Covid-19: A call to empathy

Dear colleagues,

Much information is circulating about the physical effects of Coronavirus and ways to prevent its spread. This is important information to keep in mind as we go about our days.

It is also important to think about the ways our students and colleagues are emotionally affected by this situation. In the last couple of days, I have spoken with students and colleagues who have family or other close ties to countries currently affected most severely. Fearing for the wellbeing of loved ones far away and not knowing if they will be able to carry out plans to visit or return home in the near future adds stress to the normal uncertainties of being in a foreign land. While my conversations have been mostly with international students and scholars, out of state students may be experiencing some of the same emotions. I invite you to be mindful of this emotional toll. I encourage you to express your feelings of empathy and concern for students and colleagues most closely affected. This may be as simple as asking about how their families are doing or inviting them for a short chat. It is always nice to know others care and that we don’t have to face our fears alone.

Please reach out to Meghan or I if our team can be of additional support to you, or if you’d like us to connect with a student or colleague that may benefit from it.

My best to you,

Gabrielle Malfatti

Director of Global EngagementAncillary Associate Teaching Professor, Higher Education

Gabrielle Malfatti, Ed.D.

Global Engagement Director

College Diversity Committee co-Chair