Warning Thursday Rundown

Did you have a good March? After a challenging start to 2022, this past month got my family back on track. Speaking of staying on track, today is Thursday so that means five random topics are coming your way…

Is It Cake? – If you have searched Netflix over the past week or so, chances are you came across the new cooking/game show titled “Is It Cake?” The premise is that accomplished bakers create cakes that resemble actual objects (i.e. a hamburger, purse, bowling ball, etc.) and then judges have to decipher between which is cake and which is the actual object. My take on the show? I think it is interesting to watch the contestants bake their cakes but I think the guessing part of the show is lame. The bakers are just too good. It turns out to be a crapshoot because the cake seems to always look identical to the everyday object, removing the skill of deciphering and promoting a 50/50 guess. In the end, it is a coin flip. Many of the show’s visuals are satisfying but it isn’t my cup of tea.

It i satisfying when the host cuts into the cakes and I do like watching the contestants bake but other than that I am not a fan of the show.

National Tater Day – Today is the ultra important National Tater Day and I immediately knew that I wanted to celebrate by bringing back the below chart. I first shared this in 2016 and, in my opinion, the chart remains a work of art in the world of fried potatoes. The encyclopedia of processed spuds, if you will. Although I still maintain that tater tots aren’t French fries and have no business being on this list, I think the other choices and rankings are pretty legit.

This list ranking french fries is pretty cool.

Warning – It is April Fools’ Eve so here is my heads up to be on the lookout tomorrow for pranks and social media gags. I have been quite vocal in the past about how I detest April Fools’ Day so please forgive me if I am stealing the thunder of any jokesters. Okay, this Brent PSA is over.

I am not a big fan of April Fools’ Day on social media.

Eric Church Controversy – I am a big fan of Eric Church. I went to a show when he was just starting to burst onto the scene and saw him perform live again later down the road. However, I am having a tough time with his recent decision to cancel a concert in Texas so he can attend the North Carolina-Duke Final Four game on the same night (he is a Tar Heels fan). I believe in work/life balance but his decision impacts thousands and thousands of people who made plans to see him in concert. I feel bad for the kid who was going to see her first show, the family that was traveling to San Antonio with airfare/lodging already purchased, and the guy that was going to propose to his girlfriend when Church performed a certain song they both like. I just think the decision negatively impacts too many people and was made too last minute.

I don’t think canceling a concert for a basketball game is a good decision.

Needed Wordle Rule Change – I have said it before, but I want to say it a little bit louder for my blogging audience. Wordle needs to treat non-word guesses as a missed attempt. Currently, if you insert a word that isn’t in the dictionary, there is no penalty. This allows the player to guess-and-check at will with no repercussions. I have benefited from this loophole on more than one occasion. Last Saturday with “epoxy” was a perfect example. I had no idea it was even a word but because I was able to test numerous combinations I eventually threw in the correct random letters and solved the puzzle. The freedom to do this needs to change.

Guessing and checking with words that you don’t know are actually words should be penalized in Wordle if in fact it isn’t a word. This is my game board from last Saturday with “epoxy.” I do realize the poor game move I made in attempt #5 with re-using the letter “P” at the front but I was distracted.


Alright everyone, that will do it for another Thursday Rundown. I hope everyone has a spectacular April. Enjoy the Final Four this weekend. Don’t Blink.

Dinner Eating Hacks for Kids

At times we struggle to get Sloan, and sometimes Beau, to eat their dinners. If you are a parent, you understand this colossal frustration. In an attempt to remedy the hesitancy to eat what is on their plates, we have tried to “hype up” ordinary dinners in some small or silly way.

In tonight’s blog post I thought I would share five dinners we have on a regular basis at our house and what we do to increase the chances that our kids will actually eat it.

Tonight I describe some of the techniques we implement to encourage Sloan and Beau to eat their dinners.

