Faculty Stories

Faculty Stories

Many of Immaculata’s faculty had to quickly shift their classes from face-to-face to online.

They have set a positive tone for their students and families, creatively adapted assignments, and managed to find some humor along the way.

We applaud their flexibility and unshakeable care for their students.

#BeMighty

Joshua Weikert, Ph.D.
Director of Honors Program, Assistant Professor of Politics

Dr. Joshua Weikert“We all, in the faculty, have had to pivot to distance learning for everyone all in one shot here, and that was a new experience. I’ve never quite done it at that pace before, but did have experience producing and delivering online content, so it was at least a manageable transition. The best recommendation I’ve found to give to everyone is to develop habits of behaviour. Habit of study, habits of work, create a schedule for yourself. I know I do. I wake up everyday at the same time as I would if I were to go on campus. I tend to work on class scoring and communication at the same times. And in that way you can find some normalcy again in your lives. It’s not easy, it’s certainly a challenge. And it’s all the worse for those who are living through the disease, or have family who are. I have many friends and family who are in dire economic straits right now looking down the barrel, it’s a very tough time. Where we can find some solace and comfort in that is in the normal behaviors that we would have ordinarily been doing before all of this got started. So try to find new habits, or stick to old ones which can lead to better outcomes.”

 


 

George Schwartz shaking hands with Alex Amparo

Alex Amparo (left), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, with Schwartz (right).

George M. Schwartz, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor of Leadership

“I’m teaching three courses this spring. Two of the courses were already being delivered online, the other course is an honors course for business students in the subject of leadership. Prior to spring break, we were meeting in the classroom. Since then, I have adapted this course for online delivery using our web conferencing software. We continue to meet at the same time. The transition has been successful, but we’ve had to give up a couple of field trips that we planned.”

 


 

Kelly Doyle

 

Kelly Doyle ’04, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor of Education

“As a professor at Immaculata, I have been teaching our wonderful students online during this COVID-19 pandemic. My husband and four children are also working/attending school from home. Three teachers, a grad student, an undergraduate student, and an 8th grader all vying for workspace (and bandwidth!) is an adventure. When not working/studying, activities such as movie nights, Disney Trivia, game board tournaments and trying to get outside every day keep us going. We know we are blessed to have each other.”

 


 

Kelly StalkerKelly Stalker Ed.D., LAT, ATC
Professor and Director of Athletic Training Program

“This has been quite a transition for both faculty and students. Within my classes in the exercise science major, we have a lot of hands-on components. So I had to think outside the box and get pretty creative to provide opportunities for the students to still learn these new skills, but in a virtual setting. Have been taking advantage of the online package of Flipgrid where I’m giving the students assignments, depending on the class, manual muscle testing or anatomical palpation. They’re using their family members, their parents and their siblings as their models and creating short videos of the skills I’m asking them to perform. They post that to our class page, where I can provide individual feedback to each student about the skills that they demonstrated. It’s been an interesting experience and we’re all starting to get the hang of it.”

 


 

Sean FlannerySean Flannery, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English and Department Chair

“With my wife being home, I have found it necessary to abide by a schedule of split responsibilities amongst my job, domestic responsibilities, home improvement activities, boredom abatement, and streaming television accountability. My activity highlights from the latest week include 3 new types of solitaire, attending a social distancing birthday parade for one of my friend’s children, not having a panic attack during grocery shopping, and helping my high school niece write a paper about Thomas Hobbes. I never would have thought my niece could have related to Hobbes’ notion of an absolute sovereign, but she is really craving the structure of in person schooling… and she got a 94 on the paper. So not a bad week. Be safe!”

 


 

Corey Olver, MA, MT-BC, LPC, ACS
Music Therapy Program Director

Corey Olver“As I’m adapting to this new world of social distancing and online education, I find that I miss the small things that I used to take for granted – spending time with family and friends, interacting with students on campus (both in the classroom and in “hallway moments”) and simply seeing people smile in greeting! At the same time, this is a time to “walk the walk” model for our students on how to handle adversity, which requires a delicate balance of honoring the difficulty and sadness of this moment as well as choosing a path of creativity, resilience, and hope. I believe that we have the opportunity to see the best in people, and I have certainly seen that in our IU community, where students, faculty, and alumni have come together to share resources, support one another, and find creative solutions to really tough problems. In music therapy classes, we have had to get very creative about transforming the learning experience involving musical media into something very different – sometimes that change has been straightforward, but most often has required us to be more flexible than I ever imagined possible. Although difficult, we are trying to use this opportunity to help our students learn about telehealth and its existing and potential application for music therapy in a way that can help them integrate the knowledge about distance music therapy alongside applying those skills of practice in a place where they can grow and learn from one another. At this time, I am reminded of my favorite quote: Change is inevitable. Growth is intentional. I hope to live out that sentiment in the days ahead. ”

 


 

Daniel Benonis, M.A., MT-BC
Instructor of Music Therapy

Daniel Benonis“Trading the office desk for the kitchen table, and trading dress pants for sweatpants might seem like a sweet deal for some people, but not me. I truly miss the energy, connection and comfort of being at my “home under the dome.” Moving courses online has been a more difficult process than I could have imagined, especially when trying to navigate with students who are in music therapy fieldwork settings–trying to accrue clinical hours during this trying time. This unfortunate world event is indeed more taxing and difficult than any of us could have imagined. However, seeing the resilience and creativity of my students and colleagues have given me an inordinate amount of solace and hope for the future of music therapy. Our students’ ability to adapt and push through difficulties to become the best versions of themselves during an already stressful time of year, while facing these unprecedented times, is astounding. My colleagues’ creative solutions to navigating clinical and/or music-based connections through telenetworking provide me with optimism for brighter tomorrows. At this stage of quarantine, I already miss everyone that I know, but I find myself missing trivial things like getting a haircut and a shave. However, I yearn for the days when I am back in the classroom with my students, in academic settings with my colleagues and in clinical settings with my clients. We will overcome!”

 

Masks Made by Fashion Faculty and Students

Assistant Professor Sister Denise Mollica, IHM, found online instructions to make face masks and created a step-by-step guide with photos to show her students how to sew their own. Sister Denise estimates she has made about 70 masks for the IHM Sisters, and her students are making more for their family and friends.

 

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