Among the many changes at SVSU this semester are the increase in hybrid classes — where curriculum is shared both in-person as well as online and remotely — and the reduction in number of students attending each in-class course. Both measures reduce the amount students are exposed to each other. We wanted to check in on one of the educators involved in both forms of class, which led us to Izabela Szymanska.
The associate professor of management answered a short Q&A examining her analysis of both styles of education.
Q: Tell us about your Creativity and Market Feasibility Analysis (MGT/MKT 451) class, which involves exclusively in-person instruction. How have students reacted to being spaced out at least 6 feet from each other while wearing masks?
A: My face-to-face class is not large. There are only 13 students in that classroom. That allows for a very good level of group work and feedback. Everything that used to happen in face-to-face classes before the pandemic can happen safely this semester as well. Students also value the option of having face-to-face classes recorded. That creates some additional flexibility and facilitates learning.
Q: You also teach Entrepreneurship (MBA 643), which involves hybrid instruction. How have students responded to this approach?
A: Based on students’ feedback, it tends to be a positive experience for them. They can complete work on their own time through asynchronous sessions, but at the same time, live sessions give them opportunity to connect in real time.
Finally, this hybrid class also has a face-to-face component. Based on my communication with some students in this class, this variety in class delivery formats allows them to better manage their time, and also keeps them more motivated. Some weeks, students work through class content on their own time. In that sense, they make a decision to react to class content when they want to work through the modules. When they are ready to work through the modules, it feels like something they look forward to do. What I heard was that they rarely feel like they would rather not “go to class,” even though class schedule demands that.
When contacted to participate in SVSU's random testing program for COVID-19, members of the campus community can enjoy a $5 Starbucks gift certificate by agreeing to participate. The program will help SVSU continue to provide a safer, healthier campus environment.
Health care officials are advising the public to schedule flu shots this year as a way to avoid the potential crisis of overlapping virus seasons this fall and winter. SVSU will offer free flu shots. Participating students will receive a $5 Meijer gift card and faculty/staff will receive a $5 Starbucks card. The flu shots will be available during the following days and times in the SVSU Fieldhouse.
Thank you to everyone who has cooperated with SVSU's contact tracing team when contacted. If you test positive for COVID-19, you must self-report to email@example.com (or authorize Covenant HealthCare to share your information). If you do not self-report or cooperate with SVSU contact tracers, that is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct and could result in suspension or expulsion.
Students in need of laptops and other equipment to support their studies in exclusively online or hybrid courses can rent equipment until the end of the semester. To request this support, create an IT ticket request by clicking here.
SVSU staff and faculty members can obtain disposable 3-ply masks, a limited supply of vinyl gloves, and refills of 8-ounce hand sanitizer bottles for their departments via SVSU Central Stores. These selections can be made at the following URL: https://appsc.svsu.edu/centralstores/main.php
On the resulting webpage, an option titled “COVID-19 Supplies” will provide the referenced supplies.
The inventory is limited, so the intent of these supplies is to provide immediate access to lower quantities (for example, 50 to 100 units) of a given item. If staff/faculty members have needs for bulk quantities (for example: 4,000 disposable masks) then they need to contact Purchasing directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In July, SVSU established the NEST Info Line, a phone number members of the campus community could call to ask questions related to health and safety measures enacted for the fall semester. On the other end of that line are members of the Conference Center at SVSU. The following is the first in a series of profiles acquainting readers with the friendly operators answering calls there.
Jamie Garcia joined SVSU’s staff in part because of her love for helping others. What has kept her at the university for seven years is the hospitality extended to her by that same campus community.
“You feel like we’re all part of a big team together,” said Garcia, an event coordinator. “I can feel comfortable calling anyone on campus to ask a question.”
These days, Garcia is fielding many calls from others. As one of three staff members operating the SVSU Nest Info Line since July, she has helped staff, faculty, students and Cardinal family members seeking questions relating to the university’s return to campus this fall.
“There are some days when the calls are slower; other days, they are nonstop,” she said. “It keeps us on our toes.”
Most of the calls involve questions related to COVID-19 testing and results – in some cases, those calls are forwarded to a hotline operated by Covenant HealthCare – as well as other matters relating to life at SVSU during the pandemic. Garcia said she is happy to help.
“I’m a people person,” she said. “That’s who I am. I’m happy to help.”
Prior to the pandemic, her work involved coordinating events such as the weddings, guest speakers, proms and other events hosted at SVSU under normal circumstances.
Garcia’s love for people extends to her life outside of campus. She is dedicated to her family. Part of her reason for joining SVSU was because her brother, Tyler Hollingshead, was a student at the time. He has since graduated. Garcia is married with a 2-year-old son. While the pandemic has limited her family’s ability to travel, they enjoy visiting extended family in the region near Garcia’s hometown of Roscommon.
“I’m very family-oriented,” she said. “I’m happy when I’m around people.”
If you have questions related to SVSU’s return to campus this fall, operators are available to answer questions at the NEST Info Line at (989) 964-2110. Hours are weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and weekends from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
While completing the CampusClear health screening survey is required to enter campus, medical experts are encouraging the campus community to fill out the survey daily, even when you will not be visiting campus.
The consistent usage will allow SVSU to monitor the health and wellness of students, staff and faculty regardless of whether or not they spend considerable time on campus.
Email your questions or concerns to email@example.com.
NEST Info Line