Remaining connected to friends, classmates and family in the age of social distancing can cause a strain on mental health, especially for college students who may already be suffering from other mental health issues such as loneliness and depression.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, HopeLab, a nonprofit social innovation lab led by Margaret Laws ’86, in collaboration with Grit Digital health, has developed the Nod, a new app to help students cope during this difficult time.

“Using evidence-based strategies designed to improve student resilience, the app provides social connection tools that help students maintain meaningful connections while staying safe and adhering to public health directives,” said Laws, who is the president and CEO of HopeLab.

Created specifically for college students, the Nod is a free app that helps students to combat isolation by offering them easy-to-follow prompts. For example, one Nod prompt focuses on the benefits of showing gratitude: “Be free with your thanks. Thank someone for turning you on to something new. It’s flattering to find out someone followed your advice. Give a virtual shout out of gratitude to whoever tipped you off to a cool book, TV show idea or person.”

“When COVID-19 hit, we realized that there would be many students at home feeling disconnected from their social support systems,” Laws said. “We decided that to make Nod available to as many of these young people as possible during this challenging time we would make it free and available for personal download.”

Nod can be downloaded in the Apple and Google Play stores.

Maggie Zhang and Daniel He

Alumni create online directory to support local businesses

Mar 30, 2020 Community

Maggie Zhang ’16 and Daniel He ’16 recognize that small businesses are the heart of our communities — and the most susceptible to the economic effects of the pandemic. To help those businesses survive, they created Local for Later, an online directory to promote local businesses through gift cards. they wrote on their site, which has grown to include 11 U.S. cities.

Each city’s list is made up of businesses submitted by users, and includes restaurants, shops, and activities like theaters and tour companies.

See the lists and add your favorite here.

Messages to #VirtualPrincetonU

Princeton Faculty Members Send Greetings As Classes Go Virtual

Mar 26, 2020 Community , Education

No one has all the answers about what comes next, not even Princeton faculty. But as Princeton shifted to virtual learning during the COVID-19 outbreak, professors from across disciplines sent warm video reassurance that their mission remained the same, and that Princeton is wherever you are.

#TellUsTigers Q&A: Tanesha Brown, nurse manager, University Health Services

#TellUsTigers Q&A: Tanesha Brown, nurse manager, University Health Services

Mar 20, 2020 Community , Health Care

Tanesha Brown, the nurse manager at University Health Services, is a critical member of the University’s coronavirus preparedness team, working with a broad range of departments and colleagues across campus. She reflects on addressing the fear of the unknown, how she practices self-care and the most important things she wants people to know during the coronavirus crisis. Read more …