Welcome to the spring edition of the UConn ECE Magazine for 2020. As I write this section, and try to reflect on the last several weeks, it is difficult to comb through it all and make sense of how the world has changed. We have traveled a far distance since the end of February and beginning of March. We have learned more about ourselves and our communities – our strengths, weaknesses, and inequalities. We have also learned a great deal about our resolve and perhaps many of us have reset our definitions of relativity. For myself, I have been reflecting a great deal on leadership, because in a world where less is in our control, our response is something that we can control, even if our actions are constrained. I have written on this topic before in the UConn ECE Alumni LinkedIn group and in past editions of the UConn ECE Magazine.
Every one of us needs to lead because we are all role models to someone else. What is sometimes lost in this discussion, however, is that leadership comes in subtle forms not always as a Gregory Peck figure. In a situation like this, leadership is doing your job to the highest level even when it is tough – teaching, learning, helping around the house, lending your ear, responding with kindness. I have been reminded of this as our instructors have kept their courses running, their grade book recording, and their good nature cranked up to the highest levels. I am in a unique position to talk about the leadership across the State because I have been emailing, calling, and video conferencing with the majority of our community. I know that UConn ECE Instructors are calling their students at home when they don’t show up for class, making special meetings with families, and still investing endless hours in their own pedagogy so they can offer their very best. Our UConn ECE Faculty Coordinators have been working double-duty too, figuring out their own classes while advising our community on theirs. I have appreciated the honest conversations where we admit to needing help and then others rushing in to support. It is clear to me that our community is treating the coronavirus like a war, and while most of us are not fighting the war like the front-line medical community, we are part of the Home Guard, a citizen army that has a specialized purpose. We are not only maintaining education; we are a major part of what keeps society feeling safe, normal, and moving forward. Thank you for stepping up in this role. To that end, this edition of the UConn ECE Magazine is a reflection of our community - how strong we are, how we have responded to COVID-19, and how we are continuing with the work we do. On behalf of the UConn ECE Staff, THANK YOU! and I hope you enjoy reading about who we are.
With my appreciation,
Brian A. Boecherer