Summer 2020

Dear Students,

I hope this note finds you safe and well. In this message I want to address two important questions about summer: one is about whether students currently living on campus can stay here into the summer if necessary, and the other is about summer research and other academic opportunities.

We have heard from several students currently living on campus that they might need to extend their stay into the summer. If you are in this category, I want you to know that you can do so if necessary. You will be hearing from me shortly with a brief survey so I can get a sense of how many students plan to stay.

Meanwhile, as we move into April, we recognize that many of you are thinking ahead to your plans for Summer 2020 and wondering how the pandemic and campus closure will affect your options. Since it’s not possible to confidently predict the pandemic’s trajectory that far into the future, we’re committed to being flexible and creative so that we can support as many summer opportunities as possible, even if they have to shift form in some way.

We do know at this point that summer experiences will not be held on campus in June and July. The college is not ruling out the possibility that students might be able to be on campus for a portion of the late summer, should public health guidelines permit. But given that the situation related to COVID-19 remains uncertain for the coming months, the college needs to plan for students to access campus opportunities remotely, to the extent possible.

If you were planning to work with a faculty member on a campus research project this summer, please work with your faculty member to determine whether and how your project might be accomplished remotely. We’re waiving for this summer the on-campus work expectation for those who have been awarded Class of 1957 research fellowships. Likewise, we will allow students with summer science research fellowships to pursue their studies remotely if possible. Students employed as research assistants may also work remotely if you can undertake the work from afar. Please begin conversations with your faculty members immediately to figure out how you might do so.

Students who have been awarded Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellowships and Allison Davis Fellowships will be able to pursue their summer research remotely, in coordination with faculty advisors and the Office of Special Academic Programs. Clinton Williams, Director of Special Academic Programs, remains available to support student fellows and faculty mentors.

We’re committed to conducting the Summer Humanities and Social Sciences and the Summer Science programs for incoming cohorts of first-year students, even if it has to be done remotely. Faculty who are teaching in these programs are collaborating with the directors—Professor Ngoni Munemo, OSAP Director Clinton Williams and Professor Chris Goh—on logistics.

Finally, we’re pleased to announce that the college is extending the period for seeking summer fellowship and internship funding. To make it easier for you to look for opportunities, the departments and offices involved have worked together to pool their offerings. Students who have not yet applied for a summer opportunity may still do so now. If you thought you had a plan but have since learned that it has fallen through or are still searching for a meaningful opportunity, you can propose a project and identify funding through one central site. Both remote and on-site summer opportunities are encouraged and will be evaluated through the funding application process. For specific information and to apply, students should begin here and then follow the links to each funding source.

If you have already applied for an opportunity, you should reach out to the respective program (e.g., Fellowship Office, Center for Career Exploration, CLiA, CES, an academic department) to determine whether the original plan is still feasible, or whether it needs to be revised due to travel restrictions or site closures.

We recognize that this summer will look very different than you imagined several months ago, but we’re eager to help you think creatively about how to find meaning and joy, and make important connections to your academic aspirations.

All best wishes,

Marlene Sandstrom
Dean of the College & Hales Professor of Psychology