Tag Archive: CWU


“Can’t decide whether you are a Democrat or a Republican …”

Bless these two students, who on separate occasions, refreshingly relayed their puzzlement to your author.

Almost DailyBrett does not believe that classrooms should ever be the venue for the indoctrination, let along the formation of young warriors in the fight between noble socialism and evil capitalism.

Gee … maybe … just maybe these students are smart enough to make up their own minds on these issues?

Even though long-time Almost DailyBrett readers and contemporaries know or at least suspect your author’s political predilection, it was rewarding to know at least some of my students weren’t so sure … and that is how it should be for all professors or instructors.

There seems to be a contagious disease among tenure-track or tenured academic types (e.g., professors and instructors) that university students are there to endure for hours on end their personal political pontifications and bloviations.

Is that why students are taking out loans averaging $30,000 each, waiting tables or asking mom and dad to dig deep … real deep … for their college education?

Don’t think so.

Buy Low, Sell High

As Almost DailyBrett fondly looks back to more than five years teaching public relations, integrated marketing, corporate communications and investor relations, one particular moment always brings back tears to the eyes.

More than 30 of my Central Washington University PR students chanted in unison … “Buy Low, Sell High!” … at my retirement party.

Upon receiving the Central Washington University Department of Communication Faculty Spotlight Award, they gathered around me for a group picture. Your author will always remember this moment.

Isn’t Buy Low and Sell High the essence of capitalism, particularly publicly traded corporate capitalism?

The answer is “yes.” Keep in mind that buying low and selling high is easier said than done. More importantly this phrase is the backbone to the practice of fiduciary responsibility on behalf of the 54 percent of Americans investing in stocks and stock-based mutual funds.

America’s investor class — planning for retirements, funding higher education for their children, opening up a new businesses — require accurate and complete communication about a company’s business plan, financials and simply … how does a corporation make money.

The highest expected communications professional compensation levels … usually in six figures … are directed to students adept at financial communications, who are studying at today’s schools of journalism and mass communication.

Almost DailyBrett believes wholeheartedly the purpose of universities/colleges is to prepare students to attain and sustain salaried professional positions with full benefits … and maybe even employee stock purchase plans (ESPP) and/or stock options.

Universities and colleges should be professional schools, providing students with lifelong learning skills and tools to succeed in our increasingly complex digital world … including beating artificial intelligence (AI).

If students wish to Occupy Wall Street that should be their choice, not their command.

By the way, how did that movement work out?

Students should always be fully aware of the imperfections of Capitalism. For example, watching The Smartest Men In The Room (Fortune’s Bethany McLean’s tome on the Enron bankruptcy) was required for each of your author’s Corporate Communications/Investor Relations classes.

In addition to the aforementioned Fiduciary Responsibility, a publicly traded company needs to complement this requirement with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Besides doing well, a company should be mindful of doing good … including giving back to communities, protecting the environment … that make success, possible.

Certainly, students can be taught to live in tents, recite cumbersome theory or rail at the world back in their own bedrooms at mom and dad’s house.

They also can learn how to decipher an income statement, a balance sheet, a cash-flow statement and to understand the significance and formulas associated with market capitalization, earnings per share (EPS), and price/earnings (P/E) ratios and related multiples.

Looking back at your author’s professorship, there is no doubt about political disposition. There was also a comprehension that students are to be prepared for the professional world, and many of these graduates have done well, real well.

And if a couple of students or more, can’t tell whether Almost DailyBrett or any other professor/instructor, drifts left or right that’s the way … it should be.

 

 

 

By Dr. Stacey Robertson

For many people, mental illness is an uncomfortable topic …

But four public relations seniors from our Department of Communications (from left to right with me in the photo below) – Hunter Ventoza, Nikki Christopherson, Taylor Castillo, and Meghan Lynch – eagerly met the challenge, when last September they found out that promoting mental health awareness was their assignment for the next eight months. 

The student PR team was charged with initiating a campus-wide and community conversation about mental illnesses including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

These four students comprise the 2016-2017 Central Washington University “Bateman” public relations collegiate competition team. The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) annually sponsors this contest in honor of the late PRSA president Carroll Bateman. There are more than 50 schools nationally competing each academic year to most effectively focus attention on an assigned subject.

In this case, student teams were also charged with promoting two non-profits: The Campaign to Change Direction (mental health issues) and Give An Hour (assisting veterans returning from war with PTSD and other maladies).

The Campaign to Change Direction has drawn upon the dynamism of former First Lady Michelle Obama and others, identifying the five signs of mental distress: Personality Change, Agitation, Withdrawal, Poor Self Care, and Hopelessness.

