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SUNY Schenectady, like K-12 schools and colleges across the country, moved to virtual instruction last month as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. We asked several students to share how they are adapting to virtual instruction, how they are staying connected to others, and how they are taking this time to work on other projects. A reminder for students: Our Student Resources Page has technological support and wellness resources. The College is here to support you and empower you to achieve your academic goals!

Photo of Nikkita Rodguez on couch writing with books and laptop

Nikkita Rodriguez, Culinary Arts, President of the College’s American Culinary Federation Junior Chapter
“It's my final semester. Losing my job (as a Garde Manger chef when the restaurant closed down), taking online classes, taking care of a household and homeschooling two children four years apart is a challenge…Having amazing teachers who are always understanding and ready to help make it easier. Blackboard collaborative is so helpful because it helps us keep in touch in a time where we have to practice social distancing. I miss seeing all my classmates’ faces and I miss just miss walking the halls. This is not only a challenge for us students, this is a challenging time for (professors) as well and they are great so far. You can say, we are learning together and moving forward together. No student left behind!”

Photo of Hannah Daignault at kitchen table looking at laptop screen

Hannah Daignault, Nutrition, Student Trustee
“It’s been difficult to be distanced from my professors, classmates, and school activities. But remembering that our support system is still there is comforting. Connecting with my professors and classmates through Zoom and Blackboard has made this transition seamless. It helps us to feel normal again during this challenging time. In my free time, I’ve been writing scholarship essays, reading new books, painting, playing online games with my friends, and walking my dog. The student support services we’ve relied on are still there: Upswing tutoring, online counseling, mentoring, the Food Pantry, and the faculty and staff!”

Photo of Manny Hubbard and guitar in bedroom

Manny Hubbard, Music Audio Technology, Member of Guitar Ensemble and Student Audio Technician
“It was a big surprise to shift to virtual learning, but I have been able to manage. I have had more time to write lyrics and music, draw, read books I’ve wanted to read, and build things I’ve wanted to build, including a box drum I never finished. I’ve been working on my music business (my band) online and through social media to gain a following.”

Photo of Amber Stephens in scarf outside

Amber J. Stephens, Human Services, Student Government Association Senator 
“I feel this experience is a challenge for everyone as it was unexpected and adapting takes time. The past few days have been difficult learning to navigate new technology and having limited interactions with my friends and professors. Having a group video chat recently with my mentor and other students was exactly what I needed to feel somewhat normal in such a strange time. This is an opportunity to demonstrate our resilience as students and our connectedness as a community. Besides studying, I paint, practice yoga, dance, and go for walks to stay active; mental wellness is necessary for success.”

Photo of Christian Corker on outside basketball court with basketball and books

Christian Corker, Liberal Arts, Point Guard – Men’s Basketball Team, Named to 2019-2020 Mountain Valley Conference Third Team All-Conference
“…We have lost a lot of face-to-face interactions with professors and other students, which is very necessary for the success of students. Although that has been lost, professors and administrators have been doing a great job making sure that we are successful. In between classes and homework, I have been working on things that don't require me to be on a basketball court such as: ball handling, passing, watching film, and staying in shape. I have also found myself doing puzzles, reading more, and continuing to enjoy my family. As a nation we are going through a tough time, but if we stay strong, stay healthy, and stay positive we will get through it.”

Photo of TeAna Taylor seated with laptop

TeAna Taylor, Human Services, President of A.L.A.N.A. Club (diversity club), Co-President of Student Volunteer Organization
“During these uncertain times, I’m learning that support from family, friends, students, and faculty I have met at SUNY Schenectady is crucial to my overall well-being, as well as my academic success. I am relying heavily on online communications, mostly video chat, to maintain bonds and continue to be an outstanding student while practicing social distancing. I appreciate the effort professors are putting forth to be sure each student has necessary tools to remain engaged as we shift to virtual instruction. I feel prepared to prosper and grow as a professional this semester despite the circumstances COVID-19 has presented.”

Photo of Jessica Beauchemin outside with her two children

Jessica Beauchemin, Nutrition, Student Worker in the College’s Food Pantry (shown with her children, Riley, age 12, and Tristan Salerno, age 11)
“The shift to virtual instruction hasn’t been an easy transition for me. During the class video chat, I get taps on the shoulder, ‘I’m hungry when’s lunch?’ or ‘Mom, he’s annoying me!’ One kid has music blaring through headphones and the other is facetiming her friend. It’s not just me though, I’ve heard babies crying and seen little kids running around (coming from other student’s video feeds in the online classes). How can anyone focus? To pass the time I have been painting, tearing down wallpaper, and spring cleaning the house. I still go into work three days a week to make sure everyone has food to make it through the storm.”

Photo of Marie Daly in server's uniform in Casola Dining Room

Marie Daly, Culinary Arts, Slow Food Club (photo taken last semester in the Casola Dining Room)
“As a returning adult, any changes in adult learning are stressful for me, especially changes that are technology-related. I am not very technologically savvy and not having access to face to face learning is difficult for me. I need to see the hands-on teaching. I have been involved in taking care of my pets and family…I have been keeping in close contact with family, friends and those I take care of every week, sometimes several times a week to make sure everyone is still OK. I am very stressed and feeling isolated as I am sure there are plenty of people who are also feeling the same way. Keeping in contact with them has helped these feelings by calling and hearing their voices over the phone. I have gone through similar stress when I first came back to school and I persevered and became adept at posting online…I will persevere through this and will acquire another new skill.”