Bettering the World Together
At Bluffton, our sense of a greater purpose develops students of exceptional character and expansive vision. Since 1899, we’ve been learning, experiencing and bettering the world together. This issue of “Bluffton” recognizes that even though we may be physically separated due to COVID-19 health and safety measures, we remain united as a community.
On March 10, Ohio’s governor mandated institutions of higher education transition to remote learning. By March 16, final in-person classes were held, faculty workshops on the use of helpful technology (including the videoconferencing platform Zoom and course management system Moodle) took place and remote instruction began.
The program allowed Bluffton educator preparation majors to obtain student teaching and field experience hours while providing a service to the wider community. Study Buddies mentored preschool through high school students and provided homework help/educational activities through the videoconferencing platform Zoom.
Dr. Sherri Winegardner, director of nursing, routinely invites guest speakers to share about their experiences in the medical field with students in her classes. On March 25, students in Bluffton University’s Global Health and Intercultural Care class had the opportunity to learn from three medical professionals on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.
Chapel continued during its weekly Thursday morning time through Zoom videoconferencing instead of in-person at Yoder Recital Hall. Bible studies and small group spiritual development activities also continued by electronic means— through YouTube videos, chat groups, text exchanges, phone calls and messages of hope shared on social media.
When Sarah Ricks graduated from Bluffton in 2010, her goal was to help people “and utilize my skills and education in a way that would make a contribution to my greater community.” Today, that is exactly what she is doing, but she never imagined it would be in Southeast, Texas.
The good news is that for more than a century, Bluffton alumni including those of the Class of 2020, have graduated with the resilient hearts they need to navigate a world with unexpected challenges and to serve others in their communities and across the world.