Chowan Still Feels Like Home While Creating a New Teaching and Learning Environment
The faculty and staff worked tirelessly over the summer to alter the academic calendar and class delivery methods to accommodate our students' needs amid a pandemic while back in their living and learning environment. On Tuesday, August 25th, students began classes with altered delivery methods, in classrooms that have been reconfigured to ensure proper social distancing, and with mask bearing faces all following a new set of guidelines.
"Today's classes have been like no other in my 30 years at Chowan", shared Patsy Taylor, Associate Professor of Marketing, who delivered her Business Selling class in a hybrid format on Tuesday. She shared that "with the exception of a few technical issues (operator error on my part), I feel good about how things went today, even those who were joining us online were logged in and ready."
Pamela Woodard, Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, said, "it felt so great to be back in class, and all of my students complied with the mask and social distance requirements. In each of the three classes I taught, we allowed for anyone to share their fears or apprehensions before beginning course content. Hawks are present and eager to learn, warming my heart immensely." Both Taylor and Woodard had hybrid classes on Tuesday, where a group of students are in-person learning while the others are learning in real-time online.
"I feel so blessed to be back on Chowan's campus", shared Grace Arrendando, a senior from Charleston, South Carolina. "Whether classes are taught through computer screens or by mask-bearing professors, a sense of kind sincerity and togetherness has made the return to learning a welcomed experience."
Alajah Gray, Vice President of the Student Government Association (SGA) and senior from Portsmouth, Virginia, admitted that "virtual learning is very new to me, but my professors have made this process very smooth. I am enjoying learning new things and staying safe during these challenging times. With faith, we can conquer anything!"
Brandyn Roccobruna, who is a freshman from Spring Lake, North Carolina, said that his "first few days were great. Everyone here is comforting, and the students are friendly. It's different to deal with the online classes and adjust to all the precautions [the University is] taking, but all around it has been a great experience!"
Hedi Jenson, a freshman from Loveland Colorado, also admitted, "things are a little funky with the hybrid classes, but I think my professors have been doing a wonderful job making this a smooth transition. So far, I am loving my classes, and how easy it is to contact and meet with my professors! I have also loved attending all the fun activities and getting to bond with my peers! All of the faculty and staff here have made my transition into college very easy. All the kind and welcoming folks here make Chowan feel like home even when we are all six feet apart."
While the University is back in session, there are new realities. Pasty Taylor admitted, “wearing a mask is not so fun, but I will do what I need to do to protect our students, faculty, and staff. We are all learning and in this together. With deep breaths, patience, and prayers, we can do this.”
In these uncertain times, one thing is certain, Chowan is exhibiting once again, its ability to be resilient and persevere through adversity. The relationships and determination of faculty, staff, and students is how the Chowan family has been able to navigate, prepare, and adapt to the challenges amid this pandemic. While so many things have been altered this semester, the one sentiment across campus is it is good to be back "home" at Chowan.