Teaching and learning at the University of Rochester look a little different this fall. As Rochester has slowly opened campus in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, students and professors are engaging in the work of scholarship and research, but they are interacting in innovative and coronavirus-adapted ways.
And faculty members have put into practice teaching methods that model the University’s safety protocols: building online options into courses, using clear boards to separate teachers from students, holding classes outdoors, employing the Oxford-Cambridge tutorial system (which combines group classes with individual meetings), and working in labs set up at half capacity.
“It’s been an unprecedented experience for everybody,” says Rudi Fasan, the Andrew S. Kende Professor in Synthetic Organic Chemistry. “I think the University and faculty have done a great job of adapting to this new reality. It’s had a major impact in the way we teach and conduct research. We shut our research lab down for a few months, but were able to resume this summer and ramp up to a point where we can be productive.”
Here’s a look at some of the ways University faculty members are teaching this semester:
CONNECTING AT COBBS HILL: Elizabeth Garijo-Garde ’23, a music and public health major, Facetimes with classmate Ashley Wang ’22, a public health major and nursing student, during a trip to Rochester’s Cobbs Hill as part of the class Environmental Health and Justice in the Rochester Community led by Katrina Korfmacher, an associate professor of environmental medicine. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)
DANCE DAYS: An outdoor dance floor and rehearsal space has been set up near Spurrier Hall. Classes like West African Dance (above), led by dance program instructor Kerfala (Fana) Bangoura, feature both in-person and Zoom options. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)
CHORAL CONDUCTING: Professor of Conducting and Ensembles William Weinert leads a rehearsal for the Eastman Chorale as the ensemble also practices the safety protocols of wearing masks and staying physically apart. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)
CHEMISTRY COURSE: First-year students (left to right) Vedat Duzgezen, Jordan Blair, Ethan Kahn, and Christine Bednarzh work in a lab set up at half capacity in Hutchison Hall. The lab is for the chemistry course Chemical Concepts, Systems, and Practice, taught by Carl (JC) Olsen, an assistant professor. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster).
CLEAN ROOM: Students grab antiseptic wipes during a break in a rehearsal session for the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, led by Neil Varon, a professor of conducting and ensembles. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)
WRITERS RETREAT: Novelist Joanna Scott, the Roswell Smith Burrows Professor of English, meets outdoors with Kai Reed ’22, a physics and mathematics major who’s working on a cluster through the Department of English. Scott and William Miller, an assistant professor of English, are using a tutorial structure common at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge that combines group classes with individualized meetings. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)
MERIDIAN MEETING: Joan Saab, an associate professor of art and art history and of visual and cultural studies, and students in her class Topics in American Art: Public Art meet at the Meridian Marker on the Eastman Quadrangle. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)
LECTURE NOTES: Robert Minckley, a senior lecturer in the Department of Biology, leads a session of the class Ecosystem Conservation and Human Society. Held in Lander Auditorium, the class offers a Zoom option for remote students, while students who attend in person have to wear masks and follow distance protocols to reduce capacity in the auditorium. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)
WELL DRESSED: What better way to dampen aerosol transmission from a bassoon during a rehearsal for the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra than a musically themed sock? (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)
Health and safety were the order of the day for a “slow roll to move in.”
Undergraduates who arrived August 1 for a New York State–required quarantine are finding plenty to do while they prepare for the fall semester.
Wearing masks and following physical distancing guidelines, students from New York’s restricted travel states arrived to begin a 14-day quarantine.