Dinner: Spaghetti
Gimmick: Eat with your shirt off
Details: On spaghetti nights we allow Sloan and Beau to take their shirts off. Of course we do it for practical reasons as we don’t want them to stain their clothes with marinara sauce but the kids think it is the coolest thing to go shirtless at the dinner table.

Dinner: Tacos
Gimmick: Homemade nachos
Details: Sloan likes to take the hard shell of her taco and break it up into pieces. She then places the taco contents on each of the pieces or uses them to scoop the contents instead. It is like she thinks she is being gourmet. Whatever. Sloan’s technique results in the same food intake as eating the taco whole so we are more than happy.

Dinner: Waffles
Gimmick: Fun with sprinkles
Details: Every now and then, Sidney busts out her grandma’s waffle iron and we have breakfast for dinner. Never underestimate the impact a burst of color can have. Sloan and Beau might not be impressed with regular “boring” waffles but let them shake a small amount of sprinkles into the batter and they can’t come off the iron quick enough.

Dinner: Pizza
Gimmick: Chips
: How often do you eat chips with dinner? Sidney’s family has a tradition of pairing their pizza with chips and it is something that we adopted in our household. Sloan loves it that she can eat Doritos with her cheese pizza and as long as she understands that she must eat both items on her plate, everyone is happy.

Dinner: Hamburgers
Gimmick: Welcome to McDonald’s
Details: Sloan is a major fan of McDonald’s. She enjoys nothing more than a cheeseburger happy meal. When we actually want to eat decent hamburgers, we cook them at home or at my parents’ house. We are able to tell Sloan “These are just like what you get at McDonald’s” and she buys it (although I don’t we are bending the truth that much)


Besides starvation or no dessert, do you have any hacks for getting your children to eat the dishes you cook? If you are ever in a pinch, just know that adding some sprinkles is a reliable way to get food in the bellies of your kids. Don’t Blink.

Not A Finer Moment

It might turn out to be one of those “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” moments. I was celebrating my sister’s birthday on Sunday night when my brother announced, “Drama at the Oscars!” (his exact words). I asked him for more information and he explained as much as he could glean from those very early tweets that were posted from Australian TV. Will Smith smacked Chris Rock? What?

The Will Smith slap on Chris Rock will be remembered for a long time.

As a social media professional, I naturally track viral moments and hot topics. In my career I don’t think I have ever seen anything explode like the Rock-Smith confrontation—and for good reason. Besides packing star power and controversy on one of America’s biggest stages, the whole event centered on a quick movement. The forceful slap was conducive to be replayed via GIFs and short form video…over and over again. It was the perfect storm.

That storm thundered down on the social media world as it took over every platform. In addition to the numerous videos that circulated, we were all inundated with an extreme amount of Rock vs. Smith hot takes. Even as someone who expected a strong response, I was blown away by the fiery, passionate reaction that ensued from pretty much every angle you could think of. Along with my own personal followers and friends sounding off, I observed as everyone from Stephen A. Smith to Howard Stern to Tiffany Haddish offered their commentary. I never really formulated my own opinion just because I was hit so hard with uncensored, angry, and raging takes from all sides. Everything had already seemed to be said so what could I possibly add to the discussion?

I certainly can’t contribute anything in defense of either man that is fresh, clever, or thought-provoking. Rather, I can just make a general observation: What happened on Sunday evening was sad. Sure, it was “impressive” in terms of how it captivated the social media world but it was embarrassing too. To watch a nice event go completely south was cringeworthy. Despite some reports that suggested otherwise, I highly doubt that either Chris Rock or Will Smith (who had just won an Academy Award) walked out of the venue with his head held high.

In fact, it might be awhile before either one of them is able to walk in or out of a building with eyes looking anywhere but down. Sunday night is a stain on the brilliant careers of both men. Don’t Blink.

Wicked Awesome

Last week, my wife, sister, and sister-in-law had a “girls night” where they got to enjoy a pretty rad evening. The trio went out to dinner and then attended “Wicked,” the wildly popular Broadway play that just wrapped up a three-week run in Spokane.

