Kathryn T. Hutchinson, Ph.D., Joins National Panel Discussion on COVID-19

Kathryn Hutchinson
April 2, 2020

The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS)—the nation’s largest leadership honor society—recently hosted a free COVID-19 webinar series, “Leading from Home,” that featured Kathryn T. Hutchinson, Ph.D., St. John’s University’s Vice President for the Division of Student Affairs, as a virtual guest panelist.

The online series, featuring a college student who has recovered from COVID-19; Martin Adel Makary, M.D., M.P.H., and Justin M. Sacks, M.D., M.B.A., physicians from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Dr. Hutchinson; and Scott Peska, Assistant Vice President of Student Services at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, IL, examined the fatal medical implications of not practicing social distancing during the COVID-19 virus outbreak and explored how college administrators respond and handle the delivery of educational and student support services during this ongoing pandemic.

“It was rewarding for me to be part of this timely discussion and to share in real-time the COVID-19 experiences of St. John’s University with a national audience,” remarked Dr. Hutchinson.

“The feedback received since the webinar was first broadcast has been overwhelmingly positive, and college administrators have reached out to share and to collectively learn more about best practices.”

In advance of the March 25 webinar, the NSLS, led by President Charles Knippen, issued a survey to college student members from across the country about COVID-19 and received more than 14,000 responses in just six hours. Survey results found

  • Only 25 percent of student members believe their college peers are taking the situation very seriously
  • Several weeks into college campuses shutting down, 36 percent of those polled already believe this situation has impacted their mental health seriously or very seriously
  • Nearly 60 percent of members are experiencing more stress
  • Of those who responded, more than 20 percent still went on spring break in 2020.

In just days, colleges and universities around the world adjusted to all new issues as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis. Institutions of higher education are being faced with daunting challenges, many of which are out of their control. In her discussion, Dr. Hutchinson described what St. John’s continues to do to meet student needs and to create parallel plans for moving forward. Also, Dr. Hutchinson—a licensed psychologist by training—emphasized the importance of being aware of the psychological impact for the entire University community during a time of crisis and disruption.