Musical connection

Susan ToddAs an academic advisor in the College of Liberal Arts, Susan Todd knows how important it is for students to feel comfortable talking to her. With face-to-face meetings on hold because of the coronavirus, she decided to try connecting in a new way—through music.

“I thought if I could show them my vulnerabilities, they would feel comfortable being vulnerable with me and talk about their concerns and fears,” she says.

Using one of her favorite artists for inspiration, Todd recorded custom USI lyrics to Norah Jones’ Grammy-winning hit “Don’t Know Why” and emailed each of her 100 advisees her rendition, “I Miss You.”

“The response I received from the students has been more than I could imagine,” says Todd. “Students have shared with me the good, bad and ugly, and that is information I need to be able to help them where they are.”

Through Zoom—a tool she says students were at first hesitant to use for advising appointments—she’s met parents, siblings and pets and has seen students’ study environments. “I think it is so ironic that the distance, of all things, has created a much closer connection between myself and the students,” she says. “I have definitely enjoyed getting to know them on a much more personal level…. This is a difficult time for all of us, and it's the connection we have with one another that is going to pull us through.”

 



“I Miss You”

Lyrics by Susan Todd

 I miss you like crazy
I don't know why the virus came
Life without you is not the same
I don't know why the virus came
I don't know why the virus came

When I saw your caring ways
It gave me hope for a better day
Instead of feeling scared and sad
Your positive emails made me feel glad

My heart is filled with Screagle Pride
And you'll be on my mind… Always

Out across the miles apart
I’m keeping you in my heart
Looking forward to you and I
Back on campus at USI

My heart is filled with Screagle Pride
And you'll be on my mind… Always

Someday this will all be done
Back on campus in classrooms
No more Microsoft Teams and Zoom
I can’t wait to see you soon
I can’t wait to see you soon
I can’t wait to see you soon

 

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