By: Sonya Kordovich
The pandemic created uncertainty that eventually led to adaptation and new routines. For students here at SUNY Oswego, adjusting to a virtual semester was unprecedented, new territory that challenged our comfort and forced us to be creative. This creativity was seen in the way we attended classes, ran student organizations, and navigated college life in general.
In what was by no means a typical semester, the avenues taken to adjust were driven by thinking out of the box and taking a leap of faith. The 2020 Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit was no different as we needed to transform an event that has been solely in-person to virtual within a couple weeks time. As an all-day event that typically features workshops and class visits from Panelists and Career Connectors, a main panel discussion, and a event for students and Career Connectors, it was necessary to find a way to put it all online and make it an engaging event for students.
Executive Board members typically take on the roles as Student Ambassadors and travel with Panelists around to their various workshops and class visits before the actual Panel discussion. For the virtual Summit, students were trusted to moderate the class visits and Q&A sessions for the Panelist that they were assigned to and make sure students were asking questions and engaged. The main Panel discussion and Career Connectors were both moved to a webinars that mimicked the in-person events, but were adaptations better suited virtually.
As a second year E-Board member at the time, I found the event to be as unpredictable as 2020, but equipped with determination and creative thinking. We may have faced some technical difficulties, but 2020 was an unpredictable year. With the dedication and drive of students and faculty, the event was a success and surpassed all expectations of what we could do. As we look forward to the upcoming Media Summit on October 27th, we can look with a nod to the anomaly of a virtual Summit that we will never forget.