Alma Matters

There is a season….to give

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope the holidays brought joy for you and your family.

I would be willing to bet that most resolutions that were made on the eve of December 31 had something we are going to do with self-improvent. These include, but are not limited to, losing weight, stopping smoking, reading one book every week, organizing your closets at home or your offices at work. Resolutions, shmesolutions. Don’t get me wrong, they are important and usually made with the best of intentions, but sadly many will go by the wayside shortly after the New Year begins.

One resolution really worth making and harder to break, however, is a commitment to help someone else. While it may not help you lose weight, get to the gym everyday or make it easier to find things, it is a form of self-improvement and an opportunity to improve a situation for another individual. Some people call it “paying it forward” or “the right thing to do.” It doesn’t matter what you call it, it just matters that you do it.

A shorter Emily Hardcastle

Hair today.  Gone tomorrow.
I walked into the Eberly Center the other day to meet with Emily Hardcastle, the Center’s manager for community outreach and I was surprised to see she was 10 inches shorter than when I saw her last.  Emily didn’t resolve to reduce her height in the New Year, but she did cut off 10 inches of her auburn locks and donated them to Locks of Love so that someone else could benefit. Locks of Love provides hairpieces made from donated hair to financially disadvantaged children under 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. You can find out more at Locks of Love.  Way to grow, Emily!

Creating happy places
Kathleen Walsh, director for Web development is a breast cancer survivor. She is also very involved with the Victory Center, a support resource for cancer patients, survivors and family members and she is a member of the breast cancer support group there.  As a result of her cancer experience and the generosity of her colleagues and friends at the Center for Creative Instruction, who completely remodeled her kitchen while she was away on a 36 hour trip , Kathleen was inspired.  She started a local chapter of Special Spaces Toledo, a non-profit organization that creates dream bedrooms for children with life threatening illnesses. They just received affiliation, and are planning their first room. Learn how to get involved or to support Special Spaces Toledo, contact Kathleen Walsh at

The write thing
Kathleen made me aware of a variety of workshops available to people who use the Victory Center.  She had enrolled in an art workshop to explore new ways to express her thoughts and emotions before, during and after treatments.  After thinking about this and discussing it at a Culture Ambassador Outreach Committee meeting I approached the Victory Center to determine if there was any interest in holding a writing workshop…and there was.  Sam Fetters, a student in the Honors College majoring in English and I will be conducting this workshop twice a month starting in February and continuing through April.  We’ll utilize poetry and prose as a way for these patients and survivors to share their experiences, feelings, thoughts and attitude as they continue to work through their encounter with cancer and the impact it has on themselves and those around them. Find out more about the Victory Center.

Stand up and get someone else recognized
Every day, people at The University of Toledo strive to meet our mission of “improving the human condition” through volunteer service. Since 2009, the efforts of 45 faculty, staff and students have been recognized at UT with a Jefferson Award. Is there a student or colleague whose efforts positively impact the community? You may know the next Jefferson Award winner. Click here to nominate that special person today.

This is the season to give back.  I hope you’ll join us and all of the other UT students, faculty and staff who are doing just that.

Thanks and Happy New Year!

One Response to “There is a season….to give”

  1. Kim Crozier Says:

    You all are are just awesome. Amazing people! Proud we’re all part of the Rocket Family. :)

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About John Adams

John Adams

John Adams is the Senior Director for Enrollment Brand Strategy and has been with the University since 2001 when he joined The Medical College of Ohio as Director of Institutional Communications. John is a native of Toledo and a 1976 graduate of UT’s College of Business Administration where he majored in marketing and was a recipient of the Pacemaker Award. You’ll find him writing observations about the UT community today and maybe some stories from his past when he was a student. You may even read a few things about John’s interests outside of work that include music, photography and pop culture. And to all of our current students, “ You are the reason we are here!” Be True to Your School.

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