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COVID-19 Information

About COVID-19

In response to an emerging and rapidly developing outbreak of a 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), Mount St. Mary’s University is taking proactive steps to ensure the health and safety of our community, including a transition to remote delivery of classes and instructional support services. As of May 28, there are no reported cases on campus and 1,824 cases in Frederick County.

Student Resources

Please refer to the resources and frequently asked questions below for additional information to best guide your concerns:

Public Resources

CDC – Situation Summary CDC – Cases in the U.S. CDC – Information for Travel CDC - Travel Health Notices Frederick County Health Department Frederick Health Johns Hopkins – Global Cases Map Maryland Department of Health U.S. Department of State WHO – Overview WHO – Rolling Updates

CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants for Students

As of May 22, 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided Mount St. Mary’s University (the Mount) with $839,010 in funds to be distributed to students as Emergency Financial Aid Grants. The funds were provided to assist eligible students who incurred “expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child-care expenses.”

Eligibility criteria

Only students who are or could be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), may receive emergency financial aid grants. The criteria to participate in programs under Section 484 of the HEA include but are not limited to the following: U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen; a valid Social Security number; registration with Selective Service (if the student is male); and a high school diploma, GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting. The Mount estimates 1,462 students meet this eligibility criteria.

Distribution process

In order to distribute funds to students with the highest need as quickly as possible, the Mount is awarding CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants in two phases. Emergency Financial Aid Grants awarded in Phase 1 of $433,565 were mailed to students on or before Friday, May 22, 2020. Phase 2 awards funds will be determined and distributed later in the year.

Phase 1 Distribution

To be considered for an award, eligible students had to have filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) and enrolled in classes for the spring 2020 semester.

Additionally, the student must have been enrolled in classes that did not take place exclusively online prior to March 13, 2020 and meet other defined criteria. To prioritize students with the most need, the Mount awarded undergraduate Pell Grant recipients $600. Undergraduate students who did not receive a Pell Grant but had an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) less than $50,000 on their FAFSA were awarded $245. Adult accelerated undergraduate Pell Grant recipients were awarded $150 and adult accelerated undergraduate students who did not receive a Pell Grant with an EFC of less than $10,000 were awarded $50.

Additionally, eligible students who submitted an Application for Assistance online on or before April 30 were awarded $150 in additional funding. One eligible student who submitted an Application for Assistance was deemed to be of extreme high need and received an award of $3,200.

A total of 1,192 eligible students have been awarded CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants totaling $433,565 in the phase 1 distribution.

Phase 2 Distribution

Phase 2 distribution will occur in the summer of 2020. In order to be considered for funding under Phase 2, eligible students must file a 2019-2020 FAFSA no later than June 30, 2020.

Do I need to complete a FAFSA to receive CARES Act Funds?

The only way to determine if a student meets the eligibility requirements to receive CARES Act funding is by completing a FAFSA. Students who have not filed a FAFSA and would like to be considered for funding under Phase 2 should immediately file a 2019-2020 FAFSA. The FAFSA must be processed no later than June 30, 2020, to be considered for phase 2 funding. Additional details regarding Phase 2 awards and funding will be posted to the website when available.

Are the funds I receive from the CARES Act taxable?

According the IRS website, “Emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as unexpected expenses for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, or childcare, are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. This grant is not includible in your gross income.”

Do I have to repay the emergency financial aid grant I received from my university through the CARES Act?

No. The funds provided by the CARES Act are grants, so they do not need to be repaid.

What can I spend the money on? Will I need to show receipts?

They money you have received is yours. You do not need to show receipts. The funds were provided to assist eligible students who incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.

Why didn’t I receive a Phase 1 CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grant?

In order to receive funding under Phase 1 you must:

  • Have submitted a complete 2019-20 FAFSA.
  • Be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.*
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen with a valid Social Security Number.
  • Be an undergraduate, enrolled at the Mount during Spring 2020 at the time of the campus disruption due to coronavirus.
  • Meet minimum satisfactory academic progress standards.
  • Have an EFC less than $50,000.
  • Not be in default on a Title IV loan.
  • Not have federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale.

*The Mount estimates 1,462 students are eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

I was enrolled exclusively in online classes prior to March 13, 2020. Do I qualify for CARES Act funds?

You are not eligible for CARES Act funds if you were enrolled exclusively in an online program on March 13, 2020.

How do I get additional information on the eligibility and/or awarding of the CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants for Students?

For questions on the eligibility and/or awarding of the CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants for Students please email mountcovidaid@msmary.edu or call Renee Ginn at 301-447-5382.

FAQs: Prospective Students

Is the Mount open to admissions visitors?

Mount St. Mary’s has temporarily suspended all campus visits through April 30 to support the health of visitors and campus community members. We will re-evaluate the situation as that date approaches.

I am an accepted student. How can I learn more about the Mount during this time?

Congratulations on being accepted into the Class of 2024! We want to hear from you. You can call the admissions office at 1-800-448-4347 and leave a message. A member of the admissions staff will return your call that day. You can also email anyone on the admissions staff.

We are hosting a variety of online visit opportunities, including webinars featuring discussions with deans and faculty, online visits, and Instagram Live events. We also encourage you to check out the Accepted Students webpage.

I had planned to attend an admissions event on campus. What should I do?

We urge you to take advantage of our online visit opportunities, including webinars featuring discussions with deans and faculty, online visits, and Instagram Live events. We look forward to visiting with you virtually now and in person later.

Will the May 1 decision deadline be moved?

We have moved the deadline to June 1 in light of the unique circumstances facing admitted students and their families.

Will there be accepted student days before June?

Yes! We will be hosting Virtual Accepted Students Days May 17, 18 and 19. Additionally, we continue to add new online visit and event opportunities so be sure to see what may work for your schedule.

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Protocol for Moving Out

Mount St. Mary’s has been approved by the Governor’s Office to allow students to return to campus for a phased move out beginning May 16th. Travel made by you, or your helpers, to retrieve your possessions is deemed essential travel. We want to make this process as smooth as possible, and are committed to doing our very best to accommodate your needs while maintaining social distancing procedures. Please read the following highlights carefully, and all the steps below.

It is critical that you follow these guidelines for your safety and the saftey of our team.

