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A Fully Vaccinated Campus

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Fairfield has actively promoted, incentivized and encouraged all of our faculty, staff and students to receive the vaccine. In fact, this summer, Fairfield is operating a fully vaccinated campus. We are endeavoring to also have a fully vaccinated campus this fall, and all evidence to date suggests that we will have one. We are currently trending ahead of state and town vaccination rates. The University continues to follow all state, local, and CDC guidelines as they relate to our campus operations.

Even with a fully vaccinated campus, there will be those who, for medical or religious reasons, will not be vaccinated. In fact, the CDC estimates – even at mandated universities – this population will be ~15% of the total population. Fairfield, like all other colleges and universities, will still need to manage Covid, and we are committed to doing so in a way that protects our campus and the community at large – as we did this past academic year.

Fairfield is also one of 300+ colleges and universities participating in the White House College Vaccine Challenge.

A Message from the President

A Message from the President
Sent 7/27/2021

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A Message from the President
Sent 7/27/2021


Dear Members of the Campus Community,

Having reached the mid-point of the summer and looking forward to the start of the academic year in the fall, I am writing with an update.

On July 1, we were pleased to return to work with staff, faculty and some students in offices, laboratories and classrooms, along with first-year orientation programs, day camps, and admissions tours also happening on campus.

As part of this return to campus, Fairfield University required that all members of the campus community declare their vaccination status – by either submitting proof of vaccination, stating that they intend to be vaccinated, or declaring that they do not intend to be vaccinated for medical, religious or other reasons. As a result, we have full knowledge of and visibility into the vaccination status of individuals across campus, and are pleased to be operating with over 85% of the campus community vaccinated this summer. This is well above the current state vaccination rate of 70%, and above the CDC recommended 80% herd immunity rate the Governor referenced in his press briefing yesterday.

Fairfield continues to actively promote, incentivize, and encourage all of our faculty, staff and students to receive the vaccine. As participants in the White House’s Covid-19 College Vaccine Challenge, we have pursued a number of strategies to achieve herd immunity on campus. Our on-campus vaccine clinic in May helped to provide access to the vaccine for large numbers of students and employees. Communications from the Office of Human Resources to employees, and from the Dean of Students to students have informed members of our community of our return to campus requirements and expectations. Incentive programs and raffles prior to Orientation helped to educate our first-year students about our vaccination protocols.

I want to thank all members of the community for your active participation in our vaccination campaign efforts. I am pleased to share that your efforts to date have been worthwhile. Based on our current reported data, we know that at least 85% of our campus community will be vaccinated by the start of the academic year. Further, we know that percentage can only rise over the next month as there are still some members of the campus community from whom we have yet to hear. Currently, phone-a-thon programs, FUSA campaigns, and other targeted outreach initiatives are in place to reach those students and staff members with unknown vaccination status. I look forward to providing you another update as information from these individuals comes in and our vaccination rates increase.

If you have yet to let us know your personal vaccination status, please take the time now to email your information to covidhealth@fairfield.edu for students or covidhr@fairfield.edu for all employees.

Finally, although we are striving to have everyone on campus vaccinated, we recognize that there will be those who for medical, religious or socio-cultural reasons, choose not to be vaccinated. In fact, the CDC projects that even at universities that have mandated the vaccine upwards of 15% of the population will fall into this category. Fairfield, like all other colleges and universities, must maintain the health of our community while respecting the dignity and decision of every individual within that community. We are mindful that we still need to manage Covid, and are committed to doing so in a way that serves our campus and the community at large – just as we did this past academic year.

In closing, I offer my personal gratitude to all of you for working together to maintain a safe and respectful campus environment during this period. I am confident that the measures we have in place and our continued vigilance will ensure we maintain academic continuity and offer a first-rate student experience this coming year. I look forward to updating you further as we get closer to the beginning of the semester.

With very best wishes to you all,

Mark R. Nemec, PhD
President
Professor of Politics

Fall 2021

Fall is always an exciting time at Fairfield University as the campus buzzes with the arrival of the Stag community. Whether you are a current undergraduate or graduate student, an incoming student, a parent or guardian, a faculty or staff member, an alumna or alumnus, or in any way involved in the Fairfield University community, we want to make sure you have all the information you need to remain an integral part of our campus life, and do so as safely as possible.

