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Layk Nollen September 28, 2020

There is no doubt that the pandemic has changed the way we live and operate in our everyday lives. Especially those of students. But what about the faculty and staff? 

Christine Whitney, Librarian and Media Specialist at the Boone DMACC library said the overall atmosphere of the library has changed. 

“Everything is so quiet. I can just focus on my work and what I can do for the library and for the DMACC students I serve… but I will say that it feels very empty without the students here. We miss our students. We love helping them out and seeing students in the library working and not having them here is sad.”

She continued, “But I’ve really enjoyed the Zoom meetings I have with students. I love seeing their faces, their pets and their children seeing people running around in the background. We get a window into our student’s lives. Being able to see their faces and work with them. That’s been the light.”

“There are so many negatives it is important to find the silver linings and appreciate them and not feel guilty for appreciating them. It’s okay to appreciate quiet time in the library. We have to find those little moments where we can feel grateful,” she said. “I hope students feel they can come to me and schedule a time with me so I can help them research or find a book so I can feel more connected with them.”

Just like the library, many services on the campus have been altered. The Academic Achievement Center (AAC) is no different.

Ann Kiesel, Director of the AAC said the ongoing challenge is adapting. 

“We have adapted by offering most of our services remotely rather than face-to-face.  We are still offering tutoring services for most of the main subject areas (English, math, science, accounting), but tutoring is now all done remotely in two ways.  Students can choose if they want to seek assistance through e-mail or virtually through Blackboard Collaborate.” 

Ann said the biggest impact has been not providing a study table for the baseball, softball and volleyball athletes.

“Since our testing center and tutoring center are in the same small area, we could not properly provide social distancing for the face-to-face testing along with the study table program in the same small area.  It is sad that we cannot build face-to-face relationships with students and student-athletes in the AAC this fall which is what my instructors and staff enjoy about working at DMACC.”

She continued, “Even though we are not open much for face-to-face service in the AAC, students should know that we are still ready to help them remotely if they need our assistance.”

Dr. Jerrine McCaffrey, who retired this summer, had an interesting perspective to contribute.

“That whole time from March to May felt like a blur… I worked hard at it every day, mostly to keep my mind busy. I didn’t like it much, though,” said the former English professor.

“That’s what’s really hard with this pandemic too and I’m sure for students and faculty. It’s so isolating,” she said.

“Having that personal interaction meant a lot to me throughout my whole teaching career… My students inspired me.” she said. “If I could get them excited about a topic, I felt inspired and motivated, too. I didn’t have that when I couldn’t see my students. I mean, we talked back and forth on email and Blackboard, but it wasn’t the same.” 

For more information about the AAC, please contact Ann Kiesel at and for the Library, please contact Christine Whitney at