The CMU is also looking ahead, considering how they can customize Scout for the fall when many students get vaccinated and whether their new tools can slow the spread of other infectious diseases like the flu. “We spoke to Fathom on the phone a few days ago and had a dream about what the long game would be like,” said Dr. Bronson.
With the end of this weekend, Mr. Marshall, the soon-to-be President of the CMU, is pleased with the way the past year went. “I see it as a success, not a small one,” he said. “I think we will look back on this year as one of the defining moments for our university.” Yes, they had Covid-19 cases, he said, but they also had 881 freshmen who were the first in their family to go to college – who actually got to go to college.
“It was never about how to stop a virus?” Mr. Marshall said. Instead, the challenge is: “How do you deal with life while dealing with a pandemic? And in that regard, I’d say we did as good a job as anyone else. “
Lucas Torres, a biology student who graduated on Saturday, had initially been nervous about returning to CMU during a deadly pandemic. And it had become an extremely difficult year for him: During the winter break, he and some of his family members got Covid-19. His mother developed pneumonia and his grandmother died of the disease.
The school had turned out to be a bright spot. Mr. Torres was “inspired” by the CMU’s response and said, “It enabled the students to have a purpose. There was a responsibility, a shared responsibility, that returned to campus. “
Shortly after recovering from Covid-19, he proposed to his girlfriend. (She said yes.) He is about to take his EMT certification exam and hopes to go to medical school.
“I’ve made the most of my time at CMU and I’m glad they allowed it,” said Torres. “Even if it wasn’t the same as without Covid, it was better than sitting in front of a screen at home.”