Dr. Aimee Hollander has a PhD in microbiology and immunology. Inside asked students what questions they would ask and Dr. Hollander responded.

Bring us up to date on what we know about COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a new virus that humans have not seen before. Coronaviruses in general are a type of virus that can cause mild upper respiratory infections in humans. However this particular one is new to the human race. 

How do you get it? Can you be around it and not get it?

Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently we are observing community spread, which means individuals have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

If you were a healthy student, what would you do to stay safe?

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.  

Both the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization (also see Louisiana Department of Health for more information) recommend that healthy individuals avoid large crowds, avoid close contact with others, wash your hands frequently, stay home if you are feeling sick, cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (phones, steering wheels, doorknobs, etc).  

Would you take any additional steps if you are going to be around someone elderly or with an underlying condition?

I personally would avoid any contact with individuals that are 60+ years of age, immunocompromised or have an underlying condition, if possible. I told my elderly parents we will be facetiming until infection rates subside. You may not be exhibiting symptoms or severe symptoms early in infection but could still expose others to the virus. 

Why is it safer to wash your hands than use hand sanitizer?

In general handwashing when possible is the best way to prevent both bacterial and viral infections. In the case of COVID-19, it has an envelope made up of lipids (fat). If you have ever watched a Dawn Dish soap commercial you see that soap cuts through grease. Similarly when you wash your hands with soap and water you disrupt the virus envelope which inactivates the virus. 

If washing your hands is not possible (WASH YOUR HANDS) then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that has at least 60 percent alcohol.  Make sure to follow directions on the hand sanitizer to ensure it inactivates the virus. 

What do you do when you are sick?

Stay home and do not expose anyone to your illness. Even if you don’t have COVID-19 please do not expose others to your illness. Hospitals, doctor’s offices and urgent care do not need to be overwhelmed with other infectious diseases during this pandemic.  

If you suspect you have COVID-19 (please see CDC and WHO websites for symptoms), follow the directions of your local health authority.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up-to-date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.

Why is it spreading so quick?

You can shed the virus before feeling symptoms. That means people who have COVID-19 could be unknowingly spreading it before feeling sick (even if they do not have severe symptoms). Also since it is spread by respiratory droplets it can easily be spread from person to person. 

Why is this scarier than the flu?

This virus is scarier than the flu because we are still figuring out how contagious and deadly it is amongst various groups of people. Little is known about this particular virus since it is new. However, scientists and doctors are working around the clock to understand how this virus makes us sick and how fatal it really is. 

What can we do to protect our families?

Stay home if you are feeling ill and consider teleworking if possible. Take steps to prevent infection in your own household with frequent hand washing, disinfecting common areas (kitchen, remotes to TV, keyboards on family computers, etc). Have a family preparedness plan such as having two weeks of essential supplies like prescription medicines, food, diapers, establish ways you plan to communicate with friends and family and have childcare, telework and event cancellation plans in place. 

How do you manage the stress and anxiety from this outbreak?

From the CDC: Take care of yourself, your friends and your family. This can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.

Things the CDC recommends you can do to support yourself: 

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

Is there anything else you’d want to tell your students that I didn’t ask?

Please take care of yourselves by trying to eat well, get enough sleep and look out for one and other during this stressful and uncertain time. 

If you get sick with any illness, please stay home until your symptoms subside or you are at least fever free for 24-48 hours. If you suspect you have COVID-19, make sure to call your doctor’s office or hospital ahead of time to prepare them for your visit. 

Finally, stop the social stigma around COVID-19. People can fight stigma and help, not hurt, others by providing social support. Counter stigma by learning and sharing facts. Communicating the facts that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups and how COVID-19 actually spreads can help stop stigma.

Nicholls Launches Coronavirus Info on Website

The safety and health of our campus community is our top priority and we are closely monitoring the rapidly evolving information regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak.

Daily Comet: Nicholls and Fletcher sign new transfer agreements

Agreements signed this week will make it easier for students to transfer class credit between Fletcher Technical Community College to Nicholls State University.

* Note this is a link to a website that utilizes a paywall.

Nicholls Visits Submar Headquarters

Nicholls administrators including Dr. Clune visited Submar to learn about erosion.

Welcome to Nicholls:
Lanny Remondet began as the head equipment manager for Athletics (March 11).
Leah Richard began as an IT client support specialist for Information Technology (March 9).
Nathan Richard began as an adjunct for the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute (Jan.15).
Caitlin Morris Bacon began as an adjunct for nursing (March 16).
Teli Dempster began as an administrative coordinator for nursing (March 10).

Student Tips for Online Learning

Nicholls Online Director Offers Tips for Transition

We are constantly updating the Online Course Development page on Google. Please refer to this with questions about moving online. Here is a folder that has the information on how to quickly and effectively move your course online. This folder and its documents are a living breathing resource. We will be constantly updating it as needed. Let me know if you want me to add anything or rename anything. Here are a few other things: 

  • This folder has steps that faculty can take in creating an online course.
  • It also contains simple instructions on how to do Live Lectures with classes and upload recorded lectures to classes.
  • Let me know if you need help with teaching online and I can add them to our Online Course Design training.
  • If you need a webcam, the Distance Learning Committee suggests Logitech HD Laptop Webcam C615
  • We do NOT suggest that faculty put video files on Moodle. They should use YouTube or a similar service. All faculty have a YouTube account connected to their Nicholls email address. Dr. James Gilley created a tutorial on how to use this account: 
  • We added a Virtual Labs folder for those of you that teach lab classes.
  • We have added information about giving Online Assessments.
  • Zoom has made call times unlimited for educational conferences. If this does not work for you, let me know.
  • ProctorU has lowered their price for Review+ to $7. Remember the student has to pay that cost, so try to limit the use if you choose to use ProctorU.
  • Distance Learning has secured some webcams for faculty. If you need one, please send me an email.
  • Nicole Cotten will be doing some virtual trainings this week to assist in teaching and testing online. Click on the link below for more information. Please try to attend.

