Dean's COVID-19 Update: April 10, 2020

Dear Smeal Students, 

Welcome to another edition of the Smeal COVID-19 Update, in which we deliver important information regarding Penn State’s response to the global pandemic and the impact on Smeal.

Our Smeal Coronavirus FAQ page contains links to the University’s faculty/staff FAQs and other pertinent information. Be sure to use this as a resource as you navigate through the challenges of remote learning.

I would once again like to compliment you on your determination and dedication in adjusting to remote learning. Please take a few minutes to watch the video.

University unveils commencement plans

  • Penn State will hold one livestreamed ceremony on May 9, to include remarks from University leaders, a representative of the Alumni Association, a Board of Trustees member, music, video elements, and conferring of degrees. Smeal and all other colleges will have a portion of the website, which can include digital slides recognizing each graduate, a written message and videos.
  • The University is also committed to inviting the Class of 2020 back to campus for in-person celebrations when public health guidelines allow.

Need a new virtual background?

  • Penn State’s Office of Strategic Communications has shared some new virtual backgrounds you can download via box. Visit the Zoom Help Center for usage instructions. To ensure backgrounds display properly, uncheck the “mirror my video” option in your Zoom virtual background settings.
  • Penn State Smeal virtual backgrounds are now available in this Box folder.

These are trying times, and we want to help.

  • If you or a fellow student are experiencing emotional distress, financial hardship, difficulty accessing food, or a similar challenge, please consider the following resources:
  • Make an appointment with Penn State Counseling and Psychological Services, which is operational and providing services via telephone at 814-863-0395.
  • Visit the Student Care and Advocacy website.
  • Visit the Lion's Pantry, located past East Halls and the Katz Law Building, in between Lion Surplus and the Blue Band Building.
  • Take out a hot meal on Thursday evenings, 5-7 p.m., at  Andrew's Community Café, located at 208 West Foster Avenue, State College.
  • If you are experiencing difficulty accessing the technology for completing your online coursework, please contact your instructor immediately or consult the Student Resources for Digital Resilience website.

Graduate school leaders address questions

  • A virtual town hall event on Thursday allowed graduate students to find answers to questions they had. Read the Penn State News story.