Dear CME and MSE students,
Welcome to a “new normal” semester! While I know that we are facing a wide range of changes and challenges, I am excited that we are all gathering back for the semester and am happy to see you again—of course from a socially acceptable distance! Much has changed since we departed so abruptly last semester. But with this change, we have been given an opportunity showing us ways in which we can take care of each other and how to meet each other’s needs on a health and wellbeing level. To this end, there have been several changes made in the operation of our department that are designed to reduce the potential spread of coronavirus and optimize our in-person, hybrid and online learning experiences. A summary of these include:
- Our faculty have put a lot of effort into designing their classes to ensure your safety and well-being while also making sure you are able to learn the content of the classes in an effective and efficient manner. They will be sending you details with how each class will be structured. Often this will involve some level of hybrid learning as we navigate social distancing requirements. Please know that our faculty and advising staff are continuously working to meet all recommendations and guidelines from the college, university and state government.
- With the reduction in classroom capacities, the Asit Ray Commons has been reconfigured as “flex” classroom space for testing and instruction needs as reserved by faculty. This means that the space will be closed for general student access until further notice.
- Student Advising changes: Our student advisors will be available via Zoom by appointment. This is the recommended and preferred method of communication. However, some walk-in access will be available for cases where Zoom appointments are not possible. Bruce Cole will be on campus part-time to be available for in person meetings. In addition, we have a computer kiosk set up in FPAT 175 that can be used for “drop in” Zoom meetings with Marlene and/or Bruce.
- Student Expectations: As we all work to remain as safe as possible, and to protect the opportunity for as many learning modalities as possible, it is important that we can count on each other to follow all rules and requirements. Please be diligent in your social distancing, and cognizant of the plans and information put in place by the university staff and faculty. This is an expectation of the university, college, and department, and everyone is accountable. We can do this, and we can do it well, but only if we are all invested in the success of our efforts!
In addition to these plans, I do expect there to be some changes made based upon best practices and as needs emerge. My goal is to be flexible and adapt to the changes as best we can. I thank you for your understanding and wish you a successful and enriching semester.
Prof. Tom Dziubla
Chair, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering.