Why we’re excited to return to campus

UMSL North Campus Egret Pond

Tritons from across the university are ready to make a triumphant return to campus. They’re looking forward to athletics, getting involved on campus and being in the classroom.

After a 2020-21 school year filled with virtual learning and Zoom hangouts, University of Missouri–St. Louis students, staff and faculty are excited to return to campus for the fall semester.

Tritons from around the university shared their thoughts with UMSL Daily. Find out what they’re excited about!

Tree fall colors on UMSL campus

A new start

“When you’ve worked in higher education your whole career, you know that the academic cycle takes on its own rhythm. For me, the fall is the most exciting time of that rhythm, and it represents a new start. So to have it happen as we welcome people back to campus doubles that excitement. I can’t wait to see the smiling faces of our students this fall and welcome our faculty and staff back to campus.”

Chancellor Kristin Sobolik


“Literally, I’m excited about everything! Mainly, just seeing everybody and going back to those on-campus events. We have a lot of cultural events – just getting to know about different people and different things – so I’m very excited for that.”

Chelsey Smith, senior social work major

Ryan Krull Classroom

Back in the classroom

“I’m excited to sit students in the classroom again to be able to engage more fully. We have simulation experiences, and while they’ve transferred to an online platform and we’ve done them OK online, there’s just a lot more to be gained sitting with an actor, and seeing their full body language in reaction to some of our simulated experiences. It’s incredibly powerful to be able to do those in person.”

Dana Klar, assistant teaching professor of child advocacy studies


“I think I’m mostly excited to be able to learn in a classroom setting because I just learn better that way. Virtual learning was difficult for many of us, and I hope to see everything get better.”

Brittney Parker, sophomore political science major

New students

“I look forward to engaging with a shiny new crop of UMSL talent. Every semester I’m amazed by the ambition, drive and resilience I see in our students. This past year made that abundantly clear. I’m also excited about starting the fall semester as a newly tenured faculty member. I’m honored to remain a part of a thriving UMSL community that I’ve come to love. How can I not love an institution dedicated to transforming lives?”

Brandon Ofem, assistant professor of global leadership and management


“I’m excited to meet new students and to socialize.”

Christian Girma, school counseling graduate student

Students stroll the UMSL Fall Expo

On-campus events

“I’m excited to see our students back on campus. It’s an exciting time for on-campus, in-person orientations in the months of July and August. It’s been great to see our students for those experiences. Also, we have been offering some Triton Track Tours, which are personalized tours for students who might have done our virtual orientations earlier in June. For fall, it’s exciting to have opportunities for students to have that experience. We’re having welcome programming for Triton Take-Off Weekend, and you can go to umsl.edu/wow to see all upcoming events in August. We have virtual, in-person, hybrid. There’s just a natural energy when you have students back on campus.”

Erin Sullivan, coordinator of New Student Programs

UMSL men's basketball player shoots three-pointer


“What I’m most excited about coming back this school year is seeing people around campus. I’m also excited about the sports events that will be taking place, specifically the basketball games. I’m a big basketball fan, and I can’t wait to see the Tritons in action.”

Caleb Wilkerson, sophomore civil engineering major


“I’m excited for the women’s soccer team and the men’s soccer team to play at the Don Dallas Soccer Field again.”

Imogen Bennett, senior economics major and midfielder on the women’s soccer team

Getting involved

“I’m excited for this next semester on campus because I’m excited to see people in person. I’m excited for the different events we’re going to have, such as the involvement expo. I’m excited to get involved with some more student organizations and to get students involved in the student organization I’m founding.”

Malik Taylor-Allen, senior media studies major

Working with the community

“I’m excited to be able to see our community again, to be able to work with them and be able to help serve and protect them. It’s going to be great getting back to normal. I’m super excited to be able to interact with our community.”

Dustin Smith, UMSL Police crime prevention and community involvement officer

UMSL graduation commencement ceremony


“I’m mostly excited about finishing off my senior year in person, getting that good senior experience, and hopefully having graduation commencement in person.”

Corlia Spears, senior finance major


Short URL: https://blogs.umsl.edu/news/?p=90047