What’s on My Mind – Post Traumatic Growth

Recently I read an insightful blog post from Craig Silliman, Verizon’s Chief Legal Officer. In his post he commented on response approaches as we transition through the pandemic sharing insights on the concepts of negativity bias and post-traumatic growth. He explained  “negativity bias is the tendency of people to dwell on the most negative aspects of a given situation, so they struggle to escape mentally from challenges and adversity. Post-traumatic growth, in turn, involves looking back on challenges and adversity in the past as a time of personal growth, often in ways that are deeply meaningful.”

His “post-traumatic growth” comments resonated deeply with me on both a personal and professional basis and I immediately connected with a like statement made by professor Jeff Lace, Biological Sciences department chair, when he shared at a recent college meeting that he was leveraging the pandemic to “get better and improve elements/aspects of his life.” I also was once again drawn back to the work of Futures and TACT and the respective calls to make PVCC a more accessible, relevant and thriving college. 

Another “bringing learning alive” concrete example happening right now at PVCC that further exemplifies this growth mindset is the Verizon Innovative Learning grant-funded summer STEM camp for middle school girls and boys where approximately fifty youth are learning and creating technology, robotic and AI projects. This week, I had the pleasure of greeting the future Puma summer campers and my kudos go out to Mr. Randy Babick, and Dr. Sandra Hinski for their drive and extraordinary efforts to make this camp a success. 

Now that we are seven weeks away from the start of fall semester with substantial openings of in-person academic and student support services already occurring on July 6 and the full opening of all campus services and programs on August 9, I ask all of you to think and act in context of this positive growth mindset. As Michael Sorrell, President of Paul Quinn College shared at a recent national conference “You can’t be legendary from a place of comfort” – together we will make PVCC a “first-in-class” place to learn and work.