We Are #WarriorStrong

A Word From the President, Ellen Junn
As I am writing this message to you, we are all in the midst of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic. We are experiencing this together, with shared concern, anxiety and uncertainty — but there is also a sense of hope, as our Warrior community is steadfast in its dedication to supporting one another.

With the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff at the forefront — and following the guidance of local, state and federal health experts, and leadership at the California State University — we have taken the extraordinary measure of transitioning all courses to an online or remote format for the remainder of the spring semester at both our Turlock and Stockton campus. While our campuses remain open, many campus operations have transitioned to virtual modalities as well. This is a historic undertaking — one that certainly has brought unprecedented challenges.

Our students have been amazingly flexible and demonstrated maturity and initiative in taking on so many changes and finding positive ways to move forward toward reaching their educational goals and completing their degrees. Our faculty has put students first and dedicated itself, collectively, to adapting to alternate teaching modalities so lessons would not be interrupted, and student progress could continue unabated. And, our staff has shown an unwavering effort to make these necessary but demanding changes occur as seamlessly
as possible.

I’m especially proud of our campus community’s willingness to create and adapt to new protocols that, in the early stages, changed daily, and even hourly. There has been a great sense of camaraderie in making these necessary changes work for everyone. This is the strength of our Warrior community.

That strength is a long-standing tradition of Stan State as the articles in this issue of Stan Magazine reflect. Alumna Pam Kehaly, who earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration, is at the forefront of the response to COVID-19 in Arizona where she is the president and CEO of the state’s leading health insurance company. Fellow alumnus Steve Gordon is applying tenets he obtained with his Stan State degree to lead the California Department of Motor Vehicles down a smoother path of customer service while providing new licenses and identification cards that meet federal guidelines.

The ability of our alumni, faculty and staff to adapt to change is not new, as our stories about the campus’ move toward more sustainable methods and ideas demonstrate. And, many of our students profiled in this issue have overcome adversity to achieve great success in the classroom and that perseverance and tenacity will continue as we weather this unprecedented crisis.

This spring semester has proved challenging and life-altering. We look forward to the day when we will all reunite. When that will happen and what it will look like, we don’t know. But, I do know we will be transformed as tougher, more intrepid and more buoyant than ever before, because WE ARE WARRIORS and we are #warriorstrong.