No doubt, it's been a challenging year. But despite the difficulties of 2020, students, faculty, and staff are still feeling thankful this year
“I am thankful for the support provided by professors. The COVID-19 pandemic affected my learning habits, and switching to virtual classes was not easy. I am grateful my professors were understanding and provided the support I needed.” —Jelissa Kamguem ’23, chemical engineering
Kamguem applied data-science skills to develop a software to help those leading virtual meetings this past summer. Learn more.
“This year, I’m especially grateful for institutional support for the implementation of various outside the box remote teaching ideas, and, of course, the dog-friendly culture at Lafayette (for Charlie, the golden retriever).” —Dave Mante, assistant professor, civil and environmental engineering
Mante tests how much pressure materials can withstand in his concrete lab with the Maroon Monster, a hydraulic crusher. Learn more.
“I am grateful for the community I have in Refugee Action and the amazing people I’ve met. The work we do with refugee families in the Lehigh Valley is extremely impactful and rewarding, and in addition to that, I’ve found a community of leaders that supports each other through all of the challenges that come not only with resettlement work but with living through this pandemic. I’m so thankful for my wonderful friends in RefAct!” —Samantha Ganser ’23, biochemistry
“I am so grateful this year for the health of myself and my family; I think we have learned not to take our health for granted. I am also very grateful for the ways in which the Lafayette, Easton, and Lehigh Valley community as a whole has come together during this time to support one another in so many ways. I’m glad to still feel connected even when we are physically much farther apart than usual.” —Grace Marchena ’15, assistant director, admissions
“I am extremely grateful for the friendships I have made and opportunities I have been given while at Lafayette. I was able to visit my roommate and friend in China as well as start Lafayette College Esports, which has grown into something I can be proud of.” —Thomas Stranick ’21, electrical and computer engineering and Asian studies
Strancik co-founded Lafayette College Esports with his sister in 2018. Learn more.
“As a first-generation college student, I am thankful for the community Lafayette has allowed me to cultivate. I am thankful for the space I have been able to share virtually and in person with my professors, and for being able to engage in important discussions inside and outside the classroom.” —Fatimata Cham ’23, international affairs and government & law
Cham recently shared her poetry with national leaders at Brookings-UN Foundation event. Learn more.
“I am grateful to the Lafayette admissions staff for taking a chance on me and seeing through some of my academic inconsistency earlier in high school, and looking at my application from a holistic perspective. I truly believe that this was the place for me to nurture and grow my passions for science and could not see myself excelling in my academics at this rate anywhere else. I am proud to say I have received multiple dean’s list awards and merit-based scholarships, and that would not have been possible if the admissions staff got bogged down with my high school GPA. My professors and mentors have all helped me become the student I am now. They have helped me figure out my career interest within medicine and allowed me to continue reaching for that as an attainable future. And here at Lafayette, the friends I have made and the peers I have worked with have all made me feel more comfortable being myself and enjoying the parts of college we may never get to experience again. A chance, guidance, and friendship are what I am thankful for.” —Kwabena “Koby”Acheampong ’22 (pre-med biology)
For more on the start of Koby’s Lafayette adventure, watch this video from Move-In 2018.
“I’m grateful for the community of people I have met here in my four years at Lafayette. I’ve made so many friends who share my interests and some who helped start a club with me. I am excited to see the club grow and develop once I have graduated, and I am grateful for incoming students that want to be a part of something I helped build.” —Kerry Stranick ’21, computer science and mathematics
Strancik co-founded Lafayette College Esports with her brother in 2018. Learn more.
“I am grateful that I get to come to this beautiful campus and support so many wonderful and inspiring students. My job is a ton of fun!” —Jolene Cardassi, coordinator, Dyer Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
“I feel incredibly grateful that, despite being on the other side of the world, I have friends and professors who have kept me going through this incredibly challenging semester. I’m especially thankful for working alongside amazing and hardworking people at Refugee Action. The refugee work has never stopped despite the pandemic, and being able to continue serving the families virtually inspires me every day.” —Fatma Mahmoudi ’22, computer science and music
“During this COVID season, one of things I am most thankful for are my kitties! Whether it’s being isolated from my friends or struggling with Zoom classes, I am so lucky to have these little guys to cheer me up!” —Amy Eidelman ’24, neuroscience
“We are thankful for the generosity of Cyril Lang ’49. His optimistic vision for the humanities, as central to developing independence of thinking, fostering socially beneficial values, and cultivating a broad perspective on life, is truly inspiring. Lang’s generous gift to his alma mater has already allowed so many colleagues and their students to engage in new projects and initiatives. Especially in a year like 2020, witnessing the mobilization of such energies in so many different areas of humanistic inquiry was truly an injection of positivity among Lafayette faculty and students.” —Alessandro Giovannelli, associate professor and head, philosophy department, and Eric Ziolkowski, Helen H.P. Manson Professor of Bible and head, religious studies department
Lang’s gift supports the College’s plans for a Humanities Center. Learn more.
“I am so grateful for all the wonderful professors I’ve gotten to work with and learn from, who always believe that I can do better (even when I don’t) and push me until I get there. I’m also so thankful for all the wonderful clubs and organizations I’m involved in. It is such a joy to have so many opportunities to do meaningful work with friends I love who are so committed to making the world a better, more inclusive place for everyone.” —Lauren Phillips-Jackson ’21, anthropology and sociology
Phillips-Jackson and other members of Kaleidoscope created an anti-racism resource guide. Learn more.
“I’m grateful to my students for their insight and curiosity.” —Matt Andler, Louise M. Olmsted Fellow for Ethics