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From the chair: School of Social Work tips for transition

headshot of Doris Houston

Dr. Doris Houston

During this time of transition, the School of Social Work is committed to providing our students with the support and regular communication they need to have a successful semester of learning as the department transitions to remote instruction.

Each of our students should be receiving an email from their instructors with details about how their remote instruction will be delivered for the remainder of the school year. Some professors might choose to conduct their lectures using Zoom or Skype while others might post assignments, readings, and video clips accessible from ReggieNet or email. If by some chance School of Social Work student does not receive a message from every instructor, they should be proactive and reach out to those professors so they know exactly what to expect.

Our students should be able to access Zoom with their phone or computer through ReggieNet or with a link that the instructors and advisors send for online communication. During this time of transition, it is imperative to check email and ReggieNet messages daily in order not to miss important information.

If School of Social Work students have a general question or concern, the academic advisors Jerey McKinney (BSW), jlmckin@State.edu; Amy Dennison (MSW), asdenni@IllinoisState.edu; and Field Director Sona Chalian, smchali@IllinoisState.edu are a phone call or email away and will remain available daily to meet with students remotely by phone or with Zoom online.

In addition, here are a few tips to assist students through this transition:

Personal care

  • Check in by phone or online with family, friends, or trusted adults daily or as needed.
  • Practice nutrition and healthy eating habits.
  • Stay organized to avoid missing important due dates.
  • Keep a routine daily schedule.
  • Use a journal (paper, or video) to express feelings and observations.
  • Send out positive words of encouragement on social media to others.
  • Avoid negative “what ifs” that have no factual grounding and can only create anxiety.
  • Exercise and stretch daily.
  • Read a favorite book or listen to uplifting music.
  • Check in with advisors, faculty, and mentors for support.
  • Avoid alcohol and substance use.
  • Access Student Counseling Services at (309) 438-3655.

Housing transitions

  • If residing in the dorms and have no alternative place to stay after this week, students should contact University Housing Services to make arrangements to stay in temporary university housing at: Housing@illinoisstate.edu or by phone at 309-438-8611 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Student employment transitions

Campus dining access

  • Watterson Dining Commons will remain open to provide “to-go meals” for purchase to students, faculty, and staff. All meals are available to students who do not reside in the residence halls. If a student is low on funds and is having difficulty paying for meals, contact Watterson Dining Commons at (309) 438-3976 or EMDH@IllinoisState.edu to make special arrangements.

Campus food pantry

  • Starting Friday, March 20, and until further notice, the food pantry will serve prepacked boxes. The boxes will contain all the same items so there is no need to come early. Distribution of boxes will be at the School Street Food Pantry Entrance, east entrance of First United Methodist Church. Please bring a student photo ID. Time for distribution remains the same, Friday from 4-6 p.m.

Student Health Services

Internet and computer access

Tools for staying organized

Each of our students is important to us, and the School of Social Work will do whatever we can to ensure that they can continue to learn, thrive, and accomplish their goals!