Led by Dr. Mok Chong, AUHS Dean of General Education
In the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Marilyn Uvero started to sing “You’ve Got a Friend” by James Taylor. Dr. Uvero’s colleagues joined her, singing, “Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. All you have to do is call.”
Dr. Uvero then went on to discuss the future of the university and how each of them played an essential role in helping their students become successful healthcare professionals.
“I look up to all of you to help support me and Dr. Caroll Ryan, especially Dr. Ryan, who is leading everyone at AUHS into a new season. It is the first day of spring and let us bring forth a new season, a new culture, and a new caring environment, not only for ourselves but for our students,” said Dr. Uvero, “Our students are here to look up to the future and the future of AUHS will be shepherded by all of us. It will not be deterred or broken by some of us. Let us do all that we can to support our students in every possible way so that they may achieve their dreams.”
They then read the following passages out loud and discussed what each excerpt meant to them on a personal, professional and spiritual level.
Today is the first day of spring. It is turning into a new season- winter, spring, summer and fall. Life is a journey.
The coming of spring brings forth a brand new day and a brand new season because of the grace of God.
“Let us leave the past behind but bring the lessons we learned moving forward. Let us not repeat the mistakes we have made in the past,” said Ivy Javaluyas, the AUHS Director of Students Affairs, “Leave the bitterness and negativity behind and always keep moving forward.”
Dr. Ryan agreed with Javaluyas that it was a new beginning for them as individuals as well as a university.
“As we get older, we learn and we grow. The process of continuous improvement goes on forever,” said Dr. Ryan, “It is important to maintain a positive spirit and to maintain fresh eyes. We have to look at what we are doing now and how we can do it better. That is all part of us continuing to mature and fulfill what is expected of us.”
Dr. Chong happily announced that it was his 30th wedding anniversary and passed his wedding photos around the table for all of his co-workers to see. He and his wife were college students when they decided to get married.
“Spring was a good time to have a wedding because we had a break from school. I used to have a lot of hair now it’s all gone.” said Dr. Chong, “I think spring is definitely important because it is a new beginning for us both inside and out.”
Life is a battle of spiritual warfare
As we are not fighting against the flesh and body
Of all things on Earth, King Solomon asked God for wisdom
He said, “I like a child do not know how to go out or come in”
Yet I am always with you, Lord
You hold me by my right hand
You guide me with your counsel
And afterward you will take me to glory
My flesh and my heart may fail
But God is the strength of my heart and my passion forever
Chantal Jura, the AUHS Director of Career Services and Affiliations, shared her own personal and spiritual battles with everyone in the room.
“I’ve been going through a spiritual warfare within myself since I’ve gotten divorced last April,” Jura said, “I have been searching for meaning in things that do not have meaning. I tend to forget myself and find happiness through other people, my children, my friends, and so on.”
Jura was married for seven years and when her relationship came to an end, her life was turned upside down.
“I was angry for a long time. When you’ve been married to someone for so long, you think that you know the person. Then you get that taken away from you,” Jura said, “I used to say, ‘Why God? Why do other women get to have a happy family and I don’t?’”
In the end, Jura realized where true love and happiness came from.
“It dawned on me that there are certain things in life that happen and you just have to accept it,” Jura said, “Happiness is about self-care, it’s about self-love, and it’s about self-preservation. If you don’t love yourself at all, you can’t love or give to others.”
Jura explained that it was the middle of Lent, a period of fasting and repentance for Christians in observance of the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert.
“Lent is a time of self-discovery. The lessons that we need to learn is usually learned throughout lent,” Jura said, “Lent is not just about fasting or giving up chocolate. Lent is a time to give up anger, sadness, and jealousy.”
One of the most important lessons Jura learned through her personal experiences is that it was her calling to help other people.
“I think we are meant to take the lessons we have learned from our personal struggles and use it to help others,” Jura said, “Other people can learn from our mistakes.”
She remembered how two AUHS students came to visit her last week and were “upset about certain things.”
“I told (the students), ‘Listen, whatever you are going through, it will only make you a stronger person. You can use it to help yourself and to help others,’” Jura said, “I think with this first day of spring, we should reflect on what each of us went through during the dark times in our lives, to make it a lesson to yourself and a lesson to others.’”