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Raul’s Report: What have you done today to get better?

Raul Cardenas, Ph.D.
CU Denver Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Challenge yourself to improve every day

By Raul Cardenas, PhD

ask my children two questions each day. What have you done today to get better? And, what have you learned today? They get a little tired of me pestering them but, although they’d never admit it, I truly believe that they appreciate my daily push for them to take a few moments for personal introspection.

My oldest son is in college. My daughter is in high school. My younger son is in middle school. Predictably, the depth of their answers have changed over time. Early on, they learned things like their ABCs. Now, they get better when they discover concepts like civic engagement and responsibility and begin to figure out their own role in the world.

I ask myself those same questions and I put them to you, too. We come to campus each day to learn from our world-class faculty and students. What do we do to ensure that we don’t take that for granted?

How we learn from each other makes all the difference. We all have ownership in how we spend our time here and what we come away with. Ultimately, we’re the ones who choose how we’ll be present, leading to those very personal answers to my daily questions.

Personally, my challenge to get better is a renewed focus on my health and wellness, a commitment to go beyond diet and the latest fitness craze. I’m taking a close look at my daily habits, not just for me, but for my family and others around me.

Professional learning and development has always come a little easier, especially as I listen to our students. When I learn from them that this is a difficult place to navigate and I respond to those needs, CU Denver becomes a better place. When I learn about our students’ passions, see them in action, and become inspired by them, our community and our world becomes a better place.

Maybe that’s the additional question we should be asking. What have we done today, not only to make ourselves better, but to elevate our community?

Ask yourself: What did I learn today? What have I done to become better?

Raul Cardenas, PhD, is the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver. He’s devoted to student success, enjoys sharing a good laugh, loves commencement and leads a staff committed to providing the best student experience possible. Raul invites students to schedule a conversation with him. Email for an appointment.

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