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From the Chair – We’re off to a good start

student with mask at laptop

MBE Students:

I hope you all had a restful and safe extended weekend. I just spent a couple hours in my yard picking up all the junk that the windstorm blew down from our (and our neighbor’s) trees. While we’ve still got some hot weather ahead, I feel comforted that Autumn is clearly visible on the horizon (metaphorically if not literally).

I haven’t heard much from any of you, so I hope that means that all is going well. I’ve heard that our faculty have really benefited from the additional training we’ve picked up over the summer. But I’ve also heard (and seen for myself) that you, the students, have really stepped up as well. In the few classes I’ve been directly involved in (ME 478, ME 273, and ME 215), I’ve been impressed with the level of engagement in both the physical and virtual classrooms.

One of the biggest challenges with the virtual classroom is that it’s much harder for us to see if you’re struggling. If you feel yourself slipping behind, this is the time to reach out for help. Our faculty are here to work with you. It’s unfortunate but true that if we don’t hear from you, we tend to assume you don’t care. Here are a few things to consider:

    • Reach out to your instructors, let them know who you are and that you care about your performance.
    • Join a Study Group: A few weeks ago, we put out a link to a form to help form on-line study groups. If you missed that and are interested, let us know and we’ll do another round.
    • Make use of office hours. Again, this is a great way to engage with your instructor. I’m always amazed at how few students avail themselves of this opportunity.
    • Make use of the LA/PE sessions. Many of our classes have support from a “Peer Educator” and/or “Learning Assistant”. These are students who have taken the class and done well in it. They’re here to help you succeed. They’re a great resource — don’t neglect to take advantage of this opportunity.
Dr. John Gardner

As always, I want to hear from you. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have a complaint, concern, or compliment. As difficult as it is for all of you to keep in touch these days, I find it challenging as well.

Take care, be safe, and study well!
John Gardner