The message below was emailed to the GSSWSR student body from Dean Janet Shapiro on March 17, 2020.
Dear GSSWSR Students,
I am writing to thank you for your collaboration, flexibility, patience and kindness as we respond to new challenges associated with efforts to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Collectively, we are experiencing an unprecedented set of circumstances and challenges, some of which are requiring us to learn new skills, new ways of learning and new ways of working together and building a community.
As you know, moving to remote learning and suspending physical presence in field placements are examples of social distancing efforts designed to "flatten the curve" with regard to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We absolutely understand the disappointment and frustration that many of us may feel as these prevention strategies are implemented. At the same time, it is our hope that these prevention strategies will be effective in protecting the health and well-being of ourselves, our families, the clients with whom we are working, and our communities.
I want to reassure you that our faculty and staff are working very hard to create alternative plans for remote learning, including many efforts to further develop online learning environments. Every class will likely be somewhat different, but our faculty are committed to creating and sustaining social work education in this new environment. You are important partners to your faculty in this journey and can help by understanding, ahead of time, that there will likely be moments of frustration and uncertainty. We ask for, and appreciate, your knowledge and patience as we work through challenges as they arise. As we learn and problem solve together, we plan to reflect on strengths and limitations that can help us be more prepared in the future. We look forward to, and need, your constructive feedback throughout.
Please stay in touch with us. Email may be the quickest and most reliable form of communication. We want to know how things are going and when problems arise, we seek to be your partners in exploring possible solutions. Please look for additional information from us to be distributed via the weekly "student services digest", via email to the listserv for students, within your course Moodle sites, and via emails from your advisors and instructors.
Your generosity of spirit in navigating this unprecedented time is so appreciated by me, and the faculty and staff of the GSSWSR.
With all good wishes for your health and safety and with gratitude for your commitment to our own GSSWSR community and to the social work profession.
Janet Shapiro, MA, MSW, PhD
Dean and Professor
Director of the Center for Child and Family Wellbeing
Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research