Our four students were wise enough to know that virtually every effective Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) campaign – earned, owned, and paid media – requires collaboration with allies, in this case other CWU departments, student organizations, and a downtown Ellensburg art gallery.

In particular, our Bateman team coordinated interdepartmentally within the CWU College of Arts and Humanities, reaching out to our Art Department. They also teamed with the Department of Psychology from CWU’s College of the Sciences and its student Psychology Club and Neuroscience Club.

Our Bateman team staged an entire week of awareness events and activities, each day focused on one of the five signs of distress mentioned above. The week began with a panel on mental health moderated by Psychology Assistant Professor Meaghan Nolte.

Flanking Nolte were (from left-to-right below): Ruben Cardenas from our Veterans Center; education student David Sturgell, reflecting on post-war anxiety and PTSD; Rhonda McKinney from our campus Counseling Center; and public relations student Andrew Kollar, discussing depression.

It required great courage for these two students to openly discuss their illnesses, and to serve as thought leaders for others suffering from mental illness.

The week’s activities also included a campus march, two-days for students to sign a petition board and finally a combined Department of Art/Department of Communication mental health art exhibit at the John Ford Clymer Museum and Gallery.

 

The art exhibit, which coincided with Ellensburg’s First Friday celebration, showcased the collaboration between Art and Communication. Two student “artists in residence” – Krista Zimmerman and Lee Sullivan – painted and sketched representations of mental strain in a series of evocative and compelling images.

The four Bateman students were in charge of promoting the entire week to traditional media (e.g., Daily Record, Observer) and digital media (e.g., Facebook and Twitter #EBURGSPEAKS). They also lit a fuse for a student and community discussion about a very difficult subject.

Will we all have the courage to join the conversation?

http://prssa.prsa.org/scholarships_competitions/bateman/

http://www.changedirection.org/

https://www.giveanhour.org/

http://clymermuseum.org/

 

 

… Public universities have limited legal authority to unilaterally declare their campuses sanctuaries in defiance of federal law. Further, it is not clear how such defiance might affect receipt of federal funding (e.g., Pell, GEAR-UP, and Perkins), or what the repercussions might be for state funding.” – Central Washington University President James Gaudino

Four words: “defiance of federal law,” jump out at the author of Almost DailyBrett.gaudinomatthis

President James L. Guadino (left) with former Marine General, incoming Secretary of Defense and former CWU grad James N. Mattis.

These words and others in CWU President Gaudino’s well-written December 1 letter on “University Campus Sanctuary Status” pose a series of questions for both the adherents and the opponents of having Central Washington University (CWU) march down the same “sanctuary” path taken by public universities in California, Oregon and elsewhere.

Some of the questions which immediately come to mind are whether sanctuary university supporters still have not come to terms with the simple fact that Donald Trump is the president-elect of the United States.

Employing the Dr. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross model of the Five Stages of Grief and Loss, many have reached acceptance mode. Some are still bargaining (e.g., asking this week for the Electoral College to invalidate Trump’s election). Some are angry (e.g., protesting on inaugural day) and some are still in the first stage, denial (e.g., campus sanctuaries).

Does anyone believe for a nanosecond that Trump is not serious about immigration reform including building a wall and safeguarding our borders? It would be surprising, if President Barack Obama’s 2012 executive order on Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is not rescinded by Trump in the first days, if not the first hours of his administration.

If that is indeed the case, and there is no reason to think it is not, then why would Central Washington and other universities “unilaterally declare” their campuses to be sanctuaries in direct “defiance of federal law”?

University of California students yell at chancellor Nicholas Dirks protesting proposed tuition hikes before a regents meeting, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, in San Francisco, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

University of California students yell at chancellor Nicholas Dirks protesting proposed tuition hikes before a regents meeting, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, in San Francisco, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

And what are the repercussions of deliberately violating federal law? President Gaudino mentions the possible loss of federal funding for student Pell grants, GEAR-UP and Perkins subventions, not to mention impact on state funds to the university. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, is the university risking, if CWU’s opts to become a “sanctuary” university?

How many students will be financially impacted by the loss of this funding? How will this negative reaction for deliberately defying the law — when it is not necessary — impact these students? Will they have to drop out of school? Have we even asked the question? Do we know? Do we care?

How will a campus sanctuary declaration impact the ability of CWU’s Advancement team in raising funds from alumni and friends? Should we consider that some existing and potential donors, if not a majority, would roll their eyes and close their check books if the university takes this action?

One of the reasons for sanctuary universities cited by proponents addresses protecting undocumented students, even though a litany of campus safeguards is already listed by President Gaudino in his letter.kate-steinle

Let’s take a second and ask another question: Has anyone on these campuses heard of the late Kate Steinle of your author’s former home town of Pleasanton, California? Her family is presently suing the “Sanctuary” City/County of San Francisco for defying federal immigration law, resulting in the violent death of their daughter.

