Students Tell COVID-19 Stories

During the Spring and Fall 2020 semesters, Hubbard School students had to improvise when it came to their hands-on courses, which were now being administered mostly from a distance. Many students chose to use this time to tell stories about COVID-19. We are #UMNProud of our students' resiliency and ability to complete these important stories. Read on for more. 

COVID Stories Through Photos

Hossam Halaweish

Hossam Halaweish poses for a portrait on his bed full of prints of photos he took in different cities holding his acoustic guitar on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2020. Halaweish taught himself how to play guitar after feeling isolated in his first year in college. “I would just go home and just be like, ‘well, this sucks.’ Like, I'd be in this room where I'm at now. So then, I mean, that's how I learned how to play guitar. Just got so like, bored and like sad, I guess,” Halaweish said. “As you get older you start thinking like ‘Oh, what was my dad or mom doing at this age?’ And, you know, I'm 20. And my mom had my oldest brother at like 22 or something. And so my dad and my mom left Egypt, somewhere with all their family members, their culture… their whole life was in Egypt. They went to Wales, and then eventually the United States solely to provide me and my brothers with the best possible opportunity and give us the most potential as possible. It’s pretty insane to think what they're able to do under the circumstances that they're in, you know, they were able to succeed in a completely different country with no friends or family and not knowing the language. And here I am, struggling in my native country.”
Photo by Nur Adam for Jour 4302: Photojournalism, Fall 2020 

Impact of COVID-19 on University students

The students of Jour 4303: Advanced Visual Storytelling used their distance learning to compile many stories about students who have been affected by COVID-19. The visual stories cover everything from study abroad, illness, athletics, employment and more. 

Visit the website to read more

Student Work in the Star Tribune

Students in Jour 5196: Field-Based Practicum were assigned to the Star Tribune. While students had to shift to working from home when the health crisis hit, they still produced a number of COVID-19 related stories for the daily newspaper. Here are several:


Community Journalism Class

The mission of Jour 4175: Brovald-Sim Community Journalism Practicum is to cover a hidden campus community every Spring semester. Communities have included the disabled community, nontraditional students, and the Black community (Spring 2021). 

Read Stories from the Community Journalism Class

Student Magazine Focuses on COVID

The students in the Spring 2020 Magazine Editing & Production class were able to switch gears mid-way through the semester to tell stories about the pandemic. 

Read the Magazine

Multimedia Storytelling and Production

The students in the two sections of Jour 3102: Multimedia Storytelling and Production, taught by instructor Regina McCombs, learn audio, photography and video. They were due to get their video cameras, microphones and tripods on the day they returned from spring break. When that didn't happen because of the stay home order from the University of Minnesota and the state of Minnesota, they had to complete their course with just their phones from wherever they were (including one in quarantine). Many students depended on the computer labs for access to software, so they had to figure out how to get the software installed at home - sometimes on machines that struggled to handle it.

Social distancing and shuttered ethanol plants

How COVID-19 is impacting North Dakotan farmers, by Sydney Johnson

Watch Sydney's video

The rise of unemployment

The impact of COVID-19 on the self-employed, by Madeline Hillman

Watch Madeline's video

Mother of autistic child fights boredom

People with special needs navigate the new normal, by Lukas Levin

Watch Lukas' video

Volunteering at Miriam's Kitchen gives purpose in time of uncertainty

A peek inside the Washington, D.C., non-profit, by Sam Palca

Watch Sam's video

COVID-19 pandemic leaves dentists struggling for patients

The day-to-day of a dentist during the health pandemic, by Jeffrey Liss

Watch Jeffrey's video

Reporting the News

Students in Jour 3451: TV, Radio & Digital News Reporting and Jour 4452: Newscast Producing had to make a big switch in storytelling when the University of Minnesota switched to distance learning. Even though they were scattered across the country without the usual classroom equipment, they were able to use what they had to tell important stories about the pandemic. 

Shipt driver talks about her experience delivering during the COVID-19 pandemic

Kaitlyn Schultz interviews a Shipt driver (audio). 

Listen to Kaitlyn's story

Are Baristas Essential Workers?

Emily Pofahl interviews coffee shop workers (audio).

Listen to Emily's story

Remote Worship in Kansas

Sammi Boring reports on a Kansas church during COVID-19. 

Watch Sammi's video

Family Mask Making

Grace O'Neil reports on a family (her own!) making masks during COVID. 

Watch Grace's video

The University of Minnesota's Pass/Fail Decision

Joe Kelly covers the online petition and recent decision by the University of Minnesota to allow students to switch to satisfactory/not satisfactory grading, or, pass fail.

Watch Joe's video

School Lunch Programs During COVID

Jess Backlund reports on a school lunch program.

Watch Jess' video

Student Refunds at the University of Minnesota

Ruby Guthrie covers the University's final student refund decision. 

Watch Ruby's story