Note from the Dean
It has been far too quiet on campus for far too long. Yet I imagine we are all anticipating the fall term with a mix of emotions reflecting the reality of this moment. We are nervous about whether students will embrace our community values and behave responsibly; we are uneasy about delivering classes in a new method; we are concerned about our ability to respond adequately to social justice issues that emerged this summer; we are anxious about maintaining close relationships with students and colleagues in this six-feet-apart-mandated world; we are apprehensive about constantly changing COVID trendlines and hotspots.
One thing has not changed: we remain eager to give W&L students our best. This mission sits close to our hearts whether we have elected to deliver our courses in-person, in a hybrid format, or virtually. I hope you are at peace with your chosen pedagogical approach and are discovering ways to nurture the traditional sense of joyful anticipation that attends the beginning of the academic year.
We can certainly celebrate the new faculty members who will infuse our community with fresh energy and brilliance. This year, we are joined by tenure track colleagues Assistant Prof. Henryatta Ballah (History & Africana Studies), Assistant Prof. Nneka Dennie (History & Africana Studies), Assistant Prof. Emily Filler (Religion), Assistant Prof. Mohammad "Taha" Khan (Computer Science), Assistant Prof. Sybil Prince Nelson (Math & Data Science), and Assistant Prof. Beth Staples (English) who recently transitioned to a tenure track position. New colleagues in Athletics include Assoc. Director of Athletics and Assistant Prof. Bethany Dannelly, Assistant Prof. Vaughn Johnson (Football), and Assistant Prof. Taylor Steele (Swimming). New full-time Visiting Assistant Professors Jumana S. Al-Ahmad (Arabic), Robert Elder (Physics), Michiko Nakada (Japanese), Sandhya Narayanan (Anthropology), Todd Rutkowski (Physics), Shaundel Sanchez (Shepherd), and Alan Straub (Engineering) are also joining our ranks. Finally, we welcome our first Ted DeLaney Postdoctoral Fellow, Amanda Rodriquez-Newell (Cognitive and Behavioral Science).
I encourage you to think of creative ways to welcome these colleagues to W&L. Can you imagine relocating and beginning a full-time teaching position during a pandemic? Who says a Zoom coffee date can't be enjoyable?
I hope you have already taken advantage of the Fall Academy offerings that began last week. Be sure to register for week two! As you put the final touches on your courses, I encourage you to avail yourselves of the Recorded Summer Academy Sessions. Finally, be sure to attend to the COVID-19 Resources page. This is regularly updated.
As the new year gets underway, do not hesitate to reach out to the Dean of the College Office team. We are now all familiar faces, and we are eager to support your work. Although we are back in Simpson House, we will be conducting the majority of our business via Zoom. We regret we cannot welcome you at our traditional picnic at the ruins, but we must start the year off safely. I am, however, pleased to make use of the Simpson House porches to conduct socially distant outdoor meetings when possible.
Please take care of your physical, emotional, and mental selves. This promises to be a year to remember. We may have to demonstrate new levels of flexibility, but we will survive. (Here's a little theme music as a Monday pick-me-up: Gloria Gaynor is always inspiring I Will Survive, or recall Professor Michael Bruening's fantastic parody: I Will Survive-Coronavirus Version.)
Dates and Deadlines
Fall Academy
Fall Academy
Mandatory COVID-19 testing
8/10-19th from 8:30 am-3:30 pm @ Evans Hall
Department/Program Head Mini-Grant Submission
Due to Dean
All Undergraduate Summer Work Grades Due
Heads Retreat
Virtual Academic Fair
Virtual Academic Fair
First-Year Registration
Undergraduate Classes Begin
University Faculty Meeting
Lunch with Lena
Join Lena for a virtual lunch! Friday, 8/28 @ noon.  Email Kate @ ksaacke@wlu.edu for the zoom link.
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Washington and Lee University
The Office of the Dean of the College
Lexington, Virginia 24450
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