From the Dean: COVID-19

Dear Falk College Students,

A global pandemic impacted your college experience in ways we’ve never faced here at Syracuse University. When the University first transitioned to remote course delivery, we all had to make big changes quickly. It was not what we wanted or what we planned. It was sad. It was frightening. It was really, really hard.

Today, nearly two months into social distancing, we acknowledge that it still is all those things. We might be adjusting in some ways, but in other ways we are faced with new challenges to all aspects of our health. What may have been initial shock and disappointment, might now be exhaustion and loneliness. What may have been stress from a whirlwind of fast-paced changes might now be stress from the lack of normal structure to your routine. Some things we may not even be aware of, like disrupted sleep, or changes in diet or physical activity.

As the COVID-19 global pandemic continues, many people are carrying heavy burdens of social isolation and anxiety, even grief. The pandemic demonstrates why people like you, people who choose to serve others through their careers, are so critically important to society. Right now, caring for the mental, physical, social, and emotional health of individuals and communities is critically important. Delivery of services and care is complicated by social distancing, but that hasn’t stopped people from reaching others.

In Falk College, we see you—future health and helping professionals—stepping up and setting an example for what it means to serve others, such as continuing mental health services using telehealth, or providing Deaf interpretation using American Sign Language for important news broadcasts. Like so many events and seasons of the past, we will look back on this moment in history and honor the hard work of students and professionals like you who changed the lives of so many.

For your academic diligence and hard work, for your personal strength and resilience in this moment, for your dedication to social justice and service at all times, know that you make us immensely proud.

As we enter into final projects and exams, we remind you to exercise good self-care and mental health practices, taking advantage of resources from the departments of Marriage & Family Therapy and from Human Development and Family Science.

Counseling services are available through the Barnes Center at 315.443.8000. In addition, your Falk Student Services counselors are here for you at (315) 443-3144 or

Your Falk family looks forward to celebrating the Class of 2020 and welcoming our incoming Class of 2024. Until then, best of luck on your final exams and projects. We wish each of you a safe, restful summer.

Be well,

Diane Lyden Murphy, M.A., M.S.W., Ph.D.
Dean, Falk College