September – month of transitions and renewal
Cumulus President’s Message
Mariana Amatullo, PhD
September is a special month of transitions and renewal in the calendar year. It marks the beginning of autumn in the northern hemisphere, and spring in the south. For many of our educational institutions in the north, September is when we return to a new academic cycle of new courses and new students; in the south September kicks-off the start of a last quarter of academic activities before the December holidays set in.
This September 2020 however, chances are that your familiar routines look nothing like ones from normal times. Depending where you are based around the world as Cumulus family, you might be experiencing university life in the wake of COVID quite differently. As the pandemic wanes in some regions, some of you are likely back navigating on-site campus environments modified by new safety protocols. For many others a partial re-opening may be about balancing a complex new delivery of hybrid classes, and for a majority of us, academic life is still, by and large, lived online. The differences between the circumstances we are adapting to are many as quarantines and closed borders remain a new way of life for our global community. These transitions and changes are calling for new spaces for dialogue, sense-making and exchange so that we might emerge from it all with new smarts and wisdom.
Along with our Secretariat team and the Executive Board I feel quite proud that our new microsite CumulusConnects launches this month as a virtual space we have envisioned for knowledge-sharing and reflection about these times and the new futures they will create for our disciplines. I am genuinely excited about the interaction and collaboration I anticipate will happen and I invite you all to register at cumulusconnects.org and visit often to participate or simply check out the global conversations and expert talks that will continue populating the site!
On behalf of our SG Eija Salmi and I, a special thanks to the CumulusConnects editorial team of Philipp Heidkamp, Adam de Eyto, Inken Krevet, Anna Lindberg, Maarti Raevarra, Renato Bernasconi, and Chevara Naidoo for their tireless work these past few months in shaping the dynamic content vision you will soon discover in the site. Our gratitude also goes to the larger team of design and development that brought the site to life: Karen Davison, Vitus Schuhwerk and Till-Maria Jürgens, thank you!
Mariana Amatullo, PhD
Vice Provost for Global Strategic Initiatives, The New School