Speaking about the unprecedented changes that have resulted due to the coronavirus, Gestring remained optimistic.

“We’re going to get through this and emerge stronger at the end,” said Gestring. “I think this challenge has pulled us together and made us stronger, more committed and more resilient. I just can’t thank our faculty, staff, students, community members, alumni, donors and friends of the university enough for pulling together as a Coyote community and getting through this challenging time.”

She also discussed the challenges and opportunities universities will face more generally the next few years.

“Universities will have to be more nimble than they have in the past. They’re going to have to approach situations with more of a problem-solving eye,” said Gestring. “That’s not something USD is new to. That’s what we do with a liberal arts education. We solve problems.”

One program Gestring highlighted included a new initiative called Charlie’s Cupboard, designed to end food insecurity at USD.

“We had students come together to create a food pantry on campus in partnership with the food pantry in Vermillion. One in three students may have food insecurity and that impacts their full potential in the classroom,” said Gestring. “When we say Coyote family, it’s more than just a phrase.”

Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and www.usd.edu/podcast.

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