Letter to all MAE Students from Dr. J.I. Frankel, DH

Dear Student:

The COVID-19 crisis is causing a major disruption in your personal life and education. It is important to recognize the magnitude of this international event and its disruptive nature that is impacting society in so many ways. Caution and patience are required by all world citizens. Please, periodically visit the university web page for updates.

Your safety and health are of primary concern to the university community. The Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) faculty, instructors and staff are working hard on your behalf. As a new member of the NMSU community, I have seen this first-hand! The dedication and long hours invested by the faculty, staff, and administration will pay off as we navigate through this event together.

I recognize the frustrations of the students and their families as many highly anticipated activities and events have been canceled or delayed. In these times, communication is key for reducing anxiety, stress, uncertainties, etc. With this said, it is critical that the student-instructor relationship or bond be maintained; and, in fact, strengthen. Emails, ZOOM meetings, etc. are now key elements in your education and life. It is also important to follow a path for resolving issues whether it is related to a class or process in the university. Your first line of communication lies within the MAE department (faculty, staff, department head). Please keep this in mind for an effective resolution.

As your extended holiday ends on Sunday, March 29, 2020, the remaining term will be done through an online educational means. You will not need to visit NMSU during this academic term in order to complete your course requirements. This includes capstone design and laboratory classes. Course content will not change for obvious reasons; however, the way we deliver your learning experience for this term does change. Please be patient as some “bumps in the road” should be expected. During this past week, the faculty, staff, and administration have worked together to form a plan for maintaining high educational standards. An on-line approach has been chosen for delivering lectures and labs. Each educator will prepare and deliver lectures and labs using this type of delivery. ZOOM, CANVAS, and EMAILS (as well as other communication approaches) will now be key elements in your “virtual classroom” environment via computer. Smartphones may also be highly useful as they may be ZOOM friendly. It is extremely important to be patient and stay in contact with your instructors and faculty. As each class is different, you should expect different approaches in the way the lectures are presented and delivered.

The faculty should begin a communication campaign with you. Please carefully read and respond when requested. Again, we recognize that there may be glitches along the way. It is important to maintain a healthy environment that includes social distancing; wearing protective devices (gloves, masks,…); continue proper hand cleansing; and, ultimately common sense. Maintain a clean keyboard and mouse as transmission can occur this way, too.

I look forward to meeting you in the fall term. We all need to work together during this unprecedented event. Thank you.

Dr. J.I. Frankel, Department Head and R. Myers Endowed Professor

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