Director's Message

Prof. Rhonda's profile photoDear ICCIT family,

Given the unexpected end to this semester, I wanted to reach out and let you know that I am thinking of you. COVID-19 is certainly calling on each of us to dig deep into our reserves of optimism, motivation, and resilience. I want you to know that I think of you everyday. With each decision that I am called on to make regarding how we carry on as an institute, I am mindful that there are impacts and consequences for the people that make ICCIT a very special place – you – our students, staff, and faculty.

For those of you who have had to make rapid decisions to leave, my thoughts were and still are with you as you try to find a new way to adjust, and still complete assignments, exams, and projects. For those who have stayed, the change is no less difficult – breaking the rhythm of your university life and combining elements of your lives in new ways, by necessity. For our staff who are asked to keep things going, who stayed on campus well after the first notes of the pandemic were struck, and continue to support ICCIT by working long hours every day, with their families all around them. For our faculty who have had to complete courses with sometimes substantial changes to the original intent, all while thinking of how this is affecting our students, and simultaneously providing care for your own families and selves, none of this is easy.  For those who have lost loved ones during this pandemic, there are no words except I am so sorry.

I know how hard this has been. Even with our best intentions we have all made mistakes that we hope are small ones. I recognize that the hope we seek every day of a return to our previous lives ebbs and flows. As much as you all can, be gentle with yourselves and others. We are all in this together and figuring things out as we go. Be proud (and if not proud, satisfied) that you made it to the end of the semester – even if it was not your best nor most productive. We must celebrate the small victories. As we begin the May-June summer semester, I have been working with our staff to provide as much support as we can to all of you. If you will be taking online classes, we are behind you. Reach out to our advising team (iccit.advising@utoronto.ca) and Estina and Ana are ready to help. I am also online everyday (all day!) so please reach out if you need me.

Through all of the fear and uncertainty, know that your ICCIT family is with you. I look forward. While what forward looks like is not clear yet, everyday it gets a little more defined. I hope that you can look forward too. This too shall pass.

Be well, stay well.
Prof. McEwen, Director ICCIT