If a CWU student is hurt, raped or murdered as a result of direct defiance of federal law by a sanctuary university, what is that university’s civil and/or criminal liability?

All this discussion should bring us back to the main point of contention: The systematic defiance of federal law. Almost DailyBrett does not equate sanctuary universities with the civil disobedience of the Civil Rights Era. Instead it’s a deliberate effort to flaunt existing law, which augers a predictable question:

What’s next when it comes to laws that fall out of favor with the sanctuary crowd? If we can pick and choose which laws to follow, and which to defy, how long will it take for society to collapse?

Do we really want to know?

http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-5-stages-of-loss-and-grief/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/higher-education-is-awash-with-hysteria-that-might-have-helped-elect-trump/2016/11/18/a589b14e-ace6-11e6-977a-1030f822fc35_story.html?utm_term=.fac990b5941f

http://www.npr.org/2016/12/05/504467169/university-of-california-pledges-to-fight-trump-on-immigration-policy

http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2016/11/university_of_oregon_psu_stand.html

http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/34999544-75/university-of-oregon-vows-to-provide-sanctuary-to-its-legal-limit.html.csp

http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/12/02/kate-steinle-lawsuit-federal-judge-probes-stolen-blm-gun-in-familys-suit-against-government/

Sometimes we are too quick to fast-forward, skip, turn-down or mute the sound when inevitable ads intrude into our lives.

We have all seen way-too-many-times-to-count the AFLAC Duck, Flo for Progressive, the Sprint dude and/or the AT&T dudette. We could almost scream.

fitzgeraldbachelor

And then every blue moon there is that one special ad, which makes us sit up, think deeply and maybe even brings a tear to the eye. And that very same ad may change the way we think about a given firm or a marketed product.

The University of Phoenix has major PR problems. The online college only graduates 17.5 percent of its enrollees. It charges an eye-opening $9,812 in tuition. Way too many former students have zero degrees, but they are saddled in thousands of dollars of debt (estimated $493 million total). Some CEOs believe that for-profit colleges are simply selling degrees, and their diplomas are not worth the fancy paper in which they are printed.

These are tough charges and allegations. And there lies the origin of perceived and real public relations issues for the University of Phoenix.

University of Phoenix stadium, site of this years Super Bowl.

University of Phoenix Stadium.

The University of Phoenix has the resources to have its name adorned on the stadium of the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Arizona. Which brings us to wide receiver Larry Darnell Fitzgerald, Jr., #11 of the Cardinals.

There is also no doubt that Fitzgerald will be enshrined in Canton. In his 12 years with the Arizona Cardinals, he has caught more than 1,000 passes for more than 13,000 yards and 101 touchdowns. The team came one eyelash from winning Super Bowl XLIII in 2009.

Bachelor of Science in Communication, 2016

And yet there is more to the Larry Fitzgerald story, much more. It concerns a promise to his mom. His mother, Carol, passed away from breast cancer in 2003. The two were not speaking to each other, which he now regrets.

Nonetheless, he remembered his promise. He opted for the NFL draft after only two seasons with the Pittsburgh Panthers. Despite all the fame and the reported $20 million contract, something was missing in his life, a college degree.

namathgrad

Maybe knowing it or not, he was following in the footsteps of some very famous “non-traditional” students: Joe Namath (Alabama), Isiah Thomas (Indiana) and Shaquille O’Neal (LSU) … and just this year, Larry Fitzgerald.

Namath finished his degree 42 years after leaving Tuscaloosa. Thomas fulfilled his commitment made in a legal contract drawn up by his mother, Mary, attaining his college degree from Indiana University. It was nearly a quarter-of-a-century between Shaquille departing LSU and receiving his degree.

What fascinates Almost DailyBrett is the drive that still exists for a few celebrity athletes, who have reached the top of their game and attained the enviable position of being financially set for life, who realize something is missing in their life – the satisfaction of a college degree.

Your author teaches at Central Washington University, which will never be confused with Harvard and Stanford. Having said that, it is exciting to realize how many of our students will be the first in their family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree and how many are “non-traditional” – beyond, sometimes way beyond, the traditional 18-24-year age range for most college students.fitzgerald

Larry Fitzgerald is a non-traditional student. Maybe the fact that University of Phoenix is primarily online made going back to college a little bit easier from an awkwardness standpoint. Something tells Almost DailyBrett that Fitzgerald is very comfortable in his own skin. Still he needed to fulfill his promise to his deceased mom.

