EAE’s Response to COVID-19

Last updated Monday, March 28, 2020, 9:54 PM MDT

From EAE Director Michael Young, Ph.D.

The Coronavirus has prompted a number of changes in our individual and group lives, and I wanted to provide a brief update on how EAE is adapting in order to do the very best job around our mission across education, research and service to our community.

First and foremost, our faculty and staff are working hard to support our students this semester as we adapt to new constraints that will keep us all healthy and safe. Throughout the rest of the semester, we will be available by phone, email, and online to answer questions and to work out solutions for our students and those of you who have applied for admission to our programs. As I describe below, a number of our facilities have been shuttered through the end of April in order to support social distancing recommended by U of U President Ruth Watkins, the U of U Health team and the CDC. EAE is up and running, with all of our staff and faculty working from home (and accessible online). As a result, we ask that visitors to campus who are interested in coming to EAE postpone their visit until after April 30, 2020.  

APPLICANTS TO OUR GRADUATE PROGRAM

Those of you that have applied to the EAE graduate program should know that we are currently in the process of completing our review of your applications and we plan on sending out acceptance notifications, as usual, starting in early April.  Gradaute students that are admitted for the 2020-2021 academic year should plan on arriving on campus at the start of the Fall semester in August, 2020.  The University of Utah currently has no plans to cancel or defer the beginning of the 20/21 academic year, and we’re looking forward to seeing you all in the grad student orientation the week before classes start.

Admitted and Prospective Students

To help our admitted prospective students and their families learn more about our program, we’ve moved our weekly Information Sessions entirely online. Each Friday morning, our staff will be live-streaming interactive info sessions via Zoom, an internet-based video conferencing tool that is free to access and easy to install. More information on how to participate in our online info sessions can be found here. EAE staff is setting aside additional time to respond to telephone and email inquiries, and you can reach the appropriate person using these points of contact:

For general program information:
Ms. Hallie Huber, EAE Academic Program Manager
hallie.huber at eae.utah.edu
1-801-581-5460

For information about our graduate programs
Mr. CJ Lederman, EAE Graduate Advisor
cj at eae.utah.edu
1-801-581-1299

For information about our undergraduate programs
Ms. Elizabeth Arrigona, EAE Undergraduate Advisor
elizabeth at eae.utah.edu
1-801-587-1226

We ask that visitors to campus who are interested in coming to EAE postpone their visit until after April 30, 2020.  

Current Students

For our current students, we’re following President Watkins’ directive to take 100% of our classes online starting Wednesday, March 18th, 2020. Our faculty are quickly preparing changes to their courses to support this change, and announcements about the structure of each class will be sent to enrolled students from the courses’ respective instructors. For our graduate projects classes, which are large, team-based courses with significant interaction across both our graduate cohorts, we’re supporting the move to online instruction by setting up equipment check-out procedures and shifting our instructional processes to mirror industry-standard approaches for working in distributed teams (much like current shifts from industry leaders like Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and others). This equipment check-out process is intended to support students continuing to work on their course projects, in their existing team structure, from their homes.  Access to the student studio space has been restricted since Monday, March 16 and this restriction will extend at least through April 30, 2020.

Graduation and Commencement Ceremonies

Our changes to the way we engage with our students around online courses will not impact the course credit they receive for this semester, their courses and projects will be continuing to completion and these changes will not require a delay in their plans for graduation.  Our faculty will be revising their course delivery, but all courses will continue and EAE remains open to support our students’ success.  The university is expected to make an announcement about commencement exercises at the beginning of April.  I know that many of our graduate students in Cohort 9 are eager to make graduation plans with friends and family and want to include them in the ceremony we typically hold for our graduation masters’ students.  We’ll make a decision regarding EAE’s own graduation ceremony soon after the U announces its plans for campus-wide commencement events.

EAE Launch

Each year, on Spring Semester’s Reading Day, EAE holds EAE Launch, our annual open house and release day for our student games. This year, EAE Launch will be held entirely online, streamed live on the U’s channel on Twitch.tv.  The day will hold a full program of demos, interviews, highlight videos and trailers and other content featuring our academic and research programs and the amazing work of our students.  More information about this event will be available soon from the EAE website.

THE Latest Info on the U’s Response to Covid-19

Please check the university’s coronavirus website for regular updates, guidance, and alerts. If you have specific questions that are not answered by the information on the website, we encourage you to call the U’s coronavirus telephone hotline at 801-213-2874.