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Aerial Norwich Campus View in early spring

SPECIAL EDITION: Thinking about COVID-19? So is Norwich faculty.

Everyone is adapting to new realities as we learn to work remotely, educate students and serve people in need and this transition has stimulated intellectual curiosities. Norwich has a series of interdisciplinary essays featuring faculty members’ perspectives on the coronavirus to help us all think through the consequences our nation is facing.

Daniel Freitag’s Corps of Cadets uniform cap sits atop his stripped bunk in March. In his essay, Freitag wrote that he felt as empty as the room as he moved out of campus amid the abruptly halted semester. (Photo courtesy Daniel Freitag.)

2020 graduate laments missing his class’s celebratory coda

EDITORS NOTE: This story, adapted from a post on Facebook, has been edited for length and presentation

I recently departed Norwich on a uniquely somber occasion. I left May 2, which was supposed to be my class’s grand finale. A graduation and commencement that had been hyped heatedly and toward which we’d worked tirelessly since our 2016 arrival had been canceled because of an unprecedented global crisis. Little can be said to make up for it, but I hope with what I have written here, my fellow classmates and cadets can carry on with the same spirit and energy that earned us that day.

Professor Huw Read, director of the Center for Cybersecurity and Forensics Education and Research, aka CyFER, works with Norwich University cybersecurity students on campus in 2015. Students in his information assurance classes credit him with helping them learn skills that eased the transition to remote learning during the coronavirus mitigation shutdown. (Photo by Mark Collier.)

Cybersecurity majors reflect on securing remote networks, transitioning to online learning in COVID-mitigation campus shutdown

The coronavirus crisis couldn’t stop Norwich University’s semester. With traditional moxie, faculty and students set up at home, mastering GoToMeetings, webinar-style lessons and remote learning. The transition wouldn’t have worked without ingenuity, but it also wouldn’t have happened without technology, and the internet.

Norwich engineering graduate and Master of Business Administration degree recipient Brian Griffin’s engineering firm helped complete several rooms in St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, New Hampshire. The hospital was on coronavirus pandemic front line, serve in influx of patients. (Photo courtesy Brian Griffin.)

In show of service, pair of Norwich graduates support delivery of critical coronavirus care

As scores of Norwich graduates will attest, “I will try,” Norwich University’s war-forged motto, resonates on campus and off, in everyday life and in crisis. This spring, the words inspired a pair of Norwich graduates involved in Northeastern U.S. efforts to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus pandemic reminds us that global challenges are best solved through rigorous scholarly experimentation, innovation

Over the past few weeks, Norwich University faculty have used their areas of expertise as frameworks to deliver perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented crisis. What unites these voices is their emphasis on the power of research to shed light on today’s challenges and to formulate potential solutions to global problems. As teacher-scholars engaging students in research, it is more crucial than ever that Norwich University stand by its commitment to supporting faculty research and innovative curriculum development to prepare students to find novel solutions to the world’s new challenges.

Coronavirus, global warming are parallel problems we can conquer, if we act

In my native country of India, pink flamingos descended upon the once bustling city of Navi, Mumbai, in numbers never seen before — reports say as many as 150,000 or a 25% increase. Farther north in Punjab, people can now marvel at views of the snowcapped Himalayas, something that hasn’t been possible for decades.

Left unchecked, COVID-19 could have spread in a frightening flash; math can help us calculate just how fast

The novel coronavirus permeates all quarters of worldwide daily life in the first part of May 2020. We are hunkered down at home, trying to stay safe by minimizing the number of trips out into the world. Many of us wear masks when we do venture out. The objective in doing this, of course, is to try and keep COVID-19 from spreading further than it has already. Every night on the local or national news, the continuing spread of the coronavirus is the lead story. These stories often lead with a welter of numbers, charts and graphs. Two mathematical terms are also mixed into the stories: “exponential growth” and “flattening the curve.” At this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, the former is known to be bad and the latter to be good.

After gun sales spike, researchers wonder whether shootings will rise when pandemic abates, criminal justice professor says

Several news outlets reported March 2020 was the first March since 2002 without a “typical” school shooting (i.e., while there were several instances of school shootings on school campuses, they consisted of unintentional discharges, took place between adults on school property or occurred on college campuses, but did not involve students (see, for example, Lewis, 2020). Researchers and gun safety advocates are already beginning to wonder if the recent increased spike in gun sales will result in a return to high numbers of mass shootings once the pandemic ends.

Coronavirus-fighting theories deploying resistance, microwaves have roots in centuries-old fundamentals of resonance, mathematics professor says

The week before spring break at Norwich University, I was teaching my differential equations class about solutions to linear differential equations and I was teaching my calculus class about related rates, an application of the chain rule of differentiation. These topics have existed for many years, dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries from the minds of Isaac Newton, Gottfried Leibniz and Leonhard Euler, to name a few. In the year 2020, it may seem outdated and irrelevant to have students learn such “old-fashioned” mathematics. Indeed, we are teaching our students to solve mathematical problems whose solutions can be obtained by our current-day calculators, apps and software.

Global coronavirus emergency shines bright light on collective poor assumptions, bad decisions, professor says

Our infrastructure — medical, physical, educational, technological — is much more fragile than many people realized before our current global emergency. There has been an unfortunate attitude, though, that technological solutions will always come to save the day without considering that the solutions we choose have the capacity to both help and hurt.

Police adapt to keep officers healthy while keeping public safe during coronavirus crisis, criminal justice professor says

In times of crisis, we look to the police to enforce the law, maintain order, provide public services and prevent crime. Post-9/11, U.S. police departments have had to up their game to combat the threat of terrorism, which has led many departments to draft emergency preparedness plans that can adapt to multiple crises. But the speed and scale at which COVID-19 has swept across the world has meant that even these institutions of public safety have had to respond on the fly with the resources at hand.

Here are a few of the changes — and challenges — our nation’s police are facing.

Job hunters in the coronavirus crisis should think big (companies), focus on worker-thirsty industries, career development expert says

No surprise, this is not the economy of just a few months ago. This is not how new graduates expected to finish their last semester of college or launch their careers. It is, however, what we have to deal with now and for the next 12 to 18 months, according to a variety of economic experts.

Inability to gather in large groups offers chance to reconsider how we interact with, and value, shared spaces

This is a time of reconfiguration. So many aspects of our lives have changed in some way — every reader can call to mind a long enough list. And we are rightly focused on making the necessary adjustments work as well as they can for as long as we need them to. We hope and plan for better days, if not exactly for a return to normal. For when we return to our routines, we may find ourselves experiencing them anew.

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