We are fortunate to live and work in an environment where we can discuss our beliefs openly and where our passions can thrive. Below are select instances where passion was evident in our community over the past week.

1.  Chancellor Zimpher spoke to the teacher education faculty and several area principals about the changing landscape of education and our teacher education programs.  The passion in the room was inspiring.  She demonstrated the level of passion we need to meet growing challenges in the field of education.  

2.  At the College Council meeting, there was a moment of silence for Arnold “Arnie” Amell.  He was the Chairperson of the College Council who unexpectedly passed away last month.  He passionately gave to SUNY Plattsburgh and served as a good steward for many years since his graduation in 1953. 

 3. At the College Council meeting, I was seated next to PJ Shaw (an international student from Nepal who is a finance major).  He recently was elected as President of the Student Association (SA).  He is a passionate individual who spoke to me about initiatives he has for improving communication with the SA.  His passion is infectious.    

4.  I met with candidate for a position who is an expert on Lev Vygotsky and has been invited back to Russia to help Lev Vygotsky’s granddaughter build a transcultural center.  She talked about work she has done in many places around the world.  Her passion spanned the globe.

5.  The last example reminded me that passion can be expressed quietly.  I hope many of you had the opportunity to attend the Tibetan Arts Festival.  The Tibetan monk quietly and reverently produced a beautiful mandala.  I saw more of his passion as he helped my six-year-old learn how to use the sand painting tools.    

These are a few specific instances of deep passion that touched my life last week.  There are many others, especially when I walk the halls and see professors and students engaged in the learning process. 

Several weeks ago, we felt the passion of our community during the divisional meeting when we discussed our shared values.  I loved the energy in the room when we were all working together.  I am thankful to work in, and when necessary create, a setting where passion makes a difference in the lives of others.  Without belief there is no passion. Believe deeply, be passionate, and help ignite the fires of passion in the hearts of our students.