My sister, wife, and sister-in-law had a great time at “Wicked” last week.

Throughout the night, the ladies would text our family group message with updates on how the evening was going. My mom and us men would text back.

The name of the play was too good not to take advantage of in our texts.

As we went back and forth, a certain theme started to develop…

On Tuesday night, we were all taking liberty with the name of the play.

As you can probably tell, we all had fun with the name of the play in our discussion. In fact, it wasn’t just confined to the group thread on the night of the play. It has now developed into an inside joke within our family. Throughout the weekend and at our Sunday family dinner last night, “wicked” was used more times than one would expect to hear over a couple drinks in a Boston bar. Now, admittedly, there was one person who was probably letting the word slip from his lips the most and he might be the author of this blog.

Do you have someone in your family or circle of friends who annoyingly drops a word, phrase, or modifier over and over to the point of exhaustion? Although I may have been the culprit with the word wicked long after the play was over, Sidney and I both have examples of the patriarchs of our own families doing the same thing.

My dad thought he was hilarious by adding “Mc” before everything when the topic was McDonalds (i.e. Okay, let’s not make a Mc-stake by ordering a Shamrock Mc-shake.). Because my sister worked at McDonalds in high school, the restaurant was brought up a lot in our house. That of course opened it up for my father to make terrible dad Mc-jokes before the term “dad joke” was even a thing. It was so awful.

Sidney revealed to me that her dad would attach the word “jack” at the end of everything when she was growing up (i.e. Hey Sidney-Jack, do you want to go order get a soda-Jack?). I mean, I guess he could have chosen worse endings?

Sometimes the repetition of a word is used to make someone laugh. Or to annoy. Or it is used so much out of habit that the person doesn’t even realize they are using it so mindlessly. You might know a friend or two that uses a certain four-letter word in such a way.

If you know someone who has a wicked affinity for using a certain word or if your family has embraced a certain word or phrase, please let me know. Hope everyone had a great start to their week. Don’t Blink.

Scraggly Thursday Rundown

Good evening to all my loyal readers and those lucky internet surfers who might be finding this blog for the first time. I am ready for my latest Thursday Rundown so let’s get after it. Five topics are coming your way right now…

Pride – My dad is a retired high school football referee and former Inland Empire Football Officials Association Official of the Year. But his greatest accomplishment isn’t the outstanding ratings he garnered during his career nor the state championship game he was the white hat for in 2014. Rather, it was the sportsmanship award he spearheaded and implemented for the association. My dad had a vision to institute a traveling trophy that would be awarded to a single high school football program that exhibited superior sportsmanship throughout the season. He was successful in making his idea a reality and for years he would travel to deliver the award to the deserving school at their end of the year banquet. At the time, and even after my dad stepped away from officiating, it was just called the Sportsmanship Award. Today he opened up the newspaper and saw that it no longer carries such a generic name. The Tom Reser Sportsmanship Award will be presented to the Ridgeline High School football program on March 31.

The sportsmanship award that my dad established for Inland Empire Officials Association has since been re-named the Tom Reser Sportsmanship Award.

Scraggly Beard – We read a lot of silly books to Sloan but we also like to incorporate some more socially conscious reading as well. Spokane has a large homeless population and Sloan has had some encounters with people on the street. On Tuesday night I read her “The One With the Scraggly Beard,” a story that addresses homelessness in an honest and compassionate way. The book chronicles the questions and concerns of a boy who observes daily a man who sleeps under a bridge and exhibits strange behavior. The boy’s mother is able to help him understand that the guy under the bridge used to be a boy just like him with similar dreams and goals. After reading the book, Sloan and I were able to discuss our own experiences with the homeless and the dignity that they still retain as human beings.

“The One With the Straggly Beard” is a children’s book that addresses homelessness.

