During an unprecedented time, the GSA Foundation Board of Trustees and the GSA Council undertook an unprecedented measure: the conception of GSA CARES, the GSA COVID-19 Assistance and Relief Effort for Students.
In response, GSA members and donors rallied together in the true sense of community that is GSA and showed our students how much we care about them and their wellbeing, their futures, and their vital role as our next generation of geoscientists.
Over the next few weeks, we will share testimonials from some of the many donors who were inspired to give of their resources to help students negatively impacted by COVID-19.
Steve Wells, GSA Foundation Trustee and President of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, shares how his lifelong work with students inspired him to suggest the idea for GSA CARES.
What inspired you to suggest the idea for GSA CARES?
The idea for GSA CARES came from a fundraising effort developed at our university, New Mexico Tech, by our Office for Advancement and Alumni Relations. It was established as our university was witnessing an increase in giving to help people during this crisis.
As an academician for 40 years and a GSA member for more than 40 years, I care for students in our profession, I want to see them succeed, and I want our Society to support students as much as possible. Knowing that the students at our university were negatively impacted by the pandemic, it was obvious that the students in our Society were feeling the same pressures and challenges. As a Society and a profession, these students are our future.
What would you like to say to students affected by COVID-19?
As fellow geologists, time is so important in all we consider. Given this unique point in time that appears to have so much uncertainty, I think I would offer a view of time through the words of Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor and philosopher:
Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.
This pandemic will be swept away, primarily through the implementation of science, medicine, and working collaboratively as a global community. This pandemic challenge will pass, and all of you will be stronger and more resilient because you have endured the challenge.
What would you like to say to others who want to help during this time?
The opportunity that each of us has during this crisis is not only to show we care for the future but we are willing to step up and invest in the future. Our future is our students.