Week in Review: Escaping Work

We had a staff retreat in Richmond, VA this week, and we had the opportunity to take a break from working and escape. Literally. Courtesy of Escape Room RVA, we were locked in a room with our brains and a clock and lots of crazy puzzles to solve. Now, initially, I was really nervous—the waiver had a line about panic and anxiety, another about stress of failure, and a little blip about “reasonably small spaces.” I was envisioning a dark, damp room with rats and … Read more…

Ignore the Buzz—Be Direct in Your Writing

Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style has a place of honor on my bookshelf. It’s a small volume—fewer than 70 pages in the copy I own—but filled with invaluable wisdom. William Strunk, famed professor of English at Cornell University, believed most readers were treading water in a dangerous sea, and that it was the duty of the writer to throw out a rope, so that the struggling reader could latch onto something that made sense. By and large, I think he was right. What … Read more…

Week in Review: Back At It

All week I’ve been wracking my brain for something clever and witty to write about for my first post back, but sadly, humidifiers have been occupying an inordinate amount of brain space this week. And I’m just not as excited about them as Liz Lemon is:    (Source: 30blogafeller.tumblr.com) I spend an excessive amount of time cleaning humidifiers. Seriously, it’s 2016. Why aren’t they easier to clean? Why do they get so gross so fast? I have three in my house right now, and I … Read more…

Professional FOMO

I have a confession: Before I worked at TVP Communications, I rarely watched, read, listened to, or followed the news. I didn’t have cable (still don’t) or Twitter or Google Alerts. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be informed; I couldn’t handle the information overload, and the information I did receive just made me sad so much of the time. But in this field, in this role, it’s impossible to avoid the news. In fact, I spend a lot of my time anxious that … Read more…

Week in Review

When retailers are selling snow shovels in Alabama—and they are, just a two-minute drive from my home—you know the weather’s going to get bad. For my East Coast co-workers, I’m hoping the snow doesn’t get too deep and the cabin fever doesn’t go on too long. As for me, I’m hoping the two inches of snow we’re scheduled for doesn’t signal another ‘Snowpocalypse’. While the weather is dominating the news, other things are happening: Pluto’s still out in the cold, but there really may be … Read more…

Words and Actions Matter, Chose Yours Carefully

It was difficult this week to miss the anger over comments made by the president of Mount St. Mary’s University and reported in the campus newspaper. It’s a great reminder that words matter and being presidential is a full-time job that goes beyond actions to encompass how we talk about and lead our campus constituents. A quick summary of the situation is that President Simon Newman and his administration implemented a new survey this year that they believed would help them to “cull the class” … Read more…

Week In Review: I Woke Up Like This

This morning, I woke up in Boston—my first trip of 2016! Now I feel like the year has really and truly gotten underway. Especially since here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it definitely feels like winter, which hasn’t been the case in Washington these last few weeks. This has been a pretty big news week, what with the Golden Globes, the College Football Playoff National Championship (Kyle and Bobby require me to insert “Roll Tide!” here), President Obama’s last State of the Union address, the … Read more…

Meeting People Where They Are

Over the past 20 years, when I haven’t been working in higher education, I’ve worked in government, at both the state and federal levels. So I’m always pretty excited for the State of the Union—I love the pomp and circumstance, I love good rhetoric, and I love watching the subsequent roadshow, when the president travels to sell his ideas to the public. The Obama administration has had the advantage of being in office during an explosion in the ways we receive share and receive information, … Read more…

Week in Review: Happy New Year

Happy New Year higher ed friends! Hope everyone returned to work refreshed, renewed and ready for an exciting year ahead. According to Education Dive, this will be the year that competency-based education and predictive analytics really heat up. But there are so many other things in store for higher education and PR this year—and we can’t wait to experience it all. Other things you need to know for 2016: kale is out, seaweed is in, Pantone has two colors of the year, the man bun … Read more…

Asking the Extra Question

Over the first few days of the new year, I’ve been thinking a lot about Columbo, the TV police detective played so well by Peter Falk. The climactic scene from every episode is a part of television history: The rumpled investigator, stubby cigar clutched between two fingers, turns back to the (guilty) suspect and says, “Just one more question …” and from there, you knew Columbo had his man. (Or woman, as the case may be.) What a great line. It’s one I need to … Read more…