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News & Events

COVID-19: A Message from Dean Soyeon Shim

6.17.2020 FALL 2020 RETURN TO CAMPUS:Smart Restart logo

UW-Madison will welcome students back to campus as scheduled for the start of fall classes on September 2. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, A “Smart Restart” comprehensive plan has been developed for resuming campus activities. Visit the Smart Restart website for details and updated information.


Undergraduate students, parents, employers and intern partners inquiries – advising@sohe.wisc.edu
Graduate students, faculty, and research inquiries – caps@sohe.wisc.edu
Staff, alumni, donor, and general inquiries – deansoffice@sohe.wisc.edu
Media inquiries email
Centers of Excellence information
Gallery and textile collection inquiries – hlatc@sohe.wisc.edu

Continue to visit covid19.wisc.edu for the latest campus updates. 

3.17.2020 UPDATE:

UW-Madison has shifted to alternate delivery of courses from March 23 through the end of the spring semester, including final exams. Read more in the official message from Chancellor Blank.

Editor’s note: This message was emailed to all SoHE faculty, staff, and instructors the evening of 3/11/20.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Dear SoHE community,

Before reading this email, I invite you first to take three deep breaths: In, out. In, out. In, out.

In anxious moments, our breath reminds us that there are things within our control, as individuals, yes, but also as a community. Now is a moment for us—as human ecologists, as Badgers, as members of a global collective—to honor that opportunity.

To that end, this message offers guidance and contacts to answer questions we have received from students, faculty, staff, and others in our SoHE community.

Campus leadership

We are fortunate to have exceptional leaders guiding UW–Madison. They are prepared with a thorough emergency protocol, and we will defer to their recommendations throughout this event. Key messages for all:

  • If you develop symptomsstay at home. Please do not come to work or class if you are ill. If symptoms like fever, cough, or difficulty breathing are present, you are advised to contact your health care provider for advice. Employees should not report to work if they are ill and should use sick leave or contact their supervisor or HR rep. Faculty and instructional staff are advised to continue to show flexibility to students around academic assignments, exams, and other requirements.
  • The university remains open at this time.
  • Spring semester face-to-face instruction is suspended effective Monday, March 23, with alternative delivery of classes to continue at least through Friday, April 10.
  • Further updates will follow as needed, with continual updates in multiple languages posted to covid19.wisc.edu.

SoHE resources

For questions on undergraduate instruction, advising, study abroad, and on- and off-campus internships, contact Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Annette McDaniel at amcdaniel@wisc.edu, 608-262-4935, or office 1146. Annette will be in touch separately with further instructional guidance.

For graduate study programs, please contact SoHE’s Director of Graduate Studies Sigan Hartley at slhartley@wisc.edu, 608-265-5424, or office 4101.

For research-related questions, contact Associate Dean for Research Lauren Papp at papp@wisc.edu, 608-262-8611, or office 4136. This includes protocol for conference and research-related travel, which per university guidelines, is neither permitted nor reimbursed through April 10. Updated information and recommendations for UW researchers are also available via this RSP page.

For questions regarding business office matters, including travel reimbursement, human resources, and Building Information Technology Services (BITS), contact Associate Dean for Finance and Administration Natalie Feggestad at feggestad@wisc.edu, 608-265-2931, or office 4228.

For questions about Child Development Lab (CDL) operations and policies, we ask that parents, caregivers, and staff contact CDL Director Jill Riley at jillriley@wisc.edu, 608-263-4579, or office 1301D. For questions about CDL research, teaching, and internships, contact CDL Executive Director Amy Lee Wagner at amy.wagner@wisc.edu, 608-890-4253, or office 1263.

For SoHE-hosted events, alumni relations, and other inquiries not covered above, please contact Senior Assistant Dean of Communications and Advancement Linda Zwicker at lazwicker@wisc.edu, 608-265-5136, or office 2144C.

The human ecology approach

We know that the conditions of the COVID-19 outbreak will continue to change from hour to hour. That is where the strengths of a human ecology approach can shine: we are flexible, compassionate, and creative, and we see connections where others may not.

These values are all the more critical in times of precarity and anxiety, and I encourage all in our community to apply their respective disciplines’ lens to better understanding and addressing this event. In your classrooms, at home, in the community, ask the unique human-ecological questions that can build knowledge and foster empathy out of this shared experience.

Finally, we know that viruses do not discriminate and that this outbreak is not specific to any ethnicity or race, so any racist behaviors or stereotyping will not be tolerated. If you experience harassment or discrimination, students are encouraged to file a bias incident report. Employees may file a complaint with the Office of Compliance.

Breathe in. Breathe out.


Soyeon Shim
Dean, School of Human Ecology