  • A phased move-in will begin Saturday, September 4. Students will preselect their move-in time block on their designated move in day. The move-in dates are:
    • Saturday, September 4: Class of 2025 and transfer students
    • Sunday, September 5: Class of 2024
    • Monday, September 6: Class of 2023 and Class of 2022
  • All students are required to declare their vaccination status either by submitting proof of vaccination records or formally declaring they do not intend to get vaccinated via their student checklist. Any student that has not submitted proof of vaccination or declared their status will be denied access to campus.
  • Fairfield University is encouraging all students to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others against Covid-19. Vaccinated students must upload their vaccination card to the Student Health Portal found at www.fairfield.edu/immunization or submit to covidhealth@fairfield.edu.
  • Students that are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated at the time of their return to campus must submit a negative antigen or PCR Covid-19 test (antibody tests will not be accepted) taken 72 hours prior to arrival to campus (either move in date or first day of classes). Proof of your negative test must be submitted to covidhealth@fairfield.edu. Without test verification, residential students will not receive their room key and commuters/beach students will not be able to access campus. The test result must clearly show your name and the date it was taken.
  • Classes will begin on Tuesday, September 7.
  • Undergraduate classes will end on Monday, December 13, and undergraduate final exams will conclude on Wednesday, December 22.

Visit Fairfield’s Stags Come Home webpage frequently for the most up-to-date information on Fairfield’s reopening. Stay safe, Stags!

College Vaccine Campus Challenge

President Biden wants as many Americans as possible to get vaccinated. Doing so is critical to saving lives and helping our country return to normal.

To do this, we need to reach young people where they are, with information they can use, through a messenger they rely on, and provide opportunities they can access – which is why we’re calling on campus communities across the nation to help.

The White House and the U.S. Department of Education are inviting college campuses across the country to join us in our efforts to end the pandemic by signing up College Vaccine Campus Challenge. Additional details on the challenge can be found at WhiteHouse.gov/COVIDCollegeChallenge.

Vaccine Champion College badge graphic

Submit Proof of Vaccination

As part of our return to campus in the fall, we encourage all members of our community to take their best shot at a mask-free future, and get vaccinated. Once vaccinated, faculty, staff, and students should simply send proof of vaccination to covidhr@fairfield.edu (faculty/staff) or covidhealth@fairfield.edu (students).

Frequently Asked Questions

Our Response

Due to the national and international health concerns in relation to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), Fairfield University amended its instructional and support modalities to: (1) ensure continuity of services to our students; (2) provide additional resources to support student academic, life, and wellbeing; and (3) support the efforts of our faculty and staff – all while following the health and safety directives of national, state, and local authorities.

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, the University migrated to remote instruction for 1,535 courses through the remainder of the spring semester. Fairfield University used its pre-existing infrastructure, and professional expertise and knowledge in online education, to transition courses to remote learning. Our approach to remote learning ensured academic instruction continued immediately following spring recess according to the academic calendar. All students were given the opportunity to earn their credits for the semester and stay on-track towards degree completion and their graduation date.

As an example of the University’s unique academic opportunities through remote instruction, the Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies transitioned its clinical opportunities to a virtual experience. These remote clinical resources included the following: streamed simulations from the lab, connected students with standardized patients, implemented virtual unfolding patient case studies, and utilized additional technology to simulate direct patient care experiences. These streaming simulations ensured clinical hours could be maintained throughout the semester.

Furthermore, Fairfield has maintained a continuity of academic engagement with its current and incoming students through a variety of media. Our academic support services engaged with students through virtual sessions with areas such as the writing center, math center, peer tutoring, career development, and other support services like technology, research, and the library. Advising and registration for fall 2020 continued online and on-schedule as it has in the past.

For examples of specific academic programming outside the virtual classroom, see the “Innovative Research Symposium” and “Fairfield Startup Showcase” below.

Fairfield is committed to excellence in education at all times, whether it be face-to-face, online, or transitioning to remote learning as circumstances may require. This dedication remains steadfast as we continue to evolve our educational modality in response to the current landscape.

The University’s first summer session will be delivered through online learning. Fairfield will continue to evaluate this modality for the second session throughout the summer as the situation warrants.

Counseling & Psychological Services has provided individual and group telehealth through a HIPAA-compliant platform, in addition to a combination of remote programming and outreach consisting of: 1) evidence-based, 2) psychoeducational, and 3) therapeutic/holistic approaches to address adjusting to remote classes, anxiety, depression, family issues, and grief.

