Dr. Jose Sartarelli: How UNCW is dealing with coronavirus outbreak (”1on1 with Jon Evans” podcast)

Updated: Mar. 23, 2020 at 4:05 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Since taking over as the ninth chancellor of UNCW in 2015, Dr. Jose Sartarelli has had to lead the university community through several challenging periods. Most of them had to deal with weather-related disasters such as Hurricanes Matthew and Florence. The current coronavirus outbreak has forced the university to move toward online instruction for nearly all students.

“I’ve seen faculty and staff work together just beautifully to prepare themselves to change the mode altogether from face-to-face education to online,” Dr. Sartarelli said. “They were very adaptive when we had (hurricane) Florence, and they’ve been very adaptive with the new reality that we face at this very moment.”

Some of the other highlights from the interview with UNCW Chancellor, Dr. Jose Sartarelli:

Possible options for commencement ceremonies: “We are going to be looking at the possibility of having a commencement later in the summer, in August. Potentially, if for whatever reason we cannot do it, we’re going to do it in December, and it’s going to be a much bigger event in December.”

Being in the high-risk category for exposure to coronavirus: “I’ve got to keep protecting myself as much as possible, isolating myself but at the same time not isolating myself and making myself available, making sure I’m not exposing myself to too much contact when I should not have it.”

Advice for college seniors preparing to graduate: “I’m recommending to them get ready, send resumes out, polish up your resume as much as possible. We have a career center that does a great job of helping you do that. Send as many as you can, and interview with as many companies as possible, and go, go, go. I would suspect a lot of companies are looking at cash flow on one hand, and efficiencies on the other, and putting a stop on hiring. Only selectively hiring those people that are really needed. So, this requires extra effort, in order to make yourself visible and get a job eventually.”

His message to the UNCW community: “Keep positive. Be hopeful. There is a better stage, and that’s the future. Our best days are ahead of us, big time. I’ve made my life an example of looking at the glass half-full, and how do we do that on a regular basis, even with a coronavirus attack, so to speak.”

UNCW is providing updates with information on its’ response to the coronavirus outbreak. Click here to visit that page on the university’s website.

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