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SXU Faculty and Staff Stay Active During COVID-19 Pandemic


As Saint Xavier University (SXU) faculty transitioned to remote learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they continued to stay busy in their fields by participating in webinars, conferences, radio shows and more. Throughout April and May, members of the SXU community shared their expertise and pedagogical strategies in a variety of virtual formats.

Jacqueline Battalora, Ph.D., J.D., professor of sociology, anthropology and criminal justice, gave a webinar as part of the SpeakOut Ed Talks. The webinar, titled "Whiteness Competency: A Blueprint for Racial Justice in a Global Pandemic," touched on how the crises brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is especially brutal for black, brown and indigenous communities.

Gloria Barrera, MSN, RN, PEL-CSN, adjunct faculty from the School of Nursing and Health Sciences (SONHS), released a video titled "#WhyPublicHealthMatters" as part of a series of stories from health professionals. Also the president elect of the Illinois Association of School Nurses and current treasurer of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses Illinois Chapter, Barrera discusses how school nurses are ready to arm their schools, communities and government with the facts on why public health matters. "The world is seeing nurses now in all sectors and are in awe of their bravery, innovation and leadership. I'm proud to be one of the 4 million nurses in this country and will continue to advocate for better child health outcomes in our most vulnerable populations through my practice, teaching and service. I am a proud alumna of SXU and look forward to serving our students for years to come as a nurse faculty," said Barrera.

Chair of the Communication Department Brad Mello, Ph.D., was a featured speaker on a webinar hosted by the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), which covered using a narrative approach in the assessment process. He highlighted the NILOA tool kit on a narrative assessment approach and provided multiple examples of how the Communication Department has utilized a narrative approach to student learning outcomes assessment. "I must admit I'm tired of staring at a computer screen so much and find webinars a bit weird, but given that 300-plus folks across the country came together for an hour to talk about the importance of helping our students learn, especially in these times, was heartening," said Mello.

Mark Rosenbaum, Ph.D., dean of the Graham School of Management (GSM), has written an op-ed piece on how businesses can thrive after the COVID-19 emergency, with a focus on changes of consumer behavior both in a physical marketplace and online. "Consumers will seek out open-air spaces; thus, we should see the growth of shoppers at strip centers, urban areas and lifestyle centers. Unfortunately, the future of enclosed malls as a viable retail format is bleak," wrote Rosenbaum. He also attended the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International Conference and Annual Meeting, which was converted to a webinar in response to COVID-19. Rosenbaum was able to connect virtually with other business educators worldwide to engage during the highly-interactive conference.

Communication professors Cynthia Grobmeier and Blake Paxton, Ph.D., discussed organ donation on Grobmeier's YouTube video series, "Discussing Donation: A Maddog Strong Interview Series." Paxton touched on work related to his book "At Home with Grief," as well as some insights to provide help to those facing loss on multiple levels during the COVID-19 crisis. The series was created by Grobmeier in conjunction with her foundation Maddog Strong to honor her daughter, the late Maddie Grobmeier and bring awareness to the need to register as an organ and tissue donor. The series is not only helpful to the entire SXU community but also educational for students with majors or minors in biology, nursing, exercise science, social work, communication, psychology and more. 

Sue Swisher, executive director of Financial Aid, was interviewed by WWBM Newsradio as part of their "Education Week" segment. Swisher, who has 25 years of experience at SXU and over 30 years of experience in the financial aid industry, has participated in "Education Week" for the past few years and has been active at the state, regional and national level throughout her career. She spoke about how financial aid is affected by the CARES Act stimulus bill.

The work SXU faculty and staff has accomplished in response to and in spite of the pandemic is inspiring, and we look forward to their continued achievements.