Our Division of Student Life continued to offer students a wide range of activities to support student formation in mind, body, and spirit as communicated via a bi-weekly e-Newsletter called #SEPARATEDTOGETHER.

The Department of Recreation has offered remote Yoga, Zumba, and strength programming. The Office of Student Engagement connects with students through social programs such as trivia nights and virtual BINGO.

On April 17, 2020 the Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs hosted their annual Celebration of Excellence. This event highlighted the achievements of our students on the margins (First Generation, Students of Color, LGBT, etc). In partnership with the Egan School of Nursing and the Office of Alumni Relations, we honored three graduating nursing seniors for their leadership on campus and beyond.

The Student Support and Relief Fund (a pre-existing fund established to provide financial assistance to students experiencing unexpected financial hardship) has been applied to help undergraduate and graduate students in need during Covid-19. Examples of student requests include, but are not limited to, cost-of-living expenses (food, utility bills, rental assistance, transportation), accidents, illness, medical treatment or medication, loss of essential personal items due to extenuating circumstances, and expenses due to the death of a family member or other family-related emergency.

The Orientation and on-boarding of the new class, Class of 2024, is now officially virtual. The Office of Student Engagements has coordinated three bounded orientation sessions for late June 2020 which consist of academic life, student life, and small group engagement sessions. Families will also have access to a series of pre-recorded sessions prior to these bounded-experiences and the option to attend several other sessions throughout the summer: honors college, living-learning communities, tips for a smooth and healthy transition, unity in welcome, varsity student-athlete breakfast, and more. The Class of 2024 will also be placed into orientation groups of 20 to 25 students facilitated by a New Student Leader. These groups will meet three to four times during the summer with outreach to students for one on-one-connections.

Additional student services that have moved to an online format include New Student Leader Orientation & Training; Leadership Development Opportunities; regular follow-up communication with graduate and international students regarding changes to campus operations, services, travel disclaimers, etc. as a result of Covid-19; and ongoing communication and the provision of critical information, event announcements, and engagement opportunities with students through social media.

Fairfield University's career centers have continued to offer students career counseling via e-mail, phone, and Zoom meetings. Guidance is offered with resumes, cover letters, assessments, interviewing skills, LinkedIn, and responding to any questions students may have. This includes simply calming nerves and listening to concerns. Quick Questions/Walk-In Hours have also been offered online.

An e-Newsletter has been, and will continue to be, sent to all students weekly encouraging students to contact their school's career counselors and how they can be reached: CAS: cascareers@fairfield.edu; Fairfield Dolan: dolancareer@fairfield.edu; SOE, ESON, and HS: careers@fairfield.edu. Directions on how to access Stags4Hire, search for jobs and internships, and tips on how to improve visibility with employers is also included.

Instagram has continued to be used as a vehicle for messaging tips, job opportunities, and general well wishes to keep students engaged.

Companies continue to request access to Stags4Hire so they can post jobs and internships. The numbers are not as robust as they had been in early March, however, they do continue to come in.

Recently added is Fairfield’s Micro-Internships offered through Dewey-Parker. Micro-Internships are paid opportunities that typically range from five to 40 hours of work, and can be completed remotely. Micro-Internships provide a chance for students to demonstrate their skills, explore career paths, and develop professional networks.

Job and internship resources promoted to students include:

  • Don't Make These 5 Resume Mistakes, Tips for Virtual Interviews
  • Vault can be used to seek jobs, internships, and career preparation tips
  • LinkedIn is a great resource to connect with alumni and other contacts to learn more about industries and careers
  • LinkedIn Learning is available through my.fairfield.edu. The site contains brief, instructive videos about everything from improving Excel skills to drafting a cover letter to preparing for an interview
  • LiquidCompass for Nursing, CNA, PCA, and other health care positions across the country
  • What Can I do with this Major?

Senior Launch continued on Wednesday evenings following a brief break. Topics included job offers and negotiation, apartment hunting, and The Stew – a mixed bag of questions ranging from health insurance to rental insurance.

Additional events that have been offered to students include “How to Stand Out in a Video Interview,” and “How to Find a Job When the World is on Pause.”

Looking to the fall the Career Center is researching virtual career fairs, currently interviewing for career Peer Advisors, preparing for the next round of Sophomore Success, working on Alumni Job Shadow, and mapping out programming opportunities.

