Before the global pandemic, the UIA launched a project to scale the use of chatbot technology to support student success. We wanted to understand how artificial intelligence like chatbots could improve access to information in areas like admissions, financial aid, and student services. As it turns out, in this time of COVID-19, UIA campuses that participated in the chatbot project have found their chatbots particularly helpful in keeping students up-to-date on health information and policy changes.
At the UIA, we’re committed to eliminating gaps in college attainment by race and income. While equity in higher education is the focus of our work, the COVID-19 crisis has broken longstanding systemic inequities wide open for all to see. Coverage in the New York Times and the Atlantic highlights how the pandemic disproportionately affects the most vulnerable students on college campuses.
When Villanova’s Kris Jenkins hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to win the men’s NCAA basketball championship last month, the nation erupted in cheers. America loves an underdog, and Villanova — a small private school competing against perennial powerhouse North Carolina — wasn’t expected to win. The championship was their first in 31 years and just their second in history.
Underdog stories are inspiring in college athletics because we love to see ordinary people achieve extraordinary success through hard work and determination. And in sports, there can only be one champion.