April 8, 2020

Come on and Zooma, Zooma, Zooma, Zoom!


Some of you will remember that catchy theme song from the 1970’s PBS TV children’s show, “Zoom”.  It was recreated nearly thirty years later and so some of you will remember it from that iteration. Regardless which generation you were in when you watched it, you are sure to remember that theme that repeated the word “zoom” more than a dozen times. Which brings me to today.  How many zoom meetings have you “attended” since working remotely began last month?  I’ve been in so many that I constantly hear the refrain of that theme along with one of my all-time favorite Commodore songs, “Zoom” (While I used to like the TV show version but as time has gone by, I much prefer the Lionel Ritchie one.)

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Funny how technology advances.  I remember evacuating for Hurricane Katrina and so many of us learned how to text for the first time.  It was for a time, our only means of non-local communication.  Fast-forward 15 years and many folks have welcomed zoom in a very similar manner.  With advances come challenges like zoombombing, students forced to use virtual backgrounds so as not to show their impoverished living conditions, and other students who are shy/socially averse who would normally occupy seats in the back of classrooms now forced to be front and center on zoom screens.  Pay attention folks.


On another note, it has come to light what many of us already suspected. In cities like Chicago, New Orleans, and others we finally have data indicating that African Americans are testing positive and more alarmingly dying of COVID-19 at significantly higher rates than other groups. A number of us had witnessed the unfortunate pattern of deaths and were raising concerns.  Explanations abound but none more telling than the growing divide in health care.  These disparities have been around for quite some time but become more pronounced when a health crisis arises.  They become even more deleterious when a pandemic exists.  There is much to unpack when we examine what is occurring.  There is plenty of blame to go around from economic deprivation, racial discrimination in health delivery, and so much more.  However, one piece of the puzzle is undeniable, we as black people have got to do a better job of taking responsibility for our own health. For some, this is much more of a challenge than for others.  But for those of us who are able, we must do better.

Continue to do good work.


  • I know this working remotely has been challenging but please hang in there.  Remember there are countless people who cannot work at all.  So be grateful.   Be safe everyone, enjoy the "3-day weekend" and have a blessed Easter holiday.

  • AABHE is launching an Online Education and Engagement Webinar Series. The series kicks off Wednesday, April 15, at 12:00 p.m. (CST) / 1:00pm (EST), with "The Impact of the Pandemic on Colleges and Universities Currently and Down the Road" presented by our own, Dr. Joseph Silver, Jr. You can register online by clicking here.

  • By now you should have received word that the AABHE 2020 National Conference has been cancelled.  We worked out an arrangement with the hotel to reschedule for March of 2022.  In the meantime, we look forward to seeing everyone at next year's conference in San Diego, March 2021.

  • Please remember to stay safe and follow the updated guidelines from The Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

  • A few tips on how to work from home without losing your mind:

    • Create a schedule: start time, end time, lunch and break times

    • Get dressed, (put on shoes); don’t work in your pajamas

    • Create a separate place to work with limited distractions

    • When you work, work; don’t do household chores, watch tv, etc.

    • Communicate with your co-workers; text, phone, stay in touch

    • When you are done working, you are done. Go home. Oh wait, you’re already there!

    • Check out this from NPR and other articles on working remotely:

“It’s all about the students”,

Dereck J. Rovaris, Sr
Dr. Dereck J. Rovaris, Sr.
President, AABHE