COVID-19 Response

The below news stories and communications relate to St. Thomas’ response to the coronavirus pandemic. These stories appear in chronological order, from newest to oldest.

Thanos Zygnas looks out from the terrace of the Bernardi Campus in Rome.

When (Not) in Rome: An Oral History of the Decision to Close Bernardi Campus

As COVID-19 spread throughout Italy, university officials wrestled with the decision of whether to close the Bernardi Campus. St. Thomas was the first program in Rome to close its operations … and just in time. Here’s an oral history of the decisions to close the Rome campus.
Engineering Professor Dr. Katherine Acton prepares online learning lessons in the STELAR Media Studio. Mark Brown/University of St. Thomas

Zooming into Online Learning

Since March 12, more than 900 St. Thomas faculty members taught more than 2,000 courses to more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. This summer another 450 courses will be taught.
Golden hour sunlight streaks down a walkway next to the Anderson Student Center. Mark Brown/University of St. Thomas

New COVID-19 Preparedness Plan Outlines Operational and Behavioral Changes Needed at St. Thomas This Fall

Social distancing setups, more hand sanitizing stations, disinfecting kits in classrooms and a wider variety of instruction methods will be among the noticeable differences St. Thomas community members see when they return to campus this summer and fall.
Trevor Brink, right, is a St. Thomas law student and a National Guard officer.

School of Law Student at the Heart of Minnesota’s PPE Distribution

St. Thomas School of Law student Trevor Brink has been working since April 9 as the executive officer of his National Guard company and in charge of managing the Minnesota Department of Health’s personal protective equipment (PPE) distribution warehouse.
Opus College of Business

Tommie Experts: ‘Outside Consultant’ Columns on COVID-19 Issues

For years, experts from Opus College of Business have answered business-related questions in a weekly Star Tribune column titled “Outside Consultant.” In the last couple of months, faculty weighed in on how businesses can adapt to the new challenges that come with navigating COVID-19.
A prison yard.

School of Law Helps Develop, Support Minnesota Prisoners Medical Release Program

On March 27, School of Law Professor Mark Osler wrote an editorial column in the Star Tribune calling on local, state and federal officials to “take action now if we are to avoid catastrophic illness and death in those [prison and jail] facilities as COVID-19 inexorably advances." The state listened.
Dining services staffers Carl Littlejohn, left, and brother Anthony Littlejohn, right, pose for a photo in the Anderson Student Center. They are part of a team of critical employees ensuring that students and staff remaining on campus are looked after.

‘A Second Family’: Life at St. Thomas During COVID-19

Life on St. Thomas’ St. Paul and Minneapolis campuses looks more different lately than it ever has before. They are far, however, from empty: Some 125 students continue to live in St. Paul residence halls, and dozens of essential staff continue to work in both St. Paul and Minneapolis.
A view of barbed wire in front of a prison

Tommie Experts: School of Law’s Mark Osler on Clemency and Prison Populations Amidst COVID-19

As COVID-19's potential impact on the country's prison system continues to be explored nationally and in Minnesota, the Newsroom spoke with School of Law professor and clemency expert Mark Osler.
The University of St. Thomas sign in front of the Anderson Student Center. Mark Brown/University of St. Thomas

Care, Compassion, Empathy: Admissions Working Hard to Support Prospective Students, Families

As high school graduation approaches, more and more students are making decisions on higher education enrollment. St. Thomas’ Admissions Department has made major changes to ensure prospective students and their families are getting the support they need as they navigate the challenges of COVID-19.
A chemistry student analyzes data on a computer screen August 1, 2016 in Owens Science Hall.

Equity, Inclusion Remains Focus During Online Learning

With such a massive amount of work to move St. Thomas’ curriculum online in the past several weeks, some priorities for faculty could have gotten lost in the shuffle. Faculty engagement and recent seminars from Faculty Development Center (FDC) and STELAR are signs that equity and inclusion in online learning will not be one of those things.
A sign reading "All for the Common Good" hangs from a lamp post on the John P. Monahan Plaza January 29, 2016. The Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex is in the background.

Virtual Postgraduation Fair to Focus on Meaningful Work for Class of 2020

Meaningful work and how graduates might take this opportunity to find work that advances the common good is the focus of the May 7 virtual postgraduation fair, co-hosted by the Center for the Common Good and the Career Development Center.
Students rush past and into the Anderson Student Center on a sunny autumn day on October 7, 2016.

Support Through Challenges: Undergraduate Students Share Experiences of Shifts Amidst COVID-19

Dozens of undergraduate students responded to a request to provide some insight into how the adjustments to a new normal of all online classes and social distancing has gone, answering questions about how they’ve made those adjustments, what some of the biggest challenges they’ve faced are, and what has been most helpful for them throughout this process. Below are some of their many responses.