Message from Dean Lach to SEAS Students

March 12, 2020

In-line with President LeBlanc's email, SEAS will be moving all of its courses online starting March 23rd and will be prepared to continue with online teaching through the end of the semester if needed. Your instructors will provide you with information on specific online delivery tools they will be using (such as WebEx, Blackboard, Slack, etc.). For courses with a laboratory component, the laboratory sections may not be ready to go online until March 30th, and you will be informed by the instructor (or your department) if this is the case with your lab section. It is likely that in some cases new laboratory assessments may need to be designed with resulting changes in course requirements, so we request that you be patient while our instructors come up with creative solutions. We are committed to continue providing you with a high quality education and to achieving all course learning objectives.

When I first arrived on-campus in August, I was immediately struck by the strong sense of community in SEAS, mostly because of the obvious care people showed for each other. It is this community and care that make me confident that we can work together to get through this challenging time, even if we are physically separated through much of it. Our faculty and staff are working hard toward the online transition because they care about their students (i.e., you!) and our mission to educate engineering leaders for the mid-21st century. Please show care for them and for our programs by providing constructive feedback, letting them know what is working for you and what could be done better. Please also show care for each other by providing support and assistance, much in the same way that I see around SEH every day. You could form a virtual study group, create an online forum, or make yourself available to classmates who might have questions or who just want to connect with a friend. Most importantly, please show care for yourself, your loved ones, and your community by being safe. Utilize best practices around health and social distancing, and exercise good judgement about travel and attending events.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your professors, your department chair, or anyone in the Dean's Office, including those cc'ed here:
Prof. John Lach (me!) - Dean of SEAS
Prof. Bhagi Narahari - Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Student Affairs
Prof. Can Korman - Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies
Prof. Rumana Riffat - Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Jonathan Ragone - Director of Undergraduate Student Services, Advising, and Records
Brittany Wright - Director of Graduate Admissions and Student Services
Raoul Gabiam - Director of Information Technology

Thank you in advance for your role in helping our SEAS community through this challenging period. We look forward to the time when we can all come together again. But in the mean time, let's all care for one another and commit to doing the best we can to move forward under the given constraints and to promote the health and safety of ourselves and our communities.

Warmest regards,
John Lach
Dean - School of Engineering and Applied Science
Professor - Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
The George Washington University
(202) 994-6080
[email protected]