Personal essays from faculty about their experiences during COVID-19. 

Karen Arnold

Karen Arnold

Associate Professor, Educational Leadership & Higher Education, Lynch School of Education and Human Development

 

Students have appreciated opportunities to reflect on their own current experiences and connect with classmates in paired or small group discussions.

 

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Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis

Associate Professor, School of Theology and Ministry

 

Our commitment to formative education demands that we reflect on how our experience of the pandemic has affected our understanding of course topics.

 

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Lisa Goodman

Lisa Goodman

Professor, Lynch School of Education

To a person, students have responded with honest and deeply moving accounts of hardship, both large and small, as well as small triumphs and hopes.

 

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Belle Liang

Belle Liang

Professor, Counseling, Developmental & Educational Psychology, Lynch School of Education and Human Development 

Rather than just passively being accosted by negative news feeds, they are seeking and analyzing news selectively and actively, considering global responses to current events from a whole-person perspective...Now, one year later, those students have graduated, and they are teachers, service providers, graduate students, mental health clinicians. They have translated personal losses into compassion for others, serving their communities and living out their purpose.

 

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Suzanne Matson

Suzanne Matson

Professor, English Department, Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

It is my birthday. My son does not understand why I have no interest in presents. Everything is a present, I tell him...Even the winter coming for us, real winter, arriving in its inevitable time with bare-branched beauty, against a russet duvet of leaves billowed against hedges. Each fallen one a reminder of life. Thousands upon thousands. Too many to count.

 

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Maia McAleavey

Maia McAleavey

Associate Professor, English Department, Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

 

At home, it became more and more relevant that I had a family, that they had families, that we were all embedded in households, and that it was from these households (of parents, siblings, pets, roommates, children, grandparents) that we spoke and wrote.

 

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Alejandro Olayo-Mendez, S.J.

Alejandro Olayo-Mendez, S.J.

Assistant Professor, School of Social Work 

 

The uncharted waters that we are still navigating helped me learn that the traits of formative education are deeply interconnected. Academically, I kept challenging my students. But, it was the sense of community and support that helped me to realize that in the process of formative education, we were in this together.

 

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Scott Olivieri

Scott Olivieri

Director of Web Services, Office of University Communications, Adjunct Professor, Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

 

So, how have the collective efforts of the BC community impacted students’ personal formation by the time they arrive in my class senior year? Two words: It’s working.

 

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Scott Seider

Scott Seider

Associate Professor, Applied Developmental & Educational Psychology, Lynch School of Education and Human Development

In this chaotic experience of transforming a course mid-stream, I think there is likely a lesson for me going forward that, when push came to shove, I moved my lectures and quizzes online and reserved my short supply of synchronous, live-classroom time for the most formative dimensions of the course.
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Danielle Taghian

Danielle Taghian

Associate Professor of the Practice, Biology Department

Remote teaching has not altered my charge as a Biology professor at Boston College, it has only elevated the intensity with which I reach out to my students and help them acknowledge, embrace and learn from the disruption.
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Sandra Waddock

Sandra Waddock

Galligan Chair of Strategy, Carroll School Scholar of Corporate Responsibility, Professor of Management, Carroll School of Management

 

These realities will affect how well our students can do their work and respond to what we teach. Our students—and we—will be changed by our experiences during this crisis. And responding to students through this lens will change us even more.

 

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Filippa Marullo Anzalone

Filippa Marullo Anzalone

Professor and Associate Dean for Library and Technology Services

 

I realize that being in a space that evades definition is actually quite interesting and maybe even calming if one allows oneself the luxury of slowing down.

