Pandemic Silver Linings

Faculty, students, and alumni contribute expertise and work the front lines during the coronavirus public health crisis.

Endicott Globe Photo by Terry Slater
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Everything changed at the end of February. Study abroad students were brought back to their hometowns; spring break was extended and students did not end up returning to campus; undergraduate programs moved to remote learning; sporting, Commencement, and other major events were postponed or canceled; and staff and faculty started working from home. What was happening around the world happened here at Endicott College—the campus became a ghost town.

In a series of communications sent to the Endicott community during these past few disruptive months, President Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph,D., encouraged all to remain positive. “In the toughest of times, we must all look for a silver lining,” he says. “The Endicott community is just that.” The silver lining for the College had much to do with the efforts of faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

So, what do Gulls do when the world is upside down? They roll up their sleeves and help. Here are just a few—of many—impressive examples.

Faculty Members Serve as Trusted Experts

Endicott's Lara SalahiFrom the Schools of Communication, Nursing, Professional Studies, and more, faculty members have been providing sound advice to countless media outlets so listeners, readers, and viewers get the best information possible when dealing with the multi-faceted challenges this pandemic presents.

  • School of Nursing Director of Master's Nurse Practitioner Program Amy Fuller has been addressing precautions that can be taken to avoid getting sick, how to mitigate the spread of disease, and special considerations for health professionals. She has been featured on many web publications.
  • Assistant Professor Lara Salahi is co-author of the book Outbreak Culture: The Ebola Crisis and the Next Epidemic, which sheds light on pandemics and the response to outbreaks. She has been lending her expertise to web, radio, and television outlets.
  • Husband and wife team Marisa Mickey, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science in the School of Sport Science & Fitness Studies, and
  • Jacob Mickey, Athletic Trainer for Endicott Athletics & Recreation, have been providing mental and physical wellness expertise during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A series of Zoom videos called Endicott Sessions were created and distributed via email and social media, featuring advice from faculty and staff on topics like sustainability concerns and job searching during a pandemic.

“In the toughest of times, we must all look for a silver lining. The Endicott community is just that.” – President Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph.D.

Students Make a Difference

Undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students in nursing, education, biology/biotechnology, criminal justice, and entrepreneurship have been contributing in unique ways to help others during this pandemic.

  • Allison Mulvey ’20 has been finding new and creative ways to connect with her students, enriching both their lives and hers.
  • Nursing Director and graduate student Tami Chase ‘21 knew that fear of COVID-19 was leading to a dangerous drop in child vaccine rates as parents avoided routine doctor visits, and created a solution to help.
  • A firefighter with Boston Fire Tower Ladder 3 and member of the U.S. Army Reserve, Michael Lydon ’20 works the COVID-19 front lines—all while earning his bachelor’s degree.
  • Roman Carnevale ’21 launched his 3D-PPE initiative and has been designing, printing, and distributing personal protection equipment (PPE) to community members in need.
  • With Massachusetts schools closed, 22 School of Education student teachers volunteered to help the children of Endicott faculty and staff during the pandemic.

Alumni Have Positive Impact

Making positive contributions to their communities during this public health crisis, alumni are directly working to combat the challenges associated with COVID-19.

  • An EMT in Westchester County, N.Y., Michael Minerva ’16 works eight- to 16-hour shifts minimum responding to COVID-19 patients. He was highlighted in the NCAA story “Responding to the need,” featuring current and former student-athletes—those who are stepping up during the pandemic.
  • The life of an emergency room nurse is always extremely hectic, and those feelings have notably intensified during the coronavirus. However, one such nurse, Jeanna Barbieri ’12, is fighting not only against a virus, but against patient loneliness caused by necessary “no visitor” policies in hospitals, with her Pictures for Patients project.
  • When Samantha Van Tassel ‘19 started her Endicott journey, she knew she wanted to be a physician assistant (PA). Today the world of healthcare looks drastically different as COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, but her experience has prepared her for everything.

“These are all true examples of what it means to be a Gull—expertise, ambition, creativity, and a commitment to community,” says President DiSalvo. So, while almost everything changed at the end of February, the spirit of the Endicott community did not. That’s quite a silver lining.