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Bringing It Home – The Saint Rose Blog

Saint Rose Employees to Students: ‘I’m available if you need to talk.’


Saint Rose staff and administrators continue devoting themselves to our students – only now from their kitchens and living rooms. They are offering services and support via email, phone, Zoom, and other real-time platforms. For details on how to contact various offices, check out the office’s page on

Along with official business, our employees have delivered board games, served up virtual burgers and fries and even a daily song

Here are some examples of how they’re reaching out:


Amanda Bastiani

Amanda Bastiani

Amanda Bastiani, director of prevention education and response and Title IX coordinator

Overall, students that I’ve spoken with on the phone or via email did experience some stress and anxiety over the initial move and transition to online classes, but they are now settling in. Many said “Doing okay,”
“All good right now,” “Getting used to it,” “Working through it,” “Little tough at first, but not bad!”

One student was very open and honest with me, describing how the situation was initially very stressful for her, finding storage, moving back home. Within her friend group, which she is leaning on for support, they struggled to understand the College’s handling, at first. However, she understands now that we were dealing with a lot, while looking at what other colleges were doing.

Another student described the challenges of moving to online classes within his “hands-on” major, computer science. But he also mentioned that his database course has actually become engaging, and the professor is providing timely responses.

Students really seemed to appreciate the personal touch, and many thanked me for calling and checking in on them.

Areatha Fryar, director, first-year and opportunity programs

I didn’t think it was anything out of the ordinary, but one student thought it was awesome that he could still visit me “in the office” by doing a Zoom 1:1 meeting. We talked about how much he misses campus and the freedom to just go where he pleases. He’s having difficulty staying still.

He also remarked his parents eat a lot healthier than he does, so he misses the dining hall. I told him for our next meeting, I’d make burgers and fries so he could live vicariously through my experience of eating it. He laughed but thought that was just what he needed.

He thought he would have the hardest time adapting to online learning but feels as though he’s getting the hang of it. He still prefers face to face and is anxious to learn when he will be able to come back to campus. Though I told him it’s likely August 24, he thought perhaps he could come up once in the summer just to get the feel of HOME again.

Meg Parascandola, executive secretary, Office of Student Development

I reached out with phone calls and email. I was positive and friendly and asked about their siblings and home-cooked meals. I asked about their courses and if their professors were being responsive. I connected students to financial aid, along with the bursar. I even connected one student to David Alexander, as the student is interested in sports announcing.

Dr. Alfredo Varela

Dr. Alfredo Varela

Alfredo Varela, associate vice president for global affairs

We are in touch with students on campus on a daily basis both individually and in groups over social media. We are scheduling information sessions with students both on-campus and abroad using Zoom.

This is apart from assisting students move (twice) on campus and as they made the difficult decision to return home. We offered storage in the basement of the Global Affairs building for students who left campus. We continue to supply paperwork to maintain immigration status. While limiting our time on campus, we support students when needed.

We delivered a set of board games to (international) students currently staying. We asked them to send photos when they play.

Matthew Woods, associate director of student development

I send the student and tutor a Google Calendar invite. The tutor sets up a Zoom meeting. I’ve also been coordinating the math placement test online and have done both tutoring and proctoring via Zoom

I’ll go over their questions from previous tests and show how to correctly tackle specific types of problems that they have difficulties with.

One of my probation students emailed me with concerns about the switch to remote access.  Here was my response:

The first thing is to remember that we are all in this boat together. This is entirely new territory for everyone, so it’ll include an adjustment period.

Second, is to lean on the connections you already have. I’m available if you need to talk, and your professors will be of immense help to you during this period.

What does your schedule look like now?  Try to map out what your classes and routine for today and tomorrow will look like, and see if your professors have decided to change any syllabus items (i.e., papers, assignments, etc.). If you want, we can plan to talk and work out a schedule for at least one or two days to give you a blueprint of what to expect.

The big thing is to not get in too deep too quickly. Don’t try to overcompensate by doing too much too quickly, or things will get overwhelming for you.

Kelly Chase

Kelly Chase

Kelly Chase, director of the Writing Center

With a Zoom appointment, we can help students use certain features in Word and Google Docs, while we work with them on their papers.

In one writing appointment, I was able to show a student how to select ‘hanging indent’ instead of tabbing in. She discovered that when she doesn’t tab, her links are preserved. She was really happy about this discovery because she said that she has had issues with links getting destroyed when setting up her references page. Being able to troubleshoot through solutions to problems is really nice as we are using Zoom to tutor students in real-time.

Mackenzie Wright, area coordinator, Residence Life

I have been sending my RAs daily check-ins, including a song/video of the day that has gotten me through this time.

This has helped to continue our connection and has let us all have some interaction with one another.

What do you think?

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