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11 Smart Ideas for a Better Post-Pandemic World

Research & Inquiry

Illustration of a person of color in a white dress covered in red dots. The red dots continue up into the air.

Published July 2, 2021

NORMAL. Should that be what we strive for in a post-pandemic world? Global crises like the one we have experienced provide moments for reflection and opportunity. We asked faculty and alums from various disciplines and professions to ponder the lessons of the past year and a half and consider what must change as we move forward. The 11 essays that follow envision a world where equity is our guide, where quality health care is available to everyone, where women drive economic growth, and where we invest in the health of our natural environment. So, let’s not simply aim for “normal.” We can do so much better.




NATURE: Simran Sethi ’92The Health of Our Population Depends on the Health of the World

EDUCATION POLICY: Lisa Daniels ’12, ‘We Need More Civic-Minded People to Step Up

RETAIL: Melissa Noonan ’96, ‘The Centers of Commerce Suddenly Shifted




EDUCATIONAL INEQUALITY: Janelle Bradshaw ’00,Make Equity Your Guiding Principle From Day One

WORK: Dorie Clark ’97, ‘You Can’t Afford to Be Seen as Dispensable’

PANDEMIC RESPONSE: Angela L. Rasmussen ’00, ‘We Must Approach Preparedness Collaboratively




REMOTE LEARNING: Jennifer Smith ’91, ‘Education Is Meant to Be Active

CREATIVITY: Alice Howe ’13, ‘Slowing Down Was at First a Challenge, Then a Gift

HEALTH CARE: Kimberly McGill ’01, ‘Systemic Racism Has Made This Pandemic the Crisis That It Is




GENDER GAP: Carrie Baker, ‘The Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Women

PARENTING: Rachel Sturges ’02, ‘I Cherished the Intimacy That Developed From Us Being Together so Often


This story appears in the Summer 2021 issue of the Smith Alumnae Quarterly.

Illustration by Melinda Beck