Dean\'s Update - 4/23/2020
04/23/2020, 11:40:01 AM
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April 23, 2020


While Zoom meetings with barking dogs may seem routine at this point, let’s not forget what you have accomplished. Just six weeks ago we learned that all classes must move online in a little over a week. You left your offices, your colleagues and your comfort zones, and you rallied to support students and each other. If you’re like me, you’ve had some bad days mixed in with the good, but you’ve adapted. You’ve modeled resilience. You have made it to nearly the end of the semester.

As we head into a virtual summer session and continued uncertainty, I wish I could say it will get easier. What I can say is that we have proven we can get through tough times.

Now, we must reflect on what we have learned and find ways to improve and innovate. I encourage you to submit ideas for cost savings and revenue generation via the forthcoming UH survey and to share suggestions with your supervisors. The post-COVID-19 world will look different, and we will continue to adapt.

Onward with experience,

(Editor’s note: Dean’s Update will publish less frequently over the summer.)

Banner: The home classroom of Yessica Castillo (’18), a bilingual teacher at Cornelius Elementary


  • The planned April 26 power outage for Farish Hall has been postponed. CITE will provide updates.
  • The UH pause on new financial obligations has been extended to Aug. 31 or until further notice. See the April 17 email from Senior Vice Presidents Paula Myrick Short and Jim McShan for details.
  • Final call: Nominations for COE Staff Awards are due Thursday, April 30. See April 1 email from Tracy Markovich for details.


A Resource for Families
Sarah Mire (PHLS) and her graduate student research team have compiled a comprehensive resource guide to help families of children with autism during COVID-19, including information about how to maintain therapy, address behavioral challenges and more. Find the guide on the College’s new virtual hub of resources for teaching, learning, staying healthy and inspiring collective action.
Kelli Drenner Lessons in Real Time
Class discussions in Kelli Drenner’s epidemiology course evolved drastically over the past several weeks. Students went from learning about the coronavirus in China to witnessing the impact of a pandemic firsthand. Drenner (PHLS) and her students have been monitoring COVID-19 since early February as part of a disease tracking assignment. Read more in this Q&A.
Always Learning
New to online teaching, Eleanore Tyson (CUIN) has embraced the virtual platform, leading synchronous classes where students practice doing effective read alouds, revising assessments and more. “I brag about her to other IT people all over campus,” CITE’s Velvette Laurence said. In her last session, Tyson promised the class of mostly juniors: “I will be at your graduation to cheer you on.”
Virtual Voice for Good
Keith Butcher (ELPS) has responded to media queries about virtual learning, organized a virtual information session to help recruit applicants for the K-12 leadership program, and found time to sing and record the UH alma mater for the class of 2020. He’ll be hosting a virtual coffeehouse today at 6 p.m. via Zoom as part of the FEC and Staff Council’s “Virtual Farish Hall” series.
Addressing Inequities
In an interview with Fox 26, Ezemenari Obasi (PHLS, OOR) advocated for mobile COVID-19 testing sites or locations within walking distance of vulnerable communities. “In the work that we’ve done in communities, we've actually had to take treatments to neighborhoods,” he said, adding that people trusted in the community should be present to ease concerns.
Students who volunteer for PEEPS Pantry Delivering Blessings
PEEPS Pantry, led by Laura Lee (UGS), partnered with Bauer student Chloe Baker and her family to donate food from the pantry to families in Third Ward. Dad Stefan graduated from UH in 1984 with a degree in kinesiology and also ran track. Mom Brandi said the family was looking for ways to help and being able to bring food from the pantry to the community was a blessing.

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