In our latest podcast series, five members of University of Michigan leadership sat down, virtually, with five U-M students to candidly discuss campus life amidst COVID-19, building communities, staying connected, and looking forward to life after the pandemic. 


The students, who represented an array of academic areas but are also all interns in the U-M Social Media and Public Engagement office, identified and were paired with campus leaders they wanted to talk with. Each developed questions of particular interest to them and their peers in order to foster authentic conversations intent on reflecting on this difficult year, the evolving needs of campus and concerns of U-M students, and how the U-M community can continue to be supportive and engaged in the new year. 


U-M President Mark S. Schlissel participated in the series, and shared words of encouragement to the student community. 


“My heart goes out to all of our students…hang in there. It’s nobody’s fault that we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Don’t let it interfere with your progression toward your Michigan degree and prepare yourself for a world that’s going to need educated people more than ever after the pandemic.”



Listen to all of the episodes below:



Leading and Looking Forward

University of Michigan President Mark S. Schlissel joined #UMSocial intern and Michigan Ross graduate student Josh Nichols to discuss what it’s like being a university president during a pandemic, the most rewarding parts of his job, and words of wisdom he has for U-M students as this difficult year comes to a close.



Prioritizing Wellness and Pushing Beyond the Pandemic

In this campus conversation, Vice President for Student Life Martino Harmon joined #UMSocial intern Cam Turner to discuss what it means to be a Wolverine, navigating the pandemic, and things they are looking forward to in the new year—including Harmon hoping to someday safely attend his first Michigan football game in the Big House.



Advocating for the Student Experience

Dean of Students Laura Blake Jones, PhD, joined #UMSocial intern Miffy Tani to explore what being a Dean of Students entails, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on students, and maintaining health and well-being.



Staying Connected and Informed

Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs Rick Fitzgerald joined #UMSocial intern Sophie Herdrich to discuss emerging issues at the University of Michigan and explore some of the various ways to stay connected to and informed about campus life.



Building and Serving Communities 

Associate Dean of Students & Interim Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life Nicole Banks joined #UMSocial intern Rita Vega to discuss how FSL has navigated the pandemic and highlight the importance of the brotherhood and sisterhood, and the communities they build and serve.