Happy Friday! I hope this post finds you well.
Instead of writing about just one thing today, I thought I’d touch on a few various things I’ve wanted to share with you from this week.
First, I have a great book recommendation for you. The late Anita Shreve, author of books such as The Pilot’s Wife and Stella Bain, outdid herself with her most recent novel prior to her death from cancer. The book is called The Stars Are Fire, and it was picked as our book club book for last month. I couldn’t put this novel down. To me, Shreve’s writing is hypnotic; I love the way she constructs her paragraphs and chooses the perfect words for her type of storytelling. As a reader, I was swept away with her writing. As for the plot, it’s set in 1947, when wildfires ravaged towns along the coast of Maine. The story centers around one main character and her children, along with her somewhat mysterious husband. Shreve’s masterful plot kept me guessing—and guessing wrong in some instances—as I did not see a few of the paths the character took coming. From the darkness of the fires and the trapped feeling of a woman in a less than idyllic marriage to the lightness of the aftermath of a woman finding her place in the world, this book will have you rooting for our main gal and wondering what will become of her and the children.
Second, it’s the end of finals (hooray!), and almost the official start of summer vacation. I still have grades to input and a few meetings to attend, but the semester officially ends today. Students in my sports communication classes gave presentations suggesting initiatives for existing sports teams; students in my public relations class completed their press kits and executed their press conferences; and students in my magazine class uploaded their final stories to our online magazine called NEXT STEP MAGAZINE. Finally, The Mill at Stevenson University, a course I co-taught with my fellow professor, Inna Alesina, wrapped up last week with a formal presentation to our client, Rails to Trails. It was a very productive and exciting semester, that also incorporated our helping to plan and execute the Eastern Communication Association Convention in Pittsburgh the last week of April. A BIG shout out to our colleague, Dr. Leeanne Bell Mcmanus (with whom, along with Professor Chip Rouse, we co-wrote our textbook entitled Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice published by Kendall-Hunt), for planning an amazing convention that left people talking about the event and the amazing cookie table that was the hit of the conference. I’m so proud of her, and now she will guide ECA as the president for the upcoming year. You’re the best, Leeanne.
Third, it was an honor to receive the Dean’s Excellence Award yesterday from Dean Amanda Hostalka that was presented to both Inna and me for our work with The Mill. It was an exciting launch of a new course in the School of Design.
Fourth, I cannot believe my son will be attending his senior prom tomorrow night. I promise to post photos so you can see how grown up he is as he will embark on his college career in the fall at Widener University.
Fifth, and last (but not least), as the semester winds down summertime fun is upon us, and as for me, some of that fun involves writing. I am working hard to get my collection of short stories out there, dabbling with the sequel to Inn Significant, and working on a new project that has sort of taken hold in my brain. I can’t wait to share some of these new writings with you.
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend—and to my students and soon-to-be graduates, thanks for making my career so worthwhile. I wish you all the best with all of your upcoming endeavors.