Message from Dean Harjeet Bhabra
The Class of 2020 will look back on their graduation, not with memories of parties and crossing the stage, but instead with images of Zoom calls and masks, of distancing from friends and learning online. Responding to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic will be a defining moment for this generation.
At Saint Mary’s University, we closed campus to most faculty, staff and students in late March. We have worked to maintain our ethos of community, ensuring that students that needed to stay on campus could, safely.
As the term was only partially over, faculty and staff mobilized to build online ways to ensure students could complete their term, supported to help them succeed. I am proud of the ways our faculty rose to the occasion and adapted to the current technology needs, and their dedication to engaging with their students to ensure no one was left behind.
In part our ability to respond to this crisis was thanks to good planning conducted by Saint Mary’s over the years. A plan is an essential tool to guide an organization, and Sobey School of Business is pleased to present our new five-year strategic plan.
Crafting the strategic plan has been a year-long engaging experience that involved multiple stakeholder groups. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this effort. As you will see, we have set ambitious and clearly achievable goals for ourselves. This plan will chart our path to further the mission and objectives of our school.
The COVID-19 pandemic, and its effects on business and the economy, will continue to affect us into the foreseeable future. Our researchers have been active during this time, helping us to understand the impact of the pandemic, and are already thinking ahead on how the university community can play a critical role in the recovery phase. Many of our faculty members have been visible in the media during this time, both proactively sharing their expertise as well as responding to requests for support and direction.
Dr. Yigit Aydede just received funding from the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Health Research Coalition to examine the impact that weather, air quality and social mobility have on the spread of the virus.
The David Sobey Centre has been doing a series of research projects related to Covid-19 focused on the retail sector. A new executive education program, Rise Again Retail, consisting of six two-hour webinars dealing with Retail Innovation, Strategy and Excellence in a Pandemic, is planned for June.
Our Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre has been very busy during this time, offering professional coaching assistance free of charge to local businesses, as well as organizing online education sessions in brand, social media and more.
The last two months have seemed at once to travel by at the speed of light and yet crawl, as we all remain secluded and hoping for a vaccine. Stay safe. You are living in historic times. It hasn't always been comfortable, but together we will navigate successfully through these unusual times and continue to thrive. And Sobey School will be here, focussed on elevating our impact and supporting you every step of the way.