Friday, October 29, 2010

Welcome Erik...

Please welcome into this world, Erik Reid Alfred Smith!

The Vitals:

Date: Friday, October 29th  at 7:46 PM.  
Weight: 9 lbs 14 oz.
Length: 20 3/4 inches








video

Of upcoming welcomes to the world...

Yesterday, everyone was asking me if I was nervous and/or excited about the pending arrival of baby ‘E’ and my answer was neither.  I think the better answer is/was pensive.  What type of world is little ‘E’ coming into?  

  1. Is it a tolerant place or one of bigotry?
  2. Is he entering a world of freedom or persecution?
  3. Is this a community of empathy or one of self interest and greed?
  4. Is this planet represented by love or is it managed by hate?
 Then I considered his place in this new environment.

  1. Will the machine grind him or will he be an operator?
  2. Will he become a leader of man or be a follower of fools?
  3. Will he give comfort or will he provide hardship?
  4. What path will he choose?
 So young ‘E’ on this day of your potential arrival, I offer you many questions and sadly few answers.  He is entering a world of tremendous uncertainty.  The paths to which the future may follow are too numerous to calculate.  It scares me to no end.  I want a world that my child will be given a chance to live a lifetime in peace, harmony and empathy.  Can I guarantee it? Alas, no.  We live in the most interesting of times.

With those fears expressed, no matter what the world throws at you.  As you parent I will guarantee you that,

  1. You will know love. 
  2. You will see comfort.
  3. You will experience empathy
  4. You will live in an environment that encourages
  5. You will be supported
  6. You will have opportunities. 
 You will live in a household that plans for the future, lives in the moment and learns from its past.  You will be cared for by people who genuinely care for your well being.  You will be nurtured by people who will provide you guidance with the best intentions at heart.  You will be loved by those who want for you a life of happiness.  With these tools you will choose your path.  What path will you choose my son?

Wayne.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Of Toronto and elections...

Yesterday was my hometown's elections.  As anyone who knows me knows, I am apolitical.  I like politics (for their anthropological value), I follow them closely but I have no party allegiance or political ideology to which I follow.  As a person, who has a passion for understanding human behavior, politics is the ultimate opportunity to observe and understand my fellow citizenry.

So here are my observations from yesterdays election:

  1. George Smitherman was never going to win.  Three reasons; 1) he had a terrible record as a minister; 2) he has a brutal disposition that screams 'elitist'; and 3) his lifestyle doesn't match up to the perceptions of acceptable to religious zealots and many immigrant populations;
  2. The Toronto media's witch hunt ended up back firing on them.  The lack of journalism integrity shown by major newspapers such the the Globe and Mail and the Star was embarrassing.  They were transparent in their attempt to manipulate and thus created a backlash amongst the population. The biggest problem was that the papers forgot about the comments sections as well as social media.  Their attempt to control the message was beat down with social marketing.  Rob Ford learnt this from the Obama campaign and used it well in Toronto to combat the media;
  3. The former council created this perfect storm by not being inclusive.  They may not have agreed with the 'other side' but to consistently mock and ridicule varying ideas was perceived by the public by arrogant and out-of-touch.  BTW, for those of you on the left side in Canada, I would ditch the 'progressive' tag.  It is smug and does not translate well amongst the general population.  They sent the message that they were 'entitled to their entitlements', so the electorate corrected them on that assessment; and
  4. Rob Ford, borrowed from several successful play books.  He sent a simple concise message (Obama play book), did not get baited (Mike Harris) and presented a human demeanor (Ralph Klein).  He became a sympathetic figure as a result of his strategy.  He was the kid in the school yard being picked and was trying to stick up for himself but was over matched. The public came to help him and believed his message as a result.  George Smitherman, on the other hand, came across as being the out-of-touch elite that had the likability of a cobra.  
In summary, I won't get into platforms because I do not really care. I am apolitical for a reason.  I do however, think that the lessons above should be heeded by political figures heading into elections in the next few years.

Wayne.

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Article...

See my latest publication in the International Journal of Festival and Event Management.


