Welcome back for the 2021-2022 academic year! I am Dr. Kevin Cokley, and I am excited to be the new Department Chair. I want to thank Dr. Chris McCarthy for his leadership especially during these difficult times. For the past 17 months COVID has disrupted higher education and forced educators and students to quickly adapt to online learning. We have become much more adept at using Zoom, and I believe we have surprised ourselves at how effective we can actually be teaching online. Faculty, staff and students have all risen to the occasion to make the most out of an online educational environment. That being said, I think we all would agree that a primarily online educational environment has made it more challenging to feel a sense of community that teaching and meeting in person help foster. I had anticipated that the start of the school year would have us meeting in person but the surge in COVID cases has once again tempered our hope for a return to normality. To the faculty I want you to be able to offer the highest quality teaching while keeping yourself as safe as possible. To the staff I want you to be able to do the critical work needed to keep the department functioning in as safe a manner as possible. To the students I want you to receive the highest quality education as safely as possible and I do not want the quality of your education and your educational experience unduly compromised. Please know that I share your concerns and I assure you I will do everything in my power to minimize health risks and to keep the Department safe. I am committed to restoring our sense of community even in the midst of COVID and I know that we can achieve this together. So once again welcome back and let’s have a great year!