We’ve started the Fall 2021 semester here at the College of Education—both exhaling sighs of relief and holding our collective breath. It is wonderful to see students back on campus, excited for their future and the endless possibilities it holds. Faculty are in classrooms teaching again in-person; staff are back working in the Education Building, with increased health and safety measures in place for all. While the pandemic hits dubious new milestones worldwide, as Educational Psychology Department Chair Kiel Christenson has said, "Frankly, I personally feel safer on campus than anywhere else."
After the last 18 months, we are more than ready for connecting in person and gathering in community—to learn, to celebrate—together. But because we strongly value the wellbeing of our community, we've chosen to modify plans for some of our fall events to ensure the safest possible outcomes.
That said, here is what is in store this fall. Next week, the Professor David Zola Coffee Bar will be unveiled in the College of Education. Dr. Zola's memory is being honored with a reimagined space designed to foster great conversation and deeper relationships inside our walls with the potential to reach far beyond.
On September 30, the 17th Annual Goldstick Family Lecture in the Study of Communication Disorders takes place, featuring Dr. Connie Kasari, Distinguished Professor of Human Development and Psychiatry at UCLA. Dr. Kasari's talk is titled, Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities at School: Inclusion, Integration, and Improvement. This event will now be held as a Zoom webinar, and we hope you RSVP and can join us online.
Finally, please enjoy reading about recent Education faculty and alumni accomplishments—our examples of a community that rises to challenges, answers the call of leadership. While Education at Illinois has pivoted and changed many times over our history on this campus, our commitment to teaching, leadership, and service that compelled our faculty and students at the beginning of the 20th century is unwavering.