Touro University Nevada Campus Community Hopeful for 2021

As we enter the new year, we spoke with several members of the Touro University Nevada campus community and asked them what they are most looking forward to in 2021.

Shelley Berkley, CEO and Senior Provost

As we begin this new year, I am encouraged by the progress we have made so far. 2020 was a difficult year for millions of people around the world. My hope for this year has been inspired by the efforts displayed by the entire Touro family throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. From the onset of this global challenge, our donors, students, faculty, alumni, and so many others connected with the campus community have sought to make our communities safer. Their dedication and compassion have reemphasized that this world is still filled with good people who want to make the world a better place.

As more and more people receive the COVID-19 vaccine, we will slowly but surely return to a sense of normalcy. I remain very optimistic about 2021, and it is my hope that we can all return to campus for the new school year.

Dr. Wolfgang Gilliar, Dean, College of Osteopathic Medicine

While 2020 was a difficult year for so many of us, it also allowed us the opportunity to see the good in millions of people all over the world. As we turn the page on one of the darkest years in our memory, I am reminded of the strength and resilience shown by our students and faculty who served, and who continue to serve, on the COVID-19 frontlines. They are the ones who give me hope for a much more prosperous 2021.

Although we find ourselves living through these unprecedented times, I know that we will be fine if we continue to care for one another. As physicians and healthcare providers, it is our job to deliver the most effective form of patient care. In 2021, I am confident that we will continue to care for one another as we move closer toward a new normal and embrace the new challenges as true opportunities for growth, inclusion, and creative innovation in ways we did not dare to imagine pre-COVID.

Dr. Robert Askey, Associate Dean of CHHS and Interim Director of the School of Education

The new year always seems to be a great time for all of us to take a moment to pause and remember the experiences from our past. We need to use our life lessons learned to guide us as we hit reset and move into the new year.

While the world advances forward, we all need to know that change is constant and that we can always find a positive and productive path in it. As educators and healthcare providers, we are here for people when they need us for guidance. It is our calling, and our service to humanity.

Dr. Jacqueline Randa, Associate Professor, School of Physical Therapy

2020 was filled with tragic firsts and final moments making us question everything we thought was important. Our values, character, and priorities have been subject to the test of isolation. This time alone has been a transformative teacher. 

I am grateful for an unshakable optimism that finds the silver lining to almost anything. I am grateful that I find myself still in isolation. Nine months later, I am still clinging to the bare threads of what was. But now, with the promise of a vaccine and new leadership, I am ready to let go of what was, and to embrace a new normal that is being formed from months of reflection. The old normal is gone, but the new normal is full of promise. 

Dr. Samantha Peckham, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing

I am most hopeful for an improvement in the COVID pandemic due to the vaccination rollout. I hope that masks are no longer a political statement but rather a statement of empathy and consideration for healthcare workers and people who are immunocompromised or have comorbidities.

I hope that children can return to in-person schooling and resume extracurricular activities. I hope that the elderly can go to the grocery store without fear of contracting the virus. I hope that everyone’s mental health improves as the number of COVID cases declines and life can start to return to somewhat of a normal state. I am ultimately hopeful for peace, love, and happiness in all facets of life for everyone.