From the Dean's Desk, Fall 2020
As we head into Fall and with it, times of gathering, hope, and thanksgiving, many of us find ourselves reflecting on the year we wished for, and the year we had. That January feeling of a fresh start to accomplishing our goals in a new decade. The hesitation we felt in February as we observed country by country being overcome by COVID-19, leading to fear, confusion and dismay in the months that followed. This year has shaken our sense of security, tossed our routines upside down and driven us from the comfort of loved ones in times we need it most. But throughout the discomfort, I am proud to say that CPM is coming out on the other side with more knowledge, appreciation and a full new class of future podiatrists.
When our campus closed to students in accordance with state health officials back in March, we were met with the challenge of creating a seamless online learning environment that would stand an indefinite test of time. Quickly, our incredibly capable IT team stepped up to build a virtual podiatry school that we would use throughout Spring, Summer, and even partially now, into Fall courses. Not only have these times forced us to build from scratch, but we have been brought to think creatively to change long-established processes and explore new methods and programs outside of our comfort zone. This creative thinking has resulted in positive change and updates that we may never have come to without such pressure. I am immensely proud of our staff for their fortitude and dedication to our students throughout these challenging times.
Throughout these times of isolation, it has become more apparent than ever how important the spirit of the CPM community is. In August, we were due to celebrate our annual Alumni Reunion Weekend events, where I look forward to reconnecting with, and bridging the gap between both past and present students. While they were ultimately canceled, the weekend’s spirit of unity prevailed to support the mission of the events and raise student scholarship dollars in our virtual fundraising campaign, KSUCPM United. The success of KSUCPM United proved that alumni don’t just support our Alumni Reunion Weekend events for the great dinners or to merely obtain your CME credits, but out of pure altruism for our students.
In the Spring edition of Footsteps, I spoke of hope for better times ahead. Welcoming a new class of over 120 eager and talented students has fulfilled that hope. Perhaps even better is knowing that thanks to our wonderful staff, faculty and alumni base, we are growing our mission of providing support and first rate podiatric medical education to CPM students now, and through whatever comes next.
Thank you as always, for your continued support and friendship. I look forward to being together again in the months that come.