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Way back in January 2010, Meg Palladino and Mary Churchill launched the University of Venus blog with a Word for the Year.

We welcome the new year with our words for 2015:

Mary Churchill, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

My word for this year is Inspire. This past year’s word was Impact and I realized a couple of months in that impact can be very limited at the individual level. In 2015, I’d like to have an even bigger impact and the best way I can think of achieving that goal is through inspiration. In my mind, inspiring people to make change is a form of capacity building, a way of not only being the change I want to see but inspiring the change I want to see and being excited about the transformation that occurs when you do collaborative work. I have found that one of the best ways to inspire people is through writing. So, look for more from me here at the University of Venus blog.

Anamaria Dutceac Segesten, Lund, Sweden

My word for 2015 is Dare. Dare to try new things, think new ideas, put those ideas into action. Leave the (mental) comfort zone and stand, at least occasionally, on the edge. This past year has been more about slow and (sometimes painful) gradual gains. I am hoping that 2015 will open up for more opportunities to be innovative and original.

Meg Palladino, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

My unglamourous word for 2015 is rock solid Reliable.  It’s not as interesting or exciting as some of my past words, but I suppose there is a time and place for all things.  My 2014 word was Engagement, and I think I did a decent job of acting that one out, so 2015 is the time for follow up and being dutiful about all aspects of my life: my job, my family, my friendships, myself. Maybe it’s because I turn 40 this year.  I hope that 2015 is a good year that continues to build a foundation for the next 40 years!  

Rosalie Arcala Hall, Iloilo City, Philippines

My word for 2015 is Purpose. I hope to continue being motivated to do the things I do best-- research and writing. 2014 was the busiest year for on record for me, with research projects, conference paper presentations, publication and traveling; and even working through the holidays and typhoons. I found that in between the deadlines and the airport rush, it is the thought that I am doing something concrete for peace in my country and my study area (military studies, conflict and peace) that kept me going. I hope not to tire of creating/birthing to new ideas and derive happiness from contact with new people, new culture, new places.  

Elizabeth Lewis Pardoe, Evanston, Illinois, USA

After two plus years of tumult, my word for 2015 is Calm.  “Keep Calm and Carry On” implies I have a level of calm to maintain, which I most emphatically lack.  I seek to establish calm having survived stormy seas.  I want to enjoy gentle breezes and warm sun now the hurricane force gales and downpours have passed.  Out of established habit, I remain braced for further turmoil.  I look to 2015 as an opportunity for tension to wane and my vision to arise from the urgency of the immediate to the enchanting possibilities on the horizon.

Lee Skallerup Bessette, Lexington, Kentucky, USA

2014 has been about change for me, professionally. I realized a lot of things about myself and about academia. I've changed career paths, and have spent the last six months learning the ropes of an entirely new career. This past year has been my most...quiet when it comes to my public writing and blogging. My word(s) for 2015: Do Better. I have changed, but academia, by and large, has not. And I haven't given up. So I need to do better in 2015 at being an advocate, an ally, and finding ways to leverage my new position for the better of not just me, but for all of higher education, however small and incremental that might be.

Anna CohenMiller, San Antonio, Texas, USA

I was torn between two words as we move into 2015 - Possibilities and Gratitude. Ultimately I believe that gratitude can encompass both. Living in a place of gratitude means that it is possible to have a chance to be thankful for all we have, for all we are, and for all we do. So for instance, when those times come that I find myself pushing myself beyond my limits, comparing myself in unhealthy ways with others, or starting to feel down about a vision I once had for my academic career, getting back into gratitude can provide a paradigm shift in thinking. From gratitude, the slate is cleaned and I can start again any day, any time, to work towards greater connection and positive change.

Jaime O’Connor, Savannah, Georgia, USA

Like some of you, I have also gone through a dramatic (and, in some ways, traumatic) career change in the past year.  Looking forward to what I hope for in 2015, the word that comes to mind is Community.  As I find myself in a new city, a new university, and a new role, I hope to maintain the meaningful relationships I have formed throughout my career and also to create a new sense of home and community with the people I am meeting now.  I’m grateful for forums like University of Venus that give me a sense of connection with brilliant educators from all over the world.  It’s comforting to see so many who care deeply about the same things that I do.

Yves Salomon-Fernandez, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

My word for 2015 is Care. This year, in addition to caring for others, I plan to take better care of my immediate family and of myself. Often, giving my best to work and to others comes at the expense of my family and myself. Long days, weekends, and non-stop emails come at a cost to those who care for me. This year, I resolve to give the best of myself to those who give me so much regularly: joy, laughter, and unconditional love and support. To my husband and kids-- this is your year and may it always be this way!

We have some exciting changes in store for 2015 so stay tuned and join us in this space. Let us know if you have a resolution or word for the year and share it in the comments below, on Twitter, and/or on Facebook. Make this the year you join us as a guest blogger!

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