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B-Note June 11, 2020

June 11, 2020

Greetings, fellow Tigers!

As a university, our primary purpose is educating undergraduate and graduate students to think deeply about and engage in the social, scientific, economic and professional challenges of our times. We are committed to the personal growth of our students and aim to promote an environment of good decision making, healthy and ethical lifestyles, and tolerance and respect for others. Our dedication to this mission remains unwavering as we rise to meet the demands of 2020 and beyond.

These are what Joe Sherman called disquieting times. Some of this, like COVID-19, we have never seen before, but some we are all too familiar with – like the social injustice that continues to plague our communities. Grief, fear, anger and uncertainty build in times like these making it ever more important to remember our commitment to build a supportive working, living and learning environment that is inclusive, diverse and respectful. In doing so, we create an exceptional quality of life for our entire Clemson Family. There are several upcoming campus events that have been planned in response to the recent unrest across America.

The Clemson University Division of Inclusion and Equity is partnering with Clemson Libraries and the Office of Human Resources to host a Zoom community dialogue on the three-part documentary, “Race: The Power of an Illusion,” and its companion website on Wednesday, June 17 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. This conversation about race will be moderated by director of student media Wanda Johnson-Stokes. This event is free and open to all Clemson faculty, staff and students. For more information, such as how to access the documentary, please see the full article here.

Together with Kendra Stewart-Tillman, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center, the Clemson University Alumni Association is hosting a Critical Conversation on Inclusion, Equity, Equality, Clemson, and our World on Tuesday, June 23 from 12-1 p.m. The event is being held via Facebook Live in a Q&A discussion style.

Return-to-Campus Updates:

As announced earlier this week, we remain on track for a return to normal operations in August. We are committed to doing so responsibly and safely as possible. Presently we are in the first phase of the return-to-campus process and we will continue to provide updates towards that goal every week to 10 days. We continue to listen to received medical advice and monitor data trends provided by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC-DHEC), both which will continue to inform our approach to return. Thank you for your concern, support and patience during this process.

News from Across Campus:

Clemson has many strong and unique partnerships across South Carolina designed to fulfill industry, research and academic needs. Just last week we announced a new partnership, Upstate to Pee Dee. Clemson’s College of Education will provide an initial cohort of 20 teachers from Florence 1 Schools a four-course certificate program in online instruction. COVID-19 has made the ability to deliver effective online instruction a must. The courses will address instructional design, strategies to enhance engagement and the evaluation of student learning in online formats. Dean Peterson, associate dean Marshall and their team was quick to answer this urgent need, and we are so proud of them for doing so. This fluidity and frontline engagement is just one example of the many ways Tigers are teaming up to help our communities and schools respond to our current health challenge.

Speaking of addressing needs and finding solutions, professor Marek Urban of the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences recently published a review on self-healing polymers, a type of smart material that repair its own damage without help. This discovery could lead to a host of futuristic technologies, such as car paint that heals its own scratches, smartphone screens that fix their own cracks and hip implants with extended lifetimes. The continued development of these polymers will be spurred forward by both economics and sustainability. Dr. Marek’s work is just one example of ground-breaking research and green chemistry being conducted by scientists and engineers at Clemson University.

Clemson University Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology Drew Lanham received recognition for his memoir “The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature” as one of “The Best Scholarly Books of the Decade” by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Lanham’s book also garnered recognition from Literary Hub among its “The 10 Best Memoirs of the Decade and Then Some.” In his teaching, research and outreach roles, Dr. Lanham seeks to translate conservation science in order to make it relevant to others in ways that are evocative and understandable. We know that Tigers are bridge-builders and Dr. Lanham’s contributions to both creative writing and wildlife ecology show our students they don’t have to choose between science and art.

B- on the lookout for how you can serve your community!

As our state, our nation and our global community continues to face the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis, our Clemson Family will keep looking for ways to fill needs, find solutions and stay connected. One such way is to make a gift to support our fellow Tigers before our fiscal year ends on June 30. We are Calling All Tigers to support the University’s most immediate needs as well as assist students, faculty and staff through the Student Emergency Fund and the Staff and Faculty Emergency Fund.

Thank you for your dedication and generosity to Clemson! We are forever grateful!

Go Tigers!

Brian O’Rourke