I have been inspired by the Little Mermaid and Dylan Wilbanks.  (I bet that’s never been written anywhere before.)

The holiday season is a time when I become very thankful for the many blessings in my life: a wonderful family, good health, a supportive network of friends and colleagues, and of course… a job.  Not only a job that pays the bills, but a job that I love, a job in higher ed, a job that lets me combine my passions with my talents.

One of my favorite songs from the broadway version of the Little Mermaid is “Under the Sea.”  (It’s worth watching just to see them on Heelys.)  For the three of you who have never heard the song, the crab tells the mermaid to quit her complaining and appreciate what she has and the world around her.  “What do they got? A lot of sand. We got a hot crustacean band!”

Dylan Wilbanks, Web Producer at the University of Washington School of Public Health, walked away with the “best of conference” red stapler award at the High Ed Web Conference this year.  His session was inspiring, witty, informative, and full of honesty.  (In fact, Higher Ed Experts had Dylan present his session as a webinar.  This is now on-demand for your viewing pleasure.)  My biggest take away and probably the most tweeted quote was “Love the Web, Love Highered, Love People.”

Dylan said, “I think if we focus on those three things we can overcome the bitterness and the cynicism.  We can make a better world… we can help make not just the web better but we can make higher ed better.”

Sebastian said, “Just look at the world around you, right here on the ocean floor.  Such wonderful things surround you.  What more is you lookin’ for?”

If Dylan is A and the Little Mermaid is B,
A + B = Higher ed “is the bubbles.”  Let’s be thankful we work in it.

My job is like any other, there are tough days and frustrating days, but I would like to take this opportunity to remember why I #lovehighered.

I #lovehighered because:
– I feel I can make a difference in the lives of prospective students.
– Higher ed has allowed me to build meaningful connections and friendships with colleagues from all over the USA.
– It is one of the few industries where idea sharing across “brands” is championed.

I would like to challenge you all to join me.  Let’s declare today National #lovehighered Day and let the world know how proud we are to work in such an amazing industry.  Please take to the twittas and use the #lovehighered hashtag.

Thanks web.  Thanks higher ed. Thanks people.


About Mallory Wood

Mallory Wood is a Vermont-based higher ed marketing professional with a passion for social media, web video, and event production. View all posts by Mallory Wood

5 responses to “#lovehighered

  • dw

    As best I can tell, no, no one has ever said that sentence before. That said, I had a high school girlfriend who loved Little Mermaid and might have loved me.

    But thank you. I still feel really embarrassed by all the attention that one little talk has brought, but I’m happy to see so many people taking it and using it as motivation to make their colleges and universities better places.

  • carrie@umass

    You inspired me to write a new post. Thank you for pulling me away from mindlessly adding random items to my Amazon Wish List and redirecting my thoughts to what matters.

  • Andrew Careaga

    Well, I totally missed the lovefest but that won’t keep me from chiming in late, as usual.

    Higher education is a wonderful field, for all of the reasons you, Dylan and Carrie cite. (Like you, Carrie, I also had little exposure to higher education. Neither parent went to college, and I, the youngest of six, was the first in my family to obtain a college degree.)

    Having been in this gig for almost 20 years now, I can easily slide into the cynic camp from time to time. We all can. But underneath my veneer of cynicism, I do know in my heart of hearts that our work is a true calling — or should be. It sounds trite to say this, but we are in the business of providing hope, opportunity and a better life for the students who study on our campuses. May we never forget that.

    Thanks for the inspiring post.

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