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USciences Emergency Fund Provides Support to Student Needs During COVID-19

By Colleen Chase

Published on May 1, 2020

Student Emergency FundAs the academic year winds down, Student Affairs continues to directly assist students and their families who are feeling the immediate economic impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19). In the last few weeks, the University has been able to provide aid to 50 students, and the number of requests is increasing.  

The USciences Emergency fund is used to support students financially through the pandemic and is coordinated by Joseph Canaday, MEd, Executive Director of the Student Success Center. Even from home, Canaday and Student Affairs remain committed to making sure all students have the essentials they need to succeed. 

“Our students are different than any I’ve ever worked with. They truly give me a sense of purpose and I hate what this pandemic is doing to them, to all of us,” said Canaday. “Many of our students are feeling scared about how they are going to proceed with their education. They are concerned about their families and want to help them out.” 

The generosity of USciences donors at this time ensures we keep our students studying remotely. While students are on campus, they are face-to-face with an abundance of resources from computer labs, quiet study spaces, and a team of supportive faculty and staff around every corner to offer guidance. While many resources are still available, COVID-19 has created anxiety and pressure among our students. They are balancing the changes the pandemic has created and rigorous academic coursework all while returning home to other responsibilities. 

“‘In our office, we try to set our students' anxiety at ease about their academic future at USciences. That is why this funding is critical in addressing our students' concerns.” said Canaday.  “I think students and their families will remember that when they needed help, USciences was there to help them out.”  

Students and their families will remember that when they needed help, USciences was there.

-- Joseph Canaday, MEd, Executive Director of the Student Success Center

The emergency fund is making an impact on our students within days, sometimes even hours, from the time of their request so that they can get the assistance they need. This support now will pay off in the long run in allowing them to focus and prioritize their studies.

All students may access the USciences Student Emergency Fund for urgent financial needs, including those who may not qualify for Title IV/CARES Act funding (e.g., international or undocumented students).  The Emergency Fund addresses students' issues that are outside the scope of allowable uses of CARES funding, since this funding is restricted by statute.

“I want our students to know that there’s nothing wrong with asking for some help.  I also want them to find out about the CARES Act from financial aid,” said Canaday. “I know we are asked to make donations for any number of things.  I also know that all of us are all facing challenges.  But, this is one of the most worthwhile things I have made a donation to.  I’d ask folks to donate any amount.  No amount is too small. Our students are very grateful.” 

In each conversation Canaday has with students, he says they continue to express sincere thanks and gratitude from the bottom of their hearts for the help the USciences community has provided.

If you would still like to support the Student Emergency Fund, all donations are tax-deductible, and 100 percent of funds go directly to those in need. Interested students should reach out to Joseph Canaday, Executive Director of Student Success & Student Ombudsman at  

Categories: News, Students, Alumni, Faculty, Staff, USciences, Giving, Coronavirus, Student Life