Setting parameters: operational budget size and allocation of resources





Author(s): Wayne W. Smith, (Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, School of Business and Economics, The College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, USA), Stephen W. Litvin, (Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, School of Business and Economics, The College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, USA), Andrea Canberg, (Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, School of Business and Economics, The College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, USA)
Citation: Wayne W. Smith, Stephen W. Litvin, Andrea Canberg, "Setting parameters: operational budget size and allocation of resources", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 1 Iss: 3, pp.238 - 243
Keywords: Benchmarking, Budgets, Costs, Festivals, Financial management, Operations management
Article type: Research paper
DOI: 10.1108/17852951011078032 (Permanent URL)
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to determine how festivals allocated their funds among various expense categories.
Design/methodology/approach – Festival managers from across North and South Carolina were asked to specify the percentages of their expense budgets allocated to each of the following categories: marketing, administrative, entertainment and operations.
Findings – It was found that “smaller” festivals spend a significantly greater proportion of their budgets on marketing (23 percent) and a far smaller share on administrative expenditures (5 percent) than do their “larger” counterparts that spend only 15 percent on marketing and triple the “smaller” festival's administrative costs (15 percent). The differences related to their spending for entertainment (35 versus 28 percent) and operations (36 versus 41 percent) are not as dramatic in relation to their proportion of total spending. The data herein suggest that festival size plays an important role when it comes to such allocations.
Originality/value – The paper has provided benchmarks that hopefully will assist festival directors' budget-decision-making strategies as they allow a measure with which to evaluate those decisions. While the research needs to be interpreted with great care due to its relatively small sample size and broad budgetary categorizations, the findings provide a guide to assist festival organizers as they manage their events for the benefit of their stakeholders and the communities that support them. The paper also provides a starting point for future research in this area, much of which is needed.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Video Saturdays...

Trying out a new venture...A web cam, a cute kid and hilarity ensues (or something like that).  Really this is jsut a test to see if I can make it work.

video


video

Friday, October 22, 2010

What must by the new age...

I am sitting in my chair waiting.  That is what a soon to be 'dad' again does.  He waits.

While I am glad for my role as the official timer of contractions (it does beat being on the other side per se), I always knew this one was going to be a middle of the night child.   He has been that convenient throughout my SOs pregnancy.

So I sit here and do the important things - like check my Email, set up my fantasy hockey team, update my facebook status and of course blog...

We'll keep you informed as the night progresses.

A Meeting at my Daughter's School (A Rant of the Highest Order)

Before I start my rant, let me just say that I appreciate the teachers and their efforts.  I have no doubt that the feelings and intentions behind what is discussed here are pure and that they truly believe that this is the best course of action for the children.  With that said, we all know however, where the path of good intentions can sometimes lead us...

Last night a 'mandatory' parent's meeting was held at my daughters middle school about a proposed class trip to Disney.  As I sat through this unorganized jumble of a meeting, I just had to laugh at the total lack of foresight among these individuals.  Let me see if I can shed some light on the lack of logic that was presented and offended so last night.

First, they decided to tell the kids about the trip before they told the parents.  The trip cost is $550 plus needing money for a few lunches, a dinner and other assorted details (like required t-shirts that they just did not bury into the price for some unfathomable reason).  My daughters' school is a Title I school meaning there is over 70% of the students are eligible for the free/reduced lunch program.  In reality, this means that over 70% of the students in this school have household incomes under $40,000 a year. I at least expected to hear about ways that they would have scholarships or sponsorship opportunities for children unable to afford this trip (perhaps even some fundraising to efforts to reduce the costs for all of the kids) but alas... While, we are lucky and can probably squeak this out for our child, those parents who can not afford such a trip gets a free trip to 'bad guy' land!  My guess, it is probably not the 'happiest place on earth'.

If that was not fun enough, they are asking the parents to produce a $100 non-refundable deposit by Monday (since they only have 50 spots available for potentially 84 child who could go on the trip).  They also put conditions on the kids being 'allowed to go.'  The have to maintain an overall 85% average grade (though report cards do not come out until Tuesday).  The also have to score 75 on this behavior scale that they have implemented.  Now the researcher in me got real interested at this point.  This scale is based on four dimensions (including evaluating my child's emotional maturity) with four items measuring each dimension.  Except, they forgot to photocopy the scale so no one can see it.  They did however, put it up on the projector in a nice ten point font for all of us to see (if we had 20/20 vision sitting in the front row).  They did however have little strips of paper to give us with our child's current score on this 'scale.'  As a researcher I am now to laugh at the ridiculousness of the proceedings.  You mean I am to determine if I am willing to put up a $100 non-refundable deposit based on a score to which I do not have access to the measurement tool and have no idea as to how children are being scored on this said scale even if I had a copy.  They stated in the meeting that they children needed to achieve a score of 75 but said nothing of what this score means. Is that score concept based on the average score of someone at this grade level?  Are the expectations in a higher percentile?  Did they pull the number out of their behinds?

