Resilience Series

Navigating the COVID-19 Crisis

Navigating these times of uncertainty is challenging. To help, Northeastern University is making many of its resources available and easy to access for our partners and community.

The Roux Institute Resiliency Series is tailoring these resources for organizations and individual members of our community to help everyone during these difficult times. This site will be updated each week with new content and serve as a growing reference library for this time. It’s our hope that our partners across business, academia, and the broader community will find these resources helpful and share them with their networks.

What to Expect

  • Virtual courses, workshops, and other programming focused on fostering resilience and addressing the issues of the day.
  • A mix of curated and original content and courseware, developed by faculty experts across the Northeastern network and collaboratively with companies here in Maine.
  • Free resources are available.
  • Helpful content for a variety of audiences that the Roux Institute supports and engages—including business and community leaders and employees; regional Northeastern alumni; soon-to-be graduates of Maine colleges and universities; and students, teachers and parents at the K–12 level trying to adapt to a new mode of learning

How can you make the most of virtual communication? An applied psychologist shares her tips.

Join Laura Dudley, Assistant Clinical Professor of Applied Psychology at Northeastern University for a discussion on the psychological, practical, and social aspects of virtual meetings.
August 27, 2014 - Dr. Laura Dudley, Instructor and Director of Applied Behavior Analysis Programs in the Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology in the Bouve College of Health Sciences.

How to be Safe and Resilient

Developed and offered by the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University, this hour-long course provides the basic knowledge and skills that you, your employees, and their families can use to be safe and resilient. The simple steps from the class will help participants feel empowered to take actions that can reduce anxiety and save lives.



Additional Resources

State-Specific Business Resources

Running a business can be especially hard right now, as regulations and guidelines are changing quickly and can vary based on where a company operates. The Alumni Relations office has collected some helpful information on federal and state-specific guidelines and resources for businesses.


How to Help in Our Community

While staying inside and staying healthy are the most crucial ways to help, we realize many people want to do more—particularly when it comes to helping the most vulnerable in our community. We have identified several local and global nonprofits that Mainers may wish to support right now:

  • Full Plates, Full Potential: As schools shut down during the COVID-19 emergency, around 80,000 Maine kids will struggle to access meals. Full Plates, Full Potential has established an emergency fund to support any public school in Maine that closes due to the pandemic. These funds will help schools pay for supplying additional meals, packaging breakfasts and lunches, transporting food to eligible sites, and more. Donate here.
  • Frontline Foods Maine: Frontline Foods supports healthcare workers with meals from local kitchens. A network of grassroots volunteers works with restaurants, hospitals, and other medical facilities to feed those working on the frontline. A $50 donation feeds three to five frontline workers. Donate here or volunteer here.
  • The Global Hack: This online hackathon was designed to share and rapidly develop ideas for urgently needed solutions in the face of the current crisis, as well as to build post-pandemic resilience. Field experts, scientists, tech enthusiasts, business leaders, project managers, marketers, designers, and innovators all have valuable insight to contribute. Become a volunteer or mentor here.
  • The Maine Community Foundation: MaineCF has created a fund to support community-based organizations working with the COVID-19 outbreak and its consequences in Maine. It will be used to support nonprofit organizations that are involved in frontline efforts to serve the needs of those most affected by the virus and to contain the spread—such as agencies focused on aging, community action programs, homeless shelters, food pantries, and other organizations that address hunger and provide food. Contribute to the fund here.
Online Course: COVID-19: How to be Safe and Resilient

Developed and offered by the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University, this hour-long course provides the basic knowledge and skills you, your employees, and their families can use to be safe and resilient. The simple steps from the class will help participants feel empowered to take actions that can reduce anxiety and save lives.


Faculty Expert: Kristen Lee

Kristen Lee is an internationally recognized, award-winning behavioral science professor, clinician, and author. She teaches behavioral science at Northeastern University, and her clinical, research, and teaching interests include individual and organizational well-being and resilience. Relevant resources from Lee:

Online Course: Effective Crisis Communications

During these challenging times, crisis communication skills are critical in helping organizations manage complex situations. This on-demand course focuses on the elements of an effective crisis communication plan and the development of communication tactics for a range of stakeholder audiences. Available now through May 4.


