Developing a Relationship with the Incoming MSBS Class

By Courtney Arndt, Administrative Assistant for MSBS Program

As most of us are feeling lonely and anxious, waiting for the pandemic to subside, our incoming students are also feeling the same anxieties—so we wanted to reach out to them. We knew they had questions: Will we start the school year in person or online? Should we move as soon as we can or stay at home with family? What will RVU even look like by the fall?

To show our RVU Core Values of collegiality and compassion, the MSBS team has gathered together to create ways of interrupting those looping worries. We created a facesheet that includes a short story about each incoming student and, with their permission, their email address so students can begin corresponding. The information provided can also help students begin to recognize similar and exciting things about each other, allowing them to feel connected and close even though they may be miles apart.

We have also started monthly “get-to-know-each-other” Zoom meetings with incoming students for both campuses, alumni, faculty, and staff to ask and answer questions, offer advice on how to thrive in the program, share their favorite ice cream flavors, and get to know each other.

While not the same as being in class, the MSBS Program is working hard to utilize the technology in order to make current and future students feel recognized and accepted. “[We] truly miss our day-to-day, in-person interactions with our students,” said Francina Towne, PhD, Director of the MSBS Program. “But the students are graciously diving in and embracing our virtual reality.”

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