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Rays of Hope


QUEENS SHINES ITS LIGHT THROUGHOUT THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC


When COVID-19 altered the course of spring semester, Queens’ students, faculty, staff and alumni rose above their disappointment and uncertainty to support each other and the community. By sharing talents, skills and knowledge, Queens cast a positive light to the world during an unprecedented time, gracing the community with kindness in a variety of ways. Te following examples show how Queens glimmered through a global pandemic to provide rays of hope.


One of the first events cancelled due to the coronavirus was An Evening with Te Cousteaus (scheduled for March 17) presented by Te Learning Society. It was too late to cancel the event’s floral order, so the flowers were delivered to Hospice of Charlotte.


Presbyterian School of Nursing donated 34 PPE (personal protective equipment) kits to Atrium Health and Novant Health, respectively. Tese kits are normally used in the Christie and Jon Hunt Nursing Simulation Center to teach students how to mitigate risk of the transmission of infectious diseases.


Queens’ departments of biology, environmental science and chemistry donated nitrile gloves, chemical splash goggles and N95 masks to Novant Health. Badriah Cho, biology lab assistant; Jack Killion, chemistry safety officer/lab manager; and Patricia Koplas, professor of biology, coordinated the effort.


Queens created a Student Emergency Fund when students were asked to leave campus in March. In a short amount of time, more than $11,000 was raised to assist students with groceries, internet access, medications, medical bills, travel expenses home and other needs. Maria Flores-Mills, vice president, student


CREATING COMMUNITY THROUGH MUSIC


When Justin Smith came to Queens last summer, he immediately began the groundwork for forming a community choir. The assistant professor of music and director of choral activities knew that this was a great way to bring town and gown together. “It’s also a really efficient way to start getting


numbers into your program,” he explained. “If we can build the program with our music majors and our community members, then the non-music major students will come.” Last fall, the Queens Choral Union, a non- auditioned choir of 32, began rehearsals on Tuesday evenings. In November, the group performed


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Mozart’s Solemn Vespers with a professional orchestra, student musicians from Queens and violinist Peter DeVries, Queens’ artist-in-residence. Music teachers, choral directors and performers with Opera Carolina are examples of some of the community members who sing with the group. Smith says having these professionals perform with students provides wonderful mentorship opportunities. “We’re trying to build something that serves all


comers, that is really big enough and diverse enough to serve all kinds of singers,” said Smith. “I’m trying to create bucket list opportunities for our students.”


Queens Choral Union (left) performed Mozart’s Solemn Vespers this past November. MAGAZINE


engagement and dean of students, spearheaded the effort with Joey Haynes ’11, chaplain and director of the Davies Center for Faith and Outreach, and LeAnna Rice, associate dean of students. “We tried to be super intentional with how this money was used in order to honor the intent of the people who contributed,” said Flores-Mills.


Marco Scipioni, assistant professor of physics; Melissa Gamez, assistant professor of design; and Kyle Breitinger, MakerSpace assistant, designed and 3D-printed approximately 300 face shields for Huntersville Oaks Rehabilitation and Nursing Home, Atrium Pineville Rehabilitation and Acute Care Terapy and two Novant Health OBGYN practices, as well as Giant Penny, a Charlotte grocery store. Queens granted them permission to move 3D


printers from the newly opened MakerSpace at Queens to their homes during the pandemic so they could print the shields. “Tis really reinforces the whole mantra of what we feel like this MakerSpace should be,” said Gamez. “It’s ‘what can you do to impact the world in a positive way?’ ”


During the pandemic, professors used their virtual classrooms as an opportunity to engage hard-to-get guest speakers. For example, Jim Rooney, author of A Different Way to Win: Dan Rooney’s Story from the Super Bowl to the Rooney Rule, virtually met with James Allen, associate professor of sport management, and students from Allen’s Sport Policy and Ethics course on April 13. Jim’s grandfather, Art Rooney,


founded the Steelers organization, and Jim’s father, Dan, served as the impetus for the NFL’s Rooney Rule. Covered in Allen’s course, the Rooney Rule requires NFL teams to interview ethnic-minority candidates for head coaching jobs. “It was a great opportunity,” says Allen. “I think it lifted the spirits of a lot of the students.”


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