General Guidelines

  1. In order to facilitate a safe and efficient process, you must schedule a specified move out time at least 24 hours in advance. Please do not show up without an appointment. We must limit the number of people in the building, so slots are limited. Sign up through Sign Up Genius (links below). Even if you signed up previously, you must sign up again as this is a new process.
  2. It is very important for everyone to maintain social distancing while moving out – at least 6 feet apart. Effective April 16, Frederick County requires all persons in essential businesses to wear face coverings. We are requiring all students and guests to wear face masks while on campus. Gloves are not required, but recommended.
  3. All exterior door card readers have been disabled. You must arrive during the scheduled move-out time frame to ensure that staff will be available to let you into the building.
  4. Please coordinate with roommates/suitemates to ensure that you are not scheduled to move out in the same time frame.
  5. In order to maintain social distancing standards, please limit the trip to the building to only two helpers. We must limit the number of people on campus.
  6. You will have two hours to move out. You will not be allowed to stay overnight on campus during this move-out period.
  7. We are asking you to clean your room and take all trash to the dumpsters. Please bring the following items with you at check out: broom – to sweep floors, disinfectant spray or wipes, and other cleaning items that you may need for your room. We appreciate your help with this process. Failure to clean your room/area may slow down your check out process.
  8. To reduce the potential for virus transmission, no University carts will be provided. You are welcome to bring your own carts, dollies, boxes, suitcases, or other items to expedite the process.
  9. Community bathrooms will be locked, but lobby bathrooms will be available if needed.
  10. Move out period is Saturday, May 16 through Sunday, May 31. Move out time is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This plan is subject to change, pending any updates from the state and federal offices, and CDC recommendations and guidelines.

Step 1: Move-Out Sign Up

  1. Please sign up for a move-out time on Sign Up Genius based on your building. In order to move students out of the halls in a safe and efficient way, we will limit our check-out time slots to limit the number of people in the building at one time.
  2. Please sign up for only one slot regardless of guests. You do not have to use slots for your helpers.

    Sign up links here: Annex | Bradley | Brute | Cottages | DuBois | Horning | McCaffrey | Pangborn | Powell | Rooney | Keelty | Sheridan | University Houses

  3. To ensure appropriate social distancing practices, we will not be allowing roommates or suitemates to check out at the same time. Please coordinate with them.
  4. Your time must be selected at least 24 hours in advance of your arrival.
  5. Select the time period you expect to be on campus to complete your checkout. Once you select the time, it will be automatically saved. If you need to update your time or change your date, please contact residencelife@msmary.edu.
  6. If you or your move-out helpers are currently experiencing flu-like symptoms, feeling ill, or under a quarantine directive, do not come back to campus to move out until you are all well and have been cleared from quarantine.

Step 2: Prepare for Move-Out

  1. If you come at a time other than your chosen time, you will not be granted access to the building.
  2. Make sure to bring your keys and your Mount ID. Bring cleaning supplies, such as broom, mop, vacuum, disinfecting wipes.
  3. You will be limited to two hours to move out.
  4. You may have up to two people to assist you inside the building.
  5. It is very important for everyone to maintain social distancing while moving out. You and all guests must wear face masks/covering during the move-out process.

Step 3: Arrival on Campus

  1. Go to the Public Safety/Powell Hall parking lot when you arrive on campus to receive your pass and parking directions. You will then proceed to your hall to move out your things. You will complete your move out by driving to Memorial Gym where you will turn in your keys and any other Mount items.
  2. You and your guests must wear face masks. Gloves are recommended, but not required.
  3. Rooms should be left in the following condition:
    1. Remove all personal belongings from your room.
    2. All furnishings present in your room upon move-in must be in your room and returned to their original condition (i.e. mattresses, beds, etc.) for checkout.
    3. Your room must be clean and free of all trash. Clean means: floor swept, surfaces dusted, and all trash removed.
    4. Please make good use of the Move-out Cleaning Checklist you receive during check in.
    5. Please take your trash to the dumpster.
    6. We are foregoing recycling and donation collection at this time. Please donate any of your unwanted items when you return home.
    7. Once all the above steps are completed, you are ready to check out.
  4. Take a picture of your room and submit to https://tinyurl.com/mountcheckout
  5. Place your keys in key envelopes. You will receive the key envelopes when you check in.
  6. Stop by the check out area to drop off your keys at Memorial Gymnasium. Staff will be stationed there to receive your keys, review your room photos, accept other items to be returned to campus (i.e. Library books, studio/lab keys and items, etc.)

Step 4: Other Business on Campus

All other buildings on campus are closed and locked. Access to any other campus buildings and properties including the Grotto, with the exception of Memorial Gym, is prohibited.

Retrieval of items in non-residence hall areas

If you need to retrieve items that are not in the residence halls, please complete this form: Item Retrieval from Academic Buildings 2020 on Symplicity. https://tinyurl.com/msmaryresidence. We will attempt to have the items delivered to Memorial Gym on the day of your arrival.

Library books

You can drop off books at the checkout point, Memorial Gymnasium. A staff member from the library will collect returned books around the time of the last scheduled check-out. Contact Jessica Whitmore with questions at whitmore@msmary.edu.

Mail and Packages

Please do not come to Student Package Pickup or the Receiving dock to pick up your mail and packages. We are in the process of delivering your packages and mail to your rooms before you start arriving back on May 16, 2020. Please remember to change your shipping and/or mailing locations on all future orders. Contact Maria Topper with questions at mtopper@msmary.edu.

Non-residence Hall Keys

Please return any other keys, such as keys to labs or other offices, to Memorial Gym as you check out.

Dining Services

Dining Services will not be open during the move-out period.

Bookstore

The textbook rental due date has been extended to June 15. Please ship rented textbooks to the Bookstore using the free UPS label the bookstore is providing.

  1. Visit the Bookstore website msmu.bncollege.com.
  2. On the home page middle left you will see Textbook Rental Returns.
  3. Click on Textbook Rental Returns.
  4. Follow the instructions to Create your Rental Return:
    1. Enter your Order ID and email address.
    2. On the Rental Return form, enter the address from where books would be shipped.
    3. Print the Free UPS Shipping Label
  5. Put your rental books in a box.
  6. Please put your name and phone number inside the box with your rental books.
  7. Affix the shipping label to the box & drop at UPS.
  8. If you have further questions, please call 301-447-527, Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.

Textbook buyback will resume when the bookstore is reopened.

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FAQs: Remote Instruction

Why is the Mount transitioning to remote delivery of instruction?

Guided by social distancing advice from state and federal health officials, the university, along with many other colleges and universities across the state and Mid-Atlantic region, is seeking to "flatten the curve" and minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 within the campus and surrounding communities. Currently there are no cases of COVID-19 on our campuses and one case in Frederick County.

When will courses begin to be taught remotely?

There will be no classes from Thursday, March 12 through Tuesday, March 17 as faculty prepare their courses for remote delivery. Beginning on Wednesday, March 18, faculty will teach their classes remotely “the Mount way,” featuring remote face-to-face instruction and virtual office hours as well as remote provision of learning and counseling services as well as the writing center.

What do I do if I'm having trouble with Canvas?

Canvas is where course content, grades, and communication will reside for this course. Should you need assistance using Canvas click on the "Help" icon on the far left of your screen at the bottom of your blue, global navigation menu. From that link you will have access to:

  • A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document with direct links to support.
  • Canvas Guides for Students.
  • Live chat with Canvas Help Desk (24/7/365). MSMU has the premium subscription. Please don't hesitate to contact Canvas for help.
  • Live phone support, also 24/7/365. Call 1-866-562-1237.
  • CIDD is also available by phone at 301-447-5084.