Pi Day Creativity – Last week we debuted one of my favorite things that I have helped with while at WSU. On Pi Day we released a video of our math department chair providing an explanation of pi. On March 14, many higher ed institutions and other organizations will try to get cute and incorporate an actual pie into their social posts. It is now cliché. My thought was to take advantage of the world class faculty at WSU and perhaps teach our audience something. Dr. Charles Moore was fabulous to work with as he provided both a one-minute lecture that got right to the essence of pi and a mic drop pun at the end. Our videographers, Jace and Josue, did an exceptional job incorporating the lightboard and perfecting the lighting. Watch the video here.

Charles Moore, the math department chair at Washington State University, was the star of our Pi Day video.

Sloan’s 5th Birthday Cake – Some birthday cakes have received entire blog posts in the past but Sloan’s 5th birthday cake will be given the Thursday Rundown treatment. We bought this unicorn cake at Walmart and had it made with a vanilla bottom layer and a chocolate top layer. All the kids at the party and many of the parents ate a slice and we still nearly half the cake left when we packed up at Chuck E. Cheese.

This was Sloan’s 5th birthday cake prior to its cutting. We ordered it from Walmart.

Shot of the Kids – On Saturday, March 13, we headed to downtown Spokane for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. What a joy it was to attend a parade again! We met my dad, sister, and her two kids for an early afternoon of celebration and fun. While watching the parade, Spokesman-Review photographer Jesse Tinsley spotted our group and asked to take a photo of the kids. Although they didn’t make the front page of the paper, they did make the online gallery that accompanied the story. What a great looking group!

Jesse Tinsley of the Spokesman-Review snapped this photo of Sloan, Mikayla, Johnny, and Beau.


Thank you for your time this evening. Let us continue to pray for peace around the world. Remember to be positive and lift others up. Don’t Blink.

A St. Pat’s/Birthday Tradition

The tradition started the first day of Sloan’s life. I had worn a green polo to the hospital on that St. Patrick’s Day and once Sloan was born a photo was taken of one very proud daddy holding her. For five straight St. Patty’s Days after that, including the one last week, I have put on that same green polo and snapped a picture in a similar pose with Sloan. Tonight I am going to show you each one.

Here is the one that started it all. On March 17, 2017, I was a brand new dad and had the beaming smile to prove it…

After this picture was snapped a tradition was born.

This photo from St. Patrick’s Day 2018 was taken at my in-laws’ house with a sweet little lap baby…

By the time this photo was taken, Sloan had already developed her sweet smile.

In 2019, we posed in our Myrtle Beach house. Sloan was starting to grow some of her first curls but she was still small enough to fit on just one leg…

Sloan turned 2 the day this photo was taken.

Full disclosure, this next photo was not taken on St. Patrick’s Day. Instead, it was taken about a week prior. I was sadly not with Sloan on her 3rd birthday because I had left for Washington to start my new job (Sid, Sloan, and Beau would join me a couple months later) but I wasn’t going to let the tradition die. The photo was once again taken at my in-laws’ house and Sloan snuck some cucumbers into the frame…

This photo was actually take about a week prior to St. Patty’s Day because of life events.

On March 17, 2021, we celebrated Sloan’s birthday in Spokane for the first time. With her curls flowing, I had to hold her tight as she was a bit squirmish…

It took some effort to get Sloan to stay still during this photo taken on March 17, 2021.

Last Thursday Sloan and I posed for our latest photo of this tradition. My daughter is growing up before my eyes and I am getting old…

Our tradition is still going strong as we remembered to pose for this photo on March 17, 2022.

To keep this tradition going I need to take good care of that polo and probably even better care of Sloan so that she will continue to participate in my ridiculous tradition. I know it sounds stupid but doing this picture each year means a lot to me. Don’t Blink.

The 5 Questions That Sid and I Ask Each Other Every Day

Sometimes when you get into a groove with married life, you find yourself asking the same questions of your spouse on a daily basis. Enter Sidney and I. The other morning I was thinking about some of the guaranteed queries that we ask of each other on every day that ends in “y.” Here are five of them that kept coming to mind…

On a daily basis, we end up asking a handful of repetitive questions.

