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MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
July 13, 2020
Chair's Message – Summer 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected just about every aspect of our lives. Previously, most of us go about our daily lives occupied by the details of existing and getting tasks done, but this virus reminds us that Health and Life are paramount. I hope you have not lost loved ones and have been spared serious illness among your friends and family; however, I know too many of our community have felt the pain this disease is causing. Nothing can replace a loved one, but know that you have us to lean on for support.
All of you – students, staff and faculty – deserve praise for the way you have stepped up during this crisis to keep education going and not despair when the foundations of our society have been shaken. To those graduating, your disappointment at not being able to share a joyous celebration with family and friends at Commencement is understandable. Although not physically close, the spirit of your success is still vibrant and will resonate for years to come. If nothing else, the devastation caused by the mutation of a nanoscopic virus reinforces the critical need for excellent Science in today’s world. Most people probably do not connect Geological and Environmental Sciences with health, but the connections are numerous even if sometimes subtle and hidden.
I am very proud of the actions and reactions of our Geological and Environmental Sciences community during this trying time. No whining, no complaints, just adapting and striving to make the best of a bad situation. This struggle should give you all confidence in handling Life’s challenges in the future which will lead to success.
On top of the pandemic, the nation witnessed the murder of George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis while the scene was recorded on cell phones and people pleaded with the officers involved to stop choking the man. Along with the countless other deaths that people of color are forced to endure, protests were catalyzed across the country that have rattled our collective psyche. My hope is that the unrest leads to the realization that we are all one big family of Homo Sapiens. The more we work together and embrace the diversity our species exhibits, the better off Society will be.
Chair, Geological, Geophysics & Environmental Sciences UTEP
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