As the spring semester rapidly comes to a close and Notre Dame students anxiously await responses from companies in one of the highest unemployment environments in the decade, a new resource, Grads2Biz, can help promote their success with job and internship placement.Grads2Biz, which launched this month, works to connect top students from America’s elite schools and programs to Fortune 500 companies.It differentiates itself from other job boards online “by promoting students and recent grads instead of jobs listed by companies,” according to its April 1st press release.Students create personal profiles including information on their majors, employment or internship preference, clubs and memberships, and date of availability to begin work. Employers then search for talent using this variety of criteria.“This simple format gives employers easy access to the resumes of students whose profiles fit their needs, and frees students from the tedium of completing numerous applications and composing repetitive cover letters,” the press release said.The job board was initiated by 21-year-old Alexander Mayer, a current student at the University of Wisconsin and a first-time entrepreneur.“Grads2Biz strives to make the employment process as quick and painless as possible on both sides of the equation, employer and job seeker,” Mayer said in the release. “Our unique process helps elite talent find elite businesses nearly effortlessly.”The new business can help Notre Dame students specifically, Grads2Biz representative Melissa Russell said.“With Grads2Biz, Notre Dame students stand out from the crowds and don’t get lost in the shuffle. There’s a lot of noise out there that can make it hard for employers to find you,” she said.She identified Grads2Biz as a strong resource for students in the nation’s current economic climate.“Sending in your resume isn’t a guarantee that it will even get read anymore, especially with the job market being so saturated,” she said. “But there is a definite and real value in bringing the best and the brightest to the top, so that these top employers can find the right college students and graduates for these awesome entry-level jobs or internships.”Students eligible to use the resource are those attending the specific institutions identified by the company with a minimum grade point average of 3.2.“We think so highly of Notre Dame students, and know that employers do too, so when we launched we made sure we were admitting them to the site right away,” Russell said.Grads2Biz also provides job hunting and career advice for students, and will soon feature a resource guide and blog “to give tips on how to best traverse a rough job market,” the press release announced.“Connecting students to their dream jobs is our ultimate goal, but we also want them to be prepared to be successful in whatever they do,” Mayer said in the press release.Russell said opportunities exist for underclassmen already considering the opportunities that await them upon graduation. “We’re also looking for creative, enthusiastic individuals to become student ambassadors from Notre Dame,” she said.Students using the resource pay fifty dollars for a three year membership, according to the website. To celebrate its launch, however, the company has made registration free for students into the summer.
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Junior John Rozema was initially scared not only for the result of the game, but for the well- being of Crist. Even though there was time left on the clock, Schultz said he knew the Michigan touchdown had sealed Notre Dame’s fate. Irish fans had strong hopes for victory earlier in the quarter after quarterback Dayne Crist connected with Kyle Rudolph for a 95-yard touchdown pass with 3:41 left in the game that put Notre Dame ahead 24-21. Hefferon said part of the reason people seemed to be dreading the outcome of the game after the first half was the lack of tenacity by Notre Dame after Crist left. “Denard Robinson is talented, but he seemed like a ball hog. He was selfish, like he thought he should be doing everything,” she said. “Notre Dame played more like a team.” “We didn’t know why all of a sudden [freshman quarterback] Tommy Rees was in,” he said. “The stadium needs to announce what is going on because no one had any idea why Crist was out.” Sophomore Emily Hefferon said she felt the touchdown gave Notre Dame a shot at victory, but once the Wolverines got the ball back things started to turn for the worse for the Irish. “I almost fell off the railing from jumping up when Notre Dame scored,” he said. “It was wild.” “Obviously that last throw that ended the game from Crist that landed in the audience, that was soul-crushing,” he said. “We will come back strong next week against Michigan State.” Carter, however, said while Robinson seemed to be putting his success on the field ahead of his teams. Rozema also said it might not have necessarily been a good idea to bring back Crist in the second half. Notre Dame had one final series to score, but on the last play Crist tossed the ball long into the stands. Rozema said while the final play left a bitter aftertaste, he is looking forward to the next Notre Dame game against Michigan State. “I was worried about Crist. I thought he was seriously injured,” he said. “He had his helmet off with the baseball cap on, and he just seemed very far away from the action.” “Going into halftime, Michigan had all the momentum,” she said. “I didn’t think it was going to be close. I thought for sure, we were going to lose.” “I don’t know much about injuries, but it seemed like Notre Dame was taking a lot of risks with their players,” he said. “There was a run by Crist that just looked dangerous. If he had been seriously injured, that could have ended our season.” “Denard Robinson was moving the ball fast, but I was impressed with our defense, especially compared to last year,” she said “There were a lot of close defensive plays that we came out on top of.” The Irish looked sharp on the first offensive series, which ended when