While the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program (GSP) worked to modify its structure to promote the health and safety of those participating in this summer’s program, GSP organizers said that as it finished out the past five weeks on Centre’s campus, the precautions put in place to protect students and faculty against the pandemic had made for a safe and successful experience.
“It was quite a success,” explained GSP Campus Director Kristen Harris ’05. “The scholars were able to engage academically and socially while wearing masks and maintaining social distance.”
Though each group of scholars was only on campus for one week, instead of five—a precaution set in place to support social distancing—Harris added that faculty who have been with the program for many years admitted they were pleasantly surprised with how well a week of GSP provided a taste of the program.
GSP Campus Director Bryan Rich ’01 went on to credit the faculty with helping to create that experience, explaining that they were committed to providing “as much of the typical five weeks of intellectual exploration into the five days they had with the 2020 Governor’s Scholars.”
Though participants may not have had a typical GSP experience this year, Rich says they will find unity in their shared involvement. He complimented the respect of the staff and scholars in their work to uphold the safety guidelines, finding that the consistent policies put into place from week to week helped secure a safe environment and successful, yet abbreviated, program.
GSP organizers recognized their ability to host GSP this year as being a privilege and extended their gratitude to campus hosts Centre and Bellarmine University, the GSP executive director and board of directors, and the Kentucky governor’s office for working with them to make the 2020 summer a reality for the scholars. Harris went on to explain that the plan they put in place, approved by the Commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health Steven Stack and the governor’s office, was “very effective.”
At Centre, the safety guidelines outlined for GSP have helped to offer a preview of what can be a functional living situation for the upcoming academic year. Members of Centre’s community have complimented the scholars’ conduct, saying “this gives [them] faith for the return of students in the fall.”
by Ainsley Wooldridge ’21
August 5, 2020