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WVU uses experiential learning to turn COVID-19 into an educational opportunity

Doctor of Pharmacy candidate Ashton Prusia administers vaccine at WVU Student Recreation Center.

Doctor of Pharmacy candidate Ashton Prusia administers vaccine at WVU Student Recreation Center. WVU Photo

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed higher education; however, West Virginia University students across all disciplines are working to change the pandemic, as well. WVU School of Dentistry students collaborated with Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources to design PPE. Eight student observers partnered with the CDC to observe mask usage on college campuses. College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences students taught PE for children with special needs and WVU School of Nursing students helped run a clinic for vaccine distribution and COVID-19 testing.


“For educators the COVID-19 pandemic has been a huge adaptive and transformative challenge. Teacher candidates in the WVUteach program are no exception. But like all good Mountaineers, they have met those challenges head on and emerged with new skills and ways of thinking about teaching and learning based upon the adaptations and implementation of responses to the current education challenges. I am so proud of our students and the k12 educators that are supporting them in these challenging times.” –Vanessa Licwov-Channell, WVUteach Clinical Assistant Professor, WVU Center for Excellence in STEM Education

“Virtual learning has really taken a toll on my success as a college student because learning means so much more than showing up now. It means being motivated to stay focused during your zoom sessions, finding time to keep your mind and body healthy while interacting with fewer peers, and also carrying the weight of the same expectations as we have for a normal year! One positive thing that’s come out from it is learning who has my best interest as a student and a person. There are instructors who are on top of reminding us that our health and safety matters and there are those who actually take action to make sure that we are putting ourselves first. The pandemic has opened my eyes to what people mean when they say they have my back.” –Laura Brock, junior, WVU College of Education and Human Services

“It’s awesome to see our students and the professionalism and skill that they’ve shown. It’s so rewarding to serve the community, the University and the state through these efforts.” –Dr. Teresa Ritchie, Chair of WVU School of Nursing Beckley Campus, Assistant Professor

“People leave the clinic empowered because they have hope. I don’t know how else we can do that for people. It’s empowering and it’s hopeful. That’s what we strive to do day to day. To be able to continue that mission, is so special and important. We all need encouragement, especially right now. And being a part of this has been so wonderful.” – Dr. Peggy Fink, Assistant Professor, WVU School of Nursing Beckley Campus and director of the WVU Tech student health clinic


Dental and engineering schools collaborate to design COVID-19 safety equipment.

WVU in the News: West Virginia University students partner with CDC for mark observation study.

WVU Medicine COVID-19 vaccine clinic.

Students gain real life teaching experience during pandemic.

WVU COVID-19 resources. 

Target audiences:

  • Prospective students
  • Educators
  • Parents
  • Alumni



CONTACT: Pamela Pritt
Managing Editor, WVU Today
University Relations/Communications

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