Category : PROspective

Congratulations to the entire @EmoryEPI community for making it to the end of classes for Fall 2020! In August, we all knew that we were staring down a semester that would be unlike any other. As we stand on the other side of the instructional part of this semester, we can be proud of the ways in which we have leaned on each other, though both the ups and downs, to help us make it through.

At the start of the semester, Tim Lash asked us all to “recognize and practice flexibility, empathy, and patience.” We saw these principles play out throughout the semester as members of our community recognized that everyone was experiencing the pandemic differently, and that there were times where we needed to adjust our expectations to suit the moment. We also stretched ourselves in both creativity and resiliency – finding new ways to address the challenges that we faced, and recognizing that we are capable of so much more than we often give ourselves credit.

I have always been immensely grateful for our department’s community, and that gratitude has taken on a whole new life this semester. It is such a gift to be able to wake up each and every day and know that my time at work is well spent. As we settle into this week of Thanksgiving, I know that this time is likely to look quite different than in years past. To reiterate Tim’s recent message to the department, although “2020 has been difficult… many have had a much harder year than most of us. Look for the good in what has past, hope for the future, and recommit to perseverance for the present.”

Of course, I am keenly aware that we are not yet on the other side of this semester: faculty may still need to prepare finals, and of course, students still need to take them. Always remember that we are all on the same team – working together to prepare you to become influential public health professionals, ready to tackle the challenges that we face.

My hope for each and every one of you is that you are able to recharge this week, even if that means flexing your creativity to ensure a safe celebration for yourself, your loved ones, and the greater community. For some, recharging will mean completely unplugging – for others, it means getting caught up while colleagues are on a break – whatever you need, please take it, and remember to practice empathy for those whose coping mechanisms differ from your own.

In closing, I’ll share this quote from Voltaire, which perfectly encapsulates the #WeAreEmoryEPI spirit:

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

We appreciate, and are so grateful for, every member of our @EmoryEPI community – stay safe, be well and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!



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