The Board of Regents is pleased to present a group KUDOS award to Joel Webb, Associate Director and Radiation Safety Officer for Environmental Health and Safety; Gabriel Hampton, Assistant Director for Building Systems Maintenance; Larry Shippen, Associate Director for Housing Facilities Operations; and Jack Dohrman, University Space Manager at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
With the rise of the current pandemic, significant challenges needed to be overcome to ensure that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) was prepared and positioned to be able to safely welcome students back on campus for the Fall 2020 semester. As a result of the hard work of faculty and staff, UNL was one of the most in-person institutions for students in the country. Many individuals spent countless hours developing plans and guidelines that would ensure the safety of students, faculty, staff and the greater campus community. Through an unprecedented level of cross-unit collaboration, “boots on the ground” efforts, and the leadership and coordination of Joel Webb, Gabriel Hampton, Larry Shippen, and Jack Dohrman, these plans were translated into tangible actions that formed important cornerstones of UNL’s preparedness.
This group of trailblazers and their respective teams worked and collaborated at an exceedingly high level to ensure that:
- Housing units were made ready to use as isolation units, if needed, by the broader State community, and staff were properly trained and prepared to support these housing units.
- Twelve hundred (1200) hand sanitizer dispensers were designed, built, and strategically placed throughout campus.
- Plexi-glass barriers were sourced, built, and installed at countless strategic locations across campus.
- All classrooms were measured and marked with an eye to safety and physical distancing but grounded on teaching delivery and continuity.
- Faculty in all colleges and departments, as well as academic leadership, were involved at each step in the dedensification of classrooms to ensure they were part of the final configurations.
- General purpose classrooms and elevators were stocked with sanitation supplies.
- Health and wellness supplies were sourced, made available to the campus community through UNL’s Online Market Place, and delivered efficiently.
- Logistical plans were put into place so goods, materials, and campus-wide shipments received at a central location (while buildings were locked down) and timely distributed throughout campus.
- Planning tools and building infrastructure were in place to support safe resumption of research activities.
- Testing pods were constructed and placed to position the University for Spring semester.
The cross-collaboration, dedication to the university and its citizens, and outstanding leadership demonstrated by these individuals representing Business and Finance and Student Affairs, exemplifies the “In Our Grit, Our Glory” spirit of UNL. They are also an example of exemplary teamwork, creativity, and proactive attitude.
Please join me in thanking Joel Webb, Gabriel Hampton, Larry Shippen, and Jack Dohrman for their dedication to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.