JCSU: Virtual Learning has Emotional Impact on College Students, Professors

Students and teachers around the country are adjusting to the new normal of virtual learning. But being out of the traditional classroom is taking a toll on some.

Monasia Kabuya, a junior at [UNCF-member institution] Johnson C. Smith University, wasted no time getting involved on campus.

“Freshman year, I joined this organization called OSL. It’s Orientation Student Leaders. It’s basically to help incoming freshmen,” she says. “Then I ran for Miss Junior on the Royal Court, so I am Miss Junior from Johnson C. Smith University. I am now the Coca-Cola campus ambassador, and I am also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.”

To top it all off, she’s a double major in biology and chemistry. Kabuya says hands-on learning is crucial for her majors.

“If my professor is teaching us one thing, I like to ask questions, get examples, then we go into the laboratory, and it’s just simple. It just comes to mind.”

She’s not the only one who thrives in a classroom setting. Jemayne King, an English professor at JCSU, also loves working with his students in person.

“That human component, that part of our brand that makes us Johnson C. Smith University, if I had a choice, I would be in front of my students as much as possible,” King says.

Coronavirus is forcing them to only interact through a computer or phone, and it’s taking a toll.

“It’s no different than being separated from family members,” King says.

“I was sad and disappointed, because I expected more out of my junior year. I just wanted to finish off strong with the support of my friends and my professors,” Kabuya says. “Even though my family is always there, but it’s just different when you’re around all your peers, and they’re all going through the same thing you’re going through. So it was hard and difficult.”

Kabuya says most of her friends are missing the daily interaction both in and out of the classroom. Thankfully, they have FaceTime and Zoom to still interact.

She’s hopeful campus will re-open for her senior year, but until then, she is relying on her university family to navigate the pandemic.

“We all are going through this together, and we’re not alone,” Kabuya says.

Johnson C. Smith has not yet made a decision about whether or not Fall courses will be online. The Spring graduation ceremony has been postponed until late October.

This story by Katy Solt, originally appeared on spectrumlocalnews.com.