Fitzgerald dials his mom’s landline and hears her voicemail greeting. He wants to appreciate her voice yet again. He then tells his mom he kept his promise, he graduated (the University of Phoenix diploma hangs on the wall). He loves her.

The fact that he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication brings a smile to the face of the author of Almost DailyBrett. The simple-and-effective “We Rise” tagline works from a marketing and branding standpoint.

There is no doubt that Larry Fitzgerald rose above the inclination to eternally procrastinate, to settle into a comfortable life, and to not fulfill his promise.

Thank you University of Phoenix and Larry Fitzgerald for telling this wonderful story. Hopefully, more than 29 percent of our population will be inspired to attain their bachelor’s degrees or even more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fWLmf1O8oQ

http://www.larryfitzgerald.com/

http://www.phoenix.edu/

http://www.phoenix.edu/partners/larry-fitzgerald.html?intcid=mktg-home-page:hero:banner:top

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/05/11/sports/thomas-keeps-promise-to-mom.html?pagewanted=all

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2007/12/15/football-great-joe-namath-earns-college-degree-42-years-later.html

http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/story?id=100078&page=1

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/online-college-not-good-enough-for-pr/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/get-there/wp/2015/07/09/these-20-schools-are-responsible-for-a-fifth-of-all-graduate-school-debt/?tid=sm_fb 

 

“After taking your PR classes for the past three years, I feel confident to go out into the world of PR communications professionals. I will miss your enthusiasm in the classroom every day, and writing your two-page executive memos! I can’t thank you enough.” – Graduating Central Washington University Public Relations Student

“I have learned more from your classes than all the other classes I’ve taken combined, and that’s not just including lessons having to do with school. You taught me to take pride in my work, and to put in the effort to do my best. I honestly do not know if I would be where I am today, or have the future that I see myself having if it weren’t for you.” – Another Graduating Central Washington University Public Relations Student

DSC01200

Trust me when I say not all student reviews are so positive.

When they are, you treasure each and every one.

Most of all you don’t take them for granted because there is always another opinion.

What we call the “Rule of One.” There is always at least one student, who quite frankly hates your guts and even loathes the very ground you walk on. Sigh.

And then there is the student, who can quote back what you said.

In this world of texting, Snapchatting, mobile devices and old-fashioned laptops, breaking through and instilling even ein bisschen wisdom seems almost miraculous.

A professor can prepare. She or he can spend hours researching. And devote even more time to tinkering with PowerPoints and video. Finally, the time comes to deliver the lecture, coax questions and then ask two key rhetorical questions:

  1. Was anyone listening?
  2. Does anyone care what you have to say?

One of my students provided me with a thank you card with valuable “Kevin Quotes” including a smiley face.graduation2016

Here they are with an Almost DailyBrett commentary under each one. They are offered in the exact order chosen by the student writer:

  • “Buy on rumor; sell on news” Almost DailyBrett: This ubiquitous expression in the late 1990s directly led to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) promulgating Reg. FD (Fair Disclosure). Corporate chieftains could no longer “whisper” meaningful tidbits to favored financial analysts (e.g., Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Fidelity, Morgan Stanley) allowing their clients to buy on the whispered rumor and then sell on the actual news.
  • “Your Brand Is In Play 24/7/365” Almost DailyBrett: Donald Trump in particular should pay close attention to this axiom. With instantaneous global communication through a few key strokes, digital communication can advance a personal or corporate with lightning speed, and destroy it just as quick.
  • “Digital Is Eternal” Almost DailyBrett: The complement to your brand being in play 24/7/365 is that all digital communications are permanent, enduring and can be resurrected by hiring managers, plaintiff attorneys and others who can hurt your reputation and/or career.justinesacco
  • “The Long and Short Program” Almost DailyBrett: The Olympics figure skating competition metaphor pertains to 10-K annual report letters and 10-Q quarterly earnings reports respectively. The former has more flexibility, while the latter must give precedence to GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and include revenues, gross margin percentage, net income, EPS, cash-on-hand and dividends (if applicable).
  • “Don’t Be a Google Glasshole” Almost DailyBrett: Guess, I really did say that …
  • “Buy Low; Sell High” Almost DailyBrett. Every one of our corporate communications/investor relations classes began with this chant. One must understand profit margins.
  • “Do Not Buy Stock in Enron” Almost DailyBrett: Don’t buy a stock just because it is going up. You need to understand a company’s raison d’ etat before you commit funds. There is a real difference between investing and gambling. Those who gambled on Enron lost everything.
  • “How Does a Company Make Money?” Almost DailyBrett: Bethany McLean of Fortune asked this basic question to Jeffrey Skilling, now imprisoned former Enron president. The Harvard-trained chief executive needed an accountant to answer this most basic of questions. McLean smelled a rat.
  • “Stocks Are Forward-Looking Indicators” Almost DailyBrett: As Wall Street wild man Jim Cramer of CNBC Mad Money fame always states” “I don’t care about a stock’s past, only its future.”edwards1
  • “Tell the Truth, Tell It All, Tell It Fast. Move On” Almost DailyBrett: These 11 words are the crux of effective crisis communications. Disclosure is inevitable. You can manage or be managed. Former presidential candidate John Edwards is the poster child for failing to follow this advice.
  • “Corporate America Needs Better PR” Almost DailyBrett: Amen

