Week in Review: Reunited and It Feels So Good

This week has been a challenging one for me. On Saturday, I dropped my laptop at the Apple store for a little work-up, only to find out I was dealing with a bigger problem than I thought, so off my little darling went to the computer hospital for a five-day stay. On the upside, I learned that I can accomplish most of what I need to do on a given day on my phone and a creaky old computer, though not with my usual speed … Read more…

What Makes a Good Commencement Speech (From Someone Who Has Seen a Lot of Them)

Now that we are nearing the end of college and university commencement season, the reviews are coming in – the good, the bad, the so-so and of course, the best. Last week the TVP Comms team shared some of our favorite commencement memories, but this week I want to take a look at what makes a good commencement speech. After working nine graduations at the College of the Holy Cross, plus attending my own, my siblings’, my siblings’-in-law, and most recently my husband’s, I have … Read more…

Week in Review: Family Staycation

While stay-at-home vacations can sometimes turn into a boring week at home, I’m actually pretty excited about my family’s staycation next week. We’re not leaving the state of Virginia, but we’ve got some fun plans on the docket: the Blue Ridge Mountains, wineries in Charlottesville, the Children’s Museum of Richmond, a beach day, friends visiting. My goal is for us to enjoy our time off, not spend the entire week doing projects around the house. That said, we’re also finally finishing up our slate patio … Read more…

Turning the Tassel

Commencement season is in full swing—Pomp and Circumstance is on repeat, baked goods with wobbly declarations of congratulations are popping up everywhere, and balloons in school colors are tethered to every available railing. It’s a fun time of year in higher ed, full of excitement, hope, a sense of accomplishment and pride, and yes, a little bit of anxiety. We love hearing a good commencement story (I’m particularly wishing I could be at Cornell University’s ceremony this year for some Joe Biden ice cream), so … Read more…

Quick Hit: Attention PR People!

Dear PR Colleagues– It is best when public relations professionals blend into the background (which is different than hiding in the bushes). We lose our ability to do our jobs when we become part of the story and it is impossible to be seen as a credible source of information if, instead, you are a distraction. If you find yourself in this situation: Extract yourself until you are no longer of interest. Take an active role in crafting the message rather than drafting it. Find … Read more…

Week in Review: Another Project in the Books

I’ve got some exciting news: My new built-in bookshelf is finally done! What was supposed to be a weekend project turned into a two-and-a-half month ordeal, but I love them. And I’m trying something out that I’ve never done with bookshelves before—styling them. All of the other bookshelves in my home house only books, but I was sad about covering up all of the wallpaper behind these shelves, so I decided to try to strategically place items among the books to be sure to let … Read more…

Quick Hit: Happy Mother’s Day

Sunday is Mother’s Day, which got me thinking a few things: 1) Time to introduce my mom to my new favorite treat. And 2) mothers are such amazing people. There are so many moms out there who inspire me. Besides my own mother and the other remarkable women in my life I have been fortunate to learn from, the moms who top the list are those juggling work, kids and college simultaneously—and particularly those doing it without a partner—all to better the lives of their … Read more…

Week in Review: Jamming in Berryland

I love strawberry season, and my family already went berry picking at a farm across the James River. After the great jam shortage of 2016, I may have gotten a little carried away—we came home with three gallons of strawberries. So I made my jam, some popsicles, ice cream is in the works, I’ve got plans for some strawberry margaritas, a mile-high strawberry pie, and strawberry shortcake, of course. But I still have about a half gallon, so please send any suggestions for strawberries my way. … Read more…

Long To-Do List? Take a Coffee Break

May is a particularly busy time in higher education, so when two of my colleagues suggested squeezing in an unplanned day of media visits this week I panicked. My to-do list flashed before my eyes. My anxiety heightened thinking about my inbox filling up, while I sipped coffee at a meeting. I could think of so many reasons to say no. But, I didn’t. And for that I’m grateful. In a profession based on relationships (as so many are), face time is always worth more … Read more…

Quick Hit: My Weekend Off Social Media

As you may know, I decided last week to take a weekend off of social media. In our Week in Review post, I wrote: This weekend, I’m going to perform a little experiment. I’m going to take a two-day social media sabbatical—at 5 PM today, I’m going to delete Twitter, Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Snapchat from my phone for 48 hours. (Just drafting that list tells me I am active on way too many social media platforms.) Like so many of us, I’ve become too … Read more…