COVID-19 Speakers Series


In Spring 2020, Loomis Chaffee organized a six-part interdisciplinary webinar series to address the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

We heard from experts drawn from members of the Loomis Chaffee community, including parents, alumni, and faculty.

Links to each of the six webinars conducted are available below. 



Previous Webinars 

Silver Linings and Looking Ahead

May 20, 1:15-2 p.m. EDT

with Paul Mounds Jr. ’03, Chief of Staff, Office of Governor Ned Lamont, State of Connecticut

In our final webinar of the series, Paul Mounds ’03 will address ways citizens and the government have responded to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. How have people engaged in their communities in new ways, and what will community engagement look like as the state gradually reopens over time? He will draw on his experience as Governor Lamont’s Chief of Staff as well as his role on the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group.

Paul Mounds Jr. is Chief of Staff for Governor Ned Lamont, where he oversees all the workings of the Governor’s Office and the Executive Branch, including the Governor’s cabinet and agencies. Mounds has served as the state’s chief operating officer since the beginning of the Lamont administration in January 2019 where he was in charge with ensuring coordination of state agencies and overall operations for the administration. Paul is the vice chair of Harriet Beecher Stowe Center and Governor Lamont’s Representative to the University of Connecticut’s Board of Trustees. Mounds, a 2003 graduate of the Loomis Chaffee School, earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Trinity College. He was born in Hartford, raised in East Hartford, and lives in Glastonbury. 

Loomis Moderator: Eric LaForest, Keller Family Director of the Norton Family Center for the Common Good

View completed webinar 


Social Inequality and COVID-19

May 13, 1:15-2 p.m. EDT

with RuthAnne Visnauskas, '92, Commissioner/CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal

Drawing upon her extensive experience in urban policy and housing in New York, RuthAnne Visnauskas will lead a webinar that addresses the uneven impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. How have preexisting social structures shaped the outbreak of the virus and its consequences? And how are agencies in New York responding?

In 2017, RuthAnne became the Commissioner/CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the umbrella entity that includes the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the New York State Housing Finance Agency, the State of New York Mortgage Agency and the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation. Under RuthAnne's leadership, HCR has stewarded Governor Cuomo's $20 billion affordable and homeless housing plan to create or preserve 100,000 affordable units and 6,000 supportive units over five years. Prior to joining HCR, RuthAnne was Managing Director of the Housing Advisory Board for the Robin Hood Foundation, New York's largest poverty-fighting organization. RuthAnne, a member of Loomis Chaffee’s Class of 1992, lives in Manhattan with her husband and three children.

Loomis Moderator: Elizabeth Parada, Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

View completed webinar 

Financial and Global Ramifications of COVID-19

May 6, 1:15-2 p.m. EDT

with Jonathan Kelly '81, Portfolio Manager, Fidelity Management

This webinar will address the basics of the financial impact and magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic. How is this time truly different? How has this ongoing public health crisis reshaped the global economy? How have global markets and policy makers reacted? How will the pandemic threaten or strengthen global connections?

 Jonathan Kelly is a portfolio manager at Fidelity Investments, specializing in emerging markets and located in Boston. In this role, he is responsible for managing Fidelity’s emerging market debt retail and institutional portfolios as well as the emerging market debt portion of Fidelity’s largest multi-sector and lifestyle funds. A member of the Loomis Chaffee Class of 1981 as well as a member of our Board of Trustees, Jonathan earned his undergraduate degree in computer science from Dartmouth College and his master of business administration degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the recipient of a Weiss Fellowship in international finance.

Loomis moderator: Mat DeNunzio, Economics Instructor

View completed webinar 

Medical Systems: Constraints & Opportunities

April 29, 1:15-2 p.m. EDT

with Dr. Pauline W. Chen '82 

Physician, bestselling author, and New York Times contributor, Dr. Pauline W. Chen ’82 works at the intersection of her two chosen professions — as a respected doctor and as a writer — to promote better understanding among doctors, patients, and the families they serve, and to humanize the healthcare delivery process for all.  Pauline sees patients in the Boston VA Healthcare System and, like many of her colleagues, is currently engaged in treating patients with COVID-19. She is a member of the Loomis Chaffee Board of Trustees and is part of a family of devoted Loomis Chaffee alumni that includes her brother, Dr. Michael Chen ‘92, a plastic surgeon in California who is in the process of being deployed to care for COVID-19 patients as well.

Loomis Moderator: Kendra Wiesel, Health Center Director

View completed webinar



A Historical Overview of Pandemics and How They Changed our History

April 22, 1:15-2 p.m. EDT

with Sheila Culbert, Head of School, Loomis Chaffee

This webinar will focus on the History of Pandemics but will mostly look at the Black Death, the smallpox epidemics that devastated Native Peoples, and 1918 and their comparisons to COVID-19.

Loomis Moderator: Harrison Shure, History Department Chair

Appointed in 2008, Sheila Culbert is the seventh head of school and president of The Loomis Institute. Sheila received her undergraduate degree from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom and her Ph.D. at Indiana University. Prior to coming to Loomis Chaffee, she taught history and worked in administration at Dartmouth College. During her time at Dartmouth, Sheila taught in the History Department where she developed the course on the American Civil War, which she now teaches to Loomis Chaffee seniors.

View completed webinar 

Pandemics: Before, During, and After COVID-19

April 15, 1:15-2 p.m. EDT

with Dr. Juan Salazar, Physician-in-Chief, Connecticut Children's 

Dr. Salazar is Physician-in-Chief, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Connecticut Children’s. He is also the Director of the Pediatric and Youth HIV program at Connecticut Children’s and serves as Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the UConn School of Medicine.




Loomis Moderator: Eric LaForest, Keller Family Director of the Norton Family Center for the Common Good

View completed webinar