April 2021 Message from the Executive Director

March 31, 2021

When we start each new month, I love to look at the list of “National Days”  – just for fun. April has over 50 such days including National Soft Pretzel Month and National Canine Fitness Month! Two that really inspired me were National Month of Hope and Second Chance Month. I had to ask myself, “How would the month of April be different for me and those around me if I focused on hope and second chances?”

This could especially have a significant positive impact on the students, faculty, and staff we interact with. Without any additional funding or training, each of us could pay attention to interactions that provide hope and give second chances. 

Micro supports, micro affirmations, micro components, and micro validation are terms that are appearing in discussions about how to support students. They are terms that represent the small actions we take to support people and help them thrive. This idea came up in a recent Campus Compact discussion on the book “From Equity Talk to Equity Walk” by Tia McNair, Estela Bensimon, and Lindsey Malcom-Piqueux. I was in a group who talked about the need for funding and political support to sustain an “Equity Walk” on campus. Then, we asked another question. “What can we do right now to shift the experience for students – especially for those who are struggling.” One participant said that she tries to really “see” her students. Are they having a difficult time or withdrawn? She builds a relationship. Are they losing ground in class? She offers a time to sort it out. Have they stopped attending class? She gets in touch. Small acts of support over time can make a big difference in someone’s life. It might even give them a second chance. And that gives me hope!