Wednesday, August 25, 2010


How did you spend your summer weekends and vacations? Did you travel to Cancun to relax in the surf and sand or visit Jones Beach, Rockaway Beach or the Jersey Shore for a day visit? Did you rough it and go camping in the local park or pitch a tent in your backyard? Did you journey to faraway places to experience new cultures and mystical landscapes or discover these places in the chapters of a book?

In these economic times, individuals are redefining vacations and uncovering ways to learn something new and relax. Your “stay vacation” may have included a picnic in Central Park, a barbecue in a state park, or just staying home and relaxing in your own backyard.

Vacations that include travel have the power to show us what we -- and the world -- are made of. And in these complicated times, we, too, must broaden our understanding of the world if we are to be effective in our personal and professional lives.

Although I have enjoyed traveling to faraway places, I stayed close to home this summer. I had a great time exploring and enjoying the beautiful Long Island beaches and the surrounding communities. I spent time with family and friends, worked in my garden, grilled on the barbecue, relaxed and caught up with my summer reading.

When we move beyond familiar surroundings, we awaken our senses and we challenge our intellects. Whether we’re stepping into the sophistication of a Paris cafĂ© or climbing a mountain path in Peru, enjoying the vistas of the Grand Canyon, enjoying a music festival in our neighborhood park or walking the boardwalk at our local beach - fresh sights, sounds, tastes and smells await us at every turn.

As we interact with people who may look, speak and behave far differently than we do, we begin to respect our common humanity.

These experiences also help us to see our own surroundings with new eyes. We can certainly take advantage of a multitude of opportunities to step out of the familiar and broaden our understanding of this diverse place called planet Earth.

I look forward to hearing about the adventures that you experienced this summer by adding your comments below. As we prepare for the beginning of the Fall Quarter, we will have fond memories of the Summer of 2010.

Dario A. Cortes, PhD


  1. Over the summer I took a Strategic Planning course in my masters program, and Graduated with a Masters of Information Systems from the University of Phoenix last weekend.

    Len De Botton

  2. Marilu Marcillo-GomezAugust 27, 2010 at 9:08 AM

    Dr. Cortes and all, during my summer I traveled to many exciting places in my imagination. I am enrolled in a Doctoral program and as result in the early part of July traveled to Colorado Springs, Co. a beautiful place of which I saw very little (I was in class for 10 hours). I have been busy doing research on my dissertation;a case study on BP and its leadership over the past 10 years. If anyone has information related to this topic, I am evaluating leadership using Aristotle's definition of Virtue ethics. I also co wrote a fictional story entitled Ishmael meets BP for publication in a book and am co writing a journal article entitled Social Materiality: A New Direction in Change Management and Action Research. In my down time I have been teaching four classes (which I love) and spending time with the kids at the pool. By the way if you haven't read the book Ismael by Daniel Quinn, I found it a very interesting work of fiction.

  3. Marilu Marcillo-GomezAugust 27, 2010 at 9:09 AM

    Len, congratulations on your great accomplishment!

  4. I took a step back into the 1950's and visited Wildwood with my family and my two of my son's friends (three 14 yr.old's!). Got to read "Catcher in the Rye" and walk miles of boardwalk eating everything I shouldn't!

    Like the song says, "Ahh, those Wildwood Days"!

  5. This was a summer of simple pleasures that contributed to one of the best summers ever!!
    Water, exploring, & Family & friends were major themes.We stayed at the beach-visited Friends who had lake houses and of-course enjoyed our own town lake. These activities enabled me to watch my son do tricks off the diving boards,visit with friends & read many good books. Many outtings to museums & favorite NY & NJ sights, A trip to the Hershey Hotel/Which allowed my son to iceskate in shorts/ ,barbacues, gardening & doing a stream of entertaining thus making our home a center for summer interaction & real fun , all defined this summer.I always tell my son "Home is where the Heart is..bring all your friends here to enjoy"...This summer ,to both our delights, he did.

  6. This was a very busy summer for us! We spent the first half of in moving into our new home--which was an adventure as we decided to downsize this year. We spent a lot of weekends at Fort Dix and in Pennsylvania watching my son play some great soccer with his team this summer! Got to meet some great soccer folks! We finally did get some down time at the beach in between tournaments. Just got back from the shore this weekend. It was a perfect "10"! Going to wind up the season with a big BBQ in our new home on Labor Day!

  7. Dr. Melissa DuBrowaAugust 31, 2010 at 9:24 AM

    Between the Spring and Summer quarters, my husband and I did a "staycation." We live at the Jersey Shore, so we "beached it" most afternoons. Additionally, we hiked and cycled in Monmouth County parks and byways. We are also on a plan to eat our way through new restaurants (while maintaining our healthy eating style and waistlines!), trying to bolster the local economy while learning new venues. Our plan for the next break between Summer and Fall is to continue on the same path, while exploring some new hiking trails and perhaps a few more restaurants and a few relaxing evenings at home trying new recipes.

  8. I have spent the past 3 months teaching Global Social Change online from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. During this time, I have visited our academic service learning partner, Casa de los Angeles, which is based here. I was so pleased that Dr. Sandra Coppola, director of counseling at Berkeley College, visited me in San Miguel for one week in June and accompanied me to visit our ASL partner.

    In July, I traveled to San Jose, Ca. to deliver a presentation at the Sloan-C conference on Emerging Technologies in Online education --"Using A Web Log To Engage Students and Enhance Learning". I enjoyed meeting and sharing ideas with colleagues from all over the world.

    In addition to teaching and updating my faculty blog, I have also been preparing my new fall online courses, incorporating the principles of "best practices".

    My visit in San Miguel is winding down, and I will be returning to New Jersey this Thursday. It has been a busy, fun and productive summer! See you all soon!

    Dr. Marilyn Frasier Kulik