If you are a member of faculty, visit here

Nicholls Cafe to Assist Faculty in Online Instruction Preparedness

The CAFE will offer assistance to faculty as we prepare for online instruction. In addition to the shared Google Drive and accompanying resources located there, the CAFE Preparedness for Online Instruction page is active. Please click here to access the page.

This page has been set up to list the workshops, resources, and technology available to faculty as we prepare for online instruction.

Faculty are welcome to attend workshops at their convenience. During the week of March 17-21, more workshops will be offered in many formats, including live streaming.  

Please check the CAFE webpage often for updates.

Student Places First in NATS Conference Hosted at Nicholls

Nicholls State University Music Department hosted the 75th Annual National Association of Teachers of Singing State Conference. Pictured are vocal students Marigny Cortez, Ironda Daniels, Darius Scott and vocal professor Dr. Valerie Francis.

Scott placed first in the junior treble tenor bass division. Darius also tied for first place in the NATS regional competition at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas, in November. He represented himself, his family, his Vacherie community, St. James Parish and High School, our Music department and university with class, poise, talent and humility.

Other competitors from Nicholls included: Cullen Boudreaux, Marigny Cortez, Ironda Daniels, Rhea Grigsby, Alyssa Kortright, Molly Lebouef, Meagen Rousse and Erin Templet. Congratulations to all involved.

Need More Information on COVID-19?

Crawfish Aquatics Hiring Coaches, Instructors and Lifeguards

PETSM Students Attend AADE Meeting in New Orleans

PETSM Associate President Dr. John Griffin (third from right) joins his students at the March 5 meeting of the American Association of Drilling Engineers (AADE) in New Orleans. The keynote presentation was a talk on Cement Bond Logging. AADE student section president Katelyn Murry (right to Dr. Griffin). 

“These students are changed by this exposure to industry personnel and networking events,” Dr. Griffin said. “It’s just so difficult to get them to participate, so any ideas are welcome!”

Swim Lessons Begin in April

2020 Service Awards Winners Announced

The Service Awards Program honors employees for their dedication to Nicholls. Recipients are:

40 Year Recipients: Terry Dantin and Carole George

35 Year Recipients: Sandra Waguespack and David Zerangue

30 Year Recipients: Cindy Andrews, Kim Brown, Connie Doran and Elizabeth McCurry

25 Year Recipients: Melanie Benoit, Madeline Cagle, Dr. Michael Chiasson, Rachel Dufrene, Bruno Ruggiero and Dr. Joseph Thysell

20 Year Recipients: Darren Adams, Gina Bergeron, Claire Bourgeois, Louis Caro, Dr. Kenneth Chadwick, Karen Cheramie, Amanda Fremin, Danny Gorr, Carmen Hamilton, Dr. Todd Keller, Donna Naquin, Dolly Rodrigue, James Schilling, Dr. Andrew Simoncelli and Janice Trosclair.

15 Year Recipients: Dr. Luke Cashen, Kristy Deshotel, Dr. Yusheng Dou, Kathy Dugas, Rachel Hebert, Octave Hymel, Dr. Rajkumar Nathaniel, Constance Olivier, Dr. Tiffany Papa, Dr. Balaji Ramachandran, Dr. Abigail Scherer, Dr. William Thibodeaux, Dr. Ianna West and Rhonda Zeringue.

10 Year Recipients: Jeanne Hamner, Dr. Xun Li, Quentin Mathews, Jenna Portier, Dr. Darcey Wayment and Amelie Zeringue

5 Year Recipients: Alex Arceneaux, Danny Authement, Kristie Ayo, Callie Baskett, Allison Bergeron, Robert Christophel, Nicole Cotten, Darrell Folse, Marnya Forbes, Jeremy Grassman, Hailey Hodson, Dr. Mary Jackson, Lakeisha Johnson, Dr. Brian Knight, Paul Kohles, Lucas LeCompte, Dr. Matthew Marlow, Dr. Stephanie Merrell, Shantel Mokhtarnejad, Timothy Murphy, Jimmy Nguyen, April Pejic, Dr. Jennifer Plaisance, Dr. Uttam Pokharel, Chrystal Portier, Timothy Rebowe, Melissa Remark, Dianne Richoux, Lee Roussel, Thomas Rybacki, Dr. Derek Shanman, Kathryn Waggenspack, Brian Wallace and Dr. Yu Zhang

Nominations Sought for Awards

Award season at Nicholls is upon us, and we seek nominations for several awards. Attached are the forms and eligibility requirements for each award:

The Mamie Bourgeois Memorial Award and Outstanding Trade Award are also seeking nominations. The Mamie Bourgeois Award and Outstanding Trades Employee Award are two awards given annually that recognize the unwavering optimism and honorable service of two civil service employees at Nicholls.

Check out Inside Bulletin for More!

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