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Introduction

This project began as the result of a collective student contribution to the Rowan University Fall 2022 class entitled Digital History. Composed of both undergraduate and graduate students, this class was the first Digital History course to be taught at Rowan University. With the guidance and support of our instructor, Dr. Jessica Mack, the twelve students in the course were tasked to create the COVID-19 Pandemic Experience at Rowan University Project to reflect the lives of students and their relationship with the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that viewers like you are able to use this project as a means for furthering research, understanding, and self-guided interest as to how students and affiliated members of Rowan University were affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

From Left to Right (Top): Christian Repage, Vaughn Fazio, Tyonna Gunter, Brandon Painter, Kayla Maharaj, and Adam Altenbach
From Left to Right (Bottom): Professor Jessica Mack, Nicholas Goripow, Natalie Oster, Kaitlyn Ley, and Joseph Hawk

Purpose and Values

The mission of this project is to accumulate various documents and images from Rowan University students in order to gain a better understanding of how the pandemic affected the school. These items include a range of documents, such as emails from the university, images of families during the lockdown, oral history interviews with members of the Rowan community, and a number of other announcements and messages about COVID-19. 

In order to maintain an ethical standard of conduct, the organizers of this project made sure to obtain all necessary consent from third party participants. This included asking for permission to upload or include any images or documents owned by other people, getting consent for conducting the oral history interviews, and avoiding the use or production of items that may otherwise conflict with these standards. Overall, the COVID-19 Pandemic Experience at Rowan University Project aims to highlight the experiences of the pandemic on the university without harming any individuals or invading their privacy.

Limitations

There are several limitations that exist in this project. First and foremost, this project was conducted by a small collection of Rowan University students – nine undergraduate and three graduate students – and one professor. The participants in this project are also almost all history or education majors at Rowan University. As a result, the information collected in this study may not be representative of the experiences of all Rowan students because of the limited contributors and the similarity of the majors shared by the contributors. 

Additionally, this project was limited to the impacts of COVID-19 at Rowan University. This topic does not directly cover how COVID-19 affected other universities, other students, or many other people outside of the contributors of this project. Therefore, this collection is not a representation of the history of the COVID-19 pandemic, but a sample of how these pandemic experiences have affected a small population of Rowan University.