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March 22, 2020

A Message from Lehman College President Daniel Lemons

Dear Lehman Colleague:

As we prepare to start another week outside of our normal routines, it would be no surprise if you were having some difficulty coping with the drastic changes we've experienced in such a short period of time – some staff and faculty members have expressed feeling fatigued, fearful and a bit of restlessness, and I recognize those feelings in myself at times. It is important to know that you are not alone or unusual in experiencing some of these emotions, or other ones. If you find yourself wanting to reach out to a mental health professional, there are free resources, such as NYC Well which offers text, phone or virtual chat counseling options, as well as the CUNY Employee Assistance Program; they can provide free mental health assistance during these trying times.

And here is some encouraging news and inspiration, straight out of Lehman:

  • An appointment-only drive through testing site will open tomorrow at Lehman College. You must call ahead for an appointment in order to be tested. Anyone without an appointment will be turned away. The site will feature two lanes to accommodate up to 500 tests per day. The test is prioritized for the most vulnerable New Yorkers including the elderly, first responders and health care workers. Those in these categories should contact the New York State Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 to make an appointment. If you are under age 50 and you have a mild illness, continue to utilize telehealth services, avoid emergency rooms and contact 311 if you want to be further screened for COVID-19.
  • I want to celebrate the many extraordinary ways that members of the staff and faculty have continued to go above and beyond, living out the values we hold as a community:
    • VP of Enrollment Management, Reine Sarmiento, and her team raised $2600 to contribute to the Food Bank, another area of our campus that is full of tireless volunteers under the enthusiastic and incredible leadership of Suzette Ramsundar and the entire Campus Life team.
    • Faculty members from the School of Natural and Social Sciences, and the School of Human Services, Health Sciences and Nursing, identified a few boxes of N95 masks and gloves that they have donated to the Montefiore Medical Center. Here is what the administrator from the Department of Emergency Medicine wrote in response, “This is probably one of the best emails I received today. My providers will be beyond grateful for these masks.  I can’t even describe my gratitude to Lehman. I’ve come across some magnificent people along my journey trying to obtain masks, googles, and other items for my team. I’m happy to say that I’ve added your team to this list.”
    • Among the hardest working members of the Lehman community, who we cannot thank enough, are the College’s public safety officers, custodians, and Buildings and Grounds workers, plus their indefatigable leaders, VP Rene Rotolo and Director of Public Safety, Fausto Ramirez. They all have been on campus every day, keeping everyone safe, and being on the frontline. By now we know that is no small matter, and they deserve enormous thanks!

If you have questions about any aspect of what Lehman is doing now, or need information, go first to the best source, the coronavirus website, which we keep up-to-date and add to every day. Continue to send questions, comments and suggestions to covid19.taskforce@lehman.cuny.edu. For those who have the symptoms associated with COVID-19 or have been tested or are planning to be tested, let us know: COVID19.reporting@lehman.cuny.edu.

Daniel Lemons

Previous messages from President Lemons can be found here.