No matter where college students are living and learning, the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted daily life. As a result, the well-being and mental health of students is of keen interest to parents, families, and universities worldwide. Between November 1 and 16, 2020, the Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) Research team invited all Duke undergraduates to share their experiences with academics, social relationships, stress, mental health, and well-being during the fall semester, and 1,015 students responded (15.4% response rate). To provide context and a point of comparison for student responses during COVID-19, we drew on data from previous research conducted at Duke during more typical times.
Listen to the full Parent and Family Programs podcast here.
Narrator: You are listening to the Duke University Parent and Family Programs Podcast
Grace Sullivan: Hello, this is Grace Sullivan from the Office of Parent and Family Programs at Duke University. We're here today with Duke student, Shrey Majmudar. Thank you for joining us today.
Shrey Majmudar: Thank you so much for having me. I'm super excited to be on.
Grace Sullivan: Shrey could you just start by introducing yourself. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
What started as a whisper in February, quickly became our new reality by March.
Now, with only finals left in the fall semester, we can all reflect on the decisions and actions of students, faculty, staff, and the entire Duke community and know that we came together and made it work. It was not easy, and it certainly wasn’t without issue. Will everything go back to normal this spring? No. However, with impossible odds and improbable measures, we completed an in-person semester during a Global pandemic.
It would be irresponsible of me to not acknowledge the loss and heavy burden that has befallen so many because of COVID-19, and this reflection is by no means suggesting that this fight is over or that we have somehow succeeded.
As families know, Parent and Family Programs hosted our first-ever virtual Family Weekend October 16-18 complete with 25 synchronous and 3 asynchronous events for guests to join. Overall, Family Weekend was a great success with over 2,300 attendees across these programs which focused on institutional priorities, signature programs, and current happenings. Also as part of Family Weekend, the Division of Student Affairs hosted its annual Duke Parents Advisory Council (DPAC) fall meeting.
Jewish Life at Duke welcomed our students to the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year on August 14, 2020 with our first virtual Shabbat of the semester during Weeks of Welcome.
When Covid-19 presented us with the challenge of how to bring our programming to our students, the JLD team came up with JLD@Home to enable us to connect with our community no matter where they might be. See the offerings delivered via JLD@Home below:
At Jewish Life at Duke, one of our guiding principles is to meet students where they are and provide them a space to explore their Jewish identity. For some, Jewish Life at Duke is the place where they returned to, strengthened, or even discovered their connection to Judaism. Ben Thier '20 shares his (touching and funny!) story of finding that connection below:
A Blessing for the Class of 2020 by Kenny Green ’20, JSU President (2019-2020)
Felicia Lim is a fourth-year PhD candidate in Duke’s Molecular Cancer Biology program. She also participates in the Global Health Doctoral Certificate Program as she is interested in using her expertise in research to enter science diplomacy and global health fields.
Tell me a little about your journey and how you ended up at Duke!