Dear Students, Faculty & Staff,
I hope this message finds all of you and your families in good health.
We are concluding our third week of online classes, and I recognize the current circumstances remain challenging. While our faculty and students are adapting to new learning platforms and making progress toward the completion of a successful spring semester, the lack of social interaction with fellow Gators can be disconcerting.
At UHD, the people who comprise the institution are more than just colleagues and classmates. Our Gators form a deeply personal community. Faculty, staff and students support each other both on and off campus. And (as I’ve mentioned in previous messages), we should continue to do so in spite of the temporary requirements of social distancing.
Check up on each other when you can, or host a virtual coffee break to touch base with those friends whom you haven’t seen in a while. Although we’re not on campus, it’s important that Gators continue to remain in contact through this pandemic. I know that Student Affairs has been calling students who responded to the Student Needs Assessment Survey to help connect them to resources. Likewise representatives from Enrollment Management and University College have been following up with students as well.
UHD also is helping faculty, staff and students remain engaged with the campus and one another through a variety of online resources and services. The following are just a few initiatives led by UHD departments, colleges and organizations to support our Gators during this time.
- Social work faculty and students comprise Solidarity Circles, online support groups (focused on art, exercise, conversation) conducted throughout the week via Zoom.
- UHD Sports & Fitness continues to deliver free daily classes (led by its trainers) online.
- UHD’s Career Development Center and Marilyn Davies College of Business are continuing to assist students through online resources such as career advising and a range of tools supporting job searches.
- UHD’s Urban Education students (led by Dr. Maria Bhattachrjee) continue to produce free children’s E-Books (written in both English and Spanish) for the University’s free online library. Parents can access these stories (written and illustrated by UHD students) and share with their sons and daughters.
In addition to these online support programs and services, UHD will continue to host (albeit virtually) important events that address relevant issues and contribute to the intellectual and personal growth of our students. For example, I am proud to announce that next week, UHD will present two signature academic events—the Annual Gender Conference (presented by the College of Humanities & Social Sciences) and the Scholars Academy Student Research Conference (hosted by the College of Sciences & Technology). Both are online, and I strongly encourage your participation.
UHD’s greatest strength is its people … its Gators. Although separated by this pandemic, we will remain united by our commitment to our University and to each other.
Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz