Engage Remotely

In response to COVID-19, Harvard's classes have transitioned out of the residential classroom. To facilitate this transition, VPAL has collaborated with Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT) and teaching and learning centers across the University to create three websites. Teach Remotely serves as a guide for online teachers. Learn Remotely offers advice and resources for students university-wide. Socialize Remotely is a University-wide platform designed to bring our community together virtually, featuring Signature Events produced by VPAL

Recorded Signature Events on Socialize Remotely

Pandemics and Politics with Professor Jeffry Frieden and Dr. Tom Frieden

September 10, 2020

Two Friedens discuss the political economy of public health. Jeff is a Professor of Government at Harvard, Tom is a former CDC Director. Politics and economics have changed the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the pandemic has changed the course of politics. Why has public health become a political football in the United States? Why has global public health become the focus of international conflict?

Ask Us Anything About Cyber Security

August 11, 2020

Our work environment may have changed, but cyber security risks and challenges remain the same. We seem to have more to worry about now. Are you concerned about phishing campaigns designed to prey on our COVID-19 worries? How about the security of Zoom meetings? Maybe return to work that has you worried. What security protections will be provided for your health information as you return to the office or classroom? In the spirit of easing your concerns in a friendly and approachable way, our Cyber Security panelists will answer your questions and provide reassurance about how to manage your remote work environment securely, offer suggestions for small and easy actions that will make a big impact, and provide insight into the serious risks and what we can do about them. We'll talk about everything…from identifying suspicious email to creating a super strong password to using your own virtual network to thwart hackers. Bring your questions and concerns and share your experiences with our experts. They'll make you feel empowered to work and socialize remotely…securely.

COVID-19 and Economic Opportunity Across ZIP Codes in America: New Insights from Big Data with Raj Chetty

July 28, 2020

This talk will first discuss how the COVID pandemic is affecting the American economy at the ZIP code level, drawing on new real time data to trace the impacts of the crisis on consumer spending, business, and employment prospects. It will then discuss the impacts of major policies enacted to date to mitigate economic losses - ranging from state-ordered shutdowns to the stimulus program -- and consider what approaches will best foster recovery and limit hardship for American families going forward. Finally, Dr. Chetty will discuss his recent work on the COVID crisis in the context of his research lab's broader work on equality of opportunity and racial equity, describing how the current crisis links to broader structural challenges in the American economy. Raj Chetty is the William A. Ackman Professor of Public Economics at Harvard University. He is also the Director of Opportunity Insights, which uses "big data" to understand how we can give children from disadvantaged backgrounds better chances of succeeding.

Teaching Yourself and Others During the Pandemic with Rob Lue

June 29, 2020

In the face of COVID-19 and social distancing, it is vital to double down on the communal and self-driven aspects of education. Now more than ever, the Internet opens up possibilities to become authentic agents of our own learning. It can also help us combat the feelings of isolation that self-quarantine can induce. In this webinar, Professor Lue explores ways to connect and support one another as a social network based on learning and teaching. Robert Lue is the Richard L. Menschel Faculty Director of the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning where he is responsible for fostering innovative teaching in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and elevating its profile on campus. Additionally, Rob is a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Preventing Pandemics: From Policy to Practice

May 21, 2020

In this video, Dr. Ashish Jha and Dr. Raj Panjabi discuss "Preventing Pandemics: From Policy to Practice." Dr. Jha is a K.T. Li Professor of Global Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Panjabi is the CEO of Last Mile Health and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. They are joined by Nancy Gibbs, director of the Shorenstein Center, the visiting Edward R. Murrow Professor of Practice of Press, Politics and Public Policy, and former Editor in Chief of TIME, to discuss the COVID-19 response in Africa, lessons learned from previous epidemics like the West African Ebola outbreak, and the future of global health.

Keeping Your Laptop and Phone Secure: A Discussion of Cybersecurity with CS50's David J. Malan

May 20, 2020

In 2019, the most common password, by one measure, was 123456. And the fourth-most common password was ... password. (Are either of those yours??) Suffice it to say we can do better. Even so, there are trade-offs! Join us for a discussion of cybersecurity and learn how you can keep your laptop and phone (more) secure. Just how private are your emails and texts? What's "end-to-end encryption"? Is Zoom actually bad? And just what does incognito mode do? All this and more.

Allocating Ventilators in a Pandemic

May 4, 2020

As the current pandemic unfolds, many have been concerned that our hospitals may not have enough ventilators for all who might need one. Although it now appears likely that the supply will be sufficient for the time being, the future remains uncertain, and this is a good opportunity for a societal discussion about how hospitals will decide who will receive a ventilator, and who will not, if these decisions ever become necessary. What can we learn from other past situations where it has been necessary to ration other life-saving treatments, such as dialysis machines in the 1960s, or the current and ongoing need to ration transplantable organs?

Leading Yourself In Crisis with Nancy Koehn

April 22, 2020

Nancy Koehn discusses how real leaders are made in crisis and specifically, what you can do to access this power within, so that you can lead courageously going forward. The COVID-19 crisis and the resulting economic devastation are the defining events of our lifetimes. Professor Koehn, author of Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times, will address how can you grow, lead, and learn in the crucible of this astounding moment. The presentation will also cover what lessons we can learn about leadership in times of widespread turbulence and during this crisis.

Pandemic Ethics with Michael Sandel

April 16, 2020

Michael Sandel leads Harvard students, faculty, and staff in a lively discussion about the big social, ethical, and political questions raised by the COVID pandemic. View this University-wide discussion on Pandemic Ethics: Should we use surveillance technologies to monitor compliance with social distancing? If hospitals have too few ventilators for those in need, how should they be allocated? Should we be willing to risk some loss of life to restart the economy?