Message From the Chancellor (COVID-19 April 23, 2020 9:03 p.m.)

Our “True Colors”—maroon and white—shining through

Dear Texas Woman’s Community,

I hope this message finds you well as we continue to persevere through COVID-19, one day at a time.

The recent outpouring of support I have seen for one another brings me comfort and inspiration, knowing I am a part of the #campuswithaheart.

Dr. Victoria Henderson, one of the staff psychologists in Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), discovered an app called “COVID Coach,” endorsed by the VA but one she says is useful for all. Her mentor, Dr. Carmen Cruz, shared other homegrown resources: the tough stories our CAPS therapists are hearing every day [via telehealth]... we started two Instagram pages, one for Denton and one for DAL/HOU.

These feeds of videos for students, faculty, and staff help us exercise our emotional and mental fitness, critical dimensions of health and wellbeing.

Beth Whitley, assistant director in the Office of Honors Programs shared another staff perspective on our community supporting each other:

...the education is only part of what [students] get at TWU. They also get experiences they will take with them throughout their lives, and role models to inspire them to live their lives to help others and tackle things they didn't know they could.

Our quick shift of services, role modeling, and mentorship to the virtual realm is a part of what makes the Texas Woman’s experience more than just a college education.

Dawn Marie Murphy, who just defended her nursing dissertation yesterday, prioritizes past students among her daily concerns:

I have not been on the front lines as a nurse. [For that], I feel fortunate and guilty at the same time, but I have many past nursing students who are, and many of them are new graduates; I worry about them every day.

I, too, worry daily about our alumni, students, and all who are on the front lines of this pandemic. I hope that our shared concern translates into courage as they face real dangers and the full gamut of human need, especially those sick and isolated from the love and support of family and friends. Healthcare work at a time like the present is a calling beyond my comprehension.

Shamethia Webb, a PhD student, graduate teaching instructor and assistant in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies, wants to form a network of support:

Thank you for that important reminder from Picard regarding fear. I'm grateful that TWU continues to direct students and staff to the campus resources page and am amazed by how much help is being offered. I wanted to ask: How can we, as students, do more to support each other within our TWU network? Many of us are surviving on limited income and worried about future expenses, but still willing (and wanting) to share our resources and offer help as we are able.

I appreciate Shamethia’s generous spirit, but more importantly, her leadership, creativity, and gumption to “build it” if it does not already exist. In some cases, our collection of funds connect financial gifts directly to those in need, but as we have seen, many of us have other gifts and talents to share. I was heartened by a recent story in The Lasso about our social work students who raised money for the community food bank.

I’ll end today with a return to the philosophy of ubuntu shared by nutrition and food sciences major, Brandon Kelley, that ties today’s sentiments together:

The tradition when you see someone else is to say, “sawa bona!” meaning, “I see you!” The belief goes, that when someone is acknowledged by somebody else, they are brought into existence in that moment and should reply “sikhona” or “I am here!”

So, sawa bona to the Texas Woman’s community. I see you! Thank you for your courage, vulnerability, and wisdom as we persevere, one day at a time.

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 24, 2020