This weekend I remembered why I love all four seasons here on the Palouse. Driving on lightly maintained roads about an hour north of Pullman, deep into what definitely passes as a winter wonderland, in search of wildlife at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge — hoping for moose, coyote, eagle, elk, but instead saw coyote, turkeys, hawks, pheasants (and a few flickers, not sure if they count). It was quiet out there, the kind of quiet that is awesome and necessary. It was stark. The kind of stark that is overpowering and makes you feel part of something bigger.
As we navigate into 2023, I feel like I have found my footing and that I am part of something bigger. I spent the past few years learning about the college, figuring out a leadership structure that works, working through processes, and defining core values — like research that matters, clinical excellence, and innovative education. Moving forward, how do we continue to lead, grow, and sustain excellence in light of very real budgetary challenges, a changing student body, and increasing demands on all levels of our workforce — all while being attentive to a culture that supports inclusion and wellbeing. I have always loved a good challenge.
Like last year, we are going to share “Our Top 10” list of 2022, and, like last year, before we do so, I would like to share with you some things for which I am truly grateful. I am incredibly grateful for the patience and understanding that college faculty, staff, and students have demonstrated in spite of the challenging pace associated with implementing change. They have given their all, have given leadership the benefit of the doubt, and have worked toward the common good. We have an amazing team, truly.
I am grateful for the acts of kindness I see around me … from the amazing Lucia (Swedish inspired, candlelit caroling organized by Dr. Boel Fransson) to the student-organized giving tree to help our local humane society and the American Red Cross blood drive organized by Emma Karel to the end of year charitable giving from so many donors that choose us and our programs. In whatever way you choose to give back or pay it forward, thank you. You make our world just a little bit better.
Below are our Top 10 stories of 2022, know there is so much more. Happy New Year all and Go Cougs!
Guarding against global threats
Creating pathways to better treatments for cancers in dogs
Leading the way in diversity, equity, and inclusion
Advanced viral emergence research
$2.1M for tick disease research
Supporting underrepresented students
New life-saving test for cats
Unique training opportunity provides care for animals in need
Be safe, healthy, happy, and stay hopeful. As I said on my first day on the job, the future is bright.
Take care and Go Cougs!