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University of Mary Washington offers free 'COVID-19 in Context' course to community

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The University of Mary Washington is offering “COVID-19 in Context,” an eight-week online summer course starting June 1 free of charge to the community.

The 16 classes will be delivered on Zoom. Participants need only internet access, according to a university news release.

“Each session will look at the coronavirus pandemic from a different angle – the effect on climate change, the history of pandemics, the potential impact on our upcoming presidential election, the chemistry of disinfectants, and even how COVID-19 has influenced the fine and performing arts,” the news release said.

Each Monday and Wednesday through July 22, at 4 p.m., faculty from varied disciplines across the university -- from psychology and communication to geography and economics -- will broadcast a 30-minute lecture followed by an interactive Q&A session.

The inaugural class, on Monday, June 1, will be a biologist’s look at the virus itself.

“Many of us have tried to find ways to use the skills we have to be helpful to our communities during this public health crisis,” said Rosalyn Cooperman, a political science professor who is teaching one of the classes, said in the news release.

“This allows us to use research and knowledge of our own disciplines to come together and teach about the impact of COVID-19.”

Incoming and continuing UMW students, whose education was disrupted this spring, can take the course for academic credit at no cost. Members of the community can also take the class for free.

Registration is now open, and a guide to the lectures offered is available on the website.

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