Dianne Kube is so eager to be back on campus that she even misses the smells of students’ experiments in her microbiology lab.
Suruchi Ramanujan looks forward to actually getting to know classmates she’s mostly seen on Zoom since her classes started last summer.
Laura Gorjanc can’t wait to play a full season of soccer again.
And Megan Ashwill? She most wants to see people smiling on campus.
None of the four got their COVID-19 vaccinations with hopes of getting a campus prize—for every one of them, protecting others proved to be prime motivator.
But learning they had won their pick of $500 or another incentive—involving parking for faculty or staff, and textbook discounts for students—was a more than welcome surprise.
Kube, a lecturer in biology, had gotten vaccinated months ago, but didn’t upload her card until she saw the June 2 email announcing the contest. She never expected to be selected—the message just reminded her she hadn’t gotten around to it. She submitted her card to help make sure everyone “feels safer when coming back.”
Medical student Ramanujan, meanwhile, felt a responsibility to submit her card so campus leaders “can make the safest choices” for the university community and the public.
As for returning to what Gorjanc calls “our ‘new normal,’” she can’t wait. A soccer standout at local high school Hawken, Gorjanc enjoyed a strong first season in 2019—and then saw the pandemic sweep away the second one altogether. The full fall schedule “will be great,” she said, as will seeing classmates and professors in person.
Added Ashwill, assistant director for student conduct and community standards: “it’s been quiet and lonely the past year and a half—just seeing people face-to-face again appeals enormously.
As for Kube, she hasn’t only missed those microbiology labs—though she loves seeing the “budding scientists learning” by doing—but also nearly everything else about having people back on campus. In-person classes, colleagues across the hall, “the casual contacts, the students that stop by my office to chat… I even miss the paper exams and the noise of photocopying.”
To be included in this week’s drawing, visit the vaccination verification site for instructions on how to upload a photograph of your vaccination card. The deadline is 4 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, June 11).