Dear students and faculty,


Welcome to fall semester 2020!  We last saw you in the hallways of Sparks Hall back in March, when we were all wondering what might happen next with coronavirus and a possible shut-down…and here we are 5 months later in what feels like a very different world from that one.


So this semester is going to be one unlike those we have experienced before. Some of you will be on campus for classes, but most of you will be teaching and learning online. Our faculty have worked very hard to get all of this ready over the summer, and we are looking forward to seeing you again -- and meeting some of you for the first time.


We usually hold a party in the beginning of the year to kick things off and get to know the new graduate students. This year, we will hold a Virtual Happy Hour for faculty and grad students on Thursday, September 3 from 5-6:30 pm. Please plan to attend if you possibly can, and keep an eye out for the Webex invitation this week!


In the meantime, please know that we are here for your questions and for the get-to-know you conversations we previously would have had in our offices and hallways. Do not hesitate, students, to email your professors and to request consultations using Webex or whatever platform you find mutually convenient. I know I personally am looking forward to the day when we get to do all of this on campus again – safely – but the GSU Anthropology community is still out there, and I’m grateful that we can support and engage with one another in one way or another. If you should fall ill over the course of the semester or face any other problems, again, please do not hesitate to contact me, your Graduate Director Steven Black, and/or your individual instructors to let us know about your situation and any support you may need.  If you visit Sparks Hall, you will see that useful information (contact info for various GSU offices and all of our faculty, etc.) is posted at the front doors of our suite. Faculty will be in and out of the suite but mostly working from home, so please use our email addresses or whatever contact information each of us provides to get in touch with  most expeditiously.


As for me, I’ll be holding virtual office hours by appointment for both faculty and students, with very flexible hours of availability. Just send me an email when you would like to set a time and we can meet by Webex or phone, as you prefer.


Good luck this week, everyone!  We are all managing the doldrums and stresses of quarantine life; may these first classes be stimulating and hopeful!



Jennifer Patico