Message From the Chancellor (COVID-19 April 14, 2020 6:50 p.m.)

Creativity and discipline

Dear Texas Woman’s Community,

I hope this message finds you well as we continue through uncharted territory.

Jessica Sapp, who is pursuing a degree in education, wrote me: “At first, I was truly disappointed in the cancellation of graduation and having to cut my student teaching experience short, but now, I look at the positive. Now, I have so much more to fuel my research on creative thinking. I have more hope for how to teach my students effectively when I finally do make it back into a classroom.” She closed her note with a quote from Debbie Allen, a former member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, “But out of the limitations...comes creativity.”

The limitations of physical distancing have felt particularly acute to me recently. I suppose this feeling ebbs and flows for us all at different times. Even though I am blessed to receive more email than most with stories of contagious courage and hope, I miss the bustle of campus life, terribly. These daily email messages were my “creative” attempt to ameliorate our loss of connection in real life. On Thursday at 3 pm, I’m going to try an Instagram Live event as a further means to draw us closer.

I want to close today with a special thanks to the nursing and healthcare workers on the front lines of this pandemic. Students in nursing and healthcare-related majors comprise over half of the Texas Woman’s student body. Many of our students in these majors are working on the front lines even now, and a few have shared how exhausted they are working long hours while trying to stay on top of their studies. Rosy Lilly Sanjeeviraj from the family nurse practitioner program in Houston shared with me about the routine of reciting her “Nurse’s prayer for the day.” She reminded me how returning to the daily discipline we learned in school—for her, this included hand-washing rituals and abstaining from wearing jewelry that could carry germs—can be sources of strength in times of waning courage.

These students offer great wisdom in coping with the times at hand, both in redirecting our attention towards creative outlets as well as through the discipline of rituals and familiar routines. Whatever works best for you, let us persevere together with our shared pioneering spirit.

With kind regards,

Carine M. Feyten, Ph.D.
Chancellor and President

P.S. For the latest information, check out the TWU COVID-19 webpage.

Page last updated 8:21 AM, April 23, 2020