This is the place for Norwich faculty, students, and alumni to contribute their stories on and off The Hill. You’ll read the stories and see the images from the projects, connections and successes that make Norwich’s community vibrant and vital.

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.

Social lockdown period may allow society time, space to create new pandemic-free normal

Water and wastewater infrastructure are considered “lifeline critical infrastructure” by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Therefore, it is fortunate that a technical brief from the World Health Organization provided reassurance that current mechanisms of filtration and disinfection are capable of inactivating COVID-19 and that current evidence indicates low risk to drinking water supplies. It was also noted that COVID-19 does not transmit through the sewage system, with or without treatment, based on the evidence to date. However, this important sector is facing some substantial challenges.

Countries can make destinies by addressing challenges linked to geographic and historical realities, professor says

As the novel coronavirus spreads around the world, it has become clear that some states are better prepared for pandemics than others. Some success stories are truly surprising, and so are some failures. There is one thing that most well-prepared countries have in common: they used to occupy security border regions during the Cold War — the 20th century global rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union that made war more likely among their allies. Some of these countries continue to be in the most volatile regions of the world — this, more than any other factor, has forced them to be well-organized in the face of such massive national challenges.

Even a fatality rate of 1% would leave everyone touched with tragedy, mathematics professor says

I was not worried about the previous outbreaks such as SARS or H1N1. However, I’ve watched with interest and horror since COVID-19 started spreading in the Wuhan province of China a few months ago. What grabbed my attention is its ability to spread via people not showing symptoms and its long incubation period, enabling it to hide and spread throughout a community without being detected until it’s too late. Still, I assumed that by the time it reached the U.S., that we would be fully prepared with personal protective equipment such as masks, as well as testing equipment, to prevent COVID-19 from hiding and spreading “in the shadows.” Unfortunately, for whatever reason, those assumptions were not correct.


Exclusionary policies that limit or deny vital resources intensify as political and public ethics quandaries

It’s undeniable that when discussing the topic of immigration in the U.S., even at the best of times, opinions are strongly held. Compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, that puts into question access to all types of goods and resources for every person within the U.S., and divisive lines related to citizenry are further intensified.


Student bloggers write about transitioning to e-learning, missing routine

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic turned the world upside-down, mostly emptying campus,  distancing classmates and sending learning online. As they transitioned, Norwich student bloggers used the “In Their Words” webpage to document challenges logistical and emotional and offer advice and encouragement.

On March 20, when Norwich extended spring break to monitor the pandemic and keep students safe and healthy, blogger Isabella Anemikos, a freshman nursing major from Milton, Vermont, wrote that she’d yearned to resume campus life but understood why she couldn’t.

Stakes have been raised immeasurably for hospitals, newly minted nursing graduates

In 1933, Dr. John Gifford of what is now the Gifford Medical Center in Randolph, Vermont, nicked his finger while performing surgery on a patient with a streptococcal infection. Gifford contracted the then-deadly disease and died several weeks later despite treatment from the best specialists and staff at the Deaconess Hospital in Boston (now called the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center).

“That which has been is that which shall be, and that which has been done is that which shall be done. There is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9

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