SJC Brooklyn is welcoming its Bears back to the den, as the College reopens with a plan designed to ensure the community has an enhanced safe and secure place to learn, teach and work.
St. Joseph’s College is taking a multifaceted approach to holding classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including four options for learning: remote, hybrid, on-ground and online.
SJC President Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D., and the rest of the College administration, are eager to invite new and returning students to campus with new reopening plans that will continue to provide students with the same high-quality, affordable education as always, while continuing to offer an array of opportunities — academically and through a rich student life experience.
The president shared a warm welcome back, as students, faculty and staff prepared for the fall semester:
“To our new students, welcome; we can’t wait to meet you! To our returning students, congratulations are in order for your continued hard work and perseverance! To our faculty, please accept our sincere gratitude for your sacrifice and service to your students! To our staff, my personal thanks for enduring the hardships of the past months so heroically!” Dr. Boomgaarden wrote in a memo to the College community.
“And to the broader SJC community, including our alumni and friends of the College, we extend our deep appreciation for your gifts and prayers during these incredibly challenging times. All of you have made a huge difference in helping us get to where we are today, and indeed, have made history as you rose to meet one of the most remarkable challenges the College has ever faced.”
A Bright Semester Ahead
SJC Brooklyn students began returning to campus last week for a hybrid-style orientation. A virtual orientation was held Aug. 31, followed by small break-out sessions in-person throughout the week.
“We were so excited to see our new students in-person during New Student Orientation this week,” said Christine Murphy, vice president for enrollment management. “We are proud of all that they have accomplished and wish everyone of them much success as they begin this new journey at SJC Brooklyn!”
Vanessa Muñoz, a senior child study major with a concentration in human relations, said she is happy she had the chance to start the semester as she normally does — joining her peers as an orientation leader. This was her third year in the role.
“Overall, the first day of orientation went well,” Muñoz said. “The new protocols at St. Joseph’s made me feel safe — even during these times. It seemed like the incoming freshmen, despite this experience, enjoyed themselves and meeting new people.”
The protocols include temperature stations and new signage reminding visitors to wear masks and social distance.
Resuming Face-to-Face Learning
Students, faculty and administrators are looking forward to working together in person this fall.
Phillip Dehne, Ph.D., the new executive dean for SJC Brooklyn, said he is optimistic about the upcoming semester.
“Everyone at the college is excited to be getting so many of our students back to campus, and especially to welcome our new first-year students,” Dr. Dehne said. “We’re also very excited to be teaching remote students who aren’t comfortable with coming back to campus yet. Everyone on the faculty and staff has been working hard all summer to ensure that the experience of all of our students at St. Joseph’s is fulfilling, enriching, and safe.”
That surge of excitement is especially experienced by faculty, as they prepare to return to the classroom.
“I’ve chosen to teach my freshman seminar course as a hybrid of remote and classroom modalities because nothing beats the experience of learning in a college classroom,” said Benedick Turner, associate professor and coordinator of theBridge Programs. “And I’m happy to introduce new students to our idyllic campus in Clinton Hill, one of New York City’s most beautiful neighborhoods.”
Lori Thanos, D.B.A., added to that sentiment.
“Welcome all students! Whether you are a freshman, returning student or transfer, the business & marketing department is thrilled to have you on campus this fall,” Dr. Thanos said. “No doubt, we have all faced a variety of challenges these past six months with COVID-19. Spring 2020 proved to be a bit overwhelming for all of us, no matter where you were. Returning to face-to-face learning will certainly prove how much we all missed each other! Can’t wait to see you all next week!”