So being the researcher I am, I have now spent time looking to find this scale in the academic or education literature anywhere.  I want to see if it has been tested empirically and if it has any validity.  They stated that they are using the scale to ensure that our children are ready to take said trip.  Therefore, they are looking for this to be a predictive model.  It then stands to reason, that this should be a well established model.  So what do I find? Nothing (at least with any substance).  I can not find a single article where this model has been empirically tested.    It seems to be 100% edu-babble but I may be incorrect.  The principal is suppose to email me citations, so we shall see.

In order to fairly assess the results of the meeting in total let me review my impressions upon leaving: 1) I am down $550; 2) mystified by the total lack of logic; and 3) disturbed by the lack of sensitivity displayed by the organizers.  All in all, a productive meeting.  Mickey Mouse would be proud!

Wayne.

Post Script: To the principal that stated that the students not only have to ask questions in class but that in order to score well on this assessment tool, they have to be good questions.  Who are you to determine what is a good question and what is not?  Then again, I will soon be sharing many questions with you and your superintendent if the answers you give are not good.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Quick Notes:

  1. How come when you rush to finish something and get it done on time, there is always an extension given?
  2. Why is it my fault when student grades are not good but it is their brilliance when they are good?
  3. Why is the bus late on days when I am early and early on days I am late?

Happy Monday,

Wayne.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Grading Hades...

I love my job.  Really I do - except for two things: 1) committee work; and 2) grading.  Today, I am in grading Hades.  There is never so frustrating a time for a teacher of any type I would imagine.  You think you were crystal clear in class and then wow...where did they get that idea from?   Most students are doing well so I know I taught it and obviously the lessons were well taken by the majority of the class - but I guess it comes down to the inevitable.  Those who work hard and are dedicated to the growth and development do well and those who shirk the work get their just due.  I know I should not, but I do feel bad.   I wish I could inspire all of them to work really hard and grow and develop but reality says I am probably being naive.


Well back to the doldrums for me.


Wayne.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What is in a name...

One of the deals between Heather and I is that if she ever got pregnant I would get 'naming' rights on the child (with her having a veto).  Liam was Heather's idea.  Though it came as a result of wanting William (a family name) but already having a 2nd cousin with the name and not wanting to duplicate.  So we did the next best thing and use the shortened version of the name.  The middle names were also easy with Liam.  His first middle name 'Kenneth' is Heather's grandfather.  His second middle name is after a good friend of mind Stephen L. J. Smith.

This little guy has been a little tougher.  I really have to family no obligations to fulfill and Heather won't let me put his naming rights on E-Bay.  So like the researcher I am, I came up with a set of rules for choosing a first name:

  1. It has to be short.  I do not like long names.  So four letters or less;
  2. His name has to be two syllables.  How else can be chant his name in the future? 
  3. It has to be recognizable but not necessarily common; 
  4. The name can not be easily 'rhyme-able' and;
  5. The name has to have someone of historical significance somehow.
As for middle names, one will come from Heather's side and the other will come from my influences.  My middle name criteria are;

  1. It can not come from within my family;  
  2. It has to be a person I consider critical to my development in this world; and
  3. It has to be a name that the child could use as a first name if they wanted to (i.e. Stephen Smith with Liam).
So for those of you who care about this subject, here are you clues;

  1. His first name starts with 'E' and follows the first name rules. Think 'Norse' for the historical figure;
  2. His first middle name is one of Heather's family members (a close one);
  3. His second middle name was/is a strong influence in my life.  It is not their first name (as the person is a woman);
  4. I am pleased to announce his last name is Smith.
Good luck with your guessing.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gavalas-Kolanko Foundation - Part II

Our school newsletter (Portico) recently did a story on my involvement with the Gavalas-Kolanko Foundation.  You can see the story here.   

Wayne.

Gone Grading...

Kind of like going fishin' ... only if if rained the entire time, caught very little and was bored out of your tree.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Differences between Canada and USA - Part I

Here is a headline from our local newspaper here in the good ol' south


Roommates use mixed martial arts, teamwork to subdue suspected burglar



For the full story see: http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2010/oct/12/quick-moves-nab-suspect/




In Canada, the headline looks like this:


The thief plays the victim in trial of Toronto grocer


It is amazing how the differences are.  Here the three roommates who subdued a burglar are hailed as heroes.  In Canada, a grocer who is sick of being robbed constantly by a guy (and the police doing nothing about it) is on trial for forceable confinement and assault.  Heck, the crown reduced the thief's sentence in exchange for testifying against the shop owner.  The 'victim' is then arrested for theft only three days after testifying.  

