Summer Research Institute
As we are all aware, the COVID-19 virus has disrupted our lives in numerous ways. The SRI leadership team met recently to consider options for the upcoming summer SRI program. After much discussion, and consultation with college and university administrators, it was decided NOT to convene the SRI@FMHI program this summer at the University of South Florida (USF). At this time, USF is conducting both spring and summer classes online, and it will not be possible for students to live or take classes on the USF campus this summer. We are all disappointed in having to cancel the SRI program this summer, as we believe that the program is deeply beneficial for the scholars. The SRI experience, featuring talented faculty, mentored research projects, community field experiences, and engaging proseminars/lectures requires face-to-face contact, and we are unable to recreate the SRI program through a virtual learning environment.
In responding to the COVID-19 crisis, the health and safety of our students, and of the larger community is our primary concern. As we're all aware, controlling transmission of the virus hinges on limiting social contact, including avoidance of large gatherings and promotion of social distancing. While we can't predict when things will return to normal, it is highly unlikely that any organized activities will be allowed on the USF campus this summer. Even if such activities resumed by mid-summer, this would not provide enough time to complete our 11-week SRI program.
We understand that the cancellation of the 2020 summer SRI@FMHI program is disappointing. We do look to the future though, and a return to normalcy and an even greater appreciation for each other, our families, and our university.