For Canvas passwords or any other computer-related technical support contact the ITSC Help Desk. itsc@msmary.edu.

What if I am having difficulties with my Zoom session is having problems?

Step 1: Log out and re-enter the Zoom session.

Step 2: Email professor.

When can I expect to receive more information about how my professors will be designing their remote instruction?

Your professors will be posting an announcement in their courses by 11:59 PM on Monday, March 16, 2020.

When can I expect to receive more information about all things Canvas and Zoom?

Look for an announcement with embedded videos in your Canvas courses by 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

How often do I need to check my Mount email and Canvas courses?

Twice a day until further notice.

What about advising on course selection for 2020-21?

Advising will be done remotely between March 23 to April 10.

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Mount Resources

Health Services Counseling Services Public Safety Mount Alert Request to stay on campus form

Faculty Resources

A Message from the Provost

Dear Faculty,

Again, I thank you for your hard work in moving us to remote instruction this semester. I know it has been difficult, but I also know that our students appreciate what you are doing for them.

I am writing to ask that you continue to work hard at communicating effectively with our students and keeping them informed of their academic progress. In our attempt to deliver effective instruction remotely, there are a number of best practices faculty should engage in to ensure students have access to you and their academic record in the coming months.

  1. Consistent with the Faculty Governing Documents, I am requiring that faculty be available for office hours with students for six hours a week. There are a wide variety of strategies for arranging office hours. No single method will be required because with your instruction; you are free to decide what works best for you and your students. The important thing is to let them know how they can contact you. CIDD will be offering ideas and training in the coming days. Look for an announcement in the Continuity of Instruction course.
  2. Please recall that is a requirement to post a syllabus in Canvas.
  3. In addition to holding office hours, it is critical that students have access to their grades in Canvas. As we have indicated in the past, Canvas can be used as a digital gradebook (simply enter grades manually) or via assignment completed in Canvas and evaluated using SpeedGrader. Either method is acceptable. Once again, CIDD will be offering training and support for grading in Canvas ASAP. Look for an announcement.
  4. We have heard much appreciation from students regarding how quickly we began instruction and the frequency of communication during the early days of remote instruction. Please continue to engage with your students often. Set a goal of responding to students within 24 hours during the week and within 48 hours on the weekend. Please note that this does not mean you consistently have an answer or a situation resolved in 24 hours, but the acknowledgment of their outreach is vital.
  5. It is best practice to upload as many of your resources (readings, PPTs, video, screencasts, etc.) as possible into Canvas. Canvas is the most appropriate and effective repository for students to access your course materials.
  6. Last, please check the Continuity of Instruction course daily for critical communication from CIDD.

Once again, I appreciate how well you are serving our students during this difficult time.

Best to all,
Boyd Creasman, Ph.D.

Center for Instructional Design and Delivery (CIDD)

Faculty seeking ideas to support remote instruction have a wide variety of resources available to them in the Continuity of Instruction course. Resources include both technology how-tos and pedagogical methods to support student engagement and success.

Access resources through Canvas

(You may be prompted to login.)

Registrar

For more information on course schedules, advising and how to register, visit the undergraduate section of the Registrar's Office page.

Learning Services

Want to schedule a meeting with a member of the Learning Services staff? Please complete the Request a Meeting form with some basic information, and someone will be in contact with you soon to arrange a meeting time.

Request a Meeting

Library Resources for Distance Learning

As you teach a distance education course, the friendly staff at the Phillips Library is happy to support you. Our librarians, Mike and Jessica, were both distance education students themselves. They understand the unique needs of distance education students and are excited to help these students reach their educational goals. Part of that process is supporting the faculty members who teach distance education courses.

Visit the Phillips Library Resources for Distance Learning

Information Technology Support Center (ITSC)

If you need to submit a support ticket to Information Technology Support Center (ITSC), please complete the Ticket Submission Form.

Ticket Submission Form

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Teleworking Guidelines for Managers

The coronavirus pandemic is expected to fundamentally change the way many organizations operate for the foreseeable future. As governments and businesses around the world tell those with symptoms to self-quarantine and everyone else to practice social distancing, remote work is our new reality. How do managers and individual workers make this sudden shift? Below please find guidance on how to work productively at home, manage virtual meetings, and lead teams through this global pandemic.

What should people who aren’t accustomed to remote work do to get psychologically ready for it?

Develop rituals and have a disciplined way of managing the day. Schedule a start and an end time. Have a rhythm. Take a shower, get dressed, even if it’s not what you’d usually wear to work, then get started on the day’s activities. If you’re used to moving physically, make sure you build that into your day. If you’re an extrovert and accustomed to a lot of contact and collaboration with others, make sure that still happens. Ask yourself: How will I protect myself from feeling lonely or isolated and stay healthy, productive, and vibrant? Create that for yourself.

Remember that you might actually enjoy working from home. You can play the music you like. You can think flexibly about your time. It can be fun. As for managers, they need to check in on people. Make sure not only that they’re set up but also that they have a rhythm to their day and contact with others. Ask: “What can I do to make sure that this sudden and quick transition is working for you?”

How should those check-ins happen? As a group? In one-on-ones? Via phone calls? Or video chats?

First, you should have a group conversation about the new state of affairs. Say, “Hey, folks, it’s a different world. We don’t know how long this is going to last. But I want to make sure you all feel that you have what you need.” Figure out: How often should we communicate? Should it be via Zoom, phone, or a social media platform. If you’re not using one of those social media systems, should you? What’s the best way for us to work together? You’ve got to help people understand how to do remote work and give them confidence that it will work.

Once those things are sorted out, meet with your group at least once a week. In a remote environment, frequency of contact cannot go down. If you’re used to having meetings, continue to do so. In fact, contact should probably go up for the whole team and its members. Newer employees, those working on critical projects, and people who need more contact will require extra one-on-ones. Remember, too, that you can do fun things virtually: happy hour, coffee breaks, lunch together. All these things can help maintain the connections you had at the office. There’s ample research showing that virtual teams can be completely equal to co-located ones in terms of trust and collaboration. It just requires discipline.

How does working from home affect psychological health?  What can employers do to make sure that people are staying focused, committed, and happy?

People lose the unplanned watercooler or coffee conversations with colleagues in remote work. These are actually big and important parts of the workday that have a direct impact on performance. How do we create those virtually? For some groups and individuals, it will be constant instant messaging. For others, it will be live phone conversations or video conferences. Have a conversation with your team about the best way to host these sessions. A manager can encourage those types of contact points for psychological health. People are not going to be able to figure these things out organically. You’ve got to coach them. One more piece of advice: Exercise. It’s critical for mental well-being.

What are the top three things that leaders can do to create a good remote culture?

There are more than 10,000 books in the English language on Amazon on virtuality and how to lead remotely or at a distance. Why is that? Because this is very difficult to do, and managers have to actively work on it. Number one, make sure that team members constantly feel like they know what’s going on. You need to communicate what’s happening at the organizational level because, when they’re at home, they feel like they’ve been extracted from the mothership. They wonder what’s happening at the Mount, with students, and with common objectives. The communication around those are extremely important. So you’re emailing more, sharing more.