Appreciate the nice words. Even more: Thanks for listening and learning.

https://www.snapchat.com/

https://www.sec.gov/answers/regfd.htm

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/the-internet-where-fools-go-to-feel-important/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/the-mother-of-all-weak-arguments/

 

 

There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at with no result.” – Winston Churchill

There are non-traditional students, and then there are non-traditional students.

Some naturally freak over the stress of an upcoming test or an overdue paper. A precious few shudder at the memory of being shot at by a determined enemy with lethal force.

For the latter – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine and Coast Guard veterans – the transition from a structured military life (some include actual combat experience) to less orderly college campuses can be incredibly daunting. Throw in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and one really gets the picture.insleeproc

We may all say the right things about supporting our veterans, and salute them for their service. More importantly, do we as a society take the quality time to help them in making the difficult transition back to civilian life — including college — after years of utter boredom interrupted by bouts of sheer terror?

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) each year sponsors a Bateman case-study collegiate public relations competition pitting campuses across the fruited plain against each other. It may not be the equivalent in the public’s mind as the Rose Bowl or March Madness, but the work striving for that “One Shining Moment” is just as intense.

This year’s PRSSA-chosen subject is the plight of student veterans. For five dedicated-and-talented public relations majors at Central Washington University, it meant choreographing from scratch an entire earned-and-owned communication platforms campaign, focusing prime-time attention on these student veterans.

Starting In the Future and Working Back to the Present

Central Washington University’s Bateman team met for the first time last fall. The PRSSA’s rules are explicit; there is absolutely no jumping the gun. All campaigns cannot begin before February 15 and the must end by March 15.

Finis. Endo Musico.DSC02459

For CWU Bateman leader Sarah Collins (in blue) and her team from left-to-right, Nicolette Bender, JoAnn Briscoe, Jasmine Randhawa and Travis Isaman, they essentially planned out their own military-style campaign, apropos for the subject of student veterans.

Knowing the Ides of March is the stopping point (except for post-campaign evaluation), the Bateman team meticulously planned all the steps along the way that led to a successful week on campus and off, saluting student veterans.

In fact, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee declared the past seven days as “Student Veterans Week” in the Evergreen State.

This gubernatorial recognition did not happen by accident. Here is the list of major events:

Monday, February 29: (Leap Day) Resource Fair for Veterans and their families was featured on campus.

Tuesday, March 1: A five-participant “Experience Panel” was conducted, causing Almost DailyBrett to ponder whether we truly appreciate our veterans, who risked their lives for us.

Wednesday, March 2: Students were encouraged to sign a gigantic “I Support SV” placard at the Student Union and Recreation Center.

Thursday, March 3: The “Unheard Voices” concert was held, commemorating prisoners and war and missing in action.

Friday, March 4: The capstone was the Student Veteran Art Exhibit at the artist/Marine John Ford Clymer Museum, coinciding with Ellensburg’s “First-Friday” art walk. Drawing special attention was Navy vet David Sturgell, artist Kaitlyn Farr and the “subject” for the art, 80-pound bulldog, “Daisy.”DSC02456

Thinking the War Is Over

“You can be supportive or you can be supportive” – Navy veteran David Sturgell

Listening to the vets participating at the “Experience Panel,” one was floored by the stat that only 7 percent of Americans have dawned the uniform, and only 1 percent have experienced combat.

Student Army vet Wesley King lamented that many in our population believe the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are over. Navy veteran David Romero reminded the audience that 15 years after 9/11, we as a nation are still engaged in the troublesome Middle East.

The veterans told stories of shifting from the ultimate regimented society to the largely undirected world of colleges and universities. There is PTSD and fights with Jack Daniels and other intoxicants.

“Some stress over a test,” said King. “At least you are not getting shot at.”

“Sometime, I would just sit in the back of library, just to be alone,” said Army vet Calvin Anderson.

“We (King and Anderson) would drink all day,” said King. “There was no structure in our lives. We finally stopped drinking, when we got a cat.”

