Students in K-through-12 classes and at the college level had to deal with a lot of changes in their routine this past year following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Iowa State University president, Wendy Wintersteen, says they adjusted on the fly. “We certainly had some ups and downs during the semester. We finished the semester and we had an emphasis on having our laboratories, our studios in person. Our classes and lecture halls of course were virtual. We still had a significant amount of in-person interaction,” Wintersteen says.
She says the actions they took appeared to have stopped the spread of the virus. “There is no evidence that we saw any transmission of the COVID virus in the classroom where we had some physical distance and individuals were wearing their face coverings. So, I can’t say how proud I am how hard everyone worked to have a successful semester,” Wintersteen says.
Wintersteen says it was evident that the students would rather be together on campus in Ames instead of taking classes online.
“They love the interaction that they can have in normal times. They need that social interaction to really grow. To be able to learn how to collaborate. To be able to lead a club. Social interaction is something they crave — and I think it is something we all crave,” according to Wintersteen.
She says they will take what they learned and use it in the spring semester. “This coming semester we now know that there are ways that we can provide structured and monitored activities for our students to be able to come together and have some of that social interaction in a relatively safe environment,” Witnerteen says.
ISU’s Spring session begins on January 25th.