This year has challenged all of us for reasons that seem to multiply every day. Between the COVID-19 pandemic and calls for social justice around the country, it seems that everyday life has been in a state of limbo since March. When rumors first spread that UW-Madison would transition to online after Spring Break, I personally didn’t believe it would happen. Reflecting on this now in November, it’s difficult to grasp how much has changed in the lives of us as individuals, students, and citizens.
With little notice of the cancelation of in-person class, we were left with no other option than to cancel the printing of our Summer 2020 issue. This is the first time we have not been able to print a scheduled issue since 1995. While this was a difficult decision, it was not feasible from a logistical or personal perspective to expect our staff to finish the issue remotely during (the early stages of) a pandemic. We are thrilled to be able to return to print with this Fall 2020 issue and hope you are too.
Even among the dozens of challenges we’ve faced while putting together this issue, I truly believe our publication is better for it. We’ve used this as an opportunity to expand more into social media (obligatory plug: check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!). We’ve taken time to re-evaluate the content we bring to you, and hope you enjoy the greater variety of articles in this issue and the issues to follow. We’ve also welcomed our new faculty advisor, Mike Shapiro, to the magazine (truly a brave man to say “yes”, even when we’ve never met in person!). Our staff have truly risen to the occasion, making time to write some stories, take some pictures, and put together this magazine, even when some days this semester have felt like the world is on fire.
Although this is not in any way how I expected my last semester of college and my last issue with the magazine to go, I am immensely proud to put my name on this publication. Being a part of the magazine for the last four years has been integral to my college experience. I am a much better writer, leader, and person than I would have been without the magazine or, more importantly, the wonderful group of people I have had the privilege to make it with. I hope that you learn something new or are able to indulge in some positivity with this issue of the Wisconsin Engineer Magazine and the issues to come, no matter what lies ahead.