MEMPHIS, Tenn. – On the campus of LeMoyne-Owen, Memphis’ only historically Black college, the first week of the Fall semester looks quite different than any other time.
“For this first month, we really are staying remote, but we still feel pretty in touch with our students,” said Interim President Carol Johnson-Dean.
Students like Jacinta Emodogo aren’t on campus but are using the college’s new laptop computers at home to return to class virtually.
“I was like how is this going to work every day and not being in person, and it’s not as intimate as being in the classroom with the teacher,” Emodogo said, “but I adjusted well and others can attest to that as well.”
She’s a junior majoring in biology.
“We’re not on campus,” Emodogo said. “You’re not able to enjoy campus life, and you’re not able to have these in-person experiences, but overall, the feedback has been pretty positive.”
The pandemic has meant a different kind of college life.
“I think this makes sense because just being in a closed environment with many different people is very scary and not safe,” Emodogo said.
“As you know, we’re starting remotely until Labor Day, and we will have a hybrid with some students remaining remote and some who want a more face-to-face interaction,” Dean said.
In-person classes are scheduled to begin after Labor Day. When students return, LeMoyne-Owen will have partnered with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare to set up a new clinic.
“Our partnership with Methodist Le Bonheur will allow us to do some onsite testing and flu shots,” Dean said.
And although away from campus, many students say even online they feel connected to LeMoyne-Owen.
“Oh my, God. LeMoyne-Owen is everything,” Emodogo said. “It’s the people, the events. It’s just everybody on campus, you feel like you’re at home.”
“Our students have been very resilient and our faculty very flexible to adapt to this new normal we’re all facing,” Dean said.