During this period, people will also start to get nervous about revenue goals and other deliverables. You’ll have to make sure they feel like they’re going to be OK. Another thing is to ensure that no members feel like they have less access to you than others. At home, people’s imaginations begin to go wild. So you have to be available to everyone equally. Finally, when you run your group meetings, aim for inclusion and balance the airtime, so everyone feels seen and heard.

If the social distancing policies go on for a while, how do you measure your employees’ productivity and eventually review them on that work?

I’ll say this to every manager out there: you have to trust your employees. This is an era and a time in which we have to heed Ernest Hemingway’s advice: “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” You can’t see what people are doing. But equip them in the right ways, give them the tasks, check on them like you’ve always done, and hope they produce in the ways you want them to. You can’t monitor the process, so your review will have to be outcome-based. But there’s no reason to believe that, in this new environment, people won’t do the work that they’ve been assigned. Remote work has been around for a very long time. And today we have all of the technologies we need to not only do work but also collaborate.

Let’s talk about virtual meetings. What are some best practices, beyond the general advice to clarify your purpose, circulate an agenda, prepare people to be called on, and so forth?

First, you have to have some explicit ground rules. Say, “Folks, when we have these meetings, we do it in a nice way, we turn off of phones, we don’t check emails or multitask.” For this reason, Zoom meetings are highly recommended. When people are able to see one another, it really makes a difference. And then you trust people to follow the ground rules.

Number two, because you no longer have watercooler conversations, and people might be just learning how to work from home, spend the first six to seven minutes of a meeting checking in. Don’t go straight to your agenda items. Instead, go around and ask everyone, “How are you guys doing?” Start with whomever is the newest or the one who usually speaks the least. You should share as well, so that you’re modeling the behavior. After that, you introduce the key things you want to talk about and again model what you want to see, whether it’s connecting, asking questions, or even just using your preferred technology, like Zoom or Skype.

The last thing is you have to follow up these virtual meetings with redundant communication to ensure that people have heard you and that they’re OK with the outcome. Say you have a video conference about a topic. You follow it up with an email.

And how do you facilitate highly complex or emotionally charged conversations when people aren’t face to face?

You can only raise one or two of these topics because you don’t have the time or opportunity to work things through after the meeting. You can’t just walk to people’s offices to follow up. So, be very thoughtful about what you bring up and when and how you do it. But you can still have these conversations. Allowing people to disagree in order to sharpen the team’s thinking is a very positive thing. Sometimes, in virtual environments, people don’t feel psychologically safe, so they might not speak up when they should. And so you might even want to generate or model a little of disagreement — always over work, tasks or processes, of course, never anything personal.

In light of various daycare and school closings, how do you discuss children and childcare?

Managers should be prepared for that conversation and to help people think those issues through. The blurring of boundaries between work and home has suddenly come upon us, so managers have got to develop the skills and policies to support their teams. This might involve being more flexible about the hours in which employees work. You don’t have to eat lunch at 12pm. You might walk your dog at 2pm. Things are much more fluid, and managers just have to trust that employees will do their best to get their work done.

Advice for people in student/alumni/donor-facing functions?

Consider virtual calls and alumni engagements. You do the exact same things. Here, it’s even more important to use visual media. Take whatever you would be doing face-to-face and keep doing it. Maybe you can’t wine and dine. But you can do a lot. Be creative.

What do you do in a department where not everyone is able to work remotely?

Managers have to figure out a way to support those workers: some kind of collective action to help them because otherwise you’re completely isolating people who are critically important to your operation. Engage the entire team to find solutions to keep everyone connected and ensure that all employees feel valued…and include them in the planning.

If you sense that, despite your best efforts, an employee is struggling — not focused, lonely — what can you do?

When you see the signs — like fewer emails or more inhibition in group conversations — talk to them. Increase contact and encourage others to, as well. Understand where they are. And get them what they need. Managers may also want to reach out to Human Resources about our employee assistance services at this time. When you’re suddenly taking away people’s regular routines and connection with others, and it’s open-ended, some will struggle and need extra help. I would add that every manager needs to be much more visible right now — make an effort to remain in contact with every member of your team in some regular and sustaining way during this time.

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Telework Resources

Technology Guide for Working Remotely Tips on Working Remotely from TIAA Securing Zoom

FAQs: General

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms are similar to what you might feel with a bad cold, moderate respiratory illness, or seasonal influenza. These might include:

  • Fever (temperature above 100.4º).
  • Cough.
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing.

How is COVID-19 spread?

The first infections were linked to a live animal market in Wuhan, China, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s not yet known how easily this virus is spreading between people. This is why CDC recommends that those patients who are currently infected be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on the severity of their symptoms) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.

What travel precautions should I take?

If you are planning any personal travel to an international destination, it is highly recommended to plan for potential disruptions to your re-entry to the United States and your ability to successfully return to the Mount campus. We strongly urge you to stay informed through the latest travel advisories from the CDC and U.S. Department of State.

Currently the CDC recommends avoidance of nonessential travel to China, Iran, South Korea, Europe (Schengen Area), the United Kingdom and Ireland (Level 3 travel health risk).

Until the threat of this virus has subsided, university-related international travel must be approved by the provost or president.

What should I do if I have recently traveled internationally?

If you have traveled internationally to destinations other than level 3 countries, you should report to the Student Health Center as soon as possible on the 1st floor of McGowan Hall to do a risk assessment with our health care team.

Please also report your travel as follows:

  • Undergraduate students – Please inform Student Life at studentlife@msmary.edu.
  • Emmitsburg campus faculty, staff and administrators – Please inform your supervisor, along with Director of Human Resources Kristen Hurley at k.hurley@msmary.edu.
  • Students, faculty and staff in the Frederick-based Division of Graduate, Professional and Continuing Education – Please inform Executive Assistant, Associate Provost Office Denise Ausherman at ausherman@msmary.edu.
  • Seminarians – Please inform Msgr. Andrew Baker.

What should I do if I have recently traveled to an area experiencing sustained community transmission of COVID-19 (level 3 countries)?

If you have traveled to such an area, you must remain off-campus for 14 days for self-quarantine precautions and get checked by a health care professional before returning to campus. This type of virus has a long incubation period (how long the symptoms appear from your time of exposure) of up to 14 days. If you feel ill during this time, you should contact your health care provider. Areas currently experiencing transmission are changing constantly. Please refer the CDC Geographic Risk Assessment list and map.

What should I do if I have been advised to self-quarantine?

For Undergraduate Students

If you have recently traveled to an area of known high risk/exposure, you must remain off-campus for 14 days as noted above. Once you have contacted Student Life at studentlife@msmary.edu, the information will be communicated directly with the Associate Provost’s Office to make them aware of your absence from classes. However, it is strongly recommended that you also contact the Associate Provost’s Office at 301-447-5649 to let them know you will be out. The university is informing faculty/professors that they should be flexible with class attendance and course work policies from absences due to illness or quarantines.