The veterans expressed concern about the lack of mental health professionals, but were grateful for the support of fellow students.

Their stories deserve to be told. The Central Washington University Bateman team has done its duty to salute these veterans and tell their stories, and tell them well using as many conventional and digital outlets as they can find.

Let the chips fall where they may …

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/winstonchu100445.html

http://prssa.prsa.org/scholarships_competitions/bateman/2016timeline.pdf

http://prssa.prsa.org/news/national/news/display/1402

https://www.facebook.com/groups/792093870903952/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/the-courage-to-succeed-as-non-trad-students/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/launching-a-second-career-2/

http://www.clymermuseum.com/

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/post-traumatic-stress-disorder

http://www.governor.wa.gov/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I think if there’s anything CWU needs, it’s campus tradition, campus spirit and overall unity,” — Rob Lane, Vice President of Student Life and Facilities.

Predictably, there was some relatively quiet grumbling among the easily excitable faculty types and a few students. The status quo was being disturbed and at least for a moment inertia, because of change, was not reigning supreme.

Central Washington University just spent anywhere between $55,800 (low estimate) to $160,000 (high estimate) for a 9-foot long, 300-pound bronze statue of a ferocious Wildcat. And for what purpose, the critics huffed and puffed?DSC01528

This coming Saturday, June 13 is graduation on the Central Washington Campus. Close your eyes and just imagine tasselled graduating students in their caps and gowns having their photos taken in front of … The Wildcat statue? Yes, CWU now has a “location shot” as they call it in the television business.

Certainly, the Wildcat statue will never be confused with famous locations (i.e., Kremlin in Moscow, Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Big Ben in London, White House Portico in DC, Statue of Liberty in Gotham or the Golden Gate Bridge in Frisco), but it’s a start for Central Washington.

And maybe some of these proud parents of graduating students or alums remembering the best days of their lives will be tempted to write a check or two. And pretty soon those checks will start adding up. And wouldn’t these checks help CWU Development …err Advancement … in fundraising? And could this activity relieve some of the pressure on those who would raise tuition?

Sounds like a dynamic effect to the author of Almost DailyBrett.

Static Scoring vs. Dynamic Scoring

The whining and complaining by the static quo bunch in Ellensburg, Washington is similar to the fight back in the other Washington about static scoring and dynamic scoring. The real issue is whether the federal behemoth should give back any tax dollars to the dwindling number of taxpayers, who are actually still contributing to the government.

Using static scoring, the methodology of choice for anyone trying to stop anything and everything, one could accurately conclude that each dollar used for the Wildcat statue (or substitute any other out-of-elite-favor activity) is one less dollar for some other noble deed for the deemed public good.

Using dynamic scoring, the methodology of choice for anyone wanting to stimulate economic activity and entrepreneurship, each activity triggers responses. Reminds one of Newton’s First Law of Motion about a body in motion remaining in motion.TommyT

Thinking about these examples, one marvels how many stop to have their pictures taken in front of Tommy Trojan on the USC campus before making the trek over to the Los Angeles Mausoleum for a football game. How many Trojan alums are wiping a tear or two out of their eyes when they see “Tommy T” and they hear Dr. Arthur C. Bartner’s “Spirit of Troy” band play “Fight On!” Time to write a check?

Even though Penn State has been through the college football definition of hell with the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the firing/passing of Joe Paterno, and the crippling NCAA sanctions, there are literally thousands of Penn State alums who still stop and have their picture taken with “The Nittany Lion.”nittanylion

During a recent visit to the Valley of the Sun, the author of Almost DailyBrett took the time to have his picture taken with the bronze likeness of Frank Kush, ASU’s feared and very successful football coach.

You may be tempted to think that CWU will never enjoy the athletic prowess of USC, Penn State or ASU, and considering the disparity in the size of the athletic budgets of the former with the three aforementioned Big 5 Conference members, you most likely will be right.

But also weigh that San Jose State also built a statue focusing on its lone athletic achievement: John Carlos and Tommie Smith, winning Gold and Bronze respectively, at the Mexico City Olympic Games in 1968.JohnCarlosTommieSmith

For some reason, one suspects there was not too much faculty grumbling at SJSU about the building of the Carlos/Smith statue.

Maybe there is a glimmer of hope for dynamic scoring after all.

http://www.cwu.edu/bronze-wildcat-statue-installed-campus

http://cwuobserver.com/3651/news/student-government-planning-wildcat-statue/

http://www.dailyrecordnews.com/members/bronze-sculpture-of-a-wildcat-installed-in-front-of-the/article_db09890c-0945-11e5-aa2f-2b7c38bae26a.html

http://www.freedomworks.org/content/static-versus-dynamic-scoring

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_scoring

 

 

When it comes to collegiate competitions, most would be inclined to think of the college football playoff and the national championship game.

