Education Prof. Celebrates Class of 2020 in Published Op-Ed | St. Lawrence University

Education Prof. Celebrates Class of 2020 in Published Op-Ed

An op-ed by Jeffrey Frank, associate professor and coordinator of undergraduate programs in education, had an op-ed titled, "Grieving and resilience: Celebrating the Class of 2020" published on, which is part of the USA TODAY Network.

Frank casts the timeline of the lives of the young people who are graduating from college during this time of COVID-19 campus closures and commencement celebration alterations against the backdrop of 9/11, which occurred when they were very young. He posits that they started their lives in the shadow of one national catastrophe, and are now leaving the academic world under similar circumstances. Frank suggests that this set of circumstances has made these new graduates more able to deal with the challenges they are currently facing.

"It is important to pause and think about how strong the class of 2020 must’ve been to get through all of this. Some members of the class of 2020 had family members deeply impacted by the opioid crisis, others worked so unbelievably hard to get into their top college; every student who survived these challenging times and managed to graduate deserved their college graduation," said Frank. "Instead, the class of 2020 is met — once again — with one more impossible challenge."

Read the op-ed.

Frank is also the author of Being a Presence for Students: Teaching as a Lived Defense of Liberal Education. In October, he was named a Fulbright Specialist and he was also selected by the graduating class of 2019 to give the last lecture in May 2019. In addition, he had an article on the challenges of pedagogy during COVID-19 published in April. He holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Middlebury College and earned his Ph.D. in philosophy and education from Teachers College at Columbia University. He has taught a first-year seminar title What Does it Mean to be Educated, as well as courses in Contemporary Educational policy, Teaching and Teachers, and American Philosophies of Education.