New York Times editor shares COVID-19 newspaper experience with Scecina students

Spread the love

screenshot from Microsoft Teams class meeting with New York Times Graphic Designer

New York Times Graphic Designer Scott Reinhard (top left) talks with Rebeccah Lowe’s (top right) Current Events class via Microsoft Teams. Reinhard is an Indiana native who started working for The Times in January 2019.

A current events class becomes even more interesting when 1)  you’re in the midst of the biggest current event in a long time, a global pandemic, and 2) technology allows students to talk from their homes with someone who is documenting the pandemic for a major newspaper.

Scecina social studies teacher Rebeccah Lowe’s Current Problems, Issues, and Events class had the opportunity to ask questions of a graphics editor for The New York Times, Scott Reinhard, just as he was immersed in creating maps related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms. Lowe used Microsoft Teams for the students to talk directly with Reinhard, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. Scecina has been using Microsoft Teams for remote classes and meetings.

Interested in becoming a Scecina Crusader? Click here for Admissions information.

“It is difficult to feel connected when we are no longer meeting face to face, and it was great to see the students engaged,” Ms. Lowe said. “They asked great questions!”

Senior Walter Egan is interested not only in current events, but also in art. He plans to attend Herron School of Art in Indianapolis to study drawing and illustration. The interview with Reinhard touched on art and current events.

“As a graphic designer, (Reinhard) is one of the people responsible for creating the maps and charts that track the different aspects of the pandemic,” Walter said. “He said this has been a lot of work and working almost every day during the week to keep track of how rapidly the situations change and develop.”

Reinhard, who has worked for the Times since January 2019, on May 19 tweeted a photo of his first front-page graphic in the paper: a map depicting the top 50 U.S. city destinations of New Yorkers fleeing the COVID virus.

New York Times front page

Graphic Designer Scott Reinhard tweeted about his first page-one graphic for The New York Times on May 19.

As an artist, Walter Egan said he also was intrigued by Reinhard’s other work of creating elevated, topographical maps.

“These are kind of hard to describe, so I highly suggest looking up his work,” said Walter. “I really enjoyed both parts of this interview. As someone who is going into an art field in college, it was fascinating to see the practicalities of this work. I also really enjoyed hearing the philosophy behind why he creates these maps and how the geography of a map shares a story and a bit of history about the land around us.”

Reinhard is from Indiana. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design from the Savannah School of Design and a Master of Graphic Design from North Carolina State.

Ms. Lowe went to high school and remained friends with him, following his graphics success on social media.

“Scott is truly one of the kindest and most generous people I know. Early on during the quarantine, Scott posted on social media that he would be willing to talk to any of his friend’s art classes or even just their individual children,” she said. “Although I don’t teach art, I realized that Scott’s experience at the New York Times would be relevant for my Current Events class.”

Ms. Lowe’s class heard from a guest speaker in class before the pandemic hit. In the fall, they Skyped with another of Ms. Lowe’s friends living in Hong Kong.

“We were learning about the protests in Hong Kong and she gave us her perspective on the issues,” she said. “The students really enjoyed that experience as well!”

Ms. Lowe said remote learning has its challenges. “Change is always uncomfortable, especially when it is forced upon you with little warning.”

Teacher had to think outside the box, reimagining and changing how they do their day-to-day job within a matter of days.

“It was difficult and a bit messy, but we made it work,” she said. “As I reflect on this experience, I realize that rethinking how I run my classes was a good thing. I won’t change everything when we are physically back in class, but one thing that I will do is seek out more guest speakers!”

You can find Reinhard’s map work on his website,

« Back to News