Colleagues, on behalf of the NC-FEW leadership team, I would like to extend our warmest of greetings to you during these difficult times. COVID-19 has impacted our professional and personal lives profoundly and will undoubtedly continue to do so in the months to come. We know that current circumstances have necessitated rapid and substantial changes to many aspects of our teaching and research activities, both of which are critical elements of NC-FEW’s mission. Most of us are facing new obstacles and challenges, unprecedented questions, and uncharted territory that we must now navigate as productively as possible. It is important to first recognize these as shared experiences and, second, to attempt to identify any points of hope that may lead to opportunities – both short- and long-term – to enhance our work and impacts on FEW-focused educational endeavors.
You may be wondering how the pandemic will effect NC-FEW. In the short-term, the NC-FEW leadership team was preparing for a spring and summer season focused on face-to-face engagement with an array of professional communities, as well as our annual Multistate Research Group meeting (NC1207). With the cancellation of most conferences and meetings, these plans will be significantly curtailed. In essence, we will move our window of action forward, though the length of this health-related disruption remains uncertain. We still hope to plan and hold our first national invited meeting of NC-FEW participants sometime in the first half of 2021 and will be working to cultivate capacity for NC-FEW in whatever ways we can prior to this meeting. We will continue to hold webinars and distribute newsletters.The working groups will continue their efforts to make progress toward NC-FEW goals and objectives. Most importantly, we will continue to communicate with NC-FEW participants through email, the website, and social media to share information, resources, and opportunities relevant to NC-FEW’s mission. While the present situation was not part of our plans, NC-FEW is well-positioned to continue moving forward to enhance education and education research in the FEW-Nexus.
Finally, as a community-driven network, NC-FEW is strengthened by contributions from its participants. If you have suggestions, feedback, or recommendations for additional ways that NC-FEW can serve its participants during these challenging times, please consider passing those along through the website, directly to firstname.lastname@example.org, or to members of the leadership team.