I hope this message finds you well, healthy, and smiling. Motlow State’s span of impact begins with so many different variables: eye-to-eye sightlines, smiles, handshakes, and connection. The last several weeks have provided reintegration to how we have continued to evolve as an institution. The most promising example, an internal one, was witnessed by approximately 90 participants with Dr. Kenny Yarbrough, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEI&B) trainer and facilitator, who led us through two excellent sessions on Difficult Conversations and When Silence Speaks. We all have lived experiences, but through the DEI&B training, we had an opportunity to have shared experiences promoted by dialogue that allowed all who wished to contribute the space necessary to foster our walk together. I have communicated over the last three years the importance of talking about our college, colleagues, and communities. I see us bonded by so many positives that go beyond the services we provide. We are bonded together by linkages that are familial through our public and private actions. We are bonded by the facts of our imperfections. We are bonded by the grit we display when challenged. We are bonded by the truth and awareness of the whispers that may cast unlit reflections.

Can a dream be met when you do not dream? We are not only dreaming, we are designing and doing. Stay tuned and keep not only an eye out, but an intentional ear too. You will hear and feel the energy that embraces selflessness, service before self, and excellence in all we do tip-toeing all around us. As much as we want talent and ability, the right culture presents us with the only path to greatness. More simply put, culture matters and I thank you all for your spoken and unspoken agreements to embrace where Motlow stands today. Sometimes, in spite of it all, our ability to prosper evades shaky grounds. Our ability to teach each other provides the culture and landscape for us to teach and train others. My reflections have led me in many different ways this year and I realize that most of all I am a teacher-leader. All teachers want the best for all those with whom they engage. There is no malice in their approach and it’s never about a scheme/design, but about the skill that transcends place, space, time, and personage.

All in all, choose to be a resource and happiness EVERYDAY because the alternative, well …

I appreciate each of you. Let’s GO! #WeAreBetterTogether.

Michael Torrence, PhD

Motlow President