No photos tonight, just a few quick recaps from the week.
First, if you ever have the chance to hear Trish Downing speak, you must!
Downing was the keynote speaker for the Leadership Conference this morning. Ironman, paraplegic athlete and inspirational speaker, she was a great fit for the conference theme, “Confidence and Courage.” I don’t pretend to know what it’s like to suddenly go from able-bodied athleticism, to needing to re-learn how to even sit up in bed. But Downing told the story with such grace, and her pluck is quite remarkable. I don’t want to spoil her story, but one thing that stood out to me is that while her strength and determination were inimitable, she also readily admitted that she couldn’t have competed without the belief of her equally stubborn support team.
My husband is quite the Ironman fan, and needless to say, was quite jealous.
I hope to share pictures later, but this evening I photographed another speaker from the conference, one of our own: Lieutenant Colonel Polevitzky ’93, who has served in the Marine Corps for nearly 20 years. I asked her what’s changed for women in service since she enlisted. Among other changes, she said that then, there were fewer roles women could fill, so her “MOS” (military occupation specialty, or career path) choices within the military were limited. Now, enlisting women have many more options from day one.
Earlier this week the Waxter Forum speaker, filmmaker Josh Fox, spoke about his documentary “Gasland,” and made the case for banning the controversial hydrolic fracturing (“fracking”) method of obtaining natural gas. He mentioned an uptick of medical problems in communities where fracking is prevalent, such as an increase in birth defects. I won’t get into anymore particulars here, but I’m looking forward to watching the film.
Between these events and hitting the ground running with projects in the office, it’s been a busy week! But one of those weeks that reminds me of why I love working in higher education: so many interesting and inspiring lectures, and always new things to learn.