Crist ran the ball into the end zone for a touchdown. However, Crist had to leave the game for the rest of the first half after experiencing blurry vision in his right eye. Schultz said Irish fans experienced unnecessary confusion when they realized Crist was not behind the center the next time Notre Dame had the ball. “They did not leave us with enough time to score. It was like, ‘Wow, this just happened two years in a row,’” he said. However, Notre Dame scored 10 points on a touchdown and a field goal in the third quarter. After the downpours prior to the game and the overcast skies through the first half, the skies begin to clear. Junior Katie Carter said the play of the Fighting Irish in the second half was more upbeat, which coincided with the change in weather. “Michigan was on the ball the whole way,” she said. “I just didn’t see as much of an effort from Notre Dame in the first half.” “Michigan had the momentum for a while. But when the sun came out and hit the stadium, and we started to score, it just felt like we were meant to win,” she said. The final run by Robinson capped off an amazing day for the Michigan quarterback, who set a school record for total offense with 502 yards. Despite Robinson’s play, Hefferon felt the Notre Dame defense played well. “When Rudolph scored our last touchdown, I felt pure euphoria,” she said. “But once Michigan started moving the ball I started to feel dread. It was like we couldn’t get over the hump of those final minutes.” Sophomore Michael Schultz said the energy inside the stadium after the touchdown was electric. For the second year in a row, the Michigan Wolverines scored a go-ahead touchdown in the final minute of play. With 27 seconds left on the game clock, Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson sealed the come-from-behind victory with a two-yard touchdown run, sending Notre Dame fans home disappointed. Michigan led coming out of halftime 21-7, and Hefferon said initially she felt things could only get worse for the Irish. Notre Dame fans experienced football déjà vu on Saturday.
Saint Mary’s junior Catherine Cleary said she felt honored when she was appointed to the National Student Advisory Council for the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The council, which consists of college women ranging in age from sophomores to graduate students, works with the AAUW staff to provide a direct link to the program by voicing student needs and ideas, Cleary said. “AAUW is reputable organization, and there were many qualified applicants,” Cleary said. Members are responsible for updating the program’s blog, monthly conference calls with the council, promoting AAUW’s National Conference for College Women Student Leaders and collaborating with the local AAUW branch in their area. Cleary said that she is eager to carry out the mission of AAUW on Saint Mary’s campus. “AAUW is a fantastic organization with a purpose that I feel very strongly about,” she said. “By being a part of it, I can bring the programs and a fresh perspective to our campus.” Cleary, a self-designed Women’s Studies major, said she learned about the program from a former Saint Mary’s student previously on the Council. She said she hopes to use her position on the council to bring awareness to the discrimination of women in higher education and the workplace. Cleary recently attended the Council’s retreat in Washington, D.C., where she met other members of board. “The council has a great range of ages, experience and culture,” she said. “I am both excited and grateful to have been given the chance to serve with the women.” Cleary, who is involved in numerous campus organizations ranging from Campus Ministry to Saint Mary’s Straight and Gay Alliance, was also the recipient of the Office for Civic and Social Engagement’s Sister Christine Healy Aware for Service with Women award. “My goal has always been to be an advocate for women, and this program is a fantastic way to do that,” Cleary said.
In a Wednesday panel discussion, professors discussed perceptions of the humanities as a declining field that is becoming less attractive to college students. The panel, sponsored by the Nanovic Institute, was titled “Humanities in peril: does Notre Dame have an answer?” Susannah Monta, associate professor of English, moderated the panel. In her opening remarks, she said the perceived crisis in humanities is not necessarily negative. “Crisis can also mean a turning point,” Monta said. “We must not stop at the colloquial understanding.” John McGreevy, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, said the existence of a crisis in the humanities depends on how one examines the question. “This crisis both exists and does not,” McGreevy said. It is real because there are fewer opportunities for graduate students in this area of study and fewer students are enrolling in humanities courses, he said. However, there is also no crisis because degrees in the humanities still provide an excellent base for students looking to enter the fields of law, medicine and business. Overall, the panelists agreed the humanities are not compelling for students due to a lack of understanding about what the field encompasses and a lack of vibrant humanities programs. Film, Television and Theatre professor Peter Holland said the humanities remain strong at Notre Dame because of the University’s Catholic identity. Humanities courses such as theology and philosophy are in the College of Arts and Letters, making them all interconnected. McGreevy said Notre Dame’s philosophy and theology requirements highlight the University’s commitment to the humanities. “Our requirements make humanities more important at Notre Dame, which is unusual when viewed nationally,” McGreevy said. History professor Felipe Fernandez-Armesto said it is especially important to emphasize the interconnectedness between disciplines in the humanities. Universities could increase unity between areas of study by eliminating departments, he said. “We must focus on the unity of knowledge,” Fernandez-Armestro said.