Chinatown plant thief back in jail

Link: 

Amazing how one country's hero is another's vigilante.  Interesting versions of justice, don't you think?

Wayne.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving...

What am I thankful for?

I have a nice existence and I love what I do, who I do it with and why I do it.  Therefore, I am thankful for who I am, what I am and how I live my life.  

I guess that covers all.

Wayne.




Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Social Network...

Hi all, in honor of my movie review yesterday, here is my social network...It seems Dr. Pan is my most important friend while my wife is slightly behind him. Hummmmmm....

Wayne W. Smith - Facebook Network 10/10/10

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Social Network: A Review

Last night I got a chance to see The Social Network.    An interesting movie that really does demonstrate how greed can turn reasonable human beings into slimy souls.  This is the story of how Mark Zuckerberg created www.Facebook.com.   In the course of the movie we see that while Mark Zuckerberg is a genius at the keyboard, his social skills and ability to read people are suspect.   I would not be surprised if later on we find that Zuckerburg has Aspergers syndrome.


Everyone refers to Zucherberg as an 'asshole' in the movie but I do not really think that is the case - the character is much deeper than that.  He is misguided at times, socially inept at others but he is not the greedy S.O.B. that people seem to want to think he is (at least not in this portrayal).  He cares little for money but rather wants acumen instead.  He is an artist wanting to create the ultimate masterpiece and the facebook is that work in progress.  


Wayne.


Post Script - The one thing about this movie that really got my hackles up was that idea of intellectual property.  If I come up with an idea but I have no clue how to execute that idea is it really my intellectual property?  I would argue no.  If you do not have a clue of how to execute an idea, it is obviously not a fully formed concept.  I agreed with Zuckerburg's stance in the movie.  None of the people suing him wrote a single line of code.  None of them had any clue as to how to execute their concepts (which I thought were quite different than Zuckerburg's).  He had to write them a check because he doesn't come across as likable rather than it really being an issue of 'steal' intellectual property.  Sad.



Friday, October 8, 2010

Name starts with 'E'

Yesterday for Heather's birthday I have her a necklace with the kids initials on it.  The three initials are R - Robyn, L - Liam and E - ???.  So I thought for fun, lets see if someone can guess the name.

Wayne.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's that time...

Nope, not to have the baby... but to guess when he'll be having arriving ...

If you want to get in on the fun, please click here and register your vote:


You can vote twice... be sure to read the hint section and check back in a few days for our first poll question :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Teaching Philosophy (the official version)...

Yesterday, my department chair came in to observe my class.  So I thought I would share my 'official' teaching philosophy...tomorrow I will share my 'unofficial' one.


Teaching Statement

 My teaching philosophy is based upon the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education (Chickering and Gamson 1987).   The seven principles of good practice are:

1)      Encourages student-faculty contact;
2)      Encourages cooperation among students;
3)      Encourage active learning;
4)      Gives prompt feedback;
5)      Emphasizes time on task;
6)      Communicates high expectations; and
7)      Respects diverse talents and ways of learning.

I work hard to ensure that that incorporate these seven principles into each of my classes.

Encourages Student-Faculty Contact

In my teaching philosophy, I feel it is important that students come to understand that I am there to assist them in gaining the skills and abilities necessary to be successful in life.  One of the key components to them gaining this understanding is in how I encourage student-faculty contact.  I encourage student-faculty contact in three ways: 1) I always come to class early; 2) I require student groups to meet with me at least once during their projects; and 3) I ensure that I am highly accessible over a variety of means of communications.  In coming to class early, I get to know the students by engaging them in informal ‘talk’ before class.  I make a point to ask them about their studies and future aspirations.  I listen carefully and always offer to sit down and talk to them about ways to achieve their goals at another time as well.  In all my classes, I have group projects.  One of the components of the project is that I require every group to come see me for a meeting.  At that meeting I listen carefully to what their ideas for the project are and try to provide them with resources to ‘help get them started.’  Finally, I ensure that I am highly accessible to the students.  I have an ‘open-door’ policy and work hard to ensure that I reply to any email sent by students within four hours of receipt.   

Encourage Cooperation Among Students


In every course I teach, I ensure that a group project is involved as past of the curriculum.  With the hospitality industry being people related, it is imperative that students studying in this field know how to work with others.  Beyond a major group project, I also work hard to add group work components to different class room situations.  I often employ case studies where the students read the cases on their own and then work in a group to answer questions pertaining to the case.  We then discuss each group’s answers with the class.  I seek to ensure that by the end of term, each student in the class would have worked with all of the others at least once. 

