Looking Back and Looking Forward

December 18, 2020

One year ago, I gave to everyone in the Dean’s office – including myself – a sturdy pair of binoculars as a holiday gift. While the choice was mostly about the time we spend outdoors, I joked that it’s good to be prepared to see from afar, to see where we’re going before we get there.

Hollis Robbins, Dean

Who would have known that seeing far and preparing for an unclear future would be so important? At this holiday season I am deeply grateful to everyone in Arts & Humanities for stepping up and making sure the semester has been a success. I thank department chairs for their leadership in ensuring the continuity of curriculum, supporting faculty and students throughout the spring and preparing for a full year of largely remote instruction. I am deeply grateful for all our faculty, for their energy, good humor, innovative mindset, commitment to excellence, and grace. I have heard both heartbreaking and heartwarming stories of struggle, success, exhaustion, and resilience. I cannot thank you enough.

I am grateful also for our students, who have risen to the challenge of learning and Zooming from their bedrooms and dorm rooms and kitchens and cars. I have seen extraordinary musical performances, dance performances, art gallery exhibitslectures, and student research. I am grateful for our extraordinary technical staff who swiftly became experts in digital audio and visual technology to record, film, and broadcast student productions to parents, alumni, and the Sonoma State community. I’ve been floored by the resilience of the Sonoma STAR staff who have put out a paper every week. I am grateful for my own students in English 482, American Literature and Citizenship, who forgave me every week for course management software mishaps. And I am thrilled to have supported our first Native American Heritage Month.

We have been tremendously successful in delivering a quality education to our students this semester and will continue to succeed into the spring. At every point our Arts & Humanities staff have been key to our success. Thank you all. Thank you to the Dean’s office staff – this year's holiday gift is a spa day, when spas reopen!

To parents and visitors: look at our Spotlight page and our department webpages to see highlights of our school. Our faculty are as passionate as ever about their teaching, scholarship and artistry. Their passion inspires our students in classrooms and studios every day and attracts national recognition.

Happy Holidays!  


Hollis Robbins, Ph.D.