The Dean’s List: Advice for a Prosperous 2020


Tramaine Rausaw

The most common question I get from students is “What advice do you have?” I find that to be a loaded and at times annoying question.  I am not the Oracle at Delphi and hopefully look nothing like Yoda, but at the ripe age of 35 I have somehow elevated to that “oh wise one” role. Granted, I chose a path of leadership and it comes with the territory, but I do not consider myself as someone who knows more about life or success than anyone else.  I just have my own experiences, and hopefully can offer a perspective that others appreciate.  If it helps, great.  If not, please do not sue—I have nothing you want, unless you like student loan debt.

2019 is coming to an end and not a moment too soon, in my opinion. I am looking forward to the newness of 2020, and I have some ideas on how to make it a great year.

Put the phones down.  We spend way too much time on our handheld devices. We cannot go five minutes without checking our Instas, Snaps, Facebooks, etc.  It is time to find a healthy balance.  Most phones have a digital wellbeing tracker.  Open it and see just how much time you are spending with your phone, instead of with people or nature.

Everyone needs to get over themselves. Somewhere along the way we became so self-involved that we forgot how to care for and about other people. I was taught to respect everyone even when I do not agree with or like them. Here at CAC we have a Declaration of Civility in which integrity, fidelity, charity, responsibility, and self-discipline are paramount. If we all model this, then we can make our campuses great places to learn, work, and live.

Anticipate, expect, and accept greatness. Mediocrity is not the business.  We are embarking on a new era at CAC and hopefully everyone will come along for the ride.  You have probably heard about Guided Pathways which will standardize and streamline academic success. We are also starting up with a Caring Campus initiative which will improve student interactions with employees and services.  This work will involve us increasing connectedness and removing process barriers. Student success is our primary focus and in 2020, you will be able to feel it in the air.

Be yourself, find yourself and take however long it takes. I saw a poster the other day which said, “Every popcorn kernel pops in its own time and turns out just as good as the first one.  Stop comparing your kids.”  That’s a life lesson. Development is not a race. Everyone has their own path and journey.  And we also go through many seasons in life, at different times.  It is okay to be a late bloomer, to make mistakes, to grow, and to be confident through it all.