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September 3, 2017 Memo from Dean McPherson

Sept. 3, 2017

Message from College of Education Dean Bob McPherson

Faculty and staff: As the impact of Harvey continues to challenge our region, I am grateful that we have accounted for all of our COE faculty and staff. Many in our COE community have suffered considerably with the damage or loss of homes, cars and personal belongings. I am deeply touched by the support you have provided our students, colleagues, Third Ward neighbors and the greater Houston community. At its essence, the College of Education is a community of dedicated and compassionate helpers. You are the Pride.

To our students: We know many of you will be dealing with housing, childcare, financial and other Harvey-inspired challenges when classes resume on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Our professors are willing to work with you. Please communicate with your professors about your needs and know they have your best interest in mind.

A note on self care: I got my hair cut Friday by my 73-year-old barber. He is especially good with bald guys! He had driven from his home in far west Sugar Land to open up his shop located in the West University area. I was his first customer since Harvey arrived. I had called my barber to see if he was open because a good friend and psychologist had told me earlier that I looked absolutely awful. He was not talking about my hair. My friend told me with a gentle firmness that I needed to take a break from Harvey. He told me my efforts to help my friends and family was becoming significantly diminished by the quality of my own mental and physical health. He was right. Getting my hair cut was my first step towards better self care.

I encourage you to read a list of warning signs and strategies for reducing stress and the impact of trauma from COE Associate Dean for Research Ezemenari Obasi. He offers sage advice for those of us who are prone to putting our work and others before our own wellbeing.

See you Tuesday, if your circumstances allow.

Dean Bob McPherson