Chapman University is playing a vital role in the community fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Students use their technology skills to quickly produce face shields. Physician Assistant Studies faculty cover extra shifts in area hospitals. Now the university is providing apartment-style student housing to first responders who need to self-isolate after confirmed or suspected exposure to COVID-19.
Through an agreement with the City of Orange, Chapman will offer temporary housing in university-owned apartments that offer private rooms with kitchens. The university has prepped 20 units in Panther Village apartments for the cause.
The university welcomes the opportunity to offer this important temporary housing that helps protect first responders’ families, said Chapman President Daniele C. Struppa.
“First responders are putting themselves at risk every day to keep our community safe,” Struppa said. “As a member of the Orange community, it’s our honor to do what we can to support them and provide them with housing while they are away from their loved ones.”
The agreement directly benefits health and safety in the community, said Sgt. Phil McMullin of the Orange Police Department.
“The Orange Police Department appreciates the support and partnership with Chapman University during these unprecedented times. This agreement will help protect our first responders who are dedicated to providing public safety in our community,” McMullin said.
The provision of such backup housing is one of several ways the Chapman community is helping in the coronavirus battle. Among those efforts:
- Students and faculty have used Chapman 3D printers to produce more than 1,000 face shields for local healthcare workers.
- With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the university’s Thompson Policy Institute on Disability (TPI) developed a series of education webinars for teacher candidates who are desperately needed to fill an existing teacher shortage worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.
- With the goal of helping find solutions to the pandemic, Chapman awarded nearly $95,000 in coronavirus rapid response research grants to faculty in fields ranging from bioscience to public health policy.
- Students of physics professor Stephanie Bailey wrote thoughtful letters of encouragement to residents of Plaza Senior Community Living in Orange, all of whom are confined to their apartment units during the pandemic. Coincidentally, among the recipients is Chapman alumna Bev Weatherill ’50.
Those projects and more will be discussed in a Community Impact Forum with Chapman University at noon on Friday, April 24. All are welcome to join the livestream. A question and answer period will be included.
Panelists for the town-hall-style discussion will include City of Orange Mayor Mark Murphy; Chapman’s Harold Hewitt, executive vice president and chief operating officer; Tom Piechota, vice president for research; Jack Raubolt, vice president of community relations; Janeen Hill, dean of Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences; and Andrew Lyon, dean of Fowler School of Engineering. Collette Creppell, vice president of campus planning, will moderate.