Message From the Chancellor (COVID-19 April 16, 2020 7:55 p.m.)
One month later
Dear Texas Woman’s Community,
I hope this message finds you well on what would have been Thursday of homecoming week.
Looking back, today marks one month since my first message regarding the coronavirus and extending spring break. It feels like a year—and at the same time, like yesterday. Time has never held such duality. I started my email version of Roosevelt’s “fireside chat” with the hope of drawing us closer even as we began to physically distance. I continue to look for ways of building community. I am grateful as ever for the resilience and courage I discover each day among this Texas Woman’s community.
My first ever Instagram Live is upping my fireside chat game today. Over sixty people joined the event. In times of uncertainty, regular communication on multiple channels helps me feel connected to our shared mission, and I hope it does the same for you. Since I live on the Denton campus, my office is mostly the same as sheltering at home.
Afternoon scenes from my office
Isabel Goyco, one of our gymnasts who is sheltering at home in San Antonio, shared these words that hold encouragement for us all:
As a TWU student, I could not be more proud of my school: the professors and staff, my coaches and teammates, the athletics department, the honors society, and everyone else ... I am truly blessed to be a part of a school (or, rather, a family) that cares so much about students.
As I sit behind a screen at home, hundreds of miles away, I somehow still feel connected to everyone. We've all been given the opportunity to view things from a different perspective, work on ourselves, or try things we have never been able to in the past. Ironically, my communication skills have been improving significantly, though I am unable to communicate with anyone face to face! So, although I'm heartbroken for the things that couldn't be, I am thankful for the things that have grown out of a difficult situation. As the saying goes: there is no growth in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growth zone.
Graduating senior Jillian Cruzet just received the good news that she was accepted into the TWU Counseling and Development program. Her note offers useful insights on how to cope with longer-term ambitious goals:
We are currently learning about problem-solving in my cognitive psychology course this semester. One chapter talks about the means-end analysis, which is a strategy that can be used to find a solution and reduce the difference between one's initial and goal states. This is done by creating subgoals, or lesser goals that help us reach an end goal. When I came to TWU as a freshman, my initial goal was to get a degree. It sounds like an easy feat... but that statement hides so many learning experiences and subgoals that needed to be accomplished to reach that end goal (figuring out my major, making good grades each semester, staying involved on campus, etc). Although the likelihood of celebrating [graduation] with my peers in person seem slim, I have been learning through this quarantine that my hard work is valid, and my experiences give me the same pride and joy that a ceremony would bring.The current pandemic truly changes a lot of things for many people and honestly, it is rather difficult to see the end of it all. However, I like to think that each day is now a subgoal that will lead me towards the end goal: normalcy (whatever that may look like when this is all over) and experiencing the privileges that I took for granted before COVID (waiting in line at Starbucks, chatting with friends by the fountain, talking to my classmates in class, etc).
My husband, Ambassador Wick, recognized Jillina’s means-end analysis. He used it when cycling across the U.S. On some of those long treks up the Rocky Mountains, he did not know if he could make it to the top, but he did know that he could crank one more revolution of his pedals.
Thirteen-year-old Lucy Lawrence spoke at TEDxTWU on “Breaking endurance barriers, one step at a time.” She shared a four-step process, and note the insightful fourth step. 1) Make a goal. 2) Start. You cannot achieve unless you start. 3) Take small steps. You see, she ran 155 miles by running 50, 5k races in 50 states in 50 days. She didn’t know she could run 155 miles, but she knew she could run a 5k. So she just did what she knew she could do and achieved something she didn’t know she could achieve. 4) Look back on all the work that has resulted in your achievement and be proud.
Professor and herbarium director, Camelia Maier, PhD weeds the gardens on her free time, taking care of our beautiful space… Practicing physical distancing with her yesterday, the exemplary faculty at Texas’ #campuswithaheart even during challenging times. #leadership
The Dr. Bettye Myers Butterfly Garden
This challenging time we are in provides some great opportunities to critically think about who we are, where we are, and consider theories and practical examples about how we move forward in what I mentioned before is the VUCA—volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous—world, and time, in which we live.
With a pioneering spirit,
Carine M. Feyten, Ph.D.
Chancellor and President
P.S. For the latest information, check out the TWU COVID-19 webpage.
Page last updated 8:20 AM, April 23, 2020