From maintaining the safety of campus facilities to keeping the arts alive, NC State faculty and staff are stepping up (and out of) their roles to help out as the university community navigates the COVID-19 crisis together.
Below are a few examples of the people and programs making a big difference. If you have a story to share, please let us know.
Preparation is Key
Thanks to his efforts, campus preparation was well underway by the time the first case of the coronavirus was confirmed in North Carolina. Waldon had researched additional disinfectants and revised cleaning protocols in partnership with Environmental Health and Safety. Housekeeping had ordered extra supplies and trained employees on new procedures.
On campus, Housekeeping employees have increased how often they disinfect high-touch surfaces such as door handles, light switches, sink faucets and restrooms. They also switched to a new disinfectant that kills germs in just 30 seconds.
“Environmental Health and Safety has verified that current cleaning and disinfection processes and chemicals succeed in combating coronavirus,” Baldwin says. “We are doing everything possible to keep our campus community and staff healthy.”
Eva Kavalova (far left), student affairs coordinator with NC State Prague, provided extraordinary support to students who needed to return home quickly when their study abroad program was abruptly suspended. She is pictured with students on a South Bohemian excursion at the start of the semester.
“Our sole goal was to get the students directly back to the U.S., or return them to Prague, then to the U.S.,” says Anaël Symůnková, communications specialist with the NC State European Center in Prague.
The crisis amplified on March 13 when the Czech government declared that it would close all borders to foreigners on March 16, Symůnková says. “Students who had already booked plane tickets to leave the following week saw their flights canceled.”
NC State Prague Director Kim Strozewski, Associate Director Megan Winzeler and Student Affairs Coordinator Eva Kavalova worked around the clock over the course of four days to help students navigate the complicated process of booking flights back to the U.S. Also important, Symůnková says, the NC State Prague team gave the students “full emotional and logistic support in a very stressful time.”
“Announcement after announcement kept coming out about countries closing borders, airlines shutting down service, and a countrywide quarantine in the whole Czech Republic,” Winzeler says. “Eva navigated these announcements with a calm, collected demeanor and always exercised incredible empathy and patience when communicating with each and every student.”
MarketPlace Team Moves Mountains
The MarketPlace team — Chanelle Corpening, Blain Woods and Eric Shiflett — helps faculty and staff source products and services that are vital to daily operations.
“Our MarketPlace team, in particular, is actively sourcing medical, household and cleaning supply products, which are vital for fighting the coronavirus,” says Maria Fister, lead instructional designer with Procurement and Business Services. “We are in daily communication with the university’s MarketPlace suppliers, who are either taking pre-orders for items that are on backorder or are confirming which items are in stock and ready for purchase.”
If you are a faculty or staff member in need of assistance finding products, visit the Procurement and Business Services website or contact the MarketPlace team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Arts Flourish Online
This strange new age of social distancing isn’t stopping Arts NC State from hosting its Flourish Festival — an arts and mental wellness initiative started last year in partnership with the Counseling Center to encourage healthy conversations and reflection about how the arts impact our well-being.
“It was disheartening to see so many arts events canceled due to COVID-19, but we knew that there could still be opportunities for our students and community to engage with the arts while physical distancing,” says Amy Sawyers-Williams, coordinator of arts outreach and engagement with Arts NC State.
The Student Art Sale starts at noon April 17, and student artist submissions are due April 3. Students are also invited to submit their original work in music, dance and theater for a Creative Artist Award by April 3.
“Our entire staff came together to create a comprehensive list of online arts experiences like plays, concerts, dance classes and virtual museum tours that our community could access, and we are adding to it every day,” Sawyers-Williams says. “While it’s not the same as being in a live audience, we hope that it will provide folks with some sense of calm and creativity while we ride this out together.”