The fall semester is nearly here, and I can feel our community’s excitement and anticipation growing with each passing day.
To the students who will come in-person to one of our campuses, whether you are a returning student or joining us for the first time: We are eager to teach, learn, and innovate alongside you, and witness your growth and development firsthand, whether it is for just a semester or for the next several years. There is a tangible energy on GW’s campuses during the academic year as students, faculty, and staff work together to fulfill the university’s academic mission, and I cannot wait to feel that vibrancy again on campus.
To the graduate and professional students who will join us in one of our online programs: You are a vital part of the GW community. The past year has taught us that teaching, learning, and research succeeds and even thrives in the virtual space. Online education enables members of our community living in different parts of the world to work together, and supplements the work being done on our campuses to advance the university. Our online programs allow GW to be a truly global university.
A few things to keep in mind as the semester begins:
GW has made great strides over the past year in fostering a culture of empathy and compassion in the face of many challenges. Be sure to connect (or re-connect) with others, be attentive to others, and be kind, patient, and compassionate towards all members of the GW community, especially your fellow classmates.
It is also very important to remember to be kind to yourself. We have many support services available to you to support you in your academic endeavors, wellbeing, and safety. Our transition back to campus and an in-person academic year inevitably will present some challenges for all of us, and I encourage you to make use of available resources to help make your transition as smooth as possible. Links are at the bottom of this message.
Finally, it is vital that we reinforce our commitment to welcoming all members of our community and fostering a diverse and inclusive environment in our classrooms, programs, and all areas of GW. This past year highlighted our nation’s ongoing struggle with systemic racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of discrimination, complicated even further by feelings of frustration and isolation due to the pandemic. As we return to a traditional in-person experience, we must ensure that we continue to work together to provide space and support for each other as we fight for justice and accountability.
I look forward to what I know will be a productive and enjoyable fall semester.
Christopher Alan Bracey
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Wellbeing and Safety