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On the Gateway: Love in Difficult Times

The Alumni Education Gateway shares U-M insights and research on the power of love during the pandemic.
Read time: 2 minutes
Couple Holding Hands
Photo by Quinn Melidona, who caught this image of her parents holding hands on a family hike.

While February is traditionally a time for love, it feels more like a time for sacrifice this year. However, during the pandemic, we need love more than ever. The Alumni Education Gateway offers an array of content showing how love, in all its expressions, makes us stronger and healthier, particularly during tough times.


Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and U-M associate professor David Turnley, ’77, challenged his documentary photography class to capture life amid a pandemic. Three U-M women’s lacrosse players, including Quinn Melidona (who took the photo above),  accepted that challenge and uncovered the love and loneliness of quarantining.


While 2020 is in the past, its effects will last a lifetime for those who have lost loved ones, social connections, everyday routines, and holiday traditions. Victor Strecher, MPH’80, PhD’83,  a professor in the U-M School of Public Health and U-M Medical School, discusses how to move forward, heal, and grow in the article “From Pandemic to Purpose.”


A recent study found that appealing to people’s concerns for their loved ones could help overcome any backlash to mask-wearing and social distancing during COVID-19. The same methodology may also help encourage people to get vaccinated. Professor Lawrence An, co-director of the Center for Health Communication Research at U-M’s Rogel Cancer Center, discusses how emphasizing people’s ability to act as protectors may be helpful.


People often display photos of their loved ones on their desk at work. U-M Ross School of Business professor Dave Mayer explores the ethical impact this simple act may have on a person’s work decisions.


Former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and Michael Barr, dean of the Ford School of Public Policy, discuss Rice’s distinguished career and her book “Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For.”


U-M researchers have found that when spouses love each other, children stay in school longer and marry later in life. Using unique data from families, this study shows how the affection between parents shapes their children’s long-term life outcomes.



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