'It's Very Refreshing to be Back on Campus' - AUC Community Returns to Campus for Hybrid Classes
March 1 marked the community's partial return to campus, as the University resumed the hybrid mode of class instruction. Students and faculty are back for select courses that have a face-to-face component in addition to online instruction, and with the increase in campus presence, some staff members have returned to their offices for a few days of the week.
We spoke to some students, faculty and staff to hear about their first days back and what they enjoy about being on campus.
"I was excited to get back but, of course, it doesn't feel the same because it's so empty. But I enjoyed my time here and I enjoyed being in class, so I hope we get to go back more regularly as long as everyone is safe." —Nesrien Abdelkader, multimedia journalism senior
"It feels really nice to walk around and see both people I haven't seen in a year and a half and new faces. It was great being in class. I realized how much I miss face to face and seeing my classmates in person. And it was all safe." — Mohamed Nasr, computer engineering junior
"I am very excited about returning to campus and meeting my students face to face. I have really missed being on campus, and I am very optimistic that this is the first step toward returning full time." — Andreas Kakarougkas, assistant professor, Department of Biology
"I'm used to seeing everyone on Zoom, so it's been nice seeing people face to face, I'm realizing how much I've missed that. The congeniality of it and being more personable have been the best part for me. I definitely like seeing more people out and about and in the plaza; it feels like the old days." — Alexander Lewko, chair, senior instructor I, Department of English Language and Composition
"My intention is to have some partial face-to-face class sessions in a way that will be beneficial to both students who signed up for the course in order to be face to face as well as for those students who aren't in Cairo at this time. It will definitely take some extra work in terms of planning on behalf of myself and my teaching assistants, but we are up for it." - Kim Fox, professor of practice, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication
"I like seeing new people, meeting new faces and being back in class. I finally got to meet my classmates and professor. I hope we can be back soon." — Rola Hany Fawzy, construction engineering senior
"I'm looking forward to this week's classes because it marks nearly the one-year anniversary of when classes stopped last March. Students in one of my classes are working on projects that at this time last year had to be stopped and rethought. It will be nice to see them present their work in person to myself and for the rest of the class to see, unlike last year where it had to be done individually through Zoom." - John Hoey, associate professor of practice, Department of the Arts
"It's very refreshing to be back on campus, and I'm excited to be back in class." — Mazen Hassan, computer engineering sophomore
"I joined AUC during the lockdown, so I am looking forward to returning to campus." — Diaaeldin Taha, assistant professor, Department of Mathematics and Actuarial Science
"It has been so long since last March, so I am so happy that we're all coming together again. It's much better for the operation and ... I'm so happy to see my colleagues and talk about our future plans, seeing students on campus, I'm so happy that we're back and hopefully we'll be back in full capacity soon." — Mona Wagdi, senior director, travel and business support
"We're happy to be back to campus. It's still so quiet, and there aren't many customers, so we're hoping that there will be better days ahead. I've loved seeing life and seeing people." — Waleed Abdallah, sales coordinator, AUC Press Bookstore