Written by: Mark Koulianos // Nov 25, 2020
Last updated: Nov 25, 2020
In composing this year’s annual Thanksgiving blog, I’ve been reflecting upon the historic events of the past 11 months. Mutually, our country has gone through the wringer. Spring brought the ongoing pandemic along with many life-altering modifications. Then, summer saw social divisions resurface and escalate. And fall culminated in a contentious election season. Emotions have been running high. Despite its challenging nature, however, 2020 has reminded me of the blessings I’m thankful for.
I am thankful for the students and instructors of USF Corporate Training and Professional Education. They are at the heart of our mission. Our swift and successful shift to an all-online format last March only occurred due to their flexibility and character. To our students, thank you for trusting USF with your professional training needs. To our instructors, thank you for sharing your expertise with our students. I am confident the collective integrity of our programs is at an all-time peak.
I am thankful for my team. This is a group of individuals I’m privileged to lead on a day-to-day basis. They are devoted and contribute toward a single goal: providing the best experience for our students at every step of their experience—from advisement, registration, and on through enrollment. They’ve worked commendably during the work-from-home mandate, remaining diligent, creative, and congenial. I miss the face-to-face camaraderie of the office environment and look forward to when it’s restored.
I am thankful for my position as Director of USF Corporate Training and Professional Education. It allows me to pursue my passion to help individuals and teams upskill, retool, and advance careers. One of our office mottoes is “Building a world-class workforce in Tampa Bay.” That now comes with an appended “and beyond!” as technology produces numberless possibilities. Online platforms expand our reach and open new and exciting collaborations. There is tremendous potential down the road.
On a personal note, I’m thankful for the love and unwavering support of my family and friends. I remain particularly thankful to be a citizen of the United States of America. While not perfect, our nation—at its best—allows for freedom and fosters opportunity that encourages the human spirit to excel, flourish, and contribute to society. It’s my hope you will also take time to reflect upon the people and blessings in your life. It’s too tempting to fixate on the trials of 2020. Remind yourself to be thankful!