May 2020: Message from the Department Chair

Headshot of Dr. Jing Lei
Dr. Jing Lei

This message of the IDD&E Department Chair opens the Spring 2020 IDD&E Spotlight newsletter. Following Dr. Lei’s message, you will find a brief Table of Contents to the news that the newsletter included.

Dear friends—

Greetings from Syracuse!

I hope you and your loved ones have been staying safe and healthy. Spring 2020 was a very unique semester as we all faced unprecedented challenges that have affected us in so many ways. In mid-March, following government and university guidelines, we moved all our classes online, and have been advising students and conducting departmental businesses online since then. While working/studying from our own homes, our community members, faculty, staff, students, and alumni have been staying connected through various digital channels, helping and supporting each other during this very trying time. It is our love, care, and support for each other that makes us a strong community.

And there is much to be celebrated at the end of the academic year. On May 08, we held the annual IDD&E Ice-Cream Social, our traditional end-of-academic year celebration, online through Zoom. It was very nice and heartwarming to see that many students, alumni, colleagues, and IDD&E friends joined us from various locations across the country and overseas. We celebrated the nearly 40 certificate of advanced study (C.A.S.), master’s, and doctoral students graduating in the 2019–2020 academic year, including the first cohort of ten Sergeants Major graduating from our online master’s program. Congratulations to you all on your achievements and we wish you very successful and fulfilling careers!

It was also the occasion where we officially recognized exceptional performances among our graduates and exemplary services in the past academic year. A total of ten awards (five for C.A.S./M.S. students, four for Ph.D. students, and one for a staff member), nominated by faculty and students, were given to outstanding individuals and teams. Please check in this newsletter to see the details and congratulate the awardees for receiving their well-deserved honors.

It is particularly heartening and inspiring to hear from our alumni and friends during this difficult time. In this issue, we have included some exciting news from you. We are happy to celebrate your success stories and honors, and to learn about the interesting projects that you are engaged in, including very innovative and timely projects that help people to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for the much-valued contributions you are making to the local and the global communities and thank you for being there for each other.

Take care and be well. We will get through this together as an even stronger community.

Jing Lei, Ph.D.
Professor of the IDD&E Department
May 14, 2020

The Spring 2020 IDD&E:Spotlight Newsletter includes stories that you can read in the following 14 links:

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