Update – Friday, March 27, 2020: “Spring ‘break’ was different from any in the past.”

· , NSU News · Update – Friday, March 27, 2020: “Spring ‘break’ was different from any in the past.”

As we near the end of Northwestern’s Spring Break, we probably agree that this “break” was different from any in the past.  One example was that hundreds of students moved out of residence halls instead of returning to campus, and university classes and services transitioned to primarily online delivery for the remainder of the semester.

Please remember that the campus is not closed.  Some personnel are working on-campus, and other faculty and staff continue to telework as we adhere to the governor’s Stay at Home order.   We appreciate your patience and understanding and your innovation and creativity as you engage our students during this difficult time.

Remember that you can find current updates, campus resources and university services on our COVID-19 website, https://www.nsula.edu/covid-19/.  We added to the page a Questions/Concerns link for prospective students, current students and faculty and staff.  Personnel have been assembled to answer questions or direct you to the appropriate resources.

Here is a link, https://www.nsula.edu/nsu-staff-go-above-and-beyond-to-accommodate-students/, to a news release citing examples of extensive and creative efforts by the Northwestern family to provide assistance and support in these difficult times.  Here are other brief comments and notes that focus on compassion and resources that allow us to fulfill the university’s mission in the midst of unprecedented challenges:

Michael Scanlan has developed science videos to provide education and entertainment during social distancing.

Evan White, a student of Dr. Eddie Horton, wrote an emergency “work at home” manual, including how to get remote support from ITS.

Judit Castillo, a varsity tennis player and intern for HHP and the WRAC, is doing online fitness classes and personal training sessions, including nutrition advice.

Some supervisors in Fiscal Affairs are organizing social media chat rooms to communicate with staff, and the use of electronic signatures on forms is being expanded to accommodate the need to use email while teleworking.

The technical support staff is using WebEx to provide remote support to faculty, staff and students and utilizing extensive other innovative technology to facilitate the transition to primarily online learning.  Microsoft Teams is providing not only a communication service but collaboration tools for documents and allowing people to transfer from an e-mail based world to a modern workplace.  Professional development for faculty and staff is completely online.

Dr. Michelle Fazio Brunson and Dr. Nancy Alexander assisted in the creation of a webinar and handout for parents to guide their children at home during quarantine for the Southern Early Childhood Association (SECA.)  It will then be expanded into an eBook for SECA.

There are many more examples of your innovation and engagement, and we will share some in the days ahead.  Thanks for your extraordinary efforts, and please let me know if I may assist you in any way.




About the Author:

Leah Jackson is Northwestern State University's Director of Public Information and Media Relations. She is a 1994 and 2011 graduate of NSU and has been on staff since 2004.