A St. Edward’s education is personalized, caring and supportive — and that’s still true, even though we’re not on campus.

As classes and services move online, students can still ask for support and offer it to others remotely. Here are 4 examples of how St. Edward’s community members have supported one another in “normal times,” along with tips for maintaining those connections as a virtual community. We’re all in this together.

Stay in touch with your professors

Biology major Priyanka Ranchod ’21 wanted to pursue a career in medicine, but she wasn’t a strong science student in high school. During the first week of classes her freshman year, she went to see her biology professor, Matt Steffenson, during office hours. Steffenson coached Ranchod through study strategies that helped her succeed in all her science classes, and she later became a research assistant in his lab.

“Dr. Steffenson truly changed my life,” Ranchod says. “He helped me believe in myself and gave me the opportunity to be successful, and many of my other professors have done that too.  When I had a really tough semester, my professors were so encouraging and motivating and kept telling me, ‘You can do this — you just need to focus.’”

Your professors still believe in you and want you to succeed. They know switching to remote learning is challenging — they’re doing it too. They’re all still accessible via email, phone and office hours. Many are also available via chat and video conference.  

Check in with your financial advisor

When Amy Truong ’20 was a sophomore, her family had some financial challenges, so she visited her advisor in Student Financial Services. “She was really understanding of my situation, and she helped me,” Truong says. Her advisor recommended she apply for the Munday Scholarship, which she received. Truong also got a job in the University Advancement office, where one of her duties was compiling profiles of all the Munday Scholars for the donor who funds the award. “I was really touched that she gets to know all the scholars she’s helping in a more personal way,” Truong says.

Millions of families across the country are affected by coronavirus-related layoffs and closures. If your financial situation is changing significantly, it’s a good idea to check in with our financial advisor. Schedule a call or virtual meeting by contacting your counselor directly.

Attend a virtual event

Many events that were scheduled on campus for the remainder of the semester are still happening — albeit virtually — as an opportunity for the hilltop community to come together.

The Center for Ethics and Leadership is hosting virtual events. The Honors Thesis Symposium is scheduled for April 24 in various Zoom rooms. 

The Munday Library is collecting stories of Hilltoppers during this time. Read or submit your story 

Other campus organizations are hosting events and building connections, too — an Esports hangout and a virtual pen pal program, along with virtual fitness and wellness classes. Get the latest.

Remember that academic and career advisors are here to help

When Jasmine Adgerson ’21 discovered Kinesiology, she immediately knew it was the major and career path that fit her best. She pursued an internship, attended an event about Physical Therapy school, and applied for a summer career discovery week — all with the help of Jason De La Rosa, interim director of Career and Pre-professional Programs.

“He’s always sending out so many helpful resources for pre-health students,” Adgerson says. “He definitely has the best interests of all his advisees in mind – and it’s super cool to know someone has your back like that.”

While career fairs and in-person meetings aren’t an option right now, you can still get academic and career support remotely. Stay in touch with your success coach or academic advisor, and take advantage of walk-in — or “Zoom in” — hours with Career and Professional Development. And if you have more free time than normal, consider how you can use it to get organized, work on your website, or polish your resume (online resume evaluations are still available).

We didn’t ask for this “growth opportunity.” But we can help one another build resilience.

Every Hilltopper has the opportunity to receive support right now, and to offer it to someone else. If you need help right now, reach out. Counselors are offering remote appointments, and an additional helpline is open 24/7. If you’re feeling ok in this moment, send a quick note of encouragement to a friend, RA, professor or advisor. This is a time when everyone at St. Edward’s can lean on the community we’ve built — and continue to strengthen that community by supporting one another every day.