July 2021: Summer Reflections

July 23, 2021

The summer is typically a quieter time on Princeton’s campus, providing an opportunity for reflection. This issue of @princeton.edu does just that, featuring a two-part series that looks back on teaching a pandemic, a glimpse at what is happening on and around campus moving forward, and, a peek at some of the research underway at the University. But first, a call to action by Princeton’s president, Chris Eisgruber and other higher education and business leaders urging Congress to pass the bipartisan Dream Act of 2021 to provide a path to citizenship and end “this constant rollercoaster of lawsuits and uncertainty.” Read the full statement here.



Teaching a Pandemic Part 1

Teaching a pandemic in real time

The pandemic impacted Princeton University students and faculty both personally and academically, as they adapted to distance and hybrid learning. At the same time, the broad impact of the coronavirus pandemic on society opened new lines of inquiry in every field of study. During the Spring semester more than a dozen Princeton courses focused on the effects or implications of COVID-19. Five Princeton professors shared how they are taught about the pandemic — and its long-term scholarly implications — as they lived through this extraordinary time in history. Learn more.


Teaching a Pandemic Part 2

Teaching a pandemic in real time, part 2

In this second installment about teaching the pandemic in real time, Princeton professors share how they incorporated the coronavirus and the pandemic’s effects into their course material during the spring 2021 semester. Learn more.




Forward Fest
Forward Fest

Over the past nine months, Forward Fest, an online series discussed various topics and how they intersect in Princeton’s interdisciplinary ecosystem. The event featured Princeton faculty and alumni exploring a range of forward-thinking topics unfettered by artificial departmental barriers which lead to creative and collaborative problem-solving. Forward Fest explores, engages and develops bold thinking for the future around topics like the Environment, Equity in Education, and Elections.



Campus Beauty

Princeton partners with state authority to support diverse-owned financial firms and provide new investment options for college and universities in New Jersey

A partnership between Princeton University and the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority (EFA) will expand opportunities for colleges and universities to invest with diverse asset managers. The collaboration is one example of Princeton’s supplier diversity initiative to support more businesses owned by people of color, women, veterans and members of the LGBTQ+ community. The approximately $430 million bonds were issued through the EFA and closed on April 8, 2021. The financing represents the largest transaction in EFA history. Learn more.



Campus Beauty 2
Juneteenth Now an Official University Holiday

Following last year’s decision to observe Juneteenth — the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States — the University has moved to observe Juneteenth annually as an official University holiday beginning this year. This is one of many steps the University is taking to make Princeton a more welcoming and supportive community for everyone. Learn more.



Summer Food Program

Princeton University kicks off second year of Summer Food and Nutrition Program to address pandemic-related food insecurity in Mercer County

To address food insecurity in local communities due to the pandemic, Princeton University’s Campus Dining, Human Resources, Office of Community and Regional Affairs and John H. Pace, Jr. ’39 Center for Civic Engagement established the Summer Food and Nutrition Program in 2020. This summer, the initiative continues and includes collaborations with HomeFront, the Rescue Mission of Trenton and Trenton Area Soup Kitchen to provide meals for at-risk families, children and individuals. Learn more.



Fung Futures
Fung Global Fellows to focus on ‘Sustainable Futures’

Seven exceptional scholars from around the world will come to Princeton University this fall to begin a year of research, writing and collaboration as the ninth cohort of Fung Global Fellows. Six will engage in their fellowship virtually; one will be on campus. Topics will include responses to COVID-19; AI technologies in free societies; state attempts to manage energy transitions, and energy poverty even in rich countries; soil’s transcendent importance in mitigating adverse environmental phenomena; the craft of sustainable architecture; and the implications of transregional environmental law Learn More.

A Look at Some Research


Understanding Wet Markets

A better understanding of ‘wet markets’ is key to safeguarding human health and biodiversity

Great uncertainty surrounds the origins of SARS-CoV-2. Early on, some suggested a link between COVID-19 and a seafood market in Wuhan, China. Other theories are now circulating, though the origins of the virus are still unknown. In response, governments have pushed for the closing of so-called “wet markets” around the world, but this is not an effective policy solution. A widespread shuttering of all wet markets could have the unintended consequences of disrupting critical food supply chains, stimulating an unregulated black market for animal products, and stoking xenophobia and anti-Asian sentiment. Learn more.


Police Study

Diversity in Policing Can Improve Police-Civilian Interactions

A recent study harnesses newly collected data from the Chicago Police Department to show that deploying officers of different backgrounds does, in fact, produce large differences in how police treat civilians. The researchers link millions of daily patrol assignments with police officer demographics to show that Black and Hispanic officers make far fewer stops and arrests and use less force than white officers, especially against Black civilians, when facing otherwise common circumstances. Learn more.



Podcasts and Summer Reads

Summer Reading List

Summer Reads 2021: What are Princeton professors reading — and listening to — this summer?

Six Princeton professors talk about how the books on their shelves relate to their work and share what’s on their summer reading lists. Some book choices reflect their scholarly research and teaching. Others illuminate personal interests and current issues in the headlines. And with a hat tip to the quarantine-induced popularity of audiobooks and podcasts during the pandemic, they include audio selections as well. Find the list here.


Moving Up
The Princeton Pre-readClass of 2025 Selection: Moving Up Without Losing Your Way

The Pre-read program, initiated by President Christopher L. Eisgruber in 2013, introduces incoming freshmen to Princeton’s intellectual life. Members of the incoming class join together to read and discuss a book that President Eisgruber selects and sends to freshmen prior to their arrival on campus. Freshmen then participate in Pre-read discussions with student leaders during Orientation Week and with President Eisgruber over the course of the academic year. More here.