Episode 05: Remote Learning Amid COVID-19 with Jocelyn Swigger, Ryan Kerney, and Rod Tosten

Document Type


Publication Date


Department 1

President’s Office


In Episode 5 of Conversations Beneath the Cupola, podcast host, Gettysburg College President Robert W. Iuliano, is joined by three faculty members—Sunderman Conservatory of Music Prof. and Chair of the Faculty Council Jocelyn Swigger, Prof. of Biology Ryan Kerney, and VP of Information Technology and Prof. of Computer Science Rod Tosten. Iuliano leads them in a discussion about the College’s transition to remote learning amid the COVID-19 health situation.

The podcast begins with Iuliano asking Swigger and Kerney how faculty are reacting to the decision to move to remote instruction. Both agree that first and foremost their focus lies on the students and providing continuity in their lives. However, this change in format will present unavoidable challenges for faculty like Swigger and Kerney whose courses rely heavily on hands-on components like labs and instrument lessons, and they share their innovative ideas with Iuliano.

Continuing the conversation, Tosten talks about the technical side of remote learning and how IT has been supporting faculty and students. In addition to training sessions for faculty, he shares that 50 smartphones with hotspot capability are available for students who do not have internet access at home.

The episode concludes with an anecdotal “Slice of Life” told through the president’s perspective. Iuliano briefly talks about how the Gettysburg College community has come together to support each other during this challenging time. Some of the efforts include a group of students starting a Facebook group to help other students find emergency housing and the College’s alumni board has started an effort to raise money to replenish the Emergency Fund to help students deal with the unexpected.


A full transcript of this episode is available on the podcast website.