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I heard time and again that the right school finds you in the job market.  I didn’t believe it until this past Spring when I signed my contract to start at Notre Dame de Namur this Fall.  Still, I wasn’t sure if what I signed up for was the real deal.  Well, this was confirmed yesterday on my first day at campus, during NDNU’s University Week Community Forum.  Each year, NDNU kicks off its Fall semester by inviting all faculty, staff and administration to talk about the school’s Academic and Strategic Plans for 2015-2016.  Talk about transparency!

President Judith Greig began the Forum by asking an undergraduate student, a faculty, and a staff member to share how they incorporated in their lives last year NDNU’s mission which “serves its students and community by providing excellent professional and liberal arts program in which community engagement and the values of social justice and global peace are integral to the learning experience.”  It was exhilarating to hear three women share enthusiastically how their work at NDNU incorporated the hallmarks of the NDNU Learning Community.  Their projects especially touched upon Hallmark #2: We honor the dignity and sacredness of each person; Hallmark #4: We commit ourselves to community service; and Hallmark #5: We embrace the gifts of diversity.  Indeed, the school and its members’ values were wholly aligning with mine!

When the President welcomed all the new staff (which included me!), she introduced all hires, from administration to groundskeeper. Everyone clapped and received the new folks in the same warm manner.

Throughout the day, all attendees worked in small groups to tackle some of the issues that the school is currently facing.  It was incredible to witness the hierarchy breaking down as administration worked side by side with staff and faculty.  All voices were as important as the other.  Amazing.

When I visited its campus last Spring, everyone I met said that working at NDNU was like working with family; indeed, what I witnessed yesterday was a tight family who truly believed in one another.

I’m glad to have found my family!

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