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Augustana professor teaches in an empty classroom to maintain normalcy

Even though college students are taking classes online, one local professor is still coming to campus.

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois — Even though college students are taking classes online, one local professor is still coming to campus.

Augustana College professor, Jason Mahn, comes to campus twice a week. He has the Old Main building all to himself most days. Mahn hosts his Encountering Religion class online now due to COVID-19, but says coming to the building gives students a sense of normalcy.

 "I called security to make sure it was okay," Mahn said. "Being able to teach in the space we shared is just a way of connecting with students."

"It made me feel happy and a little bit of a sense of normalcy," Augustana senior Morgan Anderson said. "Because this is what I would be normally be looking at if I was in class."

Mahn isn't required to come to campus, but says it also helps him keep a routine. 

"For me to be able to come and be in my place of work and to have that relationship with the Augustana students, it is really meaningful," Mahn said.

"It says a lot for how much professors are willing to go for their students," Augustana senior Josh Malone said. "I think it's important that he get what he needs out of this just as much as we do."

Mahn says he is trying to keep class as normal as possible for his students. The class normally takes multiple field trips to different religious worship centers, but with the pandemic, field trips are now online. 

"Meeting with religious leaders, getting to talk with who they are, who the communities are, and how they thrive in this area," Mahn said.

Students have two more weeks of classes, and then one week of finals.

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