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Human Resources

Weekly Wisdom 8-17-2016

Comings, Goings, and Changes

The last few weeks have been emotionally challenging for me. I don’t know about you but during times like this, it feels like time goes by slowly…and then you suddenly realize three weeks has gone by. My goodness, it’s mid-August! Where does the time go?

Dr. Laura Appleton. Long time Sociology Professor Laura Appleton died last Thursday. Dr. A was one of my mentors. For years, I took one class per quarter under the employee education benefits policy, paying $15 for five credits. I already had my undergraduate degree so took classes that sparked my interest. I was in the midst of my second class (Gender Roles, I think) with Dr. A when she took me aside. “What are you doing?” she asked in a rather accusatory tone. I was stunned; didn’t know she knew my name. She challenged me to have a goal, develop a plan for an independent, interdisciplinary Master’s degree. While I didn’t begin right then, it did get me thinking and I did earn my graduate degree in 2008.

Excerpts from
A Daughter Is Born

by Judith A. Drew

Encircle your child with love
Offer your hand to guide her
Shower her with tenderness
Shelter away her fears

May she look for sunshine when
There seems to be clouds
May she take a step further to
Find the best in people and life

Help her to learn the power of
Words spoken
The response to actions which
Might be awakened

Shower her with your love and
Your pride
Protect her as needed, but let Her fly free
Free to stand tall with absolute


In helping organize her belongings after her passing, I found her notes from a talk she gave on teaching effectiveness. A section, titled “Interactive Socratic method,” included the following:

  • Count class contributions, re: grade (not attendance)…but can’t fax it in from Vantage while drinking beer!
  • Value synergy and serendipity, new insights and ideas students bring up in discussions, reaction papers. Stress their backgrounds, life experiences as the background for informing and testing out sociological ideas. Some of my best examples come from students…use in class and credit them.

Students were really Dr. Appleton’s passion. It was teaching that defined her. I am thankful to have known her; my life was enriched by her encouragement and care. I will miss her.

Nola Mary Jones. HR Partner Katelyn Jones and her partner, Josh Jones, Disability Services Consultant, welcomed daughter, Nola Mary Jones this week. We, in HR, are thrilled to welcome this new little Wildcat! Congratulations!

Weekly Wisdom. Weekly Wisdom will be moving to a blog format soon. My hope is that this new format will give more people the opportunity to contribute comments more readily. While I am at it, let me apologize for my misspellings! I generally write and post Weekly Wisdom early on Tuesday morning. I always miss something. Thanks for your patience; I’ll try harder…

 - Staci Sleigh-Layman

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