Construction of the Wellness Center in the D2 South lot has forced students to park further away from their on-campus destinations. Another project planned for the B1 lot this spring will also temporarily restrict parking. Notre Dame Security Police director Phil Johnson said students still have space to park on the North side of campus, though there is decreased capacity in D2 South. “With respect to D2 Lot and construction of the Wellness Center, occupancy surveys indicate that there is capacity in the adjacent lots, D2 Middle and D2 North, to accommodate spaces lost in D2 South due to construction,” Johnson said. But construction began to frustrate students after the semester break. Senior Colleen Coley said commuting to and from her job off-campus at the Logan Center is problematic due to the lack of parking spaces. “My conception of a good parking spot is so different than it used to be,” Coley said. “It used to be the first two rows but now, it’s the first two lots.” Coley said the most convenient lots for her schedule are full when she returns from work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This forces her to scramble for a spot to make it to class on time, she said. “The problem is it … is frustrating for people who have nowhere else to go and need to park every day,” Coley said. Sophomore Dan Smyth said the location for the new Wellness Center is inconvenient for students. “Since they fenced off half the lot, you can’t drive all the way through any of the close aisles,” Smyth said. “It’s always a gamble when you’re browsing for a spot.” Doug Marsh, associate vice president and University architect, said another project is scheduled to begin in the B1 lot by the Stadium. Plans to install a new storm sewer system will temporarily affect the number of parking spaces there. “There is a temporary loss of 100 spaces,” Marsh said. “These spaces will be restored by the third week of March.” An email sent to the student body on Feb. 12 said the project schedule was modified to minimize impact on faculty and staff parking during the academic year. Johnson said construction by the Stadium lot will not present significant long-term challenges for students or professors. “We have opened the visitor’s lot to provide additional spaces for faculty who are displaced from lot B1,” Johnson said. “The impact from the Stadium project should not have a significant impact on students who use [neighboring] lot C1.” To adapt to these changes, students like sophomore Jack McLaren strategically plan when to search for a spot on campus. “I’ve noticed since the construction started that it’s harder to find a spot,” McLaren said. “I just try to time it so I get back when people are leaving, so I get a good spot.” Senior Ellen Reinke said walking back to campus from the more removed lot next to the Stepan Center creates safety concerns. “You’re standing out in the middle of Stepan,” Reinke said. “Sometimes when I’ve come back really late, I‘ve debated calling Safe Walk because it’s a really far way to walk by yourself in the dark.” Johnson said calling Safe Walk is a wise choice for students returning from the further lots. “Safety is of paramount importance. I encourage everyone to make use of Safe Walk, especially if you are walking to or arriving at a perimeter campus parking lot during hours of darkness,” Johnson said. “A Safe Walk team will walk you to any point on campus.”
