January 15, 2021
TO: Mills College Faculty and Staff
FROM: Beth Hillman
SUBJECT: Mills: Inside and Out
This week, the US Department of Education released more information about how the funds from the latest federal COVID-19 relief measure will be distributed. Mills College anticipates receiving $1.66 million for emergency grants to students and institutional relief both. The new bill broadened the groups of students eligible for grants and increased institutional flexibility in the use of funds. While we await further guidance from the incoming Biden administration, and perhaps another round of COVID-19-related relief, I'm grateful for this infusion of funds at a time when our students are in great need and the gap between our expenses and revenues remains large. The many staff across Mills who are helping us to access funds, meet reporting requirements, and distribute relief quickly, especially those in student financial services, financial aid, corporate and foundations relations, and our finance and compliance teams, deserve our thanks.
I'm also grateful for the quick and compassionate response of the Mills College Children's School (MCCS) team to a positive COVID-19 test for one of its young students. After following health department protocols, the MCCS has, so far, prevented the spread of the virus, and will remain closed through January 20. We owe Jenny Bond, assistant head of school, Debbie Brown, head of school, and Wendi Williams, dean of the School of Education, a debt of gratitude for their leadership. To see more about positive tests at Mills, check out the COVID-19 dashboard, which now includes this latest case from an MCCS student.
This week also brought an important step forward in Mills' commitment to antiracism with Special Assistant on Equity and Inclusion Kamala Green's message to the campus community, with more to come next week as we celebrate the holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and National Day of Racial Healing.
Finally, kudos to the scholars and artists in Mills College's Book Art program for winning the first Mills College honor of the new year: The 2021 Institutional Award from the American Printing History Association (APHA). The APHA citation reads: "Founded ninety years ago, the Mills College Book Art Program has taken the lead in developing academic programming that became the model for other institutions. Renowned for developing undergraduate and MFA courses of study and hosting prominent practitioners and scholars in the field, Mills has been central to the establishment of this now respected area of study.” Later this month, Kathleen Walkup, professor of book art and Lovelace family endowed chair in book art, will accept the award for Mills.
Please stay safe as the pandemic rages, and if you need a reminder about best practices for COVID-19 hygiene, check out Oakland's own Dr. Noha Aboelata (whose mother taught at Mills!), CEO of Roots Community Health Center, in her weekly COVID-19 video update.