A Message From the Dean on COVID-19

This is a difficult and challenging time for everyone. I wanted to take a moment to check-in and let you know that the staff and faculty of the Lewis Honors College remain here for you. As President Capilouto shared in his message, all students are moving off campus this week and all instruction for the remainder of the semester will take place online. While we are all working remotely, be assured that we are ready and eager to assist you as we navigate our online spring semester together. Our counselors, advisors, and faculty are available through email, phone, or Zoom session to give you the guidance and support that you need.

Our seniors are probably also aware that our Commencement ceremonies will be rescheduled at a later date for this spring’s graduates. The Honors Medal Ceremony will also be rescheduled to coincide with Commencement. This is probably not the way you imagined you would close out your senior year (or your first-year or any year for that matter). However, you will still earn your degree and that degree will include your Honors designation after successfully completing the semester. When the time comes, however, you will walk across the stage wearing your Honors medallion and I will proudly shake your hand knowing that in the face of adversity you persisted with grace and grit. I’m not just talking about our Spring 2020 graduates either – each semester for years to come, I will know that our Honors graduates adapted to the changes and challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and I will have an extra sense of pride in all that you’ve accomplished. 

I don’t want to minimize the challenges brought on by this change. Even if you or a loved one are not infected with the novel coronavirus, this stress and challenges of this situation will have an impact on your personal wellbeing. Our Center for Personal Development (CPD) counselors have advice and strategies that can help you come through this challenging time. They are compassionate and eager to lend a sympathetic ear, to listen to the challenges you are facing and help you work through them. CPD counselors are now available for quick virtual drop-in questions on Mondays through Fridays from 2 – 4 p.m. in the CPD Zoom Room and individual appointments with counselors are available via phone or Zoom. To schedule an appointment with your counselor, login to Handshake and select an available timeslot with your counselor.

You likely also have many questions relating to academic requirements, registration for the fall semester, and grades. Our team of academic advisors is also ready to help you with all your concerns. Your Honors advisor will be reaching out to you in Canvas, so be sure to check your messages. As the University leadership makes decisions regarding grades and requirements in this exceptional time, please be assured that the Honors College will be supporting you through each step of the process. If you have any questions or concerns, simply contact your academic advisor.

Although you won’t be physically on campus, we remain your college and all of the Lewis faculty and staff are here to help you through the stress and uncertainty of this time. As the Commonwealth’s Governor keeps reminding us, we are all in this together. And together, we will figure it out. 

We remain here for you and we want to hear from you. Please share with us both your concerns and your successes. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that Honors students are creative problem-solvers. Although some of your plans may have been dampened by the current crisis, I have no doubt that many of you will find new ways to adapt, innovate, achieve, and overcome! 

Take care of yourselves and those around you by continuing to be good citizens of public health. I am proud to be your dean.