Prepared for Anything

The Class of 2020 is ready to take on the world By Vanessa Infanzon

Students had to adjust to an unprecedented time when Queens moved to virtual instruction during the spring semester due to COVID-19. Tough the semester turned out differently than students could have ever imagined, the class of 2020 powered through to reach their goals, learning valuable lessons along the way.

“I’ve had some incredible mentors at Queens who have guided me and lifted me up,” said senior Taylor Leigh Robinson (left), Student Government Association president. “We are resilient, and we can face this and hopefully come out a little bit stronger.” Robinson, an art history, arts leadership and administration and new media design major, stayed in touch with classmates through Skype and

Zoom and participated in department-led virtual museum tours and social hours during her last month of college. “It’s not the same as being in a room full of people,” said Robinson, “but it warmed my heart that these things weren’t just cancelled. In a way, I still had that opportunity to say goodbye to people.” Senior Class President Juan Diego Mazuera

(right) agreed that connections among Queens’ faculty and students remained strong despite not being on campus together. “Queens did not miss a heartbeat by making every resource on campus available virtually,” said Mazuera. “We had all these people in place that you could go to if you’re feeling uncomfortable or unsafe.” Naturally, Mazuera’s classmates were disappointed when their time on campus ended abruptly, but after an initial mourning period, he said a feeling of humility and gratitude came over all of them. “Everybody came together,” he said.

“Despite the circumstances, people were still eager to celebrate and share their accomplishments.” For many, the pandemic brought into focus what’s

really important. Robinson believes that her classmates will understand how much they appreciate community after going through this experience. “I do think we will all come out of this valuing personal connections and teaching in a small classroom environment,” said Robinson. During their final semester, Mazuera and Robinson found

time to reflect on their Queens experience. For Mazuera, a political science major, each class taught him to face obstacles, knowing he had a support system within staff and faculty. “Te classes at Queens have always challenged me,” said Mazuera. “But you also have a great support system with amazing faculty and staff at your disposal all the time to talk to you. It made this transition from a regular college experience to an online experience less daunting.” One of the classes that made a big impression on

Robinson is the Critical Tought Symposium that she participated in during her final two semesters at Queens. In this class, students learned how to consider world leaders’ perspectives on complex issues such as public health in an immersive classroom environment. “It gave me unparalleled insight compared to other classes regarding what leaders on all levels have to consider when making decisions,” said Robinson. “It was a really interesting class to take during this time.” As Mazuera and Robinson prepare to move on to their next chapter with the class of 2020, the academic and life lessons learned at Queens will guide them as they find their place in our new world. “I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my Queens professors,” said Robinson. Adds Mazuera, “Tis can’t take away our memories of Queens.”


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