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McDermott, Andrew

Mathematics Department Secretary Andrew McDermott believed that his most important responsibility in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy was to help Mathematics Department Chair Cynthia Roemer get in touch with the math faculty. The plan was to move several of the department’s 200 Cranford-based sections to Elizabeth beginning on Nov. 5. He recalls, "I had to make sure faculty knew where their class was going to be, if we were moving it. Or for the ones who weren’t moving and didn’t already have their course on ANGEL, I needed to talk about how to put their course online without making it sound too scary." On Thurs., Nov. 1 and Fri., Nov. 2, Mr. McDermott helped out on the Elizabeth Campus at an information table, directing students and staff to a warm place and answering questions about classes. On Sat., Nov. 3, with his Staten Island apartment still without power, he had to walk to the Great Kills Public Library to use a computer to communicate with faculty via email. "I learned to appreciate the little things in life," he smiles, "like hot water, electricity, gasoline...and public libraries." He spent his Saturday afternoon at the Library in his back-and-forth emails with the math faculty.
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