Faculty members have had to get creative — and a little high-tech — in honoring graduates and celebrating the end of the school year since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
At the end of the 2019-20 school year, biology faculty members filmed a video saluting their graduates. They followed that up this year with a collaborative video involving students who were on campus. This video, titled “How To Make a Biologist,” is a mock movie trailer advertising the biology department and featuring students (and Rooney) conducting research, walking the hallways of the Life Science building and more.
While the biology department opted for a video wrap-up to the school year, Dr. Roland Minton, M. Paul Capp & Constance Whitehead Professor of Mathematics, turned to audio to celebrate math, computer science, and physics students.
After publishing a newsletter for the department for the past 10 years, Minton wanted to do something different this year. The newsletter has always included in-depth pieces on one or two students and smaller snippets on other students. Minton said that with so many students away from campus, he wasn’t hearing from them as much as usual. He wanted to remedy that, so he started recording interviews with a variety of students.
“I really enjoyed getting to spend 30-40 minutes chatting with each of the students, almost all of whom I knew fairly well but hadn’t seen or spoken to all year,” Minton said. “It was great catching up.”
Minton edited together four podcasts, dedicated to math, physics, actuarial science and Stat Crew (a group of students who collect and analyze data for Roanoke College Athletics). The podcasts are a few minutes each and weave together interviews with students involved in each group. Minton also posted longer segments of interviews with the students in order to highlight each of them individually.
The editing was a new and challenging experience, Minton said, but it was ultimately rewarding when he heard the final product. He said he would like to do it again in the future if students and parents enjoyed the podcasts.