 

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Benjamin Braude

Benjamin Braude

Associate Professor

...the quiet contemplative sabbath of the soul now needs to be encouraged with greater intensity everywhere.
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Yonder Gillihan

Yonder Gillihan

Associate Professor

Love is our shield and protection in the age of pandemics; may we recognize that it is also so at every other moment.
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Mary Ann Hinsdale

Mary Ann Hinsdale, IHM

Associate Professor

We are to love one another, as Jesus has loved us. And it was in the act of footwashing, Jesus gave us the example of how to do this: we are to serve one another, humbly, even to the point of relinquishing that which is most dear to us: our reputation, our status, and ultimately, as Jesus did, our very lives.
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Kathleen Hirsch

Kathleen Hirsch 

Associate Professor, School of Theology and Ministry

 

It is our capacity to stand in attentive consciousness, with love and compassion for the whole of our broken, beautiful world. This is what makes us capable of healing ourselves and one another. Because life is more than suffering, and we are more than our fear.
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Rachel Spector

Rachel Spector

Associate Professor

I feel a profound sense of pride in our nursing profession, our colleagues, and members of the team... I know that too many people have not survived and feel profound joy that I am still here to tell this story.
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 Jonathan Howard

Jonathan Howard

Assistant Professor, English, MCAS

What else is there for us to do, but do away with this world and work fiercely toward another? where we hold all things in common, and there are no more arrests, and no more citizens, and no more lines to decide who we don't have to care about, and no more names for those we can neglect or harm with impunity.

 

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Michael James

Michael James

Lecturer; Director, Institute for Administrators in Catholic Higher Education, LSEHD

In this moment I must live more intentionally my vocation as an educator, inviting all members of the university community to live the Focolare spirituality’s practice in the 'Art of Loving.
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Régine Michelle Jean-Charles

Régine Michelle Jean-Charles

Associate Professor of French, Graduate Program Director, MCAS

We are tired AND we continue to fight, we believe because faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. We hurt from the pain in the present, and imagine better futures. We do not see justice, and we will not stop working for it to finally come.

 

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Ronna Krozy

Ronna Krozy

Retired Associate Professor, Community Health Nursing, CSON

 

Developing attitudes of inclusivity and equality begins early in life and must be maintained in supportive environments. Immersion and positive life experiences help to sustain these attitudes. Fortunately, at BC, this philosophy is woven into the fabric of teaching and student formation.

 

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jonathan laurence

Jonathan Laurence

Professor, Political Science, MCAS

 

What kind of State will the Coronavirus and the Black Lives Matter movement leave behind?...After decades of debate over regime change elsewhere, the emerging national movement signals a return to the work of improving democracy at home.

 

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Franck Salameh

Franck Salameh

Professor of Near Eastern Studies; Department Chair, MCAS

In 1970s Lebanon where I was socialized, even in wartime, that was how we did things: When a Muslim, Druze, or Jewish friend wished us a “Happy Christmas” we wished them a “Happy Christmas” back,” and we partook of similar rituals and well-wishes during other communal feasts and celebrations that were not necessarily our own.
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Brian Gareau

Brian Gareau

Associate Professor, Associate Dean for the Core, Sociology Department, MCAS

For me, this passage has given me renewed energy to treat my own 'letter-writing' (AKA emails) with patience, care, and discernment before hitting 'send,...'

 

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Elizabeth Graver

Elizabeth Graver

Professor, English Department, MCAS

So, too, do we metamorphose, our own faces aging on Zoom (a children’s TV show in my day) as we stare at ourselves staring at our students and co-workers, and all the while, our neighbors—next door and everywhere—sing from windows, gasp for breath.

 

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Brad Harrington

Brad Harrington

Associate Research Professor, Executive Director, Center for Work and Family, MCAS

But if we pay careful attention to the crucial elements this crisis has revealed: well-being, work-family, and belonging, what better organization we would have. And what a better world it would be.

 

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Maxim D. Shrayer

Maxim D. Shrayer

Professor of Russian, English, and Jewish Studies; Director, East European Studies Minor, MCAS

How can one write poetry today without harboring hope that these lines shall lead one out of the labyrinth of political aggression, illness, and despair?

 

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