Faculty Expert: Samuel Scarpino

Samuel Scarpino, a faculty member of the Network Science Institute, is a complex systems scientist investigating questions at the intersection of network science and human behavior. He explores topics including infectious disease modeling, forecasting in complex systems, and decision-making under uncertainty.
Relevant resources from Professor Scarpino include:

Podcast: COVID-19: All your ‘social distancing’ questions answered

We’ve all heard of “social distancing,” but what, exactly, are the best practices when it comes to walking the dog, bringing food to elderly neighbors, and performing other everyday tasks? This Litmus podcast from the News@Northeastern team features the answers to those questions and others.


Faculty Expert: David DeSteno

Psychology professor David DeSteno directs the Social Emotions Lab and is an expert in the role of emotion in social cognition and social behavior. Focusing on the impact that affective states have on decision-making and behavior, DeSteno seeks to illuminate how emotions can optimize our actions in favor of the greater good or, by virtue of bugs in the system, lead to suboptimal or biased outcomes. 

Relevant resources from Professor DeSteno include:

FEMA contracts with Northeastern’s Global Resilience Institute to Help the State of Maine

FEMA has awarded a contract to Northeastern’s Global Resilience Institute in collaboration with MIT Lincoln Laboratory to help Maine prepare the state’s required needs assessment and plan. The Global Resilience Institute will examine the current economic state of play and the anticipated needs of three communities in Maine—including Portland—through interviews with leaders from the public sector, business community, and nonprofit and faith-based organizations. This effort will position the state to secure much-needed federal assistance quickly and effectively

Crisis Schooling—Grit, Perseverance, Independence: Strategies for Managing Productive Struggle

LIVE WEBINAR—Friday, May 1 at 1:00 p.m. ET

Don’t miss Joan Burkhardt, assistant teaching professor in the Graduate School of Education and experienced homeschooler, in Friday’s live session on crisis schooling. Burkhardt will provide parents with concrete, realistic strategies to take stock of the current situation, structure their children’s day, and manage productive struggle to teach children grit and resilience.

Zoom Fatigue is Real; Here’s why you’re feeling it and what you can do about it

“For those confined to their homes lately, chatting by video has become a crucial way to stay in touch from afar. Platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Skype can be used to hold work meetings remotely, catch up with friends and family, or even  celebrate a birthday. But for all its benefits, our reliance upon video during isolation has spawned a surprising new problem: Being on so many video conferences is exhausting.“ 


Additional COVID-19 Response Resources

In addition to the FEMA effort and this Resiliency Series, Northeastern has numerous other resources on offer to the Maine community. These resources are based on work being activated elsewhere. For example:

-Professors Loretta Fernandez and Amy Mueller are conducting droplet testing on new fabrics to ramp up the manufacture of masks as part of a partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Chemical engineering professor Steve Lustig has partnered with doctors at Boston- area hospitals to test face mask penetrability through the use of Northeastern’s FTIR spectrometer, a high-power optical microscope.
-Faculty member Rob Knake is helping to address a major communications gap by building a site for secure inter-hospital sharing of information about critical supplies inventory.

Faculty Expert Spotlight: Stephen Flynn

Stephen Flynn is founding director of the Global Resilience Institute, where he leads a major universitywide research initiative to inform and advance societal resilience in the face of growing turbulence. Professor Flynn has previously served as president of the Center for National Policy, senior fellow for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Council. He was an active duty commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard for 20 years, including two tours as commanding officer at sea.

-WBUR interview: ‘This Is A Pearl Harbor Moment’
-Online course: Unsure what to do about COVID-19? Take this 60-minute course
-Book: The Edge of Disaster

Why are supply chains breaking down?

Because of efficient international trade, companies typically get the supplies they need on demand—no need to stockpile. But with dwindling inventories and supply chains at a standstill, will U.S. manufacturers be able to make medical supplies? That depends on whether companies get direction and financial incentives from the government, says Nada Sanders, a professor of supply chain management.

In this episode, we talk to Nada Sanders, Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management.)