April 22, 2020

A Note from Dean Lang

Dear Liberal Arts Undergraduates:

I hope your week is going well so far.

My thanks to all of you who participated in yesterday’s “Liberal Arts Students Check-in.” It was important for me and others in the college to hear from you, and I hope we addressed whatever questions and concerns that you had. For those of you who were unable to attend yesterday’s check-in, a recording of the event is now available on the college’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRCrPmgJsSY&feature=youtu.be) . I also encourage you to continue submitting questions to AskLiberalArts@psu.edu (mailto:AskLiberalArts@psu.edu) – we will continue reviewing your questions and responding as best we can.

While yesterday’s check-in might have addressed some of your college- and University-specific questions about the COVID-19 pandemic, I realize that many of you have much broader questions and concerns on your minds. What will the economic impact of the pandemic be on me as a student? What are my job prospects right now, and how do I keep my job search moving forward amidst so much uncertainty? How can I best manage my stress during these challenging times?

If that is the case, then I invite you to a virtual panel discussion titled, “Now What: Navigating the Uncertainty of COVID-19”, via Zoom (https://bit.ly/NWpanel422) tonight (April 22) at 7:00 p.m. EDT. The event will also be livestreamed on Facebook for those who cannot attend via Zoom. An expert panel of college alumni and faculty (https://bit.ly/NWcovid19) will be available to share advice and take your questions, so please join if you can.

I certainly understand the many ways that this ongoing crisis continues to create uncertainty and anxiety in our lives. At the same time, I have been heartened to hear the many ways that students, alumni, faculty, and staff of the college are stepping to the plate to alleviate some of that anxiety and help those directly affected by the crisis. A perfect example of this is current student Ezra Gershanok (economics), and recent alumnus and spring 2019 college marshal Brendan Bernicker (philosophy and political science), who recently joined forces to create a non-profit organization called the COVID Response Network. Ezra and Brendan hope to distribute 100,000 masks to those in need around the country by June 1; please read this Penn State News article (https://news.psu.edu/story/615927/2020/04/16/academics/schreyer-scholars-help-create-nonprofit-distribute-masks-across) to learn more about their efforts.

Examples such as this are powerful reminders that, although no one can say for certain what the future holds, WE ARE in this together and WE WILL get through this together. Until next week, be safe, be well, be smart, and be careful.

Dean Lang