James Sullivan, associate professor of economics, recently completed a five-year study on poverty over the past five decades that utilized a consumption-based measure of poverty, unlike the official measure used by the U.S. government. While the government’s method finds the number of those below the poverty level to have increased greatly since the 1960’s, Sullivan discovered there has been a noticeable decrease in poverty since then. “When you measure poverty correctly over time you get a very different story [from the official measure],” Sullivan said. “There has been a sizable decline in poverty over the past five decades that you just don’t see in the official poverty measure.” According to Sullivan’s study “Winning the War: Poverty from the Great Society to the Great Recession,” the measure used by the government to calculate the poverty level does not accurately reflect the number of citizens who live in poverty today. The official measure of poverty takes the poverty line established in the 1960s, adjusts it for inflation and declares that anyone whose pre-tax income falls below that line lives in poverty, Sullivan said. Instead, Sullivan employed a measure based on an individual’s consumption rather than his or her income, he said. “How do we capture the value of expenses in the Medicaid program [in the official measure]?” Sullivan said. “It’s health insurance for the poor that … frees up resources for those who would otherwise have purchased it. It’s not captured in the official measure, but in consumption-based measure it would be.” The discrepancy in this measure often stems from the poverty measure only counting pre-tax income, Sullivan said. Unlike when the official measure was developed, the government now redistributes money through the tax program to low-income workers. “It’s not counted in the official poverty level because it’s a tax program,” he said. “But low-wage workers file taxes and if they’re eligible for income tax credits they end up getting a check from the government. It’s a substantial program for allocating refunds to the bottom distribution.” This incongruity between the two poverty measures exemplifies how the official poverty measure does not account for changes over time, Sullivan said. Further, Sullivan said an income-based poverty measure cannot reflect variations in income that are unrelated to an individual’s well-being. Income can fluctuate greatly for reasons that are unrelated to how well a person lives, he said. “Think about a retired couple that has lots of assets, lives in a nice home and has a couple of nice cars,” Sullivan said. “They’re retired so they have no income, but they live off their assets so they live quite nicely. But because they have no money income they’re classified as poor.” A consumption-based measure accounts for these gaps in the income-based measure, Sullivan said, and shows a clear decline in poverty. Other factors skew the official measure of poverty besides post-tax income and wealth, Sullivan said. The price index used to adjust the poverty line for information is biased, he said. “We’re not accurately adjusting the threshold for time for inflation,” he said. “We’re over-adjusting and the threshold is artificially rising which will create more poor people.” Sullivan said the over-adjustment occurs because the inflation adjustment does not take into account two biases: a substitution bias and a new product bias. The substitution bias occurs because when a product’s price increases, the government adjusts the poverty line for that level of inflation, Sullivan said. However, sometimes an individual can buy a very similar product for significantly less money, thereby not affecting their overall well-being. “If the price of Coke were to double, and that was all you consumed, do you need your income to double for you to stay just as well off?” Sullivan said. “If you substitute into Pepsi and it’s much cheaper, so you only need an income to buy enough Pepsi to make you as well-off as you were.” A new product bias arises because it takes about 10 years for a new technological product to be included in the measure of prices of certain goods, Sullivan said. By the time the product is added, its price has likely decreased greatly since goods tend to be more expensive when they first appear on the market. The faulty official poverty measure could have grave implications for poverty-related government policies, Sullivan said. “Official numbers show poverty is higher today than it was in 1970,” he said. “People have used that statistic to say we’ve lost the war on poverty. That has political implications, to say there’s been a failure in [anti-poverty] programs and perhaps we should cut back on them.” Instead, Sullivan said the evidence that income tax credit lifts millions of individuals out of poverty demonstrates the United States is actually winning the war on poverty. The incongruity must be fixed for the sake of those in the bottom distribution, he said. “We use those measures to evaluate and design anti-poverty programs, and if we’re using it to design policy it had better be a good measure,” Sullivan said. “[An accurate measure] will help us make better policies, and in the grand scheme of things, hopefully better policies lead to decreases in poverty.”
