Let’s be honest, COVID-19 changed life as we know it.
Not only did the virus affect thousands of businesses and organizations, it temporarily shut down Northern Kentucky University’s on-campus operations for the first time in our 52-year history. By early June, the virus had infected more than 6 million people across the globe.
The pandemic changed how we work, learn and communicate. It’s changed our approach to health care and education. Nearly a year later, the impacts are still extensive and have far-reaching consequences. We cancelled family vacations. We bought (and made) multiple masks—one for each day of the week. We bought our groceries online. We celebrated commencement ceremonies and graduation parties over Zoom. We stood in driveways and outside nursing home windows when we visited our grandparents. We even cut our own hair.
While there is no doubt that COVID-19 has put into question what life will look like in the coming months, one thing is certain: we are in this together. When local medical professionals faced shortages of critical resources, NKU answered the call by donating ventilators, N95 masks and Nitrile gloves to local hospitals. FUEL NKU, our on-campus food pantry, provided food and toiletries to students in need.
In the links below, you'll meet just a few of the amazing NKU students, faculty and alumni who spent their time easing the impact of the pandemic.
It Takes A Village
When Newport High School transitioned to a virtual format earlier last year, Donna Watts (’03) continued to do what she has always done—help her students and their families.
Expect the Unexpected
When Shannah Borders (’19) began her career as a nurse for St. Elizabeth Healthcare, she was prepared for anything. What Borders didn’t expect was that she would become a frontline worker during a global pandemic within the first year of her career.
A Quarantine Hobby
John Ewing was on a plane home from Florida when he received an email that Northern Kentucky University would immediately transition to an online-only environment. As his spring break came to an end, his quarantine began.
Severe Learning Curve
A profession in teaching is one of uncertainty and controlled chaos, especially during the elementary years. Throwing a pandemic into the mix does not make the life of an educator any easier. Megan Louis ('17), kindergarten teacher at Willowville Elementary in Batavia, Ohio, can attest for that.
A Crafty Adventure
As Joe Cress (’12, ’12, ’17) saw the effects of the pandemic unfold, he wondered if there was anything he could do to help. As he searched for a sign to get involved, one appeared in the form of a Joann Fabrics coupon for discounted fabric, sewing machines and designs for handmade masks.
Learn to Adapt
During the first crucial months of the pandemic, Erin Kelley’s career shifted dramatically. Kelley, a 2011 alumna of Northern Kentucky University and professor of nursing at NKU, has not only been teaching future nurses, but she was also a bedside nurse herself at St. Elizabeth Healthcare.