Photo by Amos Chan
The halls may be empty and echoing at Wellesley this summer, but behind the scenes, faculty and staff work continues to hum.
The research and information support staff at Library and Technology Services has been busy collaborating with Oscar Fernandez, faculty director of the Pforzheimer Learning and Teaching Center, and Rob Haley, director of non-academic and innovative programming, to develop a slate of learning opportunities for faculty to help them prepare for fall. Topics include accessibility, assessments, community building, and making better videos. “My hope for fall is that meaningful learning will happen for students and faculty, that we’ll discover different, productive ways to engage with each other and course content that we can use when we return,” says Rebecca Darling, assistant director of instructional technology.
Research has been ongoing, as well. James Battat, associate professor of physics, says, “This summer, I’m working remotely with six Wellesley students on a project that combines dark matter research with machine learning algorithms. In addition, I am contributing to a neutrino physics project called DUNE. That collaboration consists of more than a thousand researchers in 32 countries, so our work was primarily ‘remote’ long before the pandemic. Restricted access to research labs has certainly created delays on that front, and research conferences have shifted to online-only formats, but it’s quite amazing how much can be accomplished even in these circumstances.”
Battat is excited about the fall semester, whatever the “new normal” turns out to be. “There are many unknowns,” he says. “But I look forward to the chance to connect again with students in the classroom, whether in person, remote, or hybrid.”