Fairfield Dolan Career Development Center
The Dolan Career Development Center has built an infrastructure to provide Dolan students with support amidst Covid-19 with the following remote and digital resources. Students can visit fairfield.edu/dolan-career to schedule an appointment or attend Zoom drop-in hours with Dolan Career Center staff.

Dolan Undergraduate and Graduate Professional Development Series (PDS)
Students can stay on track and complete their PDS requirements by substituting postponed workshops/events with LinkedIn Learning videos that include similar content. After watching the designated LinkedIn Learning video, students complete a reflection question(s) in order to earn PDS credit. For details contact dolancareer@fairfield.edu.

Online Dolan Events
Students can take advantage of Mock Interviews, Dolan Summer Master Class Certificate Programs, and more. For details and to register student should visit the Dolan portal on Life@Fairfield - Dolan School of Business.

Earn FREE Certifications
Students interested in gaining new skills to strengthen their resume and LinkedIn profile can complete the following online certificates free of charge.

During this time, the Office of Accessibility (OOA) continues to be dedicated to supporting the needs of students with disabilities in order to ensure equal access to their courses and campus life. The OOA continues to conduct intakes for students with disabilities requesting accommodations through an interactive virtual process. After completing the online accommodation request process, students are able to meet virtually with an OOA staff member to discuss their accommodation requests. In addition, the staff of the OOA remain committed to helping students implement their accommodations and have been and continue to be available to meet virtually with registered students regarding any concerns they have with their accommodations or courses.

Throughout the spring 2020 semester, OOA staff remained a resource to students to discuss accommodation concerns and to provide guidance regarding how the accommodations applied to their courses. The OOA also continued to enhance campus partnerships with Academic Computing and ITS to create guidance and online resources to support accommodations online and course accessibility, especially during the final exam period.

OOA staff worked collaboratively with students and faculty to ensure course accessibility and to address accommodation concerns. As summer courses are now beginning, OOA staff have reached out to students taking summer courses, reminding them to submit their faculty notification letter of accommodation to their professors and to reach out to OOA with any questions or concerns. OOA staff continue to work diligently with students regarding how to implement their accommodations in the online settings. OOA also continues to be a support and resource for graduate students and visiting students who are requesting accommodations or who have already registered for accommodations.

For incoming first-year students, the OOA offered virtual drop-in hours to address questions regarding the accommodation request process at Fairfield. The OOA created zoom meetings and waiting room experiences so that they could meet individually with students and their families while insuring privacy. Incoming first-year students are able to start the interactive accommodation request process by visiting the Office of Accessibility website or by emailing ooa@fairfield.edu for further information regarding how to request accommodations.

Highlights

Online Learning

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Online Learning

Fairfield University’s innovative approach to online learning and its pioneering use of digital collaboration tools have positioned our University on the cutting edge of online learning. By utilizing the latest technologies to develop an interactive, media-rich curriculum, we continue to create virtual environments that facilitate improved access to peers, teachers, and support structures while helping students learn more efficiently and effectively in an online space.

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Innovative Research Symposium

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Innovative Research Symposium

Fairfield’s annual Innovative Research Symposium moved from an in-person event to an online format to showcase the scholarly work of 315 students and 84 faculty mentors from across academic divisions. More than 200 research projects were featured on Quip, a collaborative platform allowing the Fairfield community to have an online dialogue with students about their research projects.

30 Zoom sessions took place in which 208 presentations occurred with 1,296 participants engaged in the online Symposium in these sessions and the concluding celebration with Pilobolus Dance Company. Four students and faculty mentors worked with Fairfield’s Media Center to record their presentations remotely to be shared online and across University social media channels.

The Symposium garnered more than 1,800 website pageviews, 5,000 video views, and reached more than 18,000 people through social media.

Fairfield StartUp Showcase

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Fairfield StartUp Showcase

This year’s annual entrepreneurship competition traditionally held in the Quick Center for the Arts transitioned online to showcase five student team pitches to an investor panel for seed money. The StartUp program released a seven-part video series documenting each team’s journey, showcasing the excitement as teams made their pitches through video conferencing, and revealed feedback from the investors. The public was asked to watch the videos and vote for the CTNext/CI Audience Favorite.

This year’s new Showcase format was received with tremendous excitement from the University community garnering more than 3,000 website pageviews, upwards of 2,600 video views, and reached more than 50,000 people on social media.

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