Wednesday, January 5, 2022 — For School of Education Students

The campus awaits you!

Campus Shot

Winter has made its way to Aurora University with the first snow of the season. See you next week for the start of spring semester, Spartans!

A Message from the Dean

Dear Students:

Happy New Year! It's a pleasure to be writing my first email to you as your new dean. As some of you may know, I also serve as the dean of the School of Social Work. I look forward to sharing more news about how the School of Education and School of Social Work will pair together to better serve students beginning this semester.

In the meantime, faculty and staff are busy this week preparing for your arrival back to campus. I hope you had an opportunity to relax during the break and start to prepare goals for spring semester. I know many of you are participating in the January Jumpstart virtual workshops designed for undergraduate students, which are an excellent way to plan for success.
Before everyone returns to campus, I want to convey some important messages relating to our COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

Communication is KEY
Stay informed regarding topics related to your education by checking email often. Critical information is shared with you through email and texts, as well as on the Aurora University website. Read often and carefully.

If you have yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccination and/or booster, plan to participate in the free Aurora campus clinic on Wednesday, January 12, from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. in University Banquet Hall. The clinic will be open to all students, employees, and their family members. Booster appointments can be scheduled here. For those needing to receive the initial vaccination, walk-ins will be welcome.  

As the number of breakthrough cases grows, we are evaluating all COVID-related policies again. For more specific information regarding COVID preparedness for the spring semester, please visit the COVID FAQ webpage.

Support for spring continues through the AU COVID line. By calling 630-844-7500, you can ask questions and you can share your medical updates with our Health Services team. If you were exposed to COVID, test positive for COVID, or simply have questions, do not hesitate to call. This support is available to all AU students on all three campuses (Aurora, GWC, and Woodstock) and in either of our instructional modalities.


  1. If you are not feeling well, do not come to campus. Contact your instructor to create a plan for learning.
  2. Contact Health Services to discuss your symptoms; then you can discuss isolation/quarantine protocols, if needed.

As we approach the first week of the semester, I thank you in advance for wearing your masks, washing your hands, and maintaining social distancing. I’m convinced that doing so will replicate the success we experienced during fall semester. Masks will be even more important in the weeks ahead. We will be less lenient about infractions since the omicron variant appears to impact those who are vaccinated as well as those who are not.

As the nature and shape of the pandemic continues to change, we will be thoughtful and considerate of one another. We will follow the broad guidance of the Illinois Department of Public Health.

I'm looking forward to a wonderful spring semester with you, and wish you all the best in 2022.

Brenda J. Barnwell, DSW, LCSW, CADC, CODP I
Dean, School of Education and School of Social Work
Key Dates

January 10, 2022 Spring semester classes begin

January 12, 2022 On-campus COVID-19 Vaccination/Booster Clinic

January 14, 2022 Music Faculty Showcase, Crimi Auditorium, 7:30 p.m. (Reservations are not required.)

January 16, 2022 End of Add for day classes; evening classes may be added prior to second class meeting; end of 100% refund for spring semester

January 17, 2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Day – No classes

January 20, 2022 Celebrating Arts and Ideas: Robert Sims and Friends present "The Majesty of the Spiritual"

What we're reading

Senior Gavin Withaeger honored as Student Lincoln Laureate
Gavin Withaeger ’22 has been recognized with the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award, representing AU as Student Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Student Laureates from each of the state's four-year institutions of higher learning are honored for their leadership and service in pursuit of the betterment of humanity and for overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities. Withaeger has been involved with several campus organizations, including the Student Nurses’ Association, the American Association for Men in Nursing (AU chapter), and the community service organization Mu Sigma Pi, in which he served as president. He also has served as a peer advisor, a resident assistant, and a Spartan Ambassador. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Withaeger plans to work in a critical care setting. Eventually he would like to pursue a doctoral degree in nurse anesthesia.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources and Updates

The university continues to provide coronavirus (COVID-19) updates online. The webpage also includes links to FAQs, additional resources, and CARES Act Reporting information.

Aurora University   |   630-892-6431
Facebook LogoTwitter LogoInstagram LogoYouTube LogoSnapchat Logo
Copyright © 2022 Aurora University
347 S. Gladstone Ave.
Aurora, Illinois