Ohio University

Learning During a Pandemic

Published: December 17, 2020 Author: Staff Photos by Ben Siegel, Rich-Joseph Facun, and Julia Martin de Sa

Virtual class lectures. Wearing masks. Standing six feet apart. Dining hall lunches to go. Checking temperatures. Taking online final exams and getting COVID tests. Zoom hangouts with friends. Watching the fall colors on College Green change via OHIO social media snapshots. 

The 2020-2021 school year is like no other in Ohio University’s history. The University and its students, faculty and staff had to adapt to a new environment shaped by the global COVID-19 pandemic. And while the experience has been challenging, no one can deny that Bobcats have stepped up and made the most of this unusual academic year. 

Ohio University’s photography team has been documenting this historic time throughout 2020, and will continue to do so in 2021 as we move into the next chapter of the pandemic. 

The following images capture how life has changed at Ohio University, but also show how our community continues to learn, thrive, and take care of each other, despite the unprecedented challenges we face. 

A student gets some help while moving into dorms during the fall of 2020.

For the health and safety of students, Ohio University opened residence halls in fall 2020 with reduced occupancy. The University staggered move-in times to reduce density in parking lots and residential areas. 

A person stands on a "social distancing" floor marker

OHIO diligently revamped its physical spaces to ensure safe use. This included developing and posting a new series of University signage that enforced social distancing guidelines. 

A timelapse view of a person leaving a medical testing site

The University partnered with CVS Health to conduct COVID-19 testing. 

A woman alters the layout of tables and applies indicators on the floor as guides

OHIO diligently revamped its physical spaces to ensure safe use. This included developing and posting a new series of University signage that enforced social distancing guidelines. 

A cardboard cutout of the classic Rufus mascot stands outside a book store with a green cloth mask applied over it

Mask wearing requirements were established at the University and in the community. 

A sign found in an Ohio University administrative buildng mandating conduct

OHIO diligently revamped its physical spaces to ensure safe use. This included developing and posting a new series of University signage that enforced social distancing guidelines. 

Sunlight graces an empty table with mandated limitations posted on a sign

OHIO diligently revamped its physical spaces to ensure safe use. This included developing and posting a new series of University signage that enforced social distancing guidelines. 

A chair in the library covered with plastic and a sign mandating that nobody sit in the chair

OHIO diligently revamped its physical spaces to ensure safe use. This included developing and posting a new series of University signage that enforced social distancing guidelines. 

Two students descend Baker University Center on the escalator

Students still populated major buildings on campus, such as Alden Library and Baker University Center, but wore masks and stayed at a distance to maintain health and safety. 

A student works in the library behind a pane of glass

Students still populated major buildings on campus, such as Alden Library and Baker University Center, but wore masks and stayed at a distance to maintain health and safety. 

Two students attempting to meet in a common area on campus despite furniture being apportioned off from use

Students still populated major buildings on campus, such as Alden Library and Baker University Center, but wore masks and stayed at a distance to maintain health and safety. 

A culinary worker puts food into a storage container for transport

Culinary Services adapted by providing meals-to-go for students in isolation and quarantine halls as well as for University and community members who wanted easy and safe access to takeout meals.

A portrait of a packaged and portioned lunch

Culinary Services adapted by providing meals-to-go for students in isolation and quarantine halls as well as for University and community members who wanted easy and safe access to takeout meals.

A meal is handed to the driver of a car

Culinary Services adapted by providing meals-to-go for students in isolation and quarantine halls as well as for University and community members who wanted easy and safe access to takeout meals.

A screen capture from an art student's recorded dance performance

2020 alumna Brittany Hawthorne participated in the Fall Dance Concert, "A COVID Experiment." These photos illustrate Hawthorne’s solo performance, "The Chronicles of the Fish Diaries."

An overhead view of Peden Stadium at night. Less crowd density is visible as games in 2020 were restrictive

The Mid-American Conference Council of Presidents voted unanimously to resume the fall football season, which included the implementation of a COVID-19 testing program.  

A student wipes down gym equipment after use

Recreation facilities were modified and cleaned to ensure health and safety. 

Women working out in the Ohio University Ping Fitness Center

Recreation facilities were modified and cleaned to ensure health and safety. 

The sun rises over a foggy Hocking River as a jogger proceeds down the bike path parallel to the river

The University community took to outdoor spaces, such as the bike path. 

Childhood education major students working with small children in a classroom setting

To foster safe social interaction, teaching fellow Alli Ciancibello (left), working with Master Teacher Lisa Kinnard, conducts individual sensory exploration exercises with the infants at the Child Development Center.

A student works in a pottery studio

Students may have continued to participate in activities in-person, but followed health and safety guidelines such as wearing masks, keeping to reduced numbers in spaces, and modifying procedures. 

A student sets up a video camera in Baker University Center

Kayla Burke, director of publicity for Brick City Records, handles the social media platforms during the live streaming of the ”Baker's Dozen Concert Series" in October. 

Students practice singing outside in a large tent for fear of indoor contact

The College of Fine Arts secured an industrial-sized tent, located on the grounds behind McCracken Hall, to continue some face-to-face instruction. College of Fine Arts students on campus used the tent as one way of complying with social distancing guidelines while allowing them to rehearse in a group.

Students participate in certain classes outdoors while the weather is nice

The College of Fine Arts secured an industrial-sized tent, located on the grounds behind McCracken Hall, to continue some face-to-face instruction. College of Fine Arts students on campus used the tent as one way of complying with social distancing guidelines while allowing them to rehearse in a group.

A student works with a pipette in a laboratory setting

Students may have continued to participate in activities in-person, but followed health and safety guidelines such as wearing masks, keeping to reduced numbers in spaces, and modifying procedures. 

People in OIT working on computer repairs

The University adjusted academic, work and extracurricular activities to the pandemic. Students follow safety protocols while working on computer repairs for the Office of Information Technology (OIT) during fall semester. 

Three students review results of an experiement on a computer screen

Students may have continued to participate in activities in-person, but followed health and safety guidelines such as wearing masks, keeping to reduced numbers in spaces, and modifying procedures. 

A view from behind the scenes of the virtual fall 2020 commencement ceremony

Ohio University hosted Fall 2020 Commencement virtually on Saturday, Dec. 12. 

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