Author: Kelly Landis

Looking Forward to Fall: A Message from President Burstein | May 11

Dear Lawrentians,

I hope that you and your loved ones are well in your homes, on campus, across the nation, and around the world. Things are going well on campus. But I miss the energy that Spring Term brings when you are all here:  ensembles and theater performances, senior recitals, athletic competitions, research and art presentations, LUaroo and other community gatherings to attend. Most importantly, I miss the impromptu interactions I had with students, faculty and staff each day. I know I am not alone in a feeling of loss of these truly Lawrentian moments.

With midterms almost complete, we now turn our thoughts to fall and our hopes for gathering again as a community enriched by collaborations and supportive relationships among students, faculty, and staff, and by a campus culture wonderfully alive. We hope to welcome students back to Appleton this fall, if federal and state policies allow, even though we also need to develop contingency plans … just in case. If we are allowed to gather again in September, we will have rules in place that will foster a safer environment in response to the pandemic. We plan to make a final decision about the fall term before the end of July. 

Until then we will continue to make preparations for a reimagined re-union on campus, and a fall experience that embraces both community and physical distance. It is likely that fall term will begin two to three weeks later than our scheduled start date of September 7. This potential change to our academic calendar gives us more time to develop—in association with some of the state’s leading health care researchers and advisors—appropriate protocols to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, as well as the greater Appleton community.

Lawrence’s leadership team, including the President’s Cabinet and COVID-19 Management Team, are currently working with the University’s shared governance to develop a spectrum of scenarios for fall term. The range of scenarios includes on-campus learning as noted above, a second term of distance learning, and a mixed model featuring both on-campus and home-based instruction. Each scenario will aim to provide our students with the best educational experience possible, no matter the circumstances. Last week we announced our plans for summer. You can find that information here. If you have questions about this or any other matter, please reach out to the appropriate office, faculty advisor, or supervisor. Communication is essential as we determine the changes ahead.

COVID-19 is not the first pandemic that Lawrence has had to endure and overcome. The 1918 influenza outbreak also brought with it public health concerns and operational challenges that reached us here in Appleton. While the circumstances 100 years ago might have been different, the impact on teaching and learning for our student body is in many ways the same. We must strive to keep our campus community safe, while also preserving the University’s mission and rich, inclusive learning environment.

Thanks to aggressive state-wide actions, the influenza outbreak took less of a toll in Wisconsin than in other areas of the country. We are also grateful that, just as in 1918, our own current efforts are making a difference in preventing the spread of COVID-19. This success, along with the ingenuity of our students, faculty, and staff, brings me hope. I promise you that the University’s leadership will continue to work to ensure that we keep our community safe and that Lawrence continues to share its light with the world.

Be well and make choices that keep others well.



CAS Guide to Academic Success in Distance Learning

Welcome back again to Spring Term! I hope you are staying safe and healthy. I also hope your first days of classes are going well.

I see all Lawrentians giving their best effort to make this transition to distance learning as smooth as possible. It will be a bumpy term. Please remember to be kind to yourself and give grace to others as we navigate these uncharted waters.

The staff in CAS are here to help you with any academic challenges that arise this term. We are all working remotely too, but are still willing to connect with you to provide all the support we normally offer face-to-face. We have created specific information on our webpage to give you just-in-time information about how to access our services:

We also created a thorough guide to find your best academic life virtually. A special thanks goes out to our Academic Success Skills Specialist, Joanna Morey, for taking the lead in putting together this material for you. It cover 6 important topics:

  • Staying organized and learning
  • Avoiding multitasking
  • Making the most of video lectures
  • Setting a schedule
  • Fostering a growth mindset and changing strategies
  • Working with a group
  • Staying connected to other people

The guide is available in two forms. We hope you’ll use it readily throughout the term.

Online Study Habits & Strategies Guide in PDF:

Online Study Habits & Strategies Guide in Microsoft Word:

Take good care and let us know what you need,


Important Update from Wellness Services

Dear Lawrence Community, 

 Last Friday, community spread—or spread of the COVID-19 virus for which the source of infection is unknown—was confirmed in Outagamie County and, more recently, in Appleton. With the news, it is even more important that we follow Governor Evers’ Safer-at-Home order and the guidance of our local health department and CDC in order to ensure the safety of our community and mitigate the spread of the virus.  