Performing at venues in Colorado, Missouri, Kansas and Indiana helped members of Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir ensure their spring break didn’t fall flat.Senior Lauren Zyber said the group stayed with alumnae of the College at various stops on the tour, and seeing them in the crowd added an extra dimension of meaning to the concerts.“A lot of them were very emotional and moved by the music,” Zyber said. “Seeing them tear up in the audience … I had to force myself not to look at them because it would make me really emotional about this experience.”Several of the alumnae who housed choir members achieved professional success after graduation, Zyber said.“We stayed with a music major who is now a pulmonary specialist, a top doctor in her field,” she said. “It was really wonderful to see how successful Saint Mary’s women are.”According to Zyber, the choir bonded while traveling, as members had the opportunity to explore new cities together while making memories.“I think touring brought a lot of people together,” she said. “It just reaffirmed my love for this community and the sisterhood that extends beyond your class.”Sophomore Grace Haase said the alumnae she encountered along the way provided her with valuable advice about discerning a career path.“One of the main things I’ve learned through choir is that it’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do after graduation,” Haase said. “That’s something the alumnae drilled in my head.”According to Haase, Women’s Choir maintains such a tight-knit relationship because all members are made to feel indispensable. “One of the most interesting things about our choir is that everyone is valued equally,” Haase said. “Everyone is important. There’s no ‘this person is better than this person.’ You have to make sure that your voice doesn’t stand out.”Zyber said belonging to Women’s Choir enforces ideals of commitment and teamwork.“You learn about how you can blend with people and how if one person is gone it affects the whole choir,” Zyber said. “If one person is missing, it’s automatically heard, and we sound weaker. That naturally fosters a strong community.”According to Zyber, the friendships members of Women’s Choir develop play integral roles in improving the quality of their performances.“When people care about each other, they’re just naturally going to sing better together,” she said. “It increases morale, and that connection can actually really affect your sound. When you’re singing with people that you can connect with, it becomes something really special, and I think that transfers to the music.”Haase said touring with her peers taught her the importance of caring for those she sings with.“Staying a night with a bunch of other girls and being forced to have a sleepover really enhanced the connection we have,” Haase said. “I’ve made some of my best friends through choir.”Zyber said performing with Women’s Choir enables her to learn from those around her.“One of the things that is great about choir is that you get a lot of people from different backgrounds and majors and disciplines and fields,” she said. “Choir is not talked about as a team sport, but it really is. When you sing in a choir, you learn about how you can listen to other parts.”Zyber said she was happy to see first-year students enjoying the touring experience, since she strives to welcome them into the group.“It was really great to see the freshmen blossom,” she said. “Being a senior, it’s interesting to think about how I am a leader in the choir. I think back to … how much I looked up to the upperclassmen.”Students should embrace the opportunity to listen to the choir’s music at its upcoming concert, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. on March 24 in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto, according to Zyber.“Our [music] is very lively,” she said. “There’s a lot of variety. The music also reflects the Saint Mary’s community as this religious institution but also this institution of learning and love.”According to Zyber, knowing the Saint Mary’s community supports Women’s Choir energizes the group’s performances.“Not only are we sharing our music, but we’re also sharing the gift of Saint Mary’s,” Zyber said. “That’s why we sing.”Tags: choir, saint mary’s, Singing, Women’s Choir
Dance Marathon — the culmination of Saint Mary’s year-long fundraising effort for Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis — consists of more than 12 hours of standing, but even the planning phases keep the organization’s members on their feet.This year’s Marathon will take place on April 7, and with the date rapidly approaching, the club is still working to reach its goals, club president and senior Meg Brownley said in an email.“This year’s goal is to surpass last year’s total, which was around $133,000,” Brownley said. “We are doing well, but we are always looking for more people to get involved and fundraise for this incredible cause.”Dance Marathon will continue to raise money through different campus events and fundraising push days leading up to the event in April, Brownley said. She said the Marathon will take place in the Pfeil Center at Holy Cross College.First-year Alison Schibi is a member of the Dance Marathon catering committee, which plans food-related fundraisers known as Give Back nights.“I am involved with the catering committee this year, as we take care of Give Back days at local restaurants, the food provided at many of our events and, of course, for the day of the actual marathon,” Schibi said in an email. “Our committee has been working hard getting Give Back days and preparing for the big Marathon day.”“This year is really exciting because we are in the process of making Dance Marathon a tri-campus club with the help of some amazing and dedicated Notre Dame and Holy Cross students who have stepped up,” Brownley said.Brownley said the club plans to have areas to sign up for the Marathon at all three campuses to further encourage the involvement of students from all schools. Though the event is called Dance Marathon, skilled dancers are not the only people who can attend the event, Brownley said.“There is so much going on throughout the day and so many inspiring kids [that] you will forget what time it is,” she said. “Bad dancing still saves lives. The day of Dance Marathon is magical because it is a gym filled with passionate and driven college students coming together to change the lives of kids who deserve a happy childhood. It is so inspiring to meet the kids you are impacting and know that your work matters to these brave fighters.”It is these kids, Schibi said, who led her to consistently participate in the club.“I participate in Dance Marathon for the kids,” she said. “Supporting the Riley families brings joy, and each patient deserves the chance to be a kid. Dance Marathon gives hope.”Brownley said the event has given her the opportunity to create lasting memories.“My favorite part of Dance Marathon is meeting the incredible people who are passionate about this movement like I am,” she said. “I have made the best friends and the best memories with Dance Marathon, and that is something I am so grateful for.”Tags: Dance Marathon, Give Back days, Morale Committee, riley hospital for children
