"Find a way." It’s a Potts family motto. And one they certainly needed for keeping Lewis & Clark Outfitters outdoor adventure stores open in Northwest Arkansas during a worldwide pandemic. New on the blog, alumni Jim, Darrell and Rob Potts share about adapting their business in order to survive.
Ouachita Baptist University’s Chassidy Barnes, a senior biology major from Little Rock, Ark., is the lead scientist on a collaborative scholarly paper titled “Gene Expression and Data Analysis Pipeline Using Cancer BioPortal in the Classroom” published this month by the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE), a national peer-reviewed science education journal.
72 weeks. 504 days. 12,096 hours. The amount of time since COVID-19 quickly and dramatically changed life at Ouachita in the spring semester of 2021. We all have very clear memories of the week ending March 13. As the semester winds to a close at Ouachita, I ask for your help in documenting COVID-19 at Ouachita.
Dr. Wesley Kluck did not have a restful 2020. As university physician and vice president for student development at Ouachita, he led the university’s health efforts in response to COVID-19, chairing Ouachita’s Health Monitoring and Action Team (HMAT).
In the midst of a pandemic, Ouachita’s progress makes us an encouraging outlier in higher education. While total university enrollment in the country continues to decrease, Ouachita increases – our highest in 20 years. We’re also graduating students at our highest level in history plus a placement rate of 97%.
As we chose the theme for this issue of the Ouachita Circle, no words seemed sufficient. Even words that were accurate and appropriate had lost their meaning, becoming clichés in our collective consciousness. However, what we have done in 2020 as a global society and here at Ouachita, was truly unprecedented – both for the challenges we faced and the triumphs big and small that we achieved along the way.
While many of us were home in March learning to bake homemade bread or binging Netflix, Dr. Rob Hewell was working swiftly with IT Services and other campus partners to shift every Ouachita student to remote learning. Hewell thrived not only assisting current students but also faculty and staff with moving courses to Zoom and Moodle while continuing his typical daily work with students in Ouachita’s online degree programs.
With nicknames like “double trouble” and “salt and pepper,” Chester Mitchell, Sr., and Coleman Rogers are the carpentry team for Facilities Management at Ouachita and are not only rarely seen apart but also good friends. With the work the duo had cut out for them last summer, any less than two sets of hands and a good sense of humor would have made overhauling campus with needed protective measures incredibly difficult.
"2020: The Worst Year Ever,” declared the Dec. 14 Time magazine cover. Thinking in terms of “worst” primes us to dwell on all that went wrong this year. Thinking of the ways 2020 is unprecedented invites us to acknowledge the negatives but to be grateful, too, for the good in this very challenging year.
The sports world has been no stranger to the impact of COVID-19. Seasons have been postponed, shortened and canceled. Teams have been forced to alter the way they prepare and what they even prepare for. Athletes, coaches and entire teams have been quarantined. An ever-changing understanding of an invisible opponent has led to frustration both for those who just want to play and coach the games they love and for the diehard fans left with empty spaces in their hearts and their weekends.