Editor’s Notebook

Editor’s Notebook:

By Greta Belanger deJong

School for grownups, writing awards and a visit from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It’s been a busy month at CATALYST and in my life. First, we’ve begun the transition to a smaller format, much as we were at the turn of the century. You’re holding the last large-format CATALYST.

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses scholarship program in which I participated concluded. Designed by Babson College (Massachu­setts), funded by the Goldman Sachs Foundation and locally administered through Salt Lake Community College, the program has produced 350 graduates in Utah over the last four years. Basically, it’s like getting an MBA in your own business.

I was sad to see my cohort end. Every school day was a good day. My teachers, advisor and fellow scholars became an integral part of my life for those 11 weeks. True, my perspective was a bit (sometimes quite a bit) different from others. But it was all to the good. I’ve already begun putting some of my new knowledge to use.

If you own a business that is at least two years old, with at least four employees and $150,000 annual revenue, you might consider applying. It’s an invaluable experience. Drop a note to my advisor: Tom.Longenecker@slcc.edu if you’re curious.

Last week was the annual Society of Professional Journalists awards banquet for stories published in 2015 and CATALYST nailed some nice awards:

First Place, magazine feature story, “Untangling Transgender,” by Alice Toler (November)

First Place, Div. B, A&E: “Designers in the Dust: The Fashion of Burning Man,” by Alice Toler (August)

First Place, Div. B, Medical/Science, “Notes from an Extremophile: Eat the Invaders,” by Pax Rasmussen (July)

First Place, Div. B, Personality profile, “Nalini Nadkarni,” by Carmen Taylor (December)

3rd Place, Div. B, Criminal justice: “Dialogue for De-Escalation,” by Jonny G. Jemming (February)

3rd Place, Div. B, Humor/Lifestyle, “Hunting with Purpose,” by Ben Bombard (October)

Honorable Mention, Div. B, Humor/ Lifestyle, “The Mindful Vacation,” by Debbie Leaman (August)

Thanks to our fine writers—the ones who win prizes, and also the columnists whose formats are too quirky for competition guidelines. Our stories are probably the reason most of you pick up and read CATALYST.

I say “probably” but I’d like to know definitively. Please look over the Reader Survey on the next page and fill it out. You can also access it from our website and save yourself a stamp. The online version has a few more questions; they’re optional, but we hope you find them interesting enough to answer.

In late June, we saw His Holiness the Dalai Lama speak at the Huntsman Center on the University of Utah campus. His topic: “Compassion and Universal Re­spon­­sibility.”

“You have the responsibility to make peace, not God,” he said. “Peace comes through action.” His English was much improved over his last visit, and the meaning came through with little need for the translator seated next to him. “No matter how difficulty, we have ability to raise strength,” he said. “Difficulty lends opportunity to demonstrate depth of character and rise above petty concerns. Giving up hope is not a recipe for success.” He said that if we make an effort now, the latter part of the century can be “more happy, more peaceful.”

Here here, your Holiness.

Greta deJong is the founder, editor and publisher of CATALYST.

This article was originally published on July 1, 2016.