Campus communities eager for return to fall semester

busy sidewalks filled with students walking to classView print quality image
The fall 2021 semester will feature students, staff and faculty returning to campus. Photo by James Brosher, Indiana University

That buzz of a new school year filled with smiling faces, eager minds and an optimistic enthusiasm will soon return to Indiana University's campuses.

The fall 2021 semester marks the in-person return of students, staff and faculty across IU. A joyous vibrance is returning to classrooms, lecture halls, sidewalks and sporting venues that sat mainly dormant for the past 16 months.

After transitioning to a remote schedule during the spring 2020 semester and a hybrid 2020-21 school year, Indiana University is ready to safely and enthusiastically welcome everyone back.

Anticipation for the new semester is building and we asked different members of the university community, "What are you most excited about for the fall semester?"

Their responses are collected here:

Students

headshots of 9 students: Breanna, Griffin, David, Sarah, Michaela, Brikea, Jeff and NaudiaView print quality image

Breanna Doss, senior psychology/pre-occupational therapy major at IU Southeast

"I'm excited to attend in-person events and talk to people outside of Zoom! I'm ready to make up for lost time and enjoy my last year at IU Southeast."

Griffin Gonzalez, senior journalism (news reporting and editing) major at IU Bloomington and director of The Hoosier Network

"I am ecstatic for the opportunity to be alongside students and professors in the classroom again this fall. It is an atmosphere that I have truly missed and certainly will never take for granted again. I cannot wait to return to Bloomington to get a step closer to my dream career and experience senior year at the world's best campus with the world's best people."

David Hayden Jr., sports journalism master's student at IUPUI

"It is great to see another step closer to normality. I'm excited for the students living on campus; they will have the full experience as a college student in and out of the classrooms again."

Sarah Martin, junior radiologic sciences major at IU Northwest

"The thing that I am most excited about for the fall semester and return to a more normal school year is seeing everyone on campus again and being able to have fans at athletic events."

Karla Montero, junior marketing, sustainable business and digital and social media applications major at IU Bloomington

"I am most excited to enjoy our beautiful campus with my friends again. I am also looking forward to going to in person classes and being able to meet new people."

Michaela Schmidt, junior nursing major at IU Northwest

"I am most excited about being back in person for classes. I feel like I learn a lot better when being taught face-to-face and not through a computer screen."

Brikea Sherrod, junior elementary education major at IU South Bend

"My goals for next semester are to meet more people and attend events. I just can't wait to see everyone!"

Jeff Smith, senior business accounting major at IU Kokomo

"I'm excited just to actually be in class and ask questions and see other people while I'm in the classroom, instead of trying to do it virtually."

Naudia Thompson, senior journalism (public relations) major at IU Bloomington

"One thing I'm excited for in the fall semester is being able to see people and having classes in person. I struggled a bit through the pandemic doing everything remotely and being under quarantine. Now since the restrictions are lifted, I'll be able to ask more questions, meet more people and just do more on campus. I'm also really excited for homecoming. I never got to go to a football game, and since I'm graduating in December, I'm going to make sure I go to all of them!"

Faculty/Staff

headshots of 14 staff/faculty: Tom, Seuth, Christian, Scott, Ken, Kelli, Kate, Monica, Cheryl, MonicView print quality image

Tom Allen, head football coach at IU Bloomington

"We are excited about having a normal football season in a packed Memorial Stadium. We missed having a full house last year, and we can't wait to play in front of Hoosier Nation once again!"

Angela Aneiros, lecturer of business law and ethics in the Kelley School of Business at IU Bloomington

"I am most excited about the energy students will bring back to campus. Just having students in person experiencing the whole IU experience and as always, being able to make deeper connections with students, staff and other faculty."

Seuth Chaleunphonh, dean of student life at IU Southeast

"We are looking forward to offering more personal interactions in person this fall, as many students expect that as part of their total collegiate experience. Students are looking for personal connection with faculty, staff and peers. We know that meaningful relationships are built on more than transactional interactions where students are only receiving information. We want to holistically support student development, expand social circles, and return to laughing, playing and doing life together."

Christian Chauret, dean of the School of Sciences at IU Kokomo

"I think the ability to have meetings with people in person, rather than by Zoom, that will be a big deal. I think there's a little Zoom fatigue. Also, to have classrooms at full capacity. That's been a challenge, juggling with labs at half capacity; logistically, to be able to be at full capacity will go a long way to help people be back to more normal."

Scott Dolson, vice president and director of athletics at IU Bloomington

"I am certainly thrilled for our student-athletes, who had to deal with a great amount during the last year just to be able to have the opportunity to compete. I'm also very happy for their families and friends, who will once again be able to come in force to see their loved ones do what they love. But more than anything, I'm excited for IU students who will once again be able to show up this fall and cheer us on. They didn't have a chance to enjoy special seasons for our football, women's basketball and men's soccer programs last year, and as an IU alum myself, I know that these events are a part of what makes the Indiana University experience great. We can't wait for that to be the case again this fall."

Jamie Gathing, associate director of diversity initiatives in Kelley School of Business at IU Bloomington

"I cannot exclaim this sentiment enough….MY STUDENTS!!! I am beyond thrilled to come back to campus for the sole purpose of interacting and connecting with the students, especially my amazing KODI (Kelley Office of Diversity Initiatives) students."

Ken Iwama, chancellor of IU Northwest

"The fall will be full of great opportunities! I am looking forward to reconnecting as a campus and experiencing the traditions that make IU Northwest so special."

Kelli Keener, director of advising at IU Kokomo

"I'm excited to hear our students all through the Kelley Student Center. I miss hearing our students."

Kate Notich, admissions and advising coordinator for Division of Business at IUPUC

"I can't wait to get back to campus in the fall to start building that sense of community which is enhanced by face-to-face interactions and makes IUPUC a truly special place to work and learn."

Monica Porter, vice chancellor for student affairs and diversity and dean of students at IU South Bend

"I'm most excited for the interaction with our students in person. I miss their presence on the campus. Our students bring an energy to the campus that has been missing. I enjoy seeing students at programs and learning more about them as they engage in the various activities. I'm personally excited about helping our students fulfill their educational goal!"

Cheryl Schlemmer, assistant director of advising at IU Kokomo

"I'm looking forward to the busyness and the excitement of our students, especially when our campus offers events, and we know they will be in the student center. Seeing that electricity is the best. I'm also looking forward to seeing my colleagues again. I've missed them, but my top priority is seeing the students."

Monica Solinas-Saunders, associate professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IU Northwest

"I look forward to seeing our campus energized by the presence of all our students, colleagues. and community partners. I am excited for new opportunities to discuss creative and stimulating ideas with everyone. I am ready for a new academic year full of events to collaborate, socialize and create new meanings. Bring on the fun!"

Joshua Wells, associate professor of anthropology and social informatics at IU South Bend

"I'm excited that our fully vaccinated campus will give students and faculty the opportunity to work side by side on important research and scholarship that improve the lives of people in our region, in Indiana, and around the United States and the world."

Mike Woodson, head men's basketball coach at IU Bloomington

"I'm excited for all the young men and women who will have the opportunity to enjoy everything that makes Indiana University the special place that it truly is. I know the impact that it had on my wife, Terri, and I, and I'm glad that everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy campus life and their education to its fullest. There is no greater time to be a Hoosier than the present. I can't wait to watch the excitement and enthusiasm of everyone in the campus community as we continue to move in a positive direction together."