Or how about “March Madness” and the “Final Four” … or even “The Frozen Four”?

Probably no one knows about the (Carroll J.) Bateman competition, established more than four decades ago by the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).DSC01384

Even though Bateman draws far less attention … if any … than NCAA football and basketball, the competition is just as intense and success requires working well in a team setting for eight months or longer.

This point is magnified when every student today seemingly has his or her nose buried in a cell-phone screen. Some would contend that mobile technology and the explosion of “apps” has retarded our ability to communicate, let alone getting along well in a group setting. Sounds like a good subject for a future strategic communications blog post. Hmmm …

This point brings the author of Almost DailyBrett to the five members of the Central Washington University (CWU) Bateman team: (left to right in photo) Aubree Downing, Robyn Stewart, Madalyn Freeman (team leader); Masey Peone and Silver Caoili. As Millennials, they get it when it comes to social, mobile and cloud, but they have also demonstrated an increasingly rare characteristic: the remarkable ability to always get along and work well as a team.

“Don’t Let The Door Hit You On The Backside … “

Having spent almost 15 years in Silicon Valley, yours truly knows how one disagreeable-and-detestable personality can become a cancer in any organization no matter the level of talent.

And when that person voluntarily (or involuntarily) decides to move on to another opportunity or to spend more time with his or her family, there is the obligatory going away party. Do you really want to go to this send-off? Well no, but in most cases you attend and say nice things even though you really don’t mean it.

In a few egregious cases, there are “going away” parties for former colleagues, who have already departed. To top it off, the person in question is not invited.

The reason for this digression is to point out how important it is to be a team player, and not only to “manage up” to superiors but to co-exist with colleagues and treat subordinates with respect and understanding.

Even though Almost DailyBrett is a tad biased, I am nonetheless floored by how well the CWU team worked together virtually every day for the past 240+ days to advance the university’s proposal to the deciders at PRSSA. They have set a standard that will be difficult for future CWU Bateman teams to match, let alone exceed.DSC01394

Your Home Matters: Affordable Housing Fair 2015

Each year, the best-and-the-brightest at PRSSA decide upon a subject for the participating university Bateman teams located across the fruited plain. This academic year drew a germane, timely subject: Home Matters and the compelling need for affordable housing.

Our five-team members after going back-and-forth for hours, embarked on a comprehensive conventional/digital campaign that was manifested (but not ended) Saturday with the “Your Home Matters: Affordable Housing Fair 2015” in Ellensburg, Washington.

What was particularly exciting was to witness the community involvement, spurred by our team, including the host of the fair: Mandy Hamlin of Allstate Insurance. The participants featured some big names including: Umpqua Bank, Coldwell Banker, Habitat for Humanity, HopeSource, Knudsen Lumber and the Kittitas Yakima Valley Community Land Trust.

Not bad, not bad at all.

There was even an opportunity for kidlets to draw on tiles to give input as to what “home” means to them. Considering that Baby Boomers may be the first generation to procreate offspring that may never have the opportunity to own a home (e.g., Bay Area, SoCal, New England, Mid-Atlantic, SeaTac … ), then “Home Matters” must extend to doable rents to go along with achievable mortgages. It also applies to reasonably priced, sustainable and environmentally friendly building materials.DSC01387

Having worked on close-knit teams in the California Office of the Governor, a publicly traded company and an international public relations firm, your author knows that a public relations team must be able to address conflict without making it personal. Some do well in this environment, and others … well they don’t.

Pettiness and childish name calling should be left to the sandboxes of yesteryear with their Tonka trucks. Today, our august communications segment needs public relations professionals that can not only access information from the screen of a cell phone, but also get along and produce results.

There are at least five students in Ellensburg, Washington who can do just that.

http://prssa.prsa.org/scholarships_competitions/bateman/

http://prssa.prsa.org/about/

http://prssa.prsa.org/about/PRSA/

http://www.cwu.edu/communication/

 

 

Making Change Your Friend

“For a lot of people, ‘What if I do nothing?’ is a no-brainer … Do you think you can go sideways and hum along? There is no sideways in life. Life applies friction.” – Entrepreneur and motivator Jonathan Fields delivering a TEDx Talk.

The mileage as the crow flies between Eugene, Oregon and Ellensburg, Washington is 330 miles, give or take a feather or two.

Both are Pacific Northwest college towns (University of Oregon and Central Washington University respectively).

marboro1

 

Mother Nature  lavishes rain on Eugene’s seemingly endless groves of Douglas fir trees and an evergreen landscape. Ellensburg is high desert and reminds one of “Marlboro Country” with its wide spaces, grazing bovine and of course, the county rodeo. That is no Extreme Bull.

