Happy Friday!  I hope you can stop by this afternoon (3-5 pm) to join the celebration, food, music, and spoken word performances that will all be part of the opening of our spring exhibit, “Objects of Affection.”   Congratulations to Cate and her team.

1. Working on:  In the CSI team, we’ve been looking at the year ahead in public programs and events, and talking about how to coordinate even more effectively across the rich calendar that’s developed over the last few years:  Science Cafe, Stressbusters, the Orfalea video contest, Data Studio Presents, Open Access Week, the Spring Exhibit…the list goes on!  And we may be adding one more: this week I met with the new director of the campus bookstore and we talked about how we can collaborate with the bookstore on an annual reception to honor all Cal Poly authors.  The Provost and several faculty have expressed their interest in renewing this former Cal Poly tradition, which will complement our more intimate and conversational Cal Poly Authors programs.

2. Excited about:  The very successful workshop that Dana and Sarah organized this week with over 20 Cal Poly faculty who participated in a national Hewlett Foundation grant-funded project to review open textbooks for an open textbook catalog http://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/ that’s been developed at the University of Minnesota under the leadership of Dave Ernst.  Other partners in the project are Purdue Libraries and Oregon State University.  Dave and his colleague from the U of Minn libraries also met with CTLT staff and others during their day at Cal Poly.

3. Thinking about:  StrengthsQuest   – a program I learned about at the Academic Affairs staff meeting this week.  Led by Beth Merritt Miller of campus advising, Cal Poly will be starting a pilot this summer, to introduce all incoming students (as well as campus advisors) to StrengthsQuest, an assessment of 34 “strengths” to help students recognize their own talents, so they can more intentionally build their talents into strengths. There are a lot of free ways to explore this individual assessment.  I played with them myself this week and was thinking about how something like this also builds respect for other peoples’ talents and strengths – and how we are stronger together.

Can you believe it’s Memorial Day already.  Have a great holiday weekend!