Dear DCP Family,
First, I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy in the midst of this Coronavirus pandemic. I just wanted to reach out and update you on how the College of Design, Construction and Planning (DCP) is coping with these unprecedented times.
With regard to Covid-19, I would like to report the following:
- The College and the University of Florida continue to maintain a high level of functionality using the available virtual learning environments and digital tools;
- We were able to bring home 41 students and 2 faculty on Study Abroad at the Vicenza Institute of Architecture in Italy just before the explosion of cases in that country. Dr. Frank Bosworth (Interim Director, School of Architecture) and Professor Alfonso Perez-Mendez (Coordinator of the Vicenza Program) worked very hard on this;
- As of March 16, we were successful in transitioning ALL DCP courses to online delivery. This was not without its difficulties but the faculty and staff rose to the challenge, and our students are coping admirably well;
- ALL DCP faculty and staff (except for a couple of exceptions) are now working off-campus, delivering courses online and meeting via Zoom (or similar conferencing tool);
- The University of Florida has instituted a number of policy changes (for details see: http://www.ufl.edu/health-updates/) and we are adapting to these;
- To help address the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other accessories, our digital fabrication lab (Fab Lab) led by Juan Griego are working on creating aerosol boxes and prototype masks for our UF Health teams here in Gainesville but also looking to expand beyond our region.
- One of our CityLab-Orlando Master of Architecture students is test-printing reusable 3D-printed face masks designed by Rowan University engineering and medical students. The masks are printed from thermoplastic that can be heated and formed to the user’s face. If successful, CityLab-Orlando expects to donate these to Orlando medical facilities in need of PPE;
- These two examples show the adaptability of our college, and how we continue to be a community focused on solving problems;
- The Spring Commencement has been rescheduled for July 31st – August 2nd. Each ceremony will involve several colleges bundled together, so there will be no separate DCP ceremony.
We are truly thankful for all of your generosity, especially those of you who have reached out during this time offering help and support. For those interested, UF has launched the “In All Kinds of Weather” campaign for our students who have been negatively impacted financially during this time (see: https://affinitygiving.ufl.edu/campaigns/gators-helping-gators?appeal_id=5e790bf0af1e7b001c5b29d2). You should have received an email concerning this, but if you have any questions please reach out to our development team for more information on how you can help. Students in distress can apply for support through UF Student Affairs at: https://www.sfa.ufl.edu/aidagator/.
Finally, I would like to wish you and your loved ones safety and health during this pandemic. Please feel free to let us know if there is any way in which we can help you.