HU Launches ‘HU Stories: Facing the 2020 Pandemic Together’

We are living through a historic event and disruption that is affecting the Harrisburg University community and the world in ways not imagined just six months ago.

To record how this experience has impacted Harrisburg University of Science and Technology students, faculty, alumni, staff, business partners, donors, and other members of the HU family across Pennsylvania and the globe, Harrisburg University is launching the “HU Stories: Facing the 2020 Pandemic Together” project.

The University–which is home to more than 6,000 students from 110 countries–will collect individual experiences, stories, and reflections through original written word, song, art, photos, video, and more. The stories will be published on HU’s website and social media channels. The University also is exploring other avenues- both digital and analog media formats- for showcasing them as well.

This digital collection will provide insights into the human experience both today and 50 years from now, said Dr. Bilita Mattes, HU Provost and Chief Academic Officer.

Dr. Bili Mattes

“The idea for this collection came up in a regular gathering at HU during which faculty and staff meet to share information, ask questions, make suggestions, and just spend some time with one another,” said HU Provost and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Bilita Mattes.  “Everyone in the conversation immediately provided positive support for the idea.  A small, volunteer working group of faculty and staff then came together to make this idea a reality.”

Submissions will be written, recorded, filmed, or expressed in other forms. A submission form, found here, will allow works to be digitally uploaded. And the submission system can stay open indefinitely.

The project stems from a town hall meeting HU President Dr. Eric Darr recently held where he discussed the efforts of the HU community in helping HU students navigate the new landscape COVID-19 has thrust upon them and the world.

Glenn Williams

HU Advanced Manufacturing, AR & Robotics Professor Glenn Williams was moved by the discussion and suggested the creation of a book of stories documenting the pandemic experience.

“This pandemic is historic, worldwide, painful, and intense. It will forge us into a new person, a new community, and a new university. However, we do not have to be silent, nor alone,” he said. “I felt that we, HU as a community, should document as many of our stories as we can in some kind of book, “HU COVID-19 Book of Stories,” and that book should be archived at HU for all of us to revisit in the future. I felt that each of us probably had a story we would want to tell, to share and to remember.”

“From that book suggestion the idea grew into this “Harrisburg University Stories: Facing the 2020 Pandemic Together” initiative with room to share different types of stories,” Williams added. “Please share one of your stories so that later, others can better understand what happened to you, and to us.”

About Harrisburg University

Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Harrisburg University is a private non-profit university offering bachelor and graduate degree programs in science, technology, and math fields to a diverse student body. For more information on the University’s affordable demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, call 717.901.5146 or email, Connect@HarrisburgU.edu.