On Duty: Celebrating Veterans, International Education, and Ethics

November brings more than fall leaves and cooler temperatures. It brings a number of observances rooted in our duty to serve one another.

Last Friday, we continued our annual tradition of co-hosting a Veterans Day ceremony with Macon-Bibb County at the World War I memorial on Coleman Hill in downtown Macon. Veterans are a vital part of the fabric that makes up Middle Georgia State University, and a constant reminder of what we are capable of accomplishing when we place our common values above self.

This week we observe two other occasions that remind us of how we are interconnected and the every-day ways in which we can live our values in the workplace.

This week is International Education Week and our Office of International Programs will offer sessions on study abroad opportunities, mini language lessons, and a “Holidays Around the World” presentation for students, faculty, and staff. We kicked off the week with MGA’s International Education Summit this afternoon, a faculty development event titled “Building on Strong Foundations.” Whether engaging in study abroad or interacting international students, international education—of which I am a proud product—allows us to focus on what we have in common with lifelong learners around the globe.

This week is also Ethics Awareness Week. As we join colleagues across the University System of Georgia in marking the observance, my office will host a panel entitled “Coffee & Conversation: Ethics in Today’s Workplace.” Featuring faculty and staff experts from various departments across the university, the 30-minute discussion will cover ethical issues in areas ranging from Criminal Justice to Business to Healthcare to Higher Education. Come enjoy a cup of coffee as we share best practices for ethical behavior in the workplace. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome.

We live in an era where the sheer number of so-called special “days” on our social media feeds—there is actually one called “Have a Bad Day” Day—can make observances seem trite. These three, however, are not only important, they are an appropriate way to usher in the season of gratitude.