Encourages Active Learning


I am a firm believer in active learning.  As is outlined in all of the letters from those who did class room observations, I have a highly interactive lecture style.  In encouraging active learning, I employee three tactics: 1) I ask many questions of the students; 2) I use story telling as a key component; and 3) I change mediums no less than every 20 minutes.  By asking for active student participation in the lecture I feel that they stay more engaged in the material.  I consistently ask the students questions related to the materials.  For instance, if I present a theoretical model, I will ask the students about how they employ the model in their current employment.  I also often ask the question of the students about why they think I am presenting the course materials that I am.  The answers to that questions allows me the opportunity to see if I got my point across effectively and to get them to understand how these concepts could be used in their future endeavors.  The second tactic of telling stories is important for retention.  Students will often remember stories because it places the materials in context.  I often use humor in the stories which gains attention and also helps with retention of course materials.  Finally, I feel it is important to change mediums at least every twenty minutes.  In most classes I begin with power point slides.  After introducing the concept for the class, I then incorporate either a case study or short video clips to illustrate the point.  I then follow that up with use of the white (or chalk) board to write down key concepts that are developed during the first two sections of the class plan.  I then usually, revert back to the power point presentation to ‘wrap up’ with a summary of the learning for the day.

Gives Prompt Feedback


I believe it is important for students to get prompt feedback on their work.  I do however, believe that feedback is a two-way street and I work diligently to not only give feedback on their course work but to incorporate their feedback into the course materials.  There are three main areas in which feedback is given and gained in my courses: 1) Small assignments; 2) Group presentations; and 3) Tests and exams.  For small assignments, I usually ask for their feedback when they are handing them in.  I ask how they enjoyed completing the assignment and what challenges they faced while doing so.  Generally, any small assignment that is handed in gets graded and returned to the students by the next class.  When I return the assignments, I go over ‘constructive suggestions for improvement’.  I also ensure that I have some positive feedback .  With the presentations, I always go over some of my notes from the presentations with individual groups at the conclusion of the presentations.  I never give a grade at that point but generally give them positive feedback and a couple of points for improving next time.  I then take their materials and provide an extensive review of their work at the conclusions of the all the group presentations.  Finally, I ensure that the mid term test and final exam are similar in style and structure.  In the majority of my classes, I allow the students to give input into what questions they feel would be appropriate for the exam.  I will often take their suggestions (which are usually the questions I was planning on using anyways) and incorporate some of them into the test or exam.  I then provide extensive comments on the mid term to prepare them for success on the final exam.

Emphasizes Time on Task


It is important that students engage the materials in a manner that teaches life skills as well as course materials.  One critical life skill is time management.  In the classes I teach, I hold students accountable for their due dates and times.  The meetings I set up for the group projects involve setting a timeline for the project with the group.  I also work hard to practice what I hold students accountable for.  In that I try to set a good example.  For instance, I Email all of the students a copy of the next week’s power point slides the week before.  Finally, I am always early to class and begin class exactly on schedule.  I feel that by practicing by example, I can ask the students to follow that lead.

Communicates High Expectations


I always tell the students, ‘there isn’t any good me teaching you these concepts, if you do not know where to use them one day.’  I emphasize to the students that I just do not want them to memorize the course materials but rather learn to think about them and engage the ideas.  My tests and exams as a result of this philosophy are essay style questions that ask the students not to regurgitate those concepts but to apply them to a situation. 

I believe that I challenge the students to think about what I am teaching and the greater meaning of why this is important that they know this.  I encourage them to consider the course concepts from a wide variety of perspectives and to challenge their own belief systems.  I ask the students to not only think about these concepts but to justify their thinking by using evidence to support their ideas and beliefs of ‘how things work’.  It is in this constant challenging of the students to think deeply that I am communicating that I expect them to be innovators and leaders. 

Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning


In my classes I encourage students to bring their diverse talents and perspectives to the classroom environment.  In the group projects I allow students to choose from a variety of topics.  In HTMT 210 I have had projects range from volunteer tourism to restaurant design and from conference marketing to dark tourism (people who travel to places where atrocities happened).  By allowing this leeway, the students are able to incorporate a topic that relate to their special interests and lets them employ their specialized knowledge and talents.  I also strongly encourage constructive debate in my class rooms.  In all of my classes, I spend significant time on ethical issues and allow everyone to share their views on the subject matter.  In those cases, we explore the shades of grey that is ethics.  Finally, because I switch mediums every 20 minutes I address varying learning styles within the classroom setting.  By incorporating a variety of mediums into the class room there is a good chance that if one way of messaging is ineffective for one student, the message delivers using a different forum will be.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Importance of In-Person...

