Zach Nortz enrolled in CSUSM’s Master of Public Health program last fall, only a few months after losing his job because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Andrew Reed
March 16, 2021 By Brian Hiro
The coronavirus pandemic struck Zachary Nortz swiftly and without a care last spring.
One month, Nortz was working for an auto parts distribution business in Rancho Bernardo. The next month, he joined the legions of Americans in unemployment as the burgeoning pandemic cut a devastating swath through the U.S. economy.
He found himself suddenly biding his time at home with his wife, Rachel, a speech-language pathology lecturer at Cal State San Marcos now teaching remotely, and his infant daughter, August, whose daycare facility was shut down because of COVID-19.
“It was very difficult to deal with an abrupt situation,” Nortz said. “But I felt like, with a long-term career, if it wasn’t going to be something I was already used to, I wanted it to be new and exciting and something that would be helpful to other people.”
Nortz had always been interested in public health, and what better chance than during a pandemic to scratch that itch? After a 13-year break since he graduated from San Diego State, he returned to higher education last fall as a student in CSUSM’s Master of Public Health program.
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Join four Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM) affiliated international scholars and advocates of equity and excellence in education in a 3-part Spring 2021 webinar series that reveals why our teacher credential programs in general and special education may support the change agent you seek to become!
This series, free to the public, provides participants with the historical and ethical background of disability studies, teaching principles that unleash learning for every student, and real-life stories of students for whom new dawns bloomed in inclusive schools. Each session is filled with humor, real-life examples and stories, personal anecdotes that reflect the values and instructional practices of our programs, and interactive learning opportunities. Everyone is welcome to attend.
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