Although you may be healthy during self-quarantine, it is the best way to prevent the possible spread of a communicable disease to which you may have been exposed.

For Others in the Mount Community

If you've been instructed to self-quarantine, please report as follows:

  • Emmitsburg campus faculty, staff and administrators – Please inform your supervisor, along with Director of Human Resources Kristen Hurley at k.hurley@msmary.edu.
  • Students, faculty and staff in the Frederick-based Division of Graduate, Professional and Continuing Education – Please inform Executive Assistant, Associate Provost Office Denise Ausherman at ausherman@msmary.edu.
  • Seminarians – Please inform Msgr. Andrew Baker.

What if I have flu-like symptoms but have not recently traveled to any areas of known high risk?

Those who have not recently visited areas experiencing sustained community transmission, but are experiencing influenza-like illness, especially with fever, cough and body aches, should consider seeking medical attention for the possibility of the flu, especially if symptoms worsen. Students on-campus should contact Health Services at 301-447-5288 and identify yourself as having flu-like symptoms. Students may also consult with their regular health care provider. Faculty and staff who are sick with flu-like symptoms should stay home and contact their personal physician.

How can I prevent infection with COVID-19?

At this time, there is no vaccine to prevent infection with COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself from infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. As we seek to ensure the good health of our community, the CDC offers these everyday actions to help prevent the spread COVID-19 and other flu-like illnesses:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60% to 95% alcohol. It is especially important to wash hands after going to the bathroom, before eating and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • Stay home when you are sick. If you have a cough, fever and difficulty breathing, visit a health care provider. We will continue to ask faculty to work with students who miss classes due to illness.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. The Mount’s custodial services team is wiping down and disinfecting desks, work surfaces, bathrooms and public doorknobs and has installed hand sanitizers at various locations across campus.

Do I need to wear a facemask to prevent COVID-19 infection?

We urge you to follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask. The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.

What does a “State of Emergency” for Maryland mean?

From the Maryland Emergency Management Agency:

A state of emergency has been declared in order to allow Maryland to coordinate and request emergency resources and support in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). A state of emergency allows the Governor to access certain resources in order to increase the State’s response.

A state of emergency is a good indicator that residents should remain alert and follow officials’ orders and news stations in order to be informed of the situation.

Here is additional information about this state of emergency:

Will schools be closed?

States of Emergencies typically do not mandate school closures. It usually is the local school district’s decision to stay open or to close. Check with your school for up-to-date closure information.

Will stores and businesses be open?

This state of emergency does not require employers to close. We ask that all employers consider employee safety at all times and review their teleworking, leave, and continuity of operations plans and policies.

What you need to know about COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

For the latest information on COVID-19 please visit health.maryland.gov

What if I am experiencing anxiety or stress related to the COVID-19 situation?

We realize that following COVID-19 in the news can cause stress and anxiety. Students should contact staff members in Counseling Services or the Center for Campus Ministry, whom are prepared to support you. If you need assistance outside regular business hours, please call Public Safety at 301-447-5911, and they will connect you with someone who can help.

Where can I find additional information about COVID-19?

For additional information about Coronavirus, including signs and symptoms, transmission and risk of exposure, and what to do if you are exhibiting symptoms, please refer to the latest updates from the CDC website. The World Health Organization (WHO) has been posting near-daily reports as this situation continues to evolve. These reports are especially helpful for tracking locations of new confirmed cases as well as updates on preparedness and response efforts.

We also strongly advise you to sign-up for Mount Alerts, as any urgent or emergency communication from the university would come through this channel.

What about my education practicum or internship?

They will continue unless the sponsoring organization suspends operation.

What if I am a student who needs to remain on campus?

We recognize that there are a variety of life or logistical circumstances that may make this expectation challenging. Students who have a need to remain on campus should complete the Request to Stay.

Does remote delivery of instruction have any impact on my financial aid for 2019-20?

The temporary transition to remote learning does not have an impact on your scholarships or grants or your student loans.  Students living within commuting distance who are employed through the work study program should contact their supervisor for instructions if they wish to work during this period.

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Recent Communications

May 7: A Message from President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D., about the fall semester [video]

April 24: A message from President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D., about Commencement and other topics. [video]

President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D., with an update on commencement, as well as information on credits for room and board; returning to campus for belongings; summer courses at a reduced rate to help students catch up or work ahead; and the fall semester.

April 13: A message from President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D., about One Mount. One Day. [video]

April 6: Announcement About Reunion Weekend 2020

Dear alumni,

Like you, we have been continuously monitoring the evolving COVID-19 global pandemic. We have watched other spring and summer events - both large and small - be forced to cancel and postpone in these uncertain times. It is with profound disappointment that we share the necessary decision to reschedule Reunion Weekend 2020.

Our responsibility is the health and safety of our community, and we anticipated hosting 1,000+ alumni during June's reunion. Furthermore, even if the pandemic abates in the coming weeks, we believe it would be impossible to achieve the reunion weekend we traditionally host. As of now, we have over 1,100 students who are unable to pack their dorms and remove their belongings from campus, for a multitude of reasons, including but not limited to financial strain or stay at home orders in Maryland and their respective states. We cannot anticipate if we would have enough time to ensure the dorms would be ready for your arrival in June.

This year's Reunion will now be held June 4-6, 2021 during Reunion Weekend 2021. We look forward to celebrating class years that end in 0's, 1's, 5's and 6's. You will be able to register for Reunion Weekend 2021 beginning February 1, 2021. The Office of Alumni Engagement is contacting the local hotels to find out if room block reservations can be rolled over to next year's dates. More information to follow to the classes that had these room blocks.

Each year we all look forward to reunion as a special time to celebrate milestone class years and group reunions, but we must put safety first.

To our Class of 1970 and all our classes ending in 0 or 5, we'll make sure your milestone reunions receive all the recognition they deserve when we see you back on campus in June 2021.

Go Mount!

Sincerely,

Emily Myers, C'13 MBA'15
Director of Alumni Engagement
Ed Caruso, C'86
National Alumni Association President

April 3: A Message from President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. [video]

President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D., with update on grading for the semester, delays in major construction projects, a change in our financial hold policy and a way to help Mount students and community members.

March 25: Seminary Rector's Message Regarding Remote Delivery of Priestly Formation

The Rev. Msgr. Andrew R. Baker, S.T.D., shares a video message of encouragement on the first day that priestly formation is being conducted remotely.

March 24: Changes to Spring Academic Calendar

To The Mount Community
From Office of the Provost
Re: Revision of the Academic Calendar

As you probably know, the pandemic has necessitated some modifications in the calendar for the Spring 2020 semester. This message is a notification of these changes.

