To Our SEAS Community

April 17, 2020

Dear SEAS Students, Staff, and Faculty,

It has been another long week, but it brought another set of experiences that reminded me how special our SEAS Community is. In particular, the staff and undergraduate student town halls were wonderful, with engaged participants who asked great questions and shared exciting ideas. We had a technical issue with the graduate student town hall, but that will be rescheduled for next week. Through these sessions, I was reminded how much people care about SEAS, and I feel so lucky to be here and to count you all as my colleagues and students.

Some Department Chair news:

Prof. Zoe Szajnfarber has been elected as the next Chair of the Engineering Management & Systems Engineering (EMSE) Department and will assume that position on July 1. Prof. Szajnfarber is a thoughtful leader, a world-renowned scholar, a celebrated teacher, and a dedicated mentor, and I’m so excited that she is joining the SEAS Leadership Team.

Prof. Tom Mazzuchi is stepping down after 8 years as EMSE Chair. Including 2 prior stints as Chair (10 years and 3 years) and 3.5 years as Interim Dean, Prof. Mazzuchi has helped lead SEAS for over 25 years, and we are all grateful for his service and the impact he has had. He assures me he isn’t going anywhere, and we look forward to celebrating his leadership when we are all together again.

The faculty of the Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department has re-elected Prof. Majid Manzari for another term as CEE Chair. Prof. Manzari is been a strong champion for CEE and all of its members, and I look forward to continuing our work together.

A number of the questions that came up during the town halls concerned online learning, which gave me the opportunity to explain what we are doing to provide the best possible education while we are physically apart. Some of this information is on our SEAS COVID-19 Resources website:
I also think the principles shared on this GW website are good reminders for all of us as we educate and learn in this new environment:

My thoughts continue to be with you – the SEAS Community – and I send you all my best wishes of health and safety.

Warm regards,

John Lach