Tag Archives: covid19

Thank You Video Project

Allie Gabbard

Allie Gabbard,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 27 April 2020

As you are aware things have really switched gears due to the novel coronavirus. Within a blink of an eye, life as a college student quickly changed. Announcements were released and within a week of spring break we transitioned online. Many events have been canceled or postponed until further notice.

As an ambassador, one of our favorite events to attend is the awards ceremony for the faculty and staff. Unfortunately, like many other events, this one has been postponed. Attention shifted to the students in attempt to give them the best education possible as well as give the graduating students a sense of normalcy.

Classes moved online, exams are wrapping up, and hundreds of students are about to graduate. This was only possible due to the drive and passion of the faculty and staff of the Russ College and Ohio University as a whole. In trying times like these it is vital to work as a team, and they did just that. We wanted to take a moment to recognize the people that made all of this possible.

Dr. Masel and I worked together to organize a video that included nearly all the
ambassadors. With enthusiasm and excitement, each member participated in a line in the script below and we all had the opportunity to say thank you to the ones that made everything possible.

I encourage you to read through the transcript below to understand how thankful we are for the faculty and staff as well as watch the video! We would love for you to continue to share the video as we are very thankful and want to give them the recognition they deserve. Thank you all for all of your hard work!


“It’s been a really unusual semester for everyone in the Russ College as faculty and students have worked together to make a huge transition. A lot of attention has been given to the students, but today we would like to give a shout out to all of the faculty and staff for their hard work and perseverance. We know it hasn’t been easy for anyone during this time. Students found out we wouldn’t be returning to class. You found out that you only had a few days to re-plan half of a semester. You all have made it work.

We would like to take some time to express our appreciation of all our faculty and staff. You have made a full commitment to ensure that we still get the higher education we set out to achieve. You all made a sudden transition to move to remote classes. We understand that being at home for you can be just as big of a challenge. Instead of talking in front of a class, you now talk into a camera. While attempting to pre-record lectures, we understand children and dogs may be running around in the background. Perhaps you have re-recorded a lecture 2 or 3 times because it didn’t sound right. As engineering professors, some of you have had even bigger challenges. How in the world am I going to give my students the hands-on lab assignment we do on a weekly basis?

Where there’s a will, there’s a way and you all proved that. Advising week approached and without hesitation advising sessions were held virtually so we could see each other and take a minute to catch up with our advisors. Our faculty and staff are the ingredients to the recipe of success the Russ College had when transitioning to the online classes. Despite the pandemic, you all are about to graduate hundreds of Russ College Undergrads. On behalf of the Engineering Ambassadors and the entire Russ College student body, THANK YOU!

Engineering Ambassador Google Hangout

Lydia Seiter

Lydia Seiter,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 16 April 2020

As President of the Engineering Ambassadors, one of my responsibilities was to plan social activities for the organization. With the transition to virtual learning, many of our spring social events, like bowling at Rollerbowl, were unfortunately cancelled. I still wanted to foster that warm sense of community we feel when we spend time together, so I decided to plan a virtual hangout on Google Hangouts for this past Monday.

Google Hangout

At the Google Hangout, we had a great turnout of graduating ambassadors, returning ambassadors, and new ambassadors. Even though we were not able to be together in person, we were still thankful for the opportunity to get to know each other and welcome the new ambassadors to our amazing organization. We spoke about what we had been up to in quarantine, movies and TV series we were watching, how our summer plans were developing, and how online classes were going.

It was wonderful to be able to empathize about how the current situation was affecting us, and to lean on each other for support. I wish we could all see each other in person to say our final goodbyes, but I’m thankful for all the Ambassadors’ willingness to adapt to the uncertainty, whether it was by attending a virtual hangout rather than an in-person event, or holding meetings with prospective students online rather than in-person, or working to make videos and presentations of our lab facilities rather than in-person tours.


Jason Wherry

Jason Wherry,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 29 March 2020

The feeling that washes over me when I stroll down the sidewalks of Athens, Ohio is grim. Its once cheery, bustling nature has transformed into a barren land of college kids who are attempting to finish out their semester within the perimeters of their off-campus housing. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a tumbleweed go by; however, this is no scripted Western, it’s reality.

The fact of the matter is hard to swallow as myself and many others have acknowledged this may be just the beginning of the alterations which COVID-19 has imposed on human life. It is testing people’s health, the bonds of our communities, and willingness to surrender our social lives and commit to adjusting our communications with each other. One common misinterpreted saying I would like to talk about, in light of the coronavirus affecting everyone, follows: people don’t change.

