December 8, 2009
It is truly hard to believe finals week is here! It seems like just a few weeks ago we were ringing in the new academic year with renewed optimism. I am pleased to report the first three months of the school year have been a great success.
First of all, congratulations are in order on several fronts. I would like to acknowledge the 25th anniversary of the Computer Science Program. A nice reception honoring its history and retiring Professor Ray Hamel was well attended last week. The way in which the computer science curriculum has evolved with changing technology over the years is a great example of how EWU adapts to the needs of our students.
I would also like to congratulate Patricia Kelley, who is retiring after 15 years as dean of EWU Libraries. Her leadership and dedication to the university is greatly appreciated.
On the athletics side, I would like to congratulate the men's football team for overcoming many obstacles this season and making the playoffs. Our student athletes truly are a point of pride.
Here on campus, November was a busy month. One of the more inspirational events I took part in was the Scholarship Reception. This annual university tradition recognizes donors and the students who benefit from their generous gifts. It is always a wonderful experience to meet new students and hear their stories. As I have said many times, the students are the reason we come to work every day.
As part of International Week, I was happy to make some remarks at the International Studies Open House in Showalter Hall. As I told the students on hand, I am committed to expanding international opportunities at Eastern. This will involve more exchanges with students and faculty from Japan, China and Russia.
Later that week, it was great to see everyone at the annual University Thanksgiving Dinner at the PUB. Handing out service pins to our outstanding faculty and staff is always a highlight for me. Their commitment is what makes Eastern such a great place for our students to receive a quality education.
Speaking of Thanksgiving, I was fortunate to visit family and friends back in Texas. On my way there, I participated in the annual meeting of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) in San Antonio. During the conference, I was honored to meet with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and discuss critical issues that face higher education around the country.
Higher education issues were also the focus of a trip I made to Olympia the first week of December. I was joined by faculty union representatives, student association presidents and my peers from across the state, at a meeting with legislators. Our goal is to show support from the union, students and university presidents for improved funding for the state's regional universities.
With the Legislature preparing to once again tackle tough budget issues when it convenes in January, I will share details of our legislative agenda in my next correspondence.
Until then, I wish you and your family the happiest and safest of holiday seasons.
Rodolfo Arévalo, PhD
Dr. Arévalo signs a card for retiring professor Ray Hamel at the reception for the 25th anniversary of the Computer Science Program.
Dr. and Mrs. Arévalo with scholarship receipient Sam Uniquez at the Scholarship Reception.
Dr. Arévalo speaks at the International Studies Open House
Dr. Arévalo awards staff member Eric Galey with a pin for his many years of service at the university's annual Thanksgiving dinner.
Dr. Arévalo meets with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and other university presidents at a private session during the AASCU's Annual Meeting. (Photo: AASCU)
For these photos and more check out EWU's Flickr photo share.