Did you do the Wordle today? – The morning usually is not over by the time one of asks the other if they have cashed in on their jolt of excitement for the day by attempting the Wordle puzzle. At that point, one of us usually follow it up with the following questions: Was it hard? How many tries did you need? How long did it take you?

Is the dish washer clean? – This question is always tossed by me at Sidney. In our household, she loads and I unload…it is like clockwork. Although we have a fancy dishwasher and you can never tell whether it is clean or not. We are going to order one of those magnets with a “clean” and “dirty” side but until then I will be bothering Sidney with the dreaded question on the daily.

What are you having for lunch? – This one is great. It might seem like a straight-forward, surface level question but there is some strategizing behind it. Although we are naturally curious about what the other person is going to eat, it is also a way to find out if the other person knows about something available that the other does not. But it is also asked as a courtesy as well. If I planned to eat the leftover spaghetti but know Sid might have her heart set on it too, I will ask her what are you having for lunch? If she says spaghetti, I will lay off the pasta. We eat lunch together six times per week so we have gotten pretty good at both asking it and answering it.

Are you in a meeting? – I work remotely four days per week and my at-home office is in our bedroom. Naturally, Sidney needs to enter my “virtual office” throughout the day whether to use the master bathroom to shower or to retrieve clothes and other necessary items. Whenever she does this, Sid will creek open the door and softly say “Are you in a meeting?” If I answer “no” she will walk behind me to do whatever. It says a lot about how polite and considerate Sid is on a daily basis when I am essentially taking up her space.

Can you get me a water? – Ah, saving the service question for last. We are both pretty reliant on having a bottle of water at our bedside tables during the night. However, it usually never fails that once we are in our room and just about to hop into bed that someone is missing a water. This results in one of us asking the other to embark on the dangerous 20-yard hike into the kitchen to retrieve a water so no one dies of thirst in the middle of the night. Of course it is likely that not one sip will be taken out of the water bottle the entire evening.


Do you have any questions that you ask your spouse over and over again? If so, let’s hear it. Okay, that’s it for me. Don’t Blink.

A Chuck E. Cheese Birthday Party

As a Chuck E. Cheese superfan, it probably won’t surprise you where Sloan chose to have her birthday party. This past Saturday, our new 5-year-old hosted seven of her friends at the wildly popular entertainment center’s Spokane Valley location.

Sloan hosted seven of her friends at Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate her birthday on Saturday.

Yes, birthday parties are back as the pandemic continues to loosen its grip on our world. All one needed to do to see this reality expressed was peek inside Chuck E. Cheese for a half second on Saturday. But more on that in just a bit.

If you are a parent and are considering where to allow your child to host their birthday party, I thought I would give you some pros and cons for choosing Chuck E. Cheese.


Even though Sloan had her heart set on a Chuck E. Cheese party, Sid did look around at some of the trampoline parks and inflatable centers around Spokane. By a decent margin, Chuck E. Cheese offered the most affordable “per kid” price. You might be surprised to learn what some places are asking for birthday parties.

I feel the value of a Chuck E Cheese birthday party is strong compared to other alternatives. Sloan got some special time with Chuck E. and much more.

The value we received was another positive. The per kid price included an unlimited game card for TWO HOURS, pizza, unlimited soda in a Chuck E. Cheese souvenir cup, ice cream, and a party favor bag. We felt like Sloan’s friends were well taken care of.

That value also provides enhanced treatment for the birthday kid. It all starts with the name badge they receive and wrist watch they are given to activate the games, a VIP piece of “bling” that contrasts with the standard card that all the other children get. The birthday designee also receives free tickets, recognition from Chuck E. Cheese himself, and a chance inside the ticket booth where occupants are challenged to grab as many tickets swirling in the air as possible.

Sloan in the Chuck E. Cheese ticket booth with her cousin, Mikayla.

