Responding to a New Reality

Shifting our operations to keep our community safe

Together While Apart:
Leeds Community Updates

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Regular communication was a priority for Dean Sharon Matusik during the pandemic. As the school made the rapid transition to remote teaching, learning and working mid-March, Matusik began sending weekly informational video updates to students. Her messages provided a sense of continuity and connection to the school throughout the semester and into the summer, and the reassurance that Leeds is committed to helping its students navigate the dynamic chapter ahead.

Matusik also sent regular video updates to faculty and staff and periodic video updates for alumni and community members. In early April, she hosted a virtual Town Hall for the entire community to address questions and concerns. In every communication, the dean expressed positivity and gratitude, recognizing students, faculty and staff for their resilience, adaptability and community spirit, and acknowledging alumni and employer-partners for their support, especially of students. We’re incredibly grateful for Dean Matusik’s strength and unwavering leadership in these unusual times.

rachgold quotesGraduating in 2020 has been anything but predictable, but I will still reflect fondly upon my time at Leeds. The online shift taught me that I could be resilient in a different learning environment, leading me to feel more comfortable heading into a mostly remote workforce. Of course, I am sad to have missed my last hoorahs on campus, but I am excited to return to the Leeds community as a proud alumna.

—Rachel May Kubitschek


Virtual Graduation

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To keep the community safe, Leeds hosted virtual graduation ceremonies for undergraduate and graduate students this year. The events combined a live commencement speech from Dean Matusik and video montages featuring students’ memories of Leeds streamed on Facebook Live, as well as a virtual graduation website with personalized degree announcements, recorded videos from keynote speakers, and congratulatory messages from the community. Although nothing can truly replace an in-person commencement, the event was a successful alternative to ensure this milestone, hard work and achievements of the class of 2020 were recognized.





Reimagining Admitted
Student Events

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Admitted student days are huge recruiting events for colleges and universities. After in-person campus events were cancelled due to COVID-19, Leeds’ recruitment team reimagined this experience within fi ve days. The result: a virtual visit hub for prospective students to explore programs online; communicate directly with faculty, program directors and recruitment staff; hear students’ perspectives; attend live information sessions; and, most importantly, fi nd out why Leeds would be a fi t for them.

A New Take on Orientation

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To prepare incoming first-year students, Leeds hosted required orientation programming and optional community events online. Incoming MBA and MS students’ orientation experience combined a video and live Zoom sessions. This summer, Graduate Programs also introduced online professional development workshops for new evening MBAs and weekly virtual networking to help firstyear, full-time MBAs connect before starting in the fall.

Business at Leeds UG Recruitment participants


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“I am the head of the COVID Cabinet, a student task force that reports to Dean Matusik. We worked with administrators and professors, providing creative solutions and feedback on how to best engage students
with academic platforms in response to COVID-19.

Representing student voices was hard work, but there was so much heart involved.”

— Alexis-Brooke Lobianco (Mgmt’21)

Published: Sept. 23, 2020