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What We Did Over Winter Break

Cat in Santa hat
While the holidays looked different for everyone this year, the College of Education faculty and staff made the season bright with new traditions.

Zoom calls brought Dr. Katherine Kapustka’s family together for an Oreo taste test. They decided mint, dark chocolate, and chocolate peanut butter pie were palatable, while birthday cake, chocolate marshmallow, and caramel coconut were not. Meredith Gioia made Zoom party kits for her family, which included hot cocoa bombs in personalized mugs, Christmas cookies, Holiday Bingo cards, and photo props. Sandra Tanksley and her family spoke remotely with relatives all over the globe, including in Australia, Ireland, England, Thailand, and along both US coasts.

To feel closer to family near and far, Dr. Nancy Hashimoto and Dr. Jordan Humphrey spent time learning to crochet, a pastime that their grandmothers enjoyed. Hashimoto hopes to surprise her mother with a doily in the near future. Cassidy Bradford and Sarah Magnuson took up bartending for their family gatherings. Sarah and her mother made their annual Grasshoppers, a minty ice cream drink!

Couple adopting a dog

The Queen’s Gambit brought about a chess tournament for Dr. Mindy Kalchman and her family. Kalchman reported losing the tournament to her husband and to her children, ages 14 and 12. Her kids have impressive skills! Erin Rice also enjoyed a tournament of sorts. She played a competitive series of Euchre with her husband and parents.

Santa and his reindeer were treated to healthy options such as yogurt and apples at the Hashimoto house. Sandra Tanksley and her three grandchildren made sure the man in red was safe by leaving out individually wrapped cookies, gloves, and hand sanitizer.

Furry friends contributed to the season as well. Dr. Jennifer Walberg bonded with her cats during the break. Walberg’s cat, Chewbacca, looked dapper in his Santa costume. Nikki Nudo adopted her foster dog, Bruno, from PAWS Chicago and Sarah Magnuson’s new puppy, Rodeo, is looking forward to becoming Bruno Nudo’s best friend.

Smiling corgi

From our COE family to yours, we hope you enjoyed a safe and healthy holiday season, and we wish you a hopeful new year.