See our revised Academic Calendar

As was announced yesterday, one big change is the cancellation of the SPARC festival. In order to ensure enough instructional hours, Thursday, April 23 (the planned date for SPARC) will now be a class day, as will Monday, April 13 (the day after Easter). We are now holding finals during the week of May 11-15.

Please note that the date of Commencement is to be determined (TBD). President Trainor communicated in an earlier email that he hopes to reschedule Commencement for some date during the summer, if public health conditions allow.

We commend the Mount community for adapting so well to remote learning during this difficult time. May you and your families stay well.

Best to all,

Boyd Creasman, Ph.D.
Provost

March 23: Maryland Closure of Non-Essential Businesses

Dear Mount Community,

In response to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement today that all nonessential businesses, organizations, establishments, and facilities need to close as of 5 p.m. today, until further notice, our campuses in Emmitsburg and Frederick are now closed to everyone except those who are designated as authorized essential personnel.

Approximately 40 people will continue to live on campus, including the very limited number of students and seminarians with exceptional circumstances who have permission to stay, several priests in the Seminary and residence life staff members.

Many employees already have successfully made the transition to working remotely and should continue to do so. Those remaining staff and administrators who have been working on campus have received information directly from their supervisors regarding whether to report to campus or work remotely during this time. Faculty who need access to their offices, Zoom classrooms as well as labs to teach their classes should contact their deans to make sure they have the access and support they need. Essential personnel include a limited number of staff in the following areas: Dining services, information technology, maintenance, custodial, security, financial services and faculty who need to be on campus to teach remotely. I ask all community members on campus to practice safe social distancing and hygiene procedures.

I am extremely grateful for all you are doing to keep our university running, particularly faculty and those staff who are supporting them for ensuring that our students continue to be educated the Mount way.

May Mary, our patroness and hope, continue to bless Mount St. Mary’s University and every member of our community.

Be Well,

Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D.
President

March 20: Remote Classes to Continue Through Spring Semester (part 1)

Dear Mount Community:

Over the past few weeks, as the university and indeed the world have faced unprecedented challenges in the face of a pandemic, consideration of the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and the entire campus community has guided difficult decisions necessitated by the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus.

When we made the decision to transition to remote instruction and close residence halls, we believed that the disruption would be temporary, and we would be able to bring students back to campus at the end of this month.

However, as new information from federal and state health officials and directives from the state of Maryland emerge daily surrounding COVID-19, we have realized that maintaining this plan will not be possible. The university’s leadership team has decided that classes will continue to be offered remotely through the end of the Spring 2020 semester. While this is certainly not the way that any of us had hoped or planned for this semester to unfold, it is in the best interest of our entire Mount community to continue the semester remotely. The Mount community takes seriously its responsibility to join the efforts of our nation and world to help stem the spread of the coronavirus. We are hopeful that the aggressive measures being taken at the request of Governor Hogan and public health authorities will contribute to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting public health at your mountain home and in your home communities.

In the first few days of remote instruction this week, I have been impressed by the level of engagement and connectedness that is being achieved even though we are physically apart. Students are remaining engaged through coursework, ongoing communication with faculty, interactive virtual events and personal connections. To make it even easier to stay connected, we have created a Student Resources During Remote Instruction webpage (msmary.edu/studentresources) that provides links to all of the resources that are available remotely, from tutoring to counseling to video game competitions and chat rooms. The Mount family’s bond will not be broken by these temporary changes. Our Mount community spirit will continue to drive us forward, even in these most unprecedented of circumstances.

I recognize the strain that this decision puts on students, faculty, staff and families. Three important questions likely are weighing on our students' and families’ minds, and we are working diligently on these. The following provides some information on commencement, move-out from residence halls and credits for room and board not used. We will be communicating additional information on these topics in the near future.

March 20: Remote Classes to Continue Through Spring Semester (part 2)

2020 Commencement

We remain committed to holding some form of commencement to celebrate the hard work and achievements of our Class of 2020, adult undergraduates and graduate students. The health and safety of all is paramount in how commencement will take form. When it is safe to do so, the Mount wants to celebrate your accomplishments with you and your loved ones. Once a decision is reached, I will inform you immediately.

Move-Out Schedule

I know undergraduate students are eager to return to campus to collect their belongings. With the current challenges around travel and social distancing, we ask for students to wait until April 14 to come back to empty their residence hall rooms safely. If you need access to critical items in the next several days, or there are other extenuating circumstances we need to consider, please contact Residence Life at residencelife@msmary.edu. Residence Life will communicate with students directly soon about scheduling their return to collect belongings.

Room and Board Credits

The Mount will take the following actions to reflect the shortened service period for Mount housing and meal plans:

  • We will issue prorated credits to student accounts for housing for the period of time students are unable to occupy their campus housing.
  • For students with meal plans, we will calculate the value of unused meals. The value of unused meals and flex dollars will be credited to student accounts.
  • All prorated credits will be calculated and applied in late April and may be subject to limitations imposed by financial aid regulations. If there is a balance due on a student’s account, the credit will be applied to the amount due. Any remaining credit will be applied to the student’s next academic term.
  • For seniors graduating in May, housing and meal credits will first apply to any outstanding balance owed to the University. If the account balance is paid in full at graduation, the University will issue a refund to the student for any remaining credit balance.

March 20: Remote Classes to Continue Through Spring Semester (part 3)

If you have questions about the housing and meal plan credits, please contact acctsrec@msmary.edu. The financial impact of the pandemic on Mount students will be significant. With this in mind, we ask you to consider donating 50% of your housing and meal plan credit back to Mount St. Mary’s as a tax deductible contribution. Your gift provides vital resources to every student, program and department as we navigate our way forward. Thank you in advance for your consideration, and we will update you with information on how to make this donation shortly.

Status of Campuses

The Emmitsburg and Frederick campuses are operating under a low-density model, transitioning more employees to telecommuting each day and taking measures to ensure social distancing for those who remain on campus. At this time, the University remains open to faculty, staff, administrators and the very limited number of students with exceptional circumstances who have permission to stay. The National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes is closed. As directed by the Archdiocese of Baltimore last week, in-person Masses are suspended until further notice.

I know that the current environment is disruptive, stressful and rapidly changing. We are committed to doing everything we can to help you succeed during this difficult time. I also encourage you to look for opportunities for learning, for connecting with others and for keeping a hopeful eye on the future.

I hope that each of you and your families remain safe and healthy. May we all draw strength in the coming weeks from being part of the Mount family. May God bless you and watch over you.

Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D.
President

March 20: Testing for COVID-19

Dear Mount Community,

I am writing to inform you that the COVID-19 test came back negative for the member of our Seminary community that I wrote about below. He is feeling well, and our Seminary community is thankful for him, and relieved as are we all. Our Lady, Queen of the Mount, has interceded for us once again in a powerful way.

I hope and pray that you and your loved ones remain healthy.

Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D.
President

March 19: A Message to Mount Students from Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. [video]

March 19: A Message to the Mount's Class of 2020 from Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. [video]

March 19: A Message to Parents from Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. [video]

March 19: A Message to Mount Alumni from Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. [video]

March 19: A Message to Mount Faculty and Staff from Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. [video]

March 18 (2/2): A Three-Step Mindset Process (part 1)

We Are Up to the Challenge

All of our lives have been disrupted by the coronavirus, and events have escalated quickly over the past few days. I want you to know that all of us at the Mount care about you and your learning goals. Until this disruption is over, here are three steps to keep in mind as you seek to do your best in this unprecedented space.

1. Expect the Expected: The landscape is changing, including how some of our needs are met. Here’s what we can expect in the short term:

  • Concern about ourselves and our loved ones.
  • Disruption in your education and work.
  • Financial pressure from stress on employers, the stock market and the economy.
  • Difficulty in getting certain goods and services.
  • Disruption of the lives of our loved ones that will also impact us.
  • Uncertainty about what’s going to happen.
  • Emotions of anxiety in ourselves and the people around us.

While this space is not pleasant, these are realistic expectations for most of us. However, we can also expect that health uncertainty will work itself out. We have a strong country, a strong economic base and excellent healthcare system.

2. SEE: This mental health process may help you process your possible anxiety.

  • Separate: If you’re feeling emotions, know that it’s your brain projecting chemicals to give you a message.
  • Embrace: Of course your brain is alerting you about the possible impact on the well-being of your loved ones and your interrupted learning process. Thank your brain, and sit in that space while knowing that your brain is sending you a temporary message. It's okay to feel these emotions.
  • Evaluate: Determine how to play this hand the best you can. What can you do to get the most of the change in this learning model? What can you do to keep you and your family safe without overdoing it? How can you bring comfort to your friends and family? Remember that telling people they're overreacting is not a good strategy!

SEE doesn’t stop your emotions, especially in major situations. However, the three steps should calm emotion to access higher levels of creativity and problem solving. While this uncertain situation may feel worse than reality, it's still a big deal. Keep thanking the emotion for the message and focus on execution even while it's there. Professional athletes call this "playing nervous." You can't stop your nerves. So instead of trying to stop them, you switch to knowing you can operate while they're there. Execute what you need to do regardless of your emotional state.

March 18 (2/2): A Three-Step Mindset Process (part 2)

3. Control the Controllable: You can’t control the virus, and how people are responding around you, but you can influence them through your internal response and social distancing as well as by boosting your immunity through proper sleep, nutrition, adequate hydration (water) and exercise.

Keep evaluating your situation and doing what you think needs to be done in the moment. Acknowledge the situation as best you can and then refocus yourself and your goals and what needs to get accomplished over the coming weeks, despite the disruption. This includes validating the feelings of other students and your family members, and then gently turning them toward the controllable. Embrace this disruption and the opportunities that it presents to slow down and spend quality time with family and hobbies and other interests. When life returns to what you expect, you will see how this situation helped strengthen your resilience muscles.

You are up to the challenge!

In Hope,

Bernard Franklin, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Life
Mount St. Mary’s University

March 18 (1/2): Student Life Team Updates (part 1)

Here are some updates from the Student Life area. All of the staff in SL wish you well. We are all committed to helping you in any way we can. Some of the ways that we can be of assistance are described below. Please reach out and let us know other ways we can assist or support you.

Temporary Service Change for Counseling Services

MSMU Counseling Services remains committed to supporting student well-being and resilience. In light of the campus transition to remote course delivery, and to limit personal contact to reduce the risk of infection, Counseling Services is implementing the following temporary service changes. These changes are in effect from Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 30:

  1. Counseling Services will offer students currently enrolled in ongoing counseling the option of phone appointments or local referrals. Counselors will be in touch with their students by email to coordinate.
  2. Any student not currently enrolled in counseling who wants to speak to a counselor can reach out by phone or email to a counselor directly for consultation.

    Gerald Rooth: 301-447-5003, rooth@msmary.edu
    Alesha Leonard: 301-447-5002, a.r.leonard@msmary.edu
    Elizabeth Kellett: 301-447-3429, e.f.kellett@msmary.edu

  3. Psychotherapy groups and workshops will be temporarily suspended during this time period. Group and workshop participants with questions may reach out to their group facilitator.
  4. In a life-threatening situation, call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room.
    For non-life threatening situations, contact a counselor directly (see above).
    On weekdays after 5 p.m., weekends, and holidays, call Public Safety at 301-447-5357.
  5. Students with questions can contact Gerald Rooth, director of Counseling Services: 301-447-5003, rooth@msmary.edu.

Esports - A Way to Stay Connected with Your Peers via Distance

During this time away from campus, some of you might miss out on your usual social interactions. The esports program runs a Discord server where many of us gather to hang out and interact via text, voice and video. We also play games together, and have rooms in Discord to chat about coursework and all sorts of things. If you're looking for some social interaction, regardless of whether or not you consider yourself to be a gamer, please join us. You can access Discord through your browser or through the app.

Access Discord

March 18 (1/2): Student Life Team Updates (part 2)

Residence Life

We miss having you on campus! Housing Selection for 2020-21 has begun! Junior/Senior Selection started yesterday and concludes today; Sophomore Selection is on Thursday and Friday (3/19 and 3/20). Wish List Selection is Wednesday, 3/25. Questions? Contact us at residencelife@msmary.edu.

Campus Activities Office

The Campus Activities Office is re-evaluating the AMP calendar of events to meet the latest event management standards in light of COVID-19 directives from the local, state and federal governments as well as artist, venue and vendor restrictions. More information will be shared in the coming weeks. If you have any questions, please contact campusactivities@msmary.edu.

Center for Student Diversity

Leon Dixon stands ready to assist and support you. He is getting the office organized for your return and making plans for the end of the semester, while looking to next year. Feel free to reach out to him if he can assist or support you in any way!

Campus Recreation/ARCC Hours of Operations

Per Governor Larry Hogan's March 16 directive designed to slow the spread of the COVID-19, the Knott Athletic Recreation Convocation Complex (ARCC) is closed until further notice. Though you cannot work out with us, you don’t need to stop sweating. Follow us on Instagram @mountfitness_wellness for helpful tips you can be doing at home!

Bernard Franklin, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Life
Mount St. Mary’s University

March 17: Live Significantly podcast: Special Message in Response to COVID-19

Live Significantly podcast with President Trainor

Mount St. Mary's University President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D., with a special message on the Mount's response to COVID-19.

live-significantly-podcast---special-message-in-response-to-covid-19-825.193.png

March 16: Testing for COVID-19 (part 1)

Dear Mount Community,

I write to share that a member of the Mount St. Mary’s Seminary community was tested this afternoon for COVID-19. The individual learned this morning that he had been in contact with someone outside Maryland who tested positive for the virus. Given that he has mild symptoms, he was sent for testing this afternoon and is now in quarantine away from main campus. We pray for a negative test and restoration of good health for this individual. Results of the test are expected in the next day or two and will be communicated to you.

