As the coronavirus reached Wyoming, many institutions for higher learning closed their physical doors to protect the students and communities they were a part of. Colleges were among those that have had to take their teaching online to allow students and faculty to attend remotely to help fight the pandemic. The colleges’ responses to COVID 19 in Wyoming once again shows why these smaller colleges are the backbone of higher learning and community outreach programs that serve the larger community. Whether it is because so many of our nurses and first responders are trained through these colleges or because they are ready to serve in making masks and donating materials during a crisis, it has never been more evident that these institutions are essential to our country.
Here are Colleges’ Responses to COVID 19 in Wyoming
Faculty and staff at Casper College have been actively helping fight the spread or COVID 19 by making face masks. They have made and donated over 100 accordion masks and are also sewing hundreds of shaped filtration masks. These have been donated to healthcare workers and residents in the community. Casper College has also utilized its 3-D printers to manufacture face shields to donate as extra PPE to local healthcare facilities.
Western Wyoming Community College
Western Wyoming Community College has addressed the challenges that many students across the country have felt in transitioning to online learning in a very hands-on way. Members of the IT department have built computers to deliver to students that did not have access to suitable technology during this time of remote learning. The exercise department has created online “Fitness Fridays” to help the community remain active and fit during the stay at home orders. With exercise directly related to mental health, this program is very beneficial during this time. The college is also utilizing its 3-D printers to produce masks to donate as well. Faculty at the college have been very creative to ensure students continue to learn and even compete virtually in certain courses such as the packing and outfitting competition. To learn more about Western’s COVID-19 response, visit https://www.westernwyoming.
Students at faculty at Sheridan College wanted to help with the shortage of PPE during the pandemic so they partnered up with Whitney Benefits to be able to produce 3-D printed face masks and face shields. Whitney Benefits donated a 3-D printer to the college allowing its faculty and students that have the knowledge and skillset to use it to manufacture PPE to donate to healthcare facilities within the community. Sheridan has 3-D printers but after one broke they needed another one to continue production at the same rate, that when Whitney Benefits stepped in.
Northern Wyoming Community College
At Northern Wyoming Community College both alumnus and faculty have joined together to produce face masks for the local community. They are using the school’s 3-D printers on campus to produce masks. Northern Wyoming Community College has tried to make graduation meaningful differently by sending each graduate a graduation box.
Eastern Wyoming College
Faculty and the President of Eastern Wyoming College spent the two-month lockdown sewing masks for the GEAR UP program. The cloth masks are reusable and are meant for the community, not for the medical healthcare workers.
University of Wyoming
Faculty and staff at the University of Wyoming have teamed up with the Wyoming Technology Coronavirus Coalition to organize PPE donation sites. These medical supply drives are asking residents to donate any unused PPE such as masks, gloves, sanitizer, isolation gowns, etc. so they can be distributed to medical facilities in the local community. The university has also been utilizing its 3-D printers on campus to produce face masks and face shields to be used as personal protective equipment. With the shortage of supplies being felt across the country Wyoming communities want to ensure the safety of their medical workers and members of their communities as well. These 3-D printed items of PPE are being donated. They have been able to produce up to 150 per week.
The community outreach of these community colleges and institutions for higher learning has been just as unprecedented as the crisis of COVID 19. They have stepped up during a time of need to donate supplies, serve their students, provide needed financial assistance, and offer training to help communities navigate a quickly evolving situation. The future is in good hands with people that show empathy, have a desire to serve and lift those around them during the time of crisis. The colleges’ response to COVID 19 in Wyoming has shown what it is to unite under one cause and become better as individuals and as communities because of it.
Know of any other incredible college responses to COVID-19 in Wyoming? Let us know so we can recognize them!