Students made videos for their favorite professors in December to express their gratitude for their hard work.
The videos were part of a Student Government Association-sponsored Faculty Appreciation Project.
Yen Truong, SGA vice president and a third-year accounting student, invited students to submit videos, which SGA members reviewed and released to faculty members. Six students submitted videos.
Truong said she saw how hard professors were working to adjust to an all-online curriculum and wanted to find a way to recognize them.
“During COVID, we know that all the faculty have worked very, very hard to navigate classes and help students do well in class,” said Truong. “We all appreciate it.”
Although there were only six submissions to the project, Truong said it was a success.
“During the pandemic, I didn’t have high expectations,” Truong said. “I know students are struggling as well and busy dealing with family, jobs and school.”
One of the students who submitted a video was Fran Zyla, a second–year biology student, who thanked ceramics professor Sara Prigodich.
“I thought it was important to show my personal gratitude for all of the work that’s being done, just take some time to recognize and appreciate,” Zyla said. “Also, I’ve really enjoyed this ceramics class, and I think it’s been designed really well with respect to all of the COVID accommodations that have been made.”
Zyla said the ceramics class had in-class sessions for two hours once a week following social distancing guidelines. Students took their projects home with kits of the materials they needed to continue their work outside of class. Ceramics professors also gave students several video demonstrations of techniques so they would have the same amount of studio time that they would if the class had been fully on campus
“I could see that the faculty was really going the extra mile and putting in a lot of effort,” Zyla said.
Psychology professor Rachelle Tannenbaum said she found the video she received from second-year electrical engineering student Sabrina Rafferty “really touching.”
“We forget what actually hearing that expression of gratitude can mean to someone,” Tannenbaum said. “This video had clearly taken Sabrina some time to put together. There was music and even a poem. …It definitely made a difference to me.”
Rafferty also made a video for sociology professor Elizabeth Sammis.
“When I saw that this was from one of my students, I was like, ‘Wow, this is really amazing,’” Sammis said. “I remember Sabrina very well.”
Sammis said she especially appreciated the video in the context of COVID because she missed getting to interact with her students before and after class.
“If you got in early or hung around a little bit afterwards, you actually got to talk to students and to get to know them, which is how I got to know Sabrina,” Sammis said. “I have to say I miss that, but, you know, it is what it is. It’s been different.”