October 19, 2020

Dear William Paterson Community,

As we move into mid-terms, I hope everyone is doing well academically, professionally, and personally. I am proud of the entire William Paterson community for adapting well to campus life under a pandemic, and I am always mindful of the extra mental and physical efforts we are all making to do our work while keeping each other safe. If you feel that these efforts are taking an unusually high toll, please take advantage of the resources available to students, through the Counseling, Health & Wellness Center, and employees, through the Employee Assistance Program or your doctor. Thank you all for demonstrating every day what Will. Power. is all about.
Students, with enrollment for the Spring 2021 semester and Summer 2021 term fast approaching on November 2, I encourage you all to have a plan for re-enrolling. Please bear in mind that our early end to the Fall semester at Thanksgiving means that the break between semesters will be unusually long – nearly two months. While I hope “out of sight” of campus, classmates, and instructors doesn’t mean “out of mind,” I recognize that you all have busy lives and that it can be easy to put off even important things. However, to ensure you get the courses you need and want and that they are being delivered in a format that works for you, I strongly suggest you enroll as early as you can, beginning November 2.
I know many of you have told me that we did not deliver on our promise of face-to-face opportunities in the Fall semester and that for some, your schedule was totally online. In the Spring semester, you will be able to see the delivery mode of the course before you register. You can help us by registering for the course in the format you want (HyFlex, hybrid, or online). Also know that the Winter Term has extensive online options. Some additional six-week online courses are being added now to take advantage of the longer break period, which means that students will be able to take two courses in the Winter Term, where they would typically take just one.
I recently got my flu shot, and I encourage everyone to do the same. It is especially important this year, as widespread vaccination against the seasonal flu will help keep the William Paterson community healthy and safe, while also preventing a strain on hospitals that are busy coping with the pandemic. Thanks to nursing student Justin Quiles and the Department of Nursing for helping me #FighttheFluNJ! 
This week’s WPWe are Proud – Josefina Soperanes used to pass the William Paterson campus on the bus rides she took five days a week between her Pompton Lakes home and English lessons in Paterson and tell herself, “One day, I am going to go there.” After making good on that promise to herself, the married mother of two, who has a fulltime career, is on track to graduate in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree. She also has Dean’s List standing, and is a double major in secondary education and Spanish language and culture, with an ESL endorsement in teaching and a linguistics minor, too. A first-generation college student and immigrant, Josefina’s determination is an inspiration to us all! Read more about her story here.
Stay safe, and have a great week.
Richard J. Helldobler, PhD