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Innovating and leading through a global pandemic

CMU perseveres through one year of COVID-19

Contact: Andrea Mestdagh


In the last 366 days, CMU Chippewas have faced one of the biggest obstacles this world has seen in 100 years: COVID-19. It’s changed life for everyone across the globe and within our university community, from how students take classes and conduct research to how faculty and staff interact.

In times of change, we innovate. The last year has pushed us to move outside our comfort zones and find new ways to lead and lift each other up.

Take a look at how our students, faculty and staff have persevered through challenges over the past year, supporting each other — and making a difference in our community, state and beyond — along the way.


Socially distant

Stepping up in a time of crisis



As the pandemic and uncertainty around it unfolded, students, faculty and staff found ways to step up and help others, from working at testing sites to volunteering at hospitals. CMU Chippewas have ensured those working hard on the front lines are taken care of, too, by offering psychiatric support to physicians.

Researchers haven’t stopped either. Faculty have shared groundbreaking information about comorbidities and how COVID-19 can affect patients with certain diseases; they’ve helped create new ways of detecting COVID-19, allowing people to quarantine sooner and slow the spread.


Violin Outdoors

Overcoming and adapting



When the entire world shuts down, it can be hard to stay connected. But CMU Chippewas come to every situation with a Fired-Up attitude, and COVID-19 was no different.

The School of Music continued playing outside; University Theatre performances went virtual; Faculty created reusable masks with the Makerbot 3D printing lab, and students shared their reasons to Fire Up, Mask Up. CMU Chippewas everywhere tackled remote internships and held camps and classes virtually.


Vaccine Administration

Moving forward



In times of crisis, we look to our leaders. Our students are on the front lines, administering vaccines to eligible community members with the Central Michigan District Health Department. Faculty and staff have helped create a surveillance testing network, so we can know where outbreaks are happening sooner. As it became too dangerous for older community members to leave their houses, our students brought healthcare to them in a safe and socially-distanced environment.


Student in mask

Impacting the future



Our community of doers has gone above and beyond the actual virus and disease it spreads. Alumni have used the skills they learned here at CMU to create virtual classrooms and led the way to a Super Bowl gameday like no other. They came together to support current students, surpassing Giving Tuesday fundraising goals by more than $100k because they know the value of a CMU education.

Our students and faculty created transport medium, a liquid to help in the COVID-19 testing process. They found new ways to make masks that meet high filtration standards.

And when an historic flood hit a nearby community, our students stepped up to help them, too.

CMU Chippewas lead every day. We have taken the last 366 days as a challenge to step up and help others. And we’ll continue to find new ways to help, because that’s what We Do.


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