Campus News

COVID-19 Updates: Webster Athens moves Spring II Term courses online

The Webster University Task Force decided to move all courses online in the Athens, Greece Campus, right after the Greek Government announced the compulsory closure of all public and private schools in Greece due to the coronavirus outbreak. “Minutes after the announcement by the Minister of Health, we were ready to execute our contingency plan and notified our students immediately,” said Vasilis J. Botopoulos, Rector and Managing Director of Webster Athens.

“The Greek Government just announced a 14-day precautionary suspension of operations of all schools and universities throughout Greece to further control/limit the spreading of COVID-19,” said Rector Botopoulos in his e-mail announcement to the students. “Learning will continue to take place at Webster Athens during this period as we are prepared to work with you online,” he said, urging them to follow their professors’ instructions. 

The University’s Office of Information Technology had already created WebEx accounts for all faculty to allow them to teach classes, host meetings, or have one-on-one discussions with students from home and fully utilize the Canvas/WorldClassRoom online learning platform of the university. 

“Webster University has been a leader in online education nationally for decades and has the experience necessary to make this transition during this challenging time,” Webster University President Julian Z. Schuster said.

MBA- Organizational Behavior: First class gone online at Webster Athens 
The MBA-Organizational Behavior class, was the first Athens Campus course that went online, starting the Spring II term. “This class was almost all in attendance and was conducted just like an on-ground course,” said John Dumont, MBA class Professor, Head of Business and Technology Department of Webster Athens. 

“I broadcasted from home, and it was perfect with everyone being able to understand and see each other. Face to face is always better, but this worked very well for synchronous online,” said Dumont. 

The course introduces students to many of the basic principles of human behavior that effective managers use when managing individuals and groups in organizations. 

Project Procurement Management, Operation and Project Management, Research Methods, and Statistics courses are the graduate MBA and Management courses that went online last week. 

“So far, the procedure is working very well for me because student learning has been preserved as well as overall class integrity,” said Dumont today.

COVID-19 Updates for Home & International Campuses Students Faculty & Staff
The Task Force has decided Webster University will move all classes throughout the U.S. and at the Leiden, Netherlands; Geneva, Switzerland; and Vienna, Austria campuses to an online environment, through Friday, April 3. Webster’s locations in China have been operating remotely since the beginning of the Spring 2020 term in January.
Saturday night, March 14, the COVID-19 Task Force was informed that the Uzbekistan Government ordered all institutions of higher education to close Monday16, for two weeks due to concerns around coronavirus. This weekend task force notified that several locations that host some of the University’s military sites will move to online instruction. “This was done at the request of base commanders who wished to temporarily suspend face-to-face instruction.”

Travel Advisory and Restrictions
Webster University requires all students, faculty, and staff who are traveling for Webster business purposes to fill out a travel form and strongly urge those traveling for personal purposes also to fill out the form so that the University is aware of where members of the community have visited. The University’s travel policies and the form can be found on the COVID-19 page here.

To inform its students at Home and International Campus, the University is posting frequently asked questions guide at http://www.webster.edu/covid19/students.html.

Understanding that this crisis is stressful to our entire community, Webster University Task Force reminds students, faculty, and staff to take care of themselves. “Remember to get up and stretch from time to time, get eight hours of sleep, eat healthy food, and take some time out of your day to do something that you find help reduce your stress and anxiety. These actions can also help your immune system resist viruses while also helping you be more alert during the day.”

 


 

Webster Athens Hosts Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Ion Lazarenco, 'Swin of Peace'

Jul. 9, 2019

Ion Lazarenco with students at Webster Athens
Nobel Peace Prize nominee Ion Lazarenco Tiron with students at Webster University Athens

 

During the last days of June 2019, Webster University Athens students, faculty and staff had the honor to welcome the Moldavian humanitarian, marathon swimmer and candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, Ion Lazarenco Tiron.

His speech echoed his background as a Moldavian immigrant and his vision of contribution for his birthplace.

Lazarenco is the eighth man in the world to take on a challenge to conquer the Seven Channels around the world and the first to accomplish it from his first attempt. Overcoming nature’s difficulties of weather, swimming right above a Great White Shark, massive jellyfish and waves that go up to 8 meters, his drive to relay his message of peace to the world carried him through times of giving up.

He was named the 2018 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year by the World Open Water Swimming Association.

The audience at Webster's Athens campus met his emotional speech and his advice to young generation with enthusiasm. According to one of the study abroad students from Webster University, Dana Rue, “Mr. Lazarenco is living proof that regardless of age or place of origin, we can do anything we set our mind to.”

When asked why he chose swimming, he responded with the symbolism of sports from the ancient Greek times, meaning that sports brings unity and peace amongst nations. From the moment an open-water swimmer leaves the shore, he/she is unable to touch or encounter anything until reaching the destined land; hence, the achiever forms an imaginary bridge of Peace between countries.

This is a bridge of humility, a passage to love and be kind to one another, to oneself, and to the environment around us. His "swim of peace" calls out to all of us to take immediate action of transcending this purpose and setting a positive path for others to follow.

The Webster Athens audience wished Lazarenco all the best for his peace campaign and his upcoming book, and they look forward to hosting more of such inspiring individuals on our campus.