As a professor, I get a large volume of email.  The email comes from students, co-workers and a plethora of other sources.  In reality, I could probably get rid of my office phone all together it rings so infrequently.   As for face-to-face meetings, that is even becoming less frequent as we have all become so 'busy.'

This new emphasis of communication has created a whole world of challenges for me as a professional.  Foremost, the nuance of language is being lost.  I do not know how many times I have received emails and misread the 'tone' of them.  People seem to forget that body language and tone of voice conveys a more precise message that should not be discounted.  More importantly, I think this change in communication styles affects relationships.  We very rarely get to know anyone anymore.  We know information about them through their Facebook status and Tweets but we learn little about their essence.  We do not get to learn about the context of their perspective from 120 characters or less.

In total, while I understand the irony in complaining about electronic correspondence on a blog, I also make it a point to talk in person to as many people as possible.  Perhaps, I am a dinosaur in this thinking but I firmly believe the relationship will always be a key ingredient to success.  As it becomes more of a lost art, those who can connect with others will be the ones most successful in life.

Wayne.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The very first...(research assistant)

I got a chance to talk to one of my old research assistants yesterday (Nikki).  Thinking back, she was by far the strongest student I ever came across while at CalU.  She should have been at an  ivy C of C.    What made her special was that as a sophomore, she not only assisted with the research below but she made significant contributions to it.  I do not recall at all how I met her (I guess I could ask her if she remembers), but she was the first student I was able to fund (thank you to the Canadian Embassy) and became the 'model' for which all of my subsequent research assistantships are based upon.  I still to this day make it a point to fund undergrad research assistants as much as I can as a result of my experience with her.  My chat with her yesterday only reinforced to my why this continues to be so important.

So to you Nikki, I forward the following paper to the readership.  We collected the data for this in February 2006, spent hours coding it in March and April and I wrote this article the summer I came to C of C and it became the first pub to have my 'new' address on it.



On April 5th, 2005 the US Departments of State and Homeland Security announced
the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) which will require Americans traveling to Canada to present a passport for re-entry into the USA. The Conference Board of Canada estimates that this legislation (for the years 2005-2008) will result in a loss of nearly 7.7 million trips and cost the Canadian tourism industry approximately $1.6 billion in lost revenues. The purpose of this study was to investigate how this change in legislation will affect southwestern Pennsylvania residents’ perceptions and image of Canada and their propensity to visit Canada. A series of three focus groups designed to measure these impressions was conducted. The results indicate that successful mitigation strategy could reverse potential image issues as a result of the USA legislation.

Today, Nikki  is preparing to graduate from her MBA program in December and has been working as an accountant for the last two years!  So congratulations Nikki!

Wayne.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

My world...

My world at the moment is an interesting one.  Seven and a half month pregnant mate, 12 year old full of angst tween and a four year old with autism.  Add to that it being my pre-tenure year and larger than ever classes and my world is a fascinating one.  It does really seem like there is not enough hours in the day at the moment.  My guess is that I am testing the axiom, 'whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.'  


Though I am whining here, I will admit that it is an exciting time.  New baby soon, my 12 year old really is becoming a lady and my four year old is starting to talk a little.  Add to that, the fact that I love my job and that we live a 'nice' lifestyle in a beautiful city: How much can I really complain? 


So I will take my lack of sleep, money and time because the love is worth it.


Wayne.



Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Forum

Fridays are normally very strange days for me.  

I do not teach on Fridays and the students (with the exception of the ones that make appointments) are scare.  You would think that would make it a quiet day that would allow me to catch up on paper work, grade and maybe even do some research.  They are anything but for three reasons:   

1. This time of year, high-schoolers are coming with their parents to check out schools.  Every Friday morning I seem to have one or two of these appointments.  I do enjoy meeting them and discussing their future with them but it time muncher.  Then if it is not a high-schooler, it is a student that needs advising;

2. If I am not working with a high-schooler, I am meeting with industry partners to discuss a wide range of topics from funding, to internships and co-ops to conducting research for them;  and to top that

3.  For some reason, there seems to be a new trend to Friday afternoon committee meetings (I guess this is a scheduling thing).  That kills most of my afternoons.

While I know all of these 'duties' are important...

Wayne.