The most important thing of each of us can do is to practice social distancing. Every Lawrentian needs to continue to do everything we can to help “flatten the curve” by social distancing. As we continue to learn more about the impact of community spread, the ease of which the virus spreads, and the impact of spread from individuals who are not displaying symptoms, social distancing is crucial. 

  • Maintain at least six feet between you and another individual.
  • Avoid public transportation whenever possible.
  • Limit non-essential travel.
  • Limit social gatherings and avoid crowded venues.
  • Practice good hygiene, disinfect surfaces you touch, and avoid touching your face.

These guidelines need to be followed whether you are at work, at home, on campus, or out in the community. We also encourage all members of the community to wear masks whenever they are outside of their home. Lawrence is currently in the process of procuring cloth coverings for students and employees on campus. In the meantime, people are encouraged to make their own out of scarves, bandanas, T-shirts, or other cloth materials. 

Please remember that it is imperative that you stay at home if you are ill.  It is critical that employees do not report to work—and students do not visit campus facilities outside of their residence—while they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath (information on symptoms including atypical symptoms, along with a self-checker, can be found on the Wisconsin Health Connect website). Currently, the CDC recommends that individuals remain at home until at least 72 hours after they are free of fever (100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C) or signs of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications or at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.  

If you believe you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, please call your health care professional immediately. If you are a member of faculty or staff, or a student living off-campus, this means your local health care professional. Students living on campus can reach out to Wellness Services

 As was expected, our campus community is not immune from the impacts of COVID-19. As of this morning, 12 employees are currently self-isolating after potential exposure to the virus. Five students have been self-isolated since the original spread of the virus; one student currently remains in isolation and is expected to leave on April 10. None of the students exhibited signs of the virus.

We will share updates on the impact of the virus on our campus community as needed on the COVID-19 News blog. The blog remains the best source of information about the University’s response to this evolving situation, including a thorough FAQ and links to resources for our community.  

Thank you all for your support, resilience, and patience as we weather this unprecedented global emergency. Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other. 


Richard L. Jazdzewski, Psy.D., LP Associate Dean of Students for Wellness Services

Updates on Developments Regarding COVID-19

We are reaching out to provide an update on developments regarding the COVID-19 virus.

Lawrence health officials were notified on Sunday, March 22, that a parent who was on campus Thursday, March 19, to help their child move out has since tested positive for COVID-19. The parent was on campus for approximately 90 minutes (11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) and helped with a student move-out in Hiett Hall. The parent may have had brief interactions with staff members who were assisting with check-out process, and two students also reported they may have been in contact with the parent. The interactions were limited. Lawrence was awaiting confirmed notification of everyone who may have been in the vicinity of the parent before sharing this information more broadly. That notification process is now complete.

Public health officials from the county in which the family lives will be in touch with all those who may have had contact and will provide further guidance. Our local health department believes this is a low-risk situation; however, in an abundance of caution, we thought it best to notify the Lawrence community at this time. If you believe you may have been in contact with the parent, please contact Lawrence’s Health Services office at 920-832-6574 or email

We wish the parent involved a speedy recovery and the rest of the family good health. Our thoughts and good wishes are with everyone in our Lawrence community as we do all we can to help mitigate the spread of this virus while ensuring our commitment to Lawrence students, faculty, staff, and extended family remain intact. As the history of this infection shows, it is proving impossible to halt its spread. Our goal now is to help slow transmission and to ensure the health and safety of those Lawrentians who remain on campus.

Lawrence continues to limit access to campus and follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in cleaning and sanitizing shared spaces. That has included limiting as much as possible access to residence halls during student move-outs. Many facilities on campus are closed, while others have restricted access to allow for more regular cleaning of areas where there is less avoidable traffic. See details here.

Take steps to avoid becoming ill: As a reminder, the following recommendations from CDC can help limit the spread of the virus: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. (If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.) 
  • Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

What to do if you think you might have COVID-19: Before going to your health care clinic, call your health care professional if you feel sick with fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing, AND have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. If you are a member of faculty or staff, or a student living off-campus, this means your local health care professional. Students living on campus can reach out to Wellness Services. Your health care professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19. Information on health services at Lawrence can be found at  

A reminder: Wellness Services-Health is available for consultation to students from campus or home Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. If questions arise after-hours, call Nurse Direct (24-hour medical advice) at 920-738-2230. 

The University will continue to send updates as warranted. Also, please watch for updates on the COVID-19 news blog. Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we adapt to this fluid environment.


Office of Communications, on behalf of the COVID-19 Management Team