working on her Celebrate Carroll presentation for tomorrow. Lizzie will be journeying to Chicago on Thursday to accompany colleague Peggy Kasimatis making a poster presentation at the Midwestern Psychological Association in Chicago. Tia and I discuss the important role she and Lizzie will play in my life in the Fall as my senior research assistants. Arianna and I discuss the kinds of things I need to address in a letter of support to Marquette University for a job there while she is a graduate student.
Lots of Facebook contact today from former students, faculty, and friends reminding me that I am getting old-ER. Commencement, as has always been the case for me here, will be on Mothers’ Day. Soon the sound of bagpipes will sound.
As a writing “warm up” for the Student Guides to Internet Learning Tools that my students are going to be writing and publishing, I asked Tia and Arianna today to list for me 10 things that every student should know about Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. [The links at the bottom of this post connect to blog pieces I have written earlier about these tools.]
Here is what they shared about Facebook and LinkedIn. I find their recommendations interesting and potentially of value to an older audience unfamiliar with these applications.
I intend for our first Guide to be about LinkedIn. Stay tuned.
10 Things about Facebook you should know:
1. You can unfollow someone on Facebook without unfriending them.
2. Anything you share or post on your wall can be seen by anyone unless you change your privacy settings.
3. Any time you tag someone in a post via comment all your friends will be able to see it.
4. You can see what is “trending” so you can stay up on current events.
5. You can create private or public events on Facebook where you can select which friends to invite.
6. Facebook is a good way to keep up with family members who you do not get to see very often by posting family pictures and posting statuses about what you have been up to.
7. Facebook tells you when it is someone’s birthday.
8. It is a resource that future employers may look at during the application process, so be mindful of what you post.
9. You can use Facebook messenger for in
individualized messages, group messages, as well as posting videos about your day. You can also play games through the application on your phone such as basketball or soccer.
10. You can like pages on Facebook that interest you, so whenever that page posts something you will see it on your newsfeed. Also, you can have private groups to send out notifications about events (e.g. Tia’s Soccer team)
10 Things you should know about Twitter:
1. You only have 140 characters to write in each “Tweet”.
2. You can create a single question survey per tweet.
3. Make your account private, which only allows people who have access to follow you to see what you post.
4. When on private, you can reject or accept new followers.
5. Depending on the pages you follow, it can help you stay up on current events.
6. There is also an explore category that allows you to see what is trending, current events, and the most popular hashtags.
7. You can share pictures and videos.
8. You can share as much or as little information about yourself as you would like, such as adding a bio to your profile, displaying your birthday, or even disclosing your location.
9. On the app, you can have several accounts synced to your phone. For example, if you have a professional and personal account, you can have immediate access to both right on the app within your phone.
10. Within the app, there is a night mode option. This causes layout of Twitter to be a dark grey/black color so it is not as bright on your eyes.
Returning to my office two of my student research assistants were “at their work stations.” One was engaged in an animated phone conversation in Spanish with someone in Honduras. She has the difficult choice this weekend of choosing among three graduate school acceptances. Hasta luego, we have a brief team meeting where I update them on present and future projects (CrowdFunding proposal for extending their book publishing capabilities; a grant to fund brain fitness training research in the fall). I indicate that I also want to make a screen cast of each of them before Tuesday. Both Alison and Lizzie are very facile with technology learning tools such as iMovie. I share with them that I soon am going to need to find some new student assistants. THEY know best what goes on in Dr. Simpson’s Neighborhood, so they will do my “vetting.”
I ask Lizzie to share her experiences as my research assistant.
What has kept me here almost forty years is not the buildings but the traditions, the faculty, staff, administrative, and trustee friendships–and the students. I asked one of my graduating senior research assistants to stop by and to spontaneously share some of her Carroll reflections. I promised to be well-behaved—i.e. no funny hats and unusually quiet:)
She laughed. She knows me well.
Arianna will be leaving me for graduate study at Marquette University in the Fall.
We recorded this from my MacBook Pro using the Capto screen casting software.