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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

In 10 years, what will you tell people about what it was like to be at St. Joe’s during the pandemic


I would say people were anxious, people weren’t generous like they used to be. So hostile, not patient with other people. Manners went out the window and people were scared to help one another.

Tanya Heard
desk attendant in Post Learning Commons
Some good things that came out of it was a sense of shared purpose and shared community like we are all in this together and we were all supporting each other and being kind to each other.

Martha Easton, Ph.D.
assistant professor of art history
The first day I Zoomed with my students from my living room, I literally started to cry because I didn’t realize how emotional it was going to be to see their faces over Zoom. I was so relieved to see that everybody was safe and everybody was healthy. In 10 years from now, I will look back on this and go, “It was a chance for me to really be a teacher.”

Theresa Crossan, M.A.
adjunct professor of chemistry
I have learned as a teacher, over the last five years especially, to recognize that my students are more than that. During the pandemic, that knowledge, that understanding has been so crucially important because it helped me to know when I needed to step in, when I needed to check in.

Amber Abbas, Ph.D.
associate professor of history

This is 10 times worse than actual school. The only good thing that came out of it was being able to roll out of bed in your pajamas and go to class.

Elizabeth Donnelly ’24
undergraduate student
We learned to make the best possible decisions with the information we had and to be comfortable with cognitive dissonance, uncertainty and contradiction, which are among the critical thinking skills that a foundation in liberal education provides for our students.

Shaily Menon, Ph.D.
dean of College of Arts and Sciences
This honestly shows you the real world because all the stuff that happened during this pandemic, so many events leading up to it and so many events that happened during it, honestly changed and shaped our world. It made me realize what our world is and I guess it just really opened up my eyes to different things in different perspectives.

Amanda Boehme ’24
undergraduate student
It was hard. It’s hard not being able to be in class because in-person classes are way easier. You get to learn much more. Having classes online, you don’t get the exact same focus you had interacting with the professor.

Oscar Colon ’23
undergraduate student
I am so proud of my St. Joe’s students who rose to the challenge and came to classes virtually even with masks on because they couldn’t even be somewhere where they were alone.

Gabrielle Miller
adjunct professor of film
I admire students, in particular, St. Joe’s students, who have been able to do these hybrid forms and be back on campus and really adapt in the way that St. Joe’s is adapting.

Richard Gioioso, Ph.D.
professor of political science
It was something that probably no one ever is going to experience. Then the people that were in it knew that it was really crazy. It ruined a lot of the year but it was something that we all had to work through and adjust to.

Micaela Salerno ’21
undergraduate student
It wasn’t too hard, just because of being online, but I feel like I’ll say that I missed out on the college experience, especially as freshmen because we were only there for a half a year. And I’ll probably talk about the fact that I feel like there’s so many people that I didn’t meet, but I probably would have had we not had a whole pandemic that sent everyone home.

Mallory Grossman ’23
undergraduate student

I would say that online teaching is both more possible and more difficult than any of us thought. I had to learn to adapt but I’m so excited to be in the same room as you all again.

Steven Hammer, Ph.D.
associate professor of communication and media studies
I think one of the main things I noticed was the students’ mental health. I have students in my classes or my colleagues’ students whose mental health was taking a real beating.

Jason Mezey, Ph.D.
professor of English
The college experience changed. I think a lot of it, pre-pandemic, was about social interactions, which is significantly more limited now. Our understanding of college has become a more academic focus, which for some people isn’t what they wanted.

Luis Nunez ’21
undergraduate student
Being a high school student in the very beginning of the pandemic was definitely the greatest experience of my life because I went from having to go to school to literally playing video games with my friends all day.

Carter Karpinski ’24
undergraduate student
Before the pandemic happened, if we were to be offered online school we all probably would have been for it because of how easy it was. But when we got into it, we noticed how hard it was to have motivation.

Jordan Freeland ’21
undergraduate student
The pandemic created a sense of fear, aggression. It took the humaneness out of people and I think it really hurt people’s personal relationship with a friend, as well as strangers. People are afraid to socialize.

Vincent Lynch ’22
undergraduate student
We’re always gonna have that sense of ‘Alright, anything can change in an instant,’ and I feel like we never really had experienced that before so now that’ll always stick with us. We’ll be able to walk out of this being more appreciative even about the simplest things.

Maggie Hallinan ’22
undergraduate student
It’s very easy to get distracted when you’re online. When I’m going on these Zoom calls and have my phone on ,my iPod on, my computer, and I just start browsing, because I think I can multitask, but you’re just not getting that same amount—you’re not absorbing the same amount of information.

Alfredo Mauri, Ph.D.
professor of management
Even though it was frustrating, it was sort of beneficial in a way that it helped us learn our strengths or weaknesses especially doing stuff online. I would say it was a time where we discovered ourselves, especially being home being confined to our environment.

Heavenly Perez ’24
undergraduate student
It was very, very challenging. School is very hard right now, focusing is hard. It feels overwhelming because we’re sitting at a desk all day long.

Erin Hicks ’21
undergraduate student
I would say that it made me realize that the little moments that didn’t really seem that impactful before really mean a lot more to me now.

Raymond Zuhowski ’21
undergraduate student
It was probably the most difficult period in modern American history to be a student because of the sudden change from being used to the traditional classroom style of learning to go fully online and try to adapt to Zoom. Trying all that was definitely hard.

Pat Taddei ’22
undergraduate student

Interviews by: Kenzie Allen ’23, Mary Comerford ’22, Henry Berg ’21, Jenna Quigley ’22, Matt Charleston ’22, Gabby Bekoka ’23, Dan Ciocca ’21, Matt Miller ’21, Matt Popeck ’22, Nick Detulleo ’23, Natalie Nevins ’24, Madison Fife ’23, Nick Filardo ’21, Ethan Griffith ’21, Lauren Lodge ’22, Catie Moffett ’22


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