Notre Dame College (NDC), a small liberal arts institution located in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, was faced with a unique challenge in the Spring of 2020. Known nationally for its mission of teaching personal, professional, and global responsibility in the academic traditions of the Sisters of Notre Dame, the institution suddenly found itself in a trial unlike any the institution had faced before. How could the College maintain a community of educators when internal factors and external societal inequalities become suddenly real and threatened the sustainability of the institution? How could levels of optimism and community in the face of a global pandemic be maintained, with pessimism levels soaring and isolation becoming the normal operating procedure? This essay provides answers to these questions by addressing NDC’s challenge in addressing the needs of the students, faculty, and staff as well as the institution, while being
faced with the COVID-19 pandemic.


Ronald Eric Matthews

Ronald Eric Matthews, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Notre Dame College. Dr. Matthews teaches courses in public policy, constitutional law, and comparative politics and serves as the Director of the Notre Dame College Moot Court Program. He holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Kent State University.

Gregory Moore

Gregory Moore, Ph.D. is the Director and a Professor of the Center for Intelligence Studies at Notre Dame College. Dr. Moore has served as a consultant for the NATO Humint Center of Excellence in Romania and lectured on American foreign policy at the Universities of Belgrade and Novi Sad in Serbia. He is a graduate of the FBI Citizen’s Academy and is a member of the Institute for National and International Security. His most recent book is Defining and Defending the Open Door Policy, Theodore Roosevelt and China, 1901-1909. Dr. Moore holds a Ph.D. in American Diplomatic History from Kent State University.

Kelley A. Pesch-Cronin

Kelley A. Pesch-Cronin, Ph.D. is a Professor of Political Science at Notre Dame College. Dr. Pesch-Cronin’s research interests include homeland security issues and critical infrastructure protection and risk assessment. She is the author of numerous articles and books, including Critical Infrastructure Protection, Risk Management and Resilience: A Policy Perspective (2017).

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Testing Maslow’s Theory of Hierarchy in A COVID-19 Pandemic Climate: The Experience of a Small, Private Liberal Arts College