Update to Faculty & Staff
April 13, 2020
I begin this email with the hope that you and your loved ones continue to be healthy. It has become an understatement to say that these are unprecedented times. Thank you for your patience and resilience as we navigate the unchartered waters before us.
Every day brings new considerations as we figure out how best to move forward, especially when it comes to delivering on our mission while also protecting the health and well-being of our community. I’d like to share a few updates with you:
- In addition to conducting all courses remotely through the end of this semester, all summer classes will be delivered online.
- We have also cancelled our summer Go Girls camp program.
- In order to be best positioned to respond to the possible ongoing need to be cautious in our delivery options for fall courses, changes are being made to align the Fall 2020 undergraduate calendars for the traditional and TAWC programs and to consolidate course offerings. We are doing this in order to provide maximum flexibility for our undergraduates as we plan in the context of significant uncertainty. I will be communicating these changes to students within the next few days as they prepare to register for classes and will share details with all faculty and staff.
This last point has been a monumental undertaking led by Amanda Gould, Melissa Morriss-Olson, and their teams. I am so grateful for the willingness of staff and faculty to work collaboratively and creatively in crafting and delivering a solution that will enable us to best serve our students.
While all of this has been going on, and as we work in new ways—in some cases harder than ever before—I am so proud that, at the same time, our Bay Path community is coming up with creative and compassionate ways to help others during this crisis. Here are just a few examples:
- Kristina Hallett created an amazing course for EMS providers, making this resource available to them during this difficult time.
- To keep her education students engaged while also providing a resource to school-aged children, Jen Stratton created the Stratton School. I had the pleasure of joining one of Jen’s classes and had a great time!
- Diane Hall honored our top psychology students by holding the first virtual Psi Chi induction ceremony last Wednesday. I loved being part of that celebration! Click here to view the induction ceremony and meet the new Psi Chi members.
- Eleni Hogan brings great joy to our community through outreach like the PetProject. It is so enjoyable to learn more about each other, despite our distance.
- Nathaniel “Than” Moore G’14, a member of Bay Path’s inaugural class in the MS in Physician Assistant (PA) Studies program, has started Gowns4Good, and is collecting new and used commencement gowns that will be forwarded to medical facilities to use as personal protective equipment (PPE). Read more here.
I know there are many, many other stories out there. Please let me know so we can share with the community!
We are also looking at ways to support our local community and have entered into an agreement with the Town of Longmeadow to designate some space in one of our residence halls as a Public Safety Quarantine Center if necessary for local emergency responders who need to self-quarantine. The town and fire department will have full responsibility for maintenance, including comprehensive cleaning, and other care. By the end of this week, we will also have a huge Bay Path banner on campus with the wording “To those offering help, healing, and hope, thank you.”
That is my message to you, as well. It has been wonderful to spend time with many of you during our virtual coffees, lunches, and “unwinds” and learn how you are doing. In true Bay Path spirit, many of you have asked how you can help even more by supporting our students during this challenging time. We have set up a relief fund to make sure students, especially our most vulnerable, can stay at Bay Path. To learn more or to make a gift, please visit the COVID-19 Student Emergency Relief Fund.
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of this pandemic is that we cannot predict with any certainty how the coming weeks and months will unfold. In all likelihood, there will be more challenges on the horizon. Please know that I will always honestly communicate with you and that, throughout, I am deeply grateful for your support.
Carol A. Leary