Yes, this will indeed be my first rodeo.

As they say, “All good things must end.” Eras come to a close, while others are just beginning. New adventures are on the horizon.

For the author of Almost DailyBrett, there was a LaLaLand era, a Sacramento tenure, a Portland time, a Silicon Valley marathon, a lengthy stop in Eugene and soon it will be a new beginning in Ellensburg.

Many have literally spanned the globe in their life changes. Alas, for me it has been the three continental states that touch the Pacific, but nonetheless it has been a wild-at-times roller-coaster ride.

But for many, even modest change is something to be feared and dreaded. And yet these timid souls try to go sideways, even though that is really not an option.

Same Bed, Same TV, Same Beard, Same Pension and No License to Drive

“Don’t tell me it can’t be done. Show me how it can.” – Plaque in the office of former House Speaker Jim Wright

We all know them.

They always have an excuse. They are always ready with a rationalization. They always have something, anything wrong that will never, ever get better.

eeyore1

Sometimes they can’t get out of their own way. They prefer living at home, sleeping in the same bed and watching the same 21” standard-definition television set with the rabbit-ear antennas (slight exaggeration). Someone will not cut his beard or hair. Someone artistically gifted will not start his own business because he or she is locked into public sector golden handcuffs (e.g., public sector pension). And someone will not learn how to drive and therefore will not be able to compete for a better job and improve her or his life and the lives of impacted offspring.

Another year of “muddling through?” Are Food Stamps and disability payments far off? Is life reduced to running out the clock to the final inevitable day? Pass another PBR.

How many people do you know that are overworked, underpaid, under-appreciated, underutilized and under the gravitational pull of a bosshole? How many more are in a bad relationship, and they know they are in a bad relationship, but for some reason will not throw off their chains?

For far too many these desultory scenarios are exactly the case. But Jonathan Fields correctly points out that there is no sideways in life. Life applies “friction” in many ways … and some of the nastiest scrapes can be sudden and unpleasant.

Sometimes Change Cannot Be Controlled, But It Can Be Managed

Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs,”  — Michael Rowe, Host of “Dirty Jobs.”

Even for the successful, the achievers, the Type A personalities caca does indeed happen. A close family member may die. A hereditary disease may strike. You may simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Your organization may be acquired. You may come under the influence of a bosshole. The economy may go south. The list goes on-and-on-and-on.

Everyone wants to decide when she or he comes and goes, but many times that is not an option.

We cannot pretend change is not going to happen, but we need to accept that it will … and not always in a nice way.

As mentioned before in Almost DailyBrett, we need to manage or be managed. So how can we manage change?

Acceptance Mode. No more anger. No more denial. No more bargaining. No more depression. Let’s skip all of the above and get to acceptance. What is your plan for the future? What comes next? You know there will be a “next.”

Look to the Future. The past is gone. The present will soon be gone. What have you done? Where do you want to go? What do you need to do to reach this goal? Life is too frickin’ short. How can you improve your chances of success? Manage your future.

Change of Venue? Sometimes there are better opportunities over the horizon, in another town, in another state or maybe another country. Are you limiting your options because you will not even for a nanosecond consider a change of personal venue?

Don’t Hate, Celebrate. Don’t hold grudges. Instead of being jealous of achievers and wishing them Schadenfreude, learn from their successes. If a rising tide lifts all boats, how can your dingy become a yacht? There is a way.

tigger

Be positive. Growing up, Tigger was always more appealing than Eeyore. Show Speaker Wright and others exactly how it can be done. Be rational, but instead of merely defining the problem, what is the solution? How can your life and the lives of your loved ones change for the better

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize. There is always something new to learn. The reason for the unprecedented success of Silicon Valley is lifelong learning. Engineers (e.g., Tesla’s Elon Musk) are not afraid to fail. They are always trying to solve the latest and greatest puzzle before moving on to the next one. What will you learn today?

Every Stranger is a Friend You Have Not Met. There will be new people. There will be new experiences. Some will be better. Some will not. As the Realtors always say, “There will be tradeoffs.” Make change your friend. And yes, you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just may find, you get what you need.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkFRwhJEOos

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Wright

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/prostate-cancer-a-piece-of-cake-compared-to-valley-fever/

http://books.google.com/books?id=OGoXa1Au0n8C&pg=PA49&lpg=PA49&dq=Speaker+Jim+Wright:+Don%27t+come+in+and+tell+me+how+you+can%27t;+tell+me+how+you+can&source

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model

http://toprightnews.com/?p=2872

 

 

 

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