In this interview, Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve, Associate Professor of Sociology at Brown University, discusses her experiences as a professor and academic navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gonzalez Van Cleve begins by recalling her earliest memories of learning about COVID-19 and anticipating its impact on the Spring 2020 semester. She talks about assigning more readings in the beginning of the semester and speaking with her PhD students about prioritizing their well-being. She details a wellness statement she wrote prior to the virus, which gained popularity on social media when the virus began to impact campus life.
Gonzalez Van Cleve goes on to explain how her travel and event schedule began to wind down as threats of the virus grew and briefly touches upon inequalities of risk management techniques in education and trade careers as well as in prisons. She addresses another letter she sent out to students on March 15, 2020, again asking them to prioritize their well-being and sharing a personal story of grief and loss, likening it to students, staff, and faculty, grieving the loss of their semester and time on campus.
In closing her interview, Gonzalez Van Cleve explains that she hopes the pandemic will encourage “toxic cultural elements” of academia to ease and also inspire healthier work-life balances. She briefly mentions the difference between the way she would dress to work on campus and the way she dresses while self-isolating at home, also noting the claims that the virus could be carried in on shoes and therefore leaving shoes at the door. Finally, she demonstrates using her neck gaiter as a mask when going to the pharmacy and out in public.
Click on Dr. Gonzalez Van Cleve’s grey biography box to view her wellness statement as well as the letter she sent out to students on March 15, 2020.
PLEASE NOTE that Dr. Gonzalez Van Cleve’s audio file and transcript are restricted. Please request access by emailing [email protected].