To frame this line a bit let me take a step back and refine what that means to me. The saying people don’t change refers to the true character of a person, their intrinsic values. I am getting at one’s beliefs, values, rather than a minor shift in habit such as employing a new method to cook chicken or an exciting way to work out. I want to dive into the determinants for significant interpersonal change, which the current tides of society have brought to shore quite rapidly. In other words, people don’t change by themselves…they are changed by circumstances.

The spread of illness has changed the circumstances for everyone without their input on the matter, an unfavorable way to introduce change. It is unusual as we are creatures of habit and resist change through our day-to-day lives. In an attempt to get behind of the wheel of life again, I suggest one tries to react differently to their circumstances, leading oneself towards new conditions, and unexplored territories. Do not be afraid to try new things, do the same things differently, add people (virtually for now) to situations and append yourself (also virtually) onto new situations too, and most importantly remember that the best way to change is to stop relying on comfort to guide your life.

The graduating class of 2020 has been forced to change, just like most social constructs have, and we are not thrilled about it. What good will it do us if we sit around and wallow in the past, complaining about something out of our control? I have just examined my interpretation for changing oneself on a deep level and since we have so much “free time” on our hands, I urge you to exercise that power and do some internal digging. Listen acceptingly to oneself to find out how you can put aside all of the calamity and find peace.

To quote a great mind known as Carl R. Rogers, I present the following: “we cannot change, we cannot move away from what we are, until we thoroughly accept what we are”. I am no expert at personal psychology, or anything at all really; however, I do believe that now is a better time than ever to sift through your personal experiences and psychoanalyze how you can be happy within. After all, the world is nearly at full capacity when it comes to unanticipated circumstances, so why not implement meaningful change by realizing what structural material will best hold yourself up during these rocky times?

I hope my thoughts brought some new ideas to the front of your mind and sincerely wish everyone well-being and personal development during the quarantine. We can, and we will overcome this obstacle; in the meantime do your best to steer oneself in a positive direction.

What’s Changed in Athens and What’s Unchanged

Allie Gabbard

Allie Gabbard,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 29 March 2020

A lot has changed since my last blog post, especially as far as the environment I now do my work in. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us all, more than likely, in multiple ways. Little did the Class of 2020 know that the week before Spring break would be our last day of classes on campus. Everything would change. The University would extend spring break by 1 week to allow professors time to transition their classes, all classes would go online, and we as students would have to adjust to a new virtual world.

This has been a big adjustment for me as I am a hands-on learner; that is why I chose ETM as my major. The majority of my classes have moved to Microsoft Teams to host lectures whether they pre-record them or host them as a normal class session. I really enjoy using Teams because we can easily interact with our professor and our classmates still keeping that community feel.

I also think the professors have really done their best to make themselves available as much as possible. I know my professors have an open-door policy; therefore, they have extended that virtually. Anytime, during business hours, you can connect with them over phone, or virtually through teams to get help! I think the faculty have done an amazing job doing whatever they can to support us students.

I have been quarantining at my Athens residence since my return from spring break. This has allowed me the opportunity for quiet space, but to still maintain that Athens feel. For those of you not in Athens I will provide you with some background. Typically, this time of year Athens is filled with students. The first warm day of spring hits and the greens fill with people. On South Beach you’ll see students playing volleyball, picnics, people playing frisbee and so much more. On West Green, students will place speakers in their dorm windows playing music outside. People will tan on the green, throw football, hang in their hammocks between light post, or sit under the cherry blossom trees. For once this is not the case. I can assure you the cherry blossoms are in full bloom because my sinus infection is coming on strong right on time!

Although there is not a lot of life on campus, there are still upperclassmen residing in their off-campus houses. The sound of music bumping from a speaker carries for at least a mile indicating there are people here. It never fails, to take a jog on the bike trail and see other fellow Bobcats doing the same. I can also assure you that the campus “dogs” or the deer are lively and healthy. On my walk yesterday, I passed a record breaking 12 deer all together!

Students, prospective students, alumni, and faculty: although life has changed drastically over this last month, the end is unknown, and negativity continues to spread. I challenge you to reflect and soak in something positive and share that, because I promise someone needs that right now.

I can assure you although the student body is missing from campus, the community, the beauty and the buildings are just waiting for us to return. Not only will the Class of 2020 have a unique celebration, but I am sure opening weekend and homecoming will be bigger than ever so we can celebrate the challenges we have overcome together as Bobcats and celebrate being back together again here at hOUme!