The flexibility is also nice. We could have purchased a cake from Chuck E. Cheese but we weren’t required to do so. Rather, we were allowed to bring our own cake to the facility and our party host gladly served it to the kids. That is another thing, Chuck E. Cheese assigns an employee to your party to facilitate the schedule, serve food/drinks, make the birthday kid feel special, and provide customer service.

We were able to bring our own cake to Chuck E. Cheese.


On the other side of things, it wasn’t like Sloan had a private party. There were five other birthday parties taking place during the same noon – 2 p.m. time slot as Sloan’s. All these parties took place on the same floor area, with six rows of seating (one row per party) lined up right next to each other.

With so many parties taking place simultaneously, that obviously translates into lots of kids running around. The gaming floor was pretty busy on Saturday resulting in wait times at some games and a long line at the ticket redemption prize counter.

Also, Chuck E. Cheese is Chuck E. Cheese. For those people who experience anxiety walking into a place with kids running wild all over the place or who think that Chuck E. Cheese pizza tastes like cardboard, your perception is unlikely to change even if you are experiencing the venue from a birthday party perspective.


With all that said, judging by my count, the positives still outweigh the negatives. Because of that, I feel like I can recommend Chuck E. Cheese for your child’s birthday party. And oh yeah, Sloan can too! Don’t Blink.

Oh Me! Oh My! Sloan is 5!

Has it been a half decade already? Today we marked yet another extra special St. Patrick’s Day with Sloan’s 5th birthday. Although it seemed like just yesterday when Sidney gave birth to our daughter after a grueling induction process that lasted nearly three days, our pot of gold is still shining as brightly as she did on March 17, 2017.

The greatest day of my life.

When I commemorated Sloan’s 4th birthday a year ago, I highlighted her sassiness. Trust me, it didn’t wear off over the past year. Quite the contrary, in fact. Our little girl has her own special attitude and it is expressed by over the top expressions, witty one-liners, and multiple wardrobe changes per day. You never know what she will do or say next other than that it will probably be extra. I guess you could say she takes after her mom.

This picture doesn’t really show it, but his little girl is sassy…and I love her for it.

But if you remember correctly, in that same blog post from a year ago I also pointed out Sloan’s empathy. I can confidently say that her empathetic spirit has not just kept up with her sassiness but has actually outpaced it. To listen to her pray for others reveals a window into her kind soul. To watch her look out for her friends is heartwarming. To observe how she tried to comfort others when her great aunt passed away showed wisdom beyond her years.

This girl is empathetic to the core

With all that said, there is one other thing that must be said about Sloan: She could probably be a little more patient with her brother. Ha! But in all fairness, she is his biggest protector too 😉.

Like with any sibling dynamic, there can sometimes be a love-hate relationship…but it is mostly love.

I am so blessed to have Sloan. She is at an age where she still thinks I am cool which allows us to do a lot together. If I need to run the most minute errand, she will jump off the couch to come with me. If I am going outside to bring the garbage container in, she wants to help. If I am making dinner, she wants to operate the salad spinner. I never knew five years ago that our daddy-daughter relationship would be so special.

I can’t put words to how much I value the relationship between Sloan and I (photo courtesy of Nicole Lynn).

Today is Sloan’s day. She is mildly obsessed with her birthday and wasn’t even completely finished with celebrating her fourth birthday before starting the countdown to this one. But what little kid isn’t? For all of her eccentricities, Sloan is also your typical 5-year-old girl. She loves to have fun, play with dolls, and eat ice cream. By her request, tonight we are celebrating at Red Robin. This weekend she will have her long-awaited Chuck E. Cheese birthday party.

Sid took this photo of Sloan after school yesterday. Her St. Mary Pre-K4 class celebrated her a day before her actual birthday.

Sloan, you are a beautiful individual who brings an indescribable amount of joy to your mom and dad. Your pure heart and accepting demeanor are traits that make you the special girl that you are. We love you so much. Happy Birthday! Don’t Blink.

