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May 31, 2023

Thank You for All You Do

by Renata Opoczynski, assistant dean for Student Success Assessment and Strategic Initiatives

Portrait photo of Renata OpoczynskiI am exhausted. I know that many/most/all of you are too. This has been a tough year. A tough year after several tough years. Yet, I am hopeful. I am hopeful for what the summer and next academic year will bring. I am hopeful that this year’s Student Success Summit helped remind us about the importance of focusing on our own well-being. I am hopeful because of all the amazing folks I get to work with. So, I am also thankful. Thankful for the amazing MSU community who, even when exhausted, work hard to support our students and each other.

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you. Thank you for all you have done this year to show up for our students, faculty and staff.

Thank you to those of you who feel you are not doing enough, who feel you are dropping balls all over the place. I see you, I appreciate you, and I promise you are still doing good work.

Thank you to those who ask, “What can I do to help?” when you see a colleague struggling. Even if there is nothing that can be done to share the load, knowing someone else sees the weight we carry and wants to help means a lot.

Thank you to those who have challenged us to grow and learn this year. Who helped us think about things in new ways, who helped educate us on how we could think, lead, or do better.

Thank you to those who reminded us to celebrate our wins (be they small or big) and who cheered us on in those accomplishments. Too often we forget to take a moment to celebrate each other and the progress we have made.

Thank you to those who worked to reach out across silos and said, “Let’s do this together” or “Can I learn from what you are doing?” Collaboration and learning from each other are key to us reaching our student success goals.

Thank you to those who have checked in on each other, who have seen the exhaustion on faces, or heard the frustration in voices, and asked, “Are you okay?”

Thank you to the operational folks, the ones who make sure our office needs are coordinated, our hiring processes are untroubled. The ones who track our budgets, who communicate our achievements, and the countless other operational needs that ensure our units run smoothly.

Thank you to our data, assessment, and IT teams who provide timely and accurate data, who find solutions that meet our needs, and help keep us on track to meet our goals.

Thank you to our student-facing staff. You not only address the needs that students relate to your office but often serve as the first stop for all sorts of other questions that you diligently support, address, or direct to the right person.

Thank you to those who have taken a critical eye inward and pointed out opportunities for MSU to be better, suggesting new ideas and ways of doing things. For MSU to be the best it can be, we need to be willing to reflect on where we can improve.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I appreciate each and every one of you and all you do to support our students, faculty and staff.