Fall break is right around the corner and it seems as though it was only last week that we were welcoming our students back to the Hill! As you might recall, our Fall semester at WKU began the day of the Great American Eclipse. What a rare and unique experience we all shared on campus as the city of Bowling Green, Kentucky, happened to be on the eclipses’ path of totality, allowing those on campus to witness the totality for 1 minute: 16 seconds. It was in that minute, everything went against our natural experience to observe night in the middle of the day. The birds stopped chirping, the air got distinctively cooler, and the ripple of applause and cheering came rolling out of the hundreds of Hilltoppers that joined us for this lifetime event! What away to kick off the school year!
The week following the great American Eclipse, our college hosted our 2nd Annual CHHS Fall Welcome event in the courtyard of the Academic Complex. Over 200 students joined us for pizza, giveaways and an opportunity to learn about the many student groups that are offered within our college. We are very fortunate to have a committed group of faculty, staff and students to support and host this wonderful event each year.
I had the pleasure of meeting with some of our freshman students and transfer students that joined us at this event. One of the unique qualities we have in the CHHS, is the diverse nature of the programs that we offer. From dental hygiene and hospitality management, to social work and public health, to name a few, our college has an array of talented, service-minded students. The disciplines in our college have their roots in outreach to the community, and I am excited to see our students thrive both inside the classroom as well as outside of the classroom as they engage in their clinical experiences, field work, or internships.
This past summer I had the opportunity to travel abroad to teach a three week graduate, summer course on global health at the University of Haifa (UH) in Mount Carmel, Israel. This teaching opportunity resulted from a partnership our college initiated with UH and WKU. This year was our inaugural year and we were delighted to have five (5) WKU students travel abroad with us to partake in the Graduate Global Health courses. Along with my teaching assignment came the opportunity and challenge to navigate a foreign city. Not being able to rely on my language as being the preferred first language, I found this challenge awarded me the opportunity to see details I might otherwise have overlooked…there is a lot of beauty to be seen in the details.
There is a lot of excitement on campus this semester as we welcomed new WKU President Tim Caboni to the Hill. In President Caboni’s message to the faculty and staff at the beginning of the academic year, he stated, “And while change can be daunting, transitions create a cycle of renewal, often bring a new energy and a fresh focus”. I am further pleased with the fact that President Caboni has categorized WKU as a “student-centered, applied research university”. This aptly summarizes the strengths and opportunities of CHHS and I will further discuss this description in future blogs. I look forward to this transition, this opportunity to step outside our comfort zone, to be a part of the details within the strategic planning and to share in his vision for our university. It’s always a great day to be a Hilltopper!