When students left campus for spring break this year, they had no idea that they would not be returning to campus on March 16. Students, faculty and staff all embarked on a brave new world of learning which included all instruction moving to remote learning for the remainder of the semester, continuing into the summer semester, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
For MatSE students, faculty and staff it meant adapting to a quick change in the way of everyday life. All student instruction was transitioned to remote learning, all but essential research halted, and faculty and staff were required to work remotely from their homes — no one was performing business as usual.
Over the last three months, MatSE has faced the challenges of implementing so many changes such as the University Faculty Senate approving a pass/fail grading system for spring 2020; providing all teaching, labs advising remotely; transitioning events including the spring awards ceremony and graduation to online experiences, and many more. But through it all, teamwork and the spirit of the MatSE family has made overcoming the challenges possible.
Now, we take the first steps on the road back into our labs and our new normal. In an effort to reduce exposure and transmission of the COVID-19, return to research procedures have been developed and are under continuous development by the MatSE Safety Committee under guidance from the College of Earth and Mineral Science and Penn State leadership teams. The recommendations will evolve in response to new information as it emerges. The recommendations are intended for time periods when Penn State is operating under conditions Red, Orange, Yellow-1, and Yellow-2.