07:39 AM

UST Faculty Members Find Ways to Serve During Pandemic

Dr. Shivas Amin modeling his 3-D printer face shieldDr. Amin Makes, Gives Face Shield to UST Students in Need

Dr. Shivas Amin, associate professor in Biology, has been making mask prototypes on university 3-D printers since the city of Houston’s Stay Home, Work Safe campaign sent everyone working and going to school from home. Dr. Amin, wants the UST community to be safe, especially students in service industry jobs. He wants students to know, that “if you have a job in which you must come in close contact with people, you may consider wearing a clear face shield (in addition to a mask) to protect your eyes and face from potential viral exposure. Individuals who have preexisting health conditions that increase risk to COVID (or live with family who do) should consider taking extra precautions when returning to work.”

If you are in this vulnerable population, please email Dr. Amin (amins@stthom.edu) and he can provide a clear plastic face shield that can be used to supplement to a mask.

Dr. Crystal YoungDr. Young Delivers Basic Supplies for Plant it Forward Along with Bonus Services

Chemistry Associate Professor Crystal Young has recently (since the social distancing recommendations) been volunteering with her church and Fondren Apartment Ministries (FAM) to deliver Plant it Forward (PIF) farm shares and other basic supplies to some Congolese refugee families once a week. The money for the farm shares was donated by the church and supports the refugee farmers.

“It has been a really eye opening experience for me to see how very different the experience is for these families during this pandemic,” Young said. “The first week we made a delivery most seemed unaware that there was a virus going around much less understanding how to stay safe and well. Part of FAM is building community and relationship and in addition to delivering these essentials, we are also checking how the families are doing and offering resources for applying for unemployment. There are high school students in the families that are struggling with the new online format for school and we are looking into options for one-on-one tutoring,” she said.

Dr. Jack FollisDr. Jack Follis Gives $2,000 Gift to CeltCare

Math Associate Professor and Alumnus Jack Follis ‘94, '02, donated $2,000 to the CeltCare fund to help students affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

"I donated to the CeltCare fund is because it's important that we support students however we can," Follis said.


Join Drs. Barrett, Botts and Wolfe Who Share Experiences, Expertise with Students during Current Challenges

The Master of Public Policy & Administration (MPPA) students participated in webinar "Public Policy in Current Times" with three faculty members on April 15 via webinar. The graduate program centers on equipping students to make and to provide informed analysis to address public policy challenges. Absent the classroom and seminar meeting opportunities during the pandemic, the MPPA students convened virtually to discuss curr

Dr. Christopher Wolfe

ent challenges.

The Professors Eric Botts (specialist in technology), Christopher Wolfe (specialist in federal politics), and Beverly Barrett (specialist in international economy) commented on distinct policy areas as relate to the pandemic. The students, working across a variety of sectors - in public education, nonprofit management, and higher education - shared their experiences on what is working well and what is challenging personally while working from home. We are living in a period of uncertainty, regarding how long special accommodations will be given for school and for work during the pandemic. In the meantime, everyone concurred that we are taking everything day-by-day while staying optimistic.Dr. Beverly Barrett

Topics of interest that we consider in the MPPA forums “Public Policy in Current Times” include:

- Government power v. individual liberty

- US Fiscal Policy economic stabilization package passed by Congress in late March

- Role of technology in life and workforce

- Health care responses nationally and globally

- Potential for international cooperation

All are welcome to join next month’s online forum "Public Policy in Current Times II" on May 19 (from 12:30-1:30pm). Please email Beverly Barrett – barretbf@stthom.edu - if any readers would like to request to join the session.

*Eric Botts not pictured.