Civil rights leader Diane Nash will serve as the keynote speaker at the Martin Luther King Celebration Luncheon on Jan. 20 at the Joyce Center, the University announced in a press release Tuesday.Nash has a long record of service in the Civil Rights movement. Her involvement began as a college student at Nashville’s Fisk University, where she was jailed for participating in a sit-in at a desegregated lunch counter. The Chicago-native went on to help establish the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and was a member of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She helped organize a wide variety of protests, including the Freedom Rides and the 1965 Selma right-to-vote movement in Alabama.She eventually returned to Chicago, the release said, where she continued to “advocate for causes such as fair housing and anti-war efforts around the Vietnam War.”“Diane Nash is a passionate champion of civil and human rights whose courageous leadership helped end the stronghold of segregation in the South,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in the release. “The example of her tireless commitment to justice and nonviolent action inspires us all to serve the cause of justice.”Nash previously received an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 2016. In 2017, she was the inaugural lecturer at Notre Dame Law School’s Dean’s Lecture on Race, Law and Society. She has also received major national awards for her civil rights work.The Martin Luther King Celebration Luncheon is an annual event taking place during Walk the Walk Week, a weeklong series of events beginning Jan. 19 that is designed to inspire the community into making Notre Dame more welcoming and inclusive, the release said.Tags: Civil Rights, Diane Nash, Martin Luther King Celebration Luncheon, Walk the Walk Week
Notre Dame professors will teach in three formats this semester: fully-virtual, hybrid or in-person with a virtual component for students in quarantine or choosing to take class online this semester. The majority of professors teaching in a full-virtual format have underlying medical conditions or they have a family member who does.Professor David Hutchison in the Mendoza College of Business opted to teach fully-virtually this semester due to family health concerns.“My wife suffers from lupus rheumatoid arthritis, chronic lung issues with pneumonia,” he said. “She’s an asthmatic, and she’s got probably a half a dozen or so other autoimmune conditions. So, all of that leaves her at very high risk, should she contract the virus.”Hutchison said he also has a daughter who does not currently live at home, but is likely to for a meaningful period of time during the term, has a condition called POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) and another condition called mast cell disorder and mast cell disorder, which puts her in a very high-risk position relative to the coronavirus.Hutchison primarily teaches real estate classes in the finance department of Mendoza. His classes will take place synchronously as opposed to asynchronously. “Part of what makes Notre Dame the unusual and special place that it is is that it emphasizes community,” he said. “My job has historically been to be a part of your students’ community, as an instructor and as an advisor and, basically, mentor; I’ve worked my duration here at Notre Dame with that in mind. … I bet you would hear from them — the vast majority of [professors] — that we have no real interest in doing things this way.”Typically, Hutchison offers his help to students undergoing career discernment and interview preparation for internships and full-time positions. He emphasized the importance of adding extra time throughout his day to communicate with students via phone, text message, email and Zoom.“It makes a whole lot of sense for me to try to accommodate what you folks are comfortable with because there’s one of me and a whole lot of you,” he said. Professor Tatiana Botero in the College of Arts and Letters is also teaching virtually this semester.Botero said she has underlying conditions that make her susceptible to the coronavirus. She also said this allows her to stay home with her 13-year-old son during the day, who would have otherwise been home alone. “It would have been very challenging to oversee his school day at home — e-learning — while I was at the University,” she said. Botero is teaching two Spanish language classes this semester both with two sections of students. She plans to teach synchronously most weeks with an occasional Friday asynchronously for project-work. She said she preferred to teach her language classes virtually because it allows for facial expressions and better enunciation than when wearing masks and social distancing in-person. This, in turn, helps foster community among her students, she said.“In class discussion, it’s just not feasible to have pair-work, collaborative work, when you have to be 6 feet apart in the classroom. And then also wearing masks, myself included, the students can’t really see how I’m speaking,” Botero said.She said pair-sharing — when each student has the opportunity to think and share their thoughts in the language — is a core component of her classes. “I’m really happy we are [using] Zoom because we can still have the pair-work in breakout rooms, then we can come back to the class in gallery view to see all the students and they can see me,” Botero said.Using Zoom allows her to check-in on the pairs working together in breakout rooms as the host. Both Hutchison and Botero emphasized the importance of fostering community and collaboration in and out of class through the use of technology during this semester. Tags: 2020 fall semester, Arts and Letters, Mendoza, virtual learning, zoom