When I first arrived in State College it was sunny and warm. Coming from coastal California the heat felt wonderful as did the ability to eat dinners outside without having a marine layer to create a chill. Still I knew that as the days got shorter, the temperature would drop and I would need some warmer clothing. Those first few days on campus were uncomfortable for me because I didn’t know where I was going, how to work my
computer, or how to get to work. I didn’t know where to shop, how to get my car registered or where to park. That is why when Bob Roberts (Head of Food Science) asked me what goals I had for the my first 100 days, I replied “My goal is to buy a warm coat and some boots.” At that time, taking care of the basic necessities seemed the most important. I can report that I will be warm this winter and with your help we have accomplished a great deal this semester.
On January 8th we will have an all hands meeting that I am requesting that everyone attend. My intent will be to share with you what I have learned from the one-on-one meetings with the faculty, what I really did during my first semester at PSU, and to set goals and the tone for the coming year. Let’s make the reflection on “The State of the PPEM” an annual event to help us take stock and plan for the future.
The department is growing in new directions. In January we will interview top tier candidates for two positions that will expand our environmental microbiology offerings and we plan to hire a Field Crop Pathologist in 2016. Additionally, the strategic initiatives we are developing will allow our department to standout among Plant Pathology departments and within the College of Agricultural Sciences. Leadership nationally and within the college will be to the benefit of our students.
As we move through the solstice and the darkest days of winter, it is good to reflect on our bright future and make a road map to get us there.
And now I want to thank you all for being part of a wonderful first semester. I wish you the warmest of holiday seasons. May your solstice reflections be bright!