My Second Year at WSU: Growth

I ended the workday today in the exact same spot I started my first workday as a WSU staffer exactly two years ago. On March 16, 2020, I walked into my office in the Information Technology Building (true Cougs just call it “ITB”) and tonight I strolled out of it at a little past 5 p.m. During any other two-year stretch over the past several decades for American workers, those first two sentences wouldn’t hold much significance other than I didn’t screw up too much to get fired. But that was before something called COVID.

This was me during my first day at Washington State University on March 16, 2020.

After that first day of work in March of 2020, I was told to work from home for a couple weeks as we tried to flatten the curve. However, those two weeks turned into nearly 16 months before I would return to the office on a hybrid schedule. During those nearly 500 days out of the physical office I did question whether I would ever be on campus again. So, the fact that I did celebrate my second anniversary with WSU in the same spot I started it is a point of pride for me.

On my second anniversary of working for WSU (March 16, 2022) I found myself in the exact same spot (wearing the exact same shirt) in my office.

Speaking of points of pride, just having the opportunity to work at Washington State University is one. To work on the campus where my dad earned his degree and where I spent many childhood Saturdays cheering on the Cougs were motivating factors when I applied.

In fact, two years later those motivating factors still inspire me. But to be honest, my main inspiration is no longer associated with the past but rather the present. I have an incredible team I get to collaborate with and no shortage of meaningful work I get to perform. It makes getting up in the morning quite easy.

During my second year as a WSU employee, I finally got to attend a university event. Attending a WSU football game with my brother and dad was a blast!

My first year I was thrown right into the fire and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I wanted to contribute immediately. The pandemic was ramping up and it took us on an insane ride as we navigated and communicated throughout the numerous twists and turns of an unhinged virus. It was filled with constant statements, twice-per-month town halls, COVID-focused campaigns, academic schedule changes, and other pandemic-induced communications. Although I still got to do plenty of the duties listed on my social media strategist job description (paid social ads, analytics reporting, campaign generation, etc.) it was definitely more of a reactive year.

Things changed during this second year. It was less about working on the fly and more about embracing proactivity. I had the opportunity to craft strategy and experiment. I spent more time on content generation and social media platform building. More time planning videos and overseeing the growth of new social channels (looking at you, TikTok). More time diving into analytics and educating campus partners on the benefits of paid social.

Another difference between my second year and first year was that I actually got to work on campus. That’s me the right covering our Drive-Through Graduation Celebration in May 2021 (photo courtesy of WSU Photo Services).

Yes, I spent a lot of time during this sophomore year focusing on the core responsibilities of my job without as heavy of an emphasis on COVID stuff. But what I will really remember this second year for was the opportunity to branch out beyond social media-specific duties. I took on a leading role working with our enrollment management marketing agency. I was appointed to our strategic communications leadership team. I served on a committee with three other co-workers to foster community within our department. I chaired a search committee and served on a couple others. I volunteered to take the charge of submitting some of our department’s best work for national award recognition.

My dad makes has always made me sketches to commemorate birthdays and anniversaries. He sent me a photo of this drawing earlier today.

This growth was made possible by an amazing boss who has confidence in my abilities and my best interests at heart. I am so grateful to work under Holly Sitzmann, our University Marketing and Communications assistant vice president. Her leadership has made me a better professional while putting in perspective that work shouldn’t be all-consuming.

When it comes to my second year at WSU, I will look back on a few highlights. They include educating the WSU community on how to apply our modernized brand on social media, thinking outside the box with my team to implement creative marketing strategies when our football program played in the Sun Bowl, and presenting to the President’s Cabinet just last month. Again, these things wouldn’t happen without the support of my WSU mentors who include Holly, Dave Wasson (my previous supervisor), and more.

Working at WSU is pretty rad. I am so grateful for my hybrid work arrangement, chances to grow, and the talented individuals I get to work with on a daily basis. I am proud to be a Coug and I look forward to the opportunities and challenges that await in Year #3. Don’t Blink.