The Mount, working with the Frederick County Health Department and Maryland Department of Health and monitoring guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has established protocols for evaluating patients who have symptoms and concern for COVID-19. We are identifying those in the Seminary with who this individual has been in close contact in case he tests positive. The University exercised our response protocols in this case and will continue to take appropriate measures to protect the health of our community.

Please continue the following to keep yourself and our campus safe:

  • Everyone should be vigilant and take precautions to prevent the spread of viral illness: wash your hands, cough and sneeze into your elbow, and refrain from touching your face.
  • If you are sick with a respiratory illness (cough, sneeze, breathing problems, etc.), you should stay home, avoid other people and contact your healthcare provider if needed. These precautions are of utmost importance in keeping our campus safe.
  • If you have fever or respiratory symptoms and have a reason to think you were exposed to COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider by phone or Health Services at 301-447-5288 before going to a health care facility. This allows the provider to prepare to receive and evaluate you quickly and safely.
  • We recognize that the uncertainty around coronavirus may cause stress and anxiety. If needed, mental health resources are available from University Counseling Services or Frederick County’s 211 services.
  • For up-to-date information about coronavirus, please visit our COVID-19 Information webpage.

March 16: Testing for COVID-19 (part 2)

Our custodial team members have been thoroughly sanitizing door knobs, desk tops, work spaces, and other spaces across campus. Please join me in thanking them for their work. Thank you to our entire community for fearlessly rallying together to protect the health and well-being of all members of the Mount family.

This new development is certain to raise questions and concerns, and we will address them to the best of our ability. Again, I will communicate the test results of this individual when known. Rest assured that the safety and well-being of our students, seminarians, faculty and staff remain our highest priority.

Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D.
President

March 16: ARCC Update

Per Governor Larry Hogan's directive this morning designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the Knott Athletic Recreation Convocation Complex (ARCC) is now closed until further notice.

March 13: Northeast Conference Cancels All Remaining 2019-20 Competitions & Practices

With the evolving nature of the COVID-19 public health threat and in light of yesterday's announcement by the NCAA to cancel the remaining NCAA championships, the Northeast Conference Presidents convened by conference call this morning and voted to cancel all competition (conference and non-conference) as well as organized and formal practices for all teams on NEC campuses for the remainder of the spring semester. In addition, the NEC has announced a moratorium on all on- and off-campus in-person recruiting activities until further notice.

Yesterday, the NEC announced that the remainder of the 2020 NEC Women's Basketball Tournament has been canceled and the upcoming NEC Women's Bowling Tournament was also canceled.

March 12: Shuttle Service Information

The University is offering shuttle service to the following locations:

  • BWI Airport
  • Amtrak Train Station at BWI
  • Dulles Airport
  • Reagan National Airport (DCA)

There is no charge for this shuttle service. Mount ID is required. To reserve your seat on the shuttle, contact Diane Kelly, Associate Director, 301-447-5808, Kim Andrew, Access Control Coordinator, 301-447-5210, or come to the Public Safety Office.

Shuttle Times and Drop-off Locations

  • Thursday, March 12 @ 2:00 p.m. – Dulles, BWI, Amtrak at BWI, Reagan Nation (DCA)
  • Thursday, March 12 @ 5:00 p.m. – BWI, Amtrak at BWI, Reagan National (DCA)
  • Friday, March 13 @ 10:00 a.m. – BWI, Amtrak at BWI, Reagan National (DCA)
  • Friday, March 13 @ 4 p.m. – BWI, Amtrak at BWI, Reagan National (DCA)
  • Saturday, March 14 @ 8:00 a.m. – BWI, Amtrak at BWI, Reagan National (DCA)
  • Saturday, March 14 @ 1:00 p.m. – BWI, Amtrak at BWI, Reagan National (DCA)
  • Sunday, March 15 @ 8:00 a.m. – BWI, Amtrak at BWI, Reagan National (DCA)

Helpful Shuttle Tips

  • Shuttles should be booked when making your travel plans. Please keep our scheduled shuttle times in mind when booking your flights/or other travel arrangements.
  • When you are considering departure flights, keep in mind we may have only two daily shuttles from campus, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
  • Shuttles operate on a reservation only basis, therefore reservations are required. Please make sure to make your reservation to assure availability.
  • We are unable to transport anyone other than a student.
  • If we need to consider a shuttle to another transportation system that we have not made arrangements for, we may do so on a case by case basis. Please do not make your travel arrangements until you have been confirmed of our campus shuttle service.

Timothy E. Trainor
President

March 11 (2/2): Classes suspended after last class tonight and temporary transition to remote delivery (part 1)

Dear Mount Community:

Acting with an abundance of concern for the health and well-being of our community, the university’s leadership team has decided to suspend face-to-face instruction at our Emmitsburg and Frederick campuses and transition to remote instruction effective at the end of today until Monday, March 30. This decision, guided by social distancing advice from state and federal health officials, seeks to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 within the campus community. There currently are no cases of COVID-19 on our campuses or in Frederick County.

  • There will be no classes from Thursday, March 12 through Tuesday, March 17 as faculty prepare their courses for remote delivery.
  • Beginning on Wednesday, March 18, faculty will teach their classes remotely “the Mount way,” featuring remote face-to-face instruction and virtual office hours as well as remote provision of learning and counseling services as well as the writing center.
  • Advising on course selection for 2020-21 will also be done remotely from March 18 to March 30.
  • Education practicums and internships will continue unless the sponsoring organization suspends operation.

We recognize this is an interruption to our educational delivery system and are committed to ensuring that students have a successful learning experience this semester. Thank you to our faculty and staff for supporting this transition and for your commitment to student learning.

Open for Students Who Are Unable to Leave

Students residing in university housing are strongly encouraged to leave campus by Saturday, March 14 unless approved to remain. We recognize that there are a variety of life or logistical circumstances that may make this expectation challenging. Students who have a need to remain on campus should complete the Request to Stay form below. Students should take home all the materials needed to resume coursework remotely and any other essential or valuable items such as medications. Items left behind should be organized so they can be packed and moved if necessary.

Request to Stay form

March 11 (2/2): Classes suspended after last class tonight and temporary transition to remote delivery (part 2)

Open for Business

The university will remain open and all our business operations will continue until further notice. University services such as the Student Health Center, dining, library and the ARCC will remain open but may be limited in some cases due to social distancing protocols. More information about these restrictions will be provided in the coming days. University-related international travel is suspended until further notice. University-related domestic air travel needs to be approved by Cabinet-level officers.

Supervisors will be working with employees on implementing appropriate social distancing practices to help protect the significantly reduced population that remains on campus.

Co-Curricular Events

Co-curricular events, and outside group visits to campus will be canceled or postponed from Friday, March 13 through Sunday, March 29. The Athletic Department is coordinating with the NCAA and Northeast Conference regarding spring athletic schedules.

Additional Information

We strongly encourage members of our community to review the self-care and travel guidelines for Mount students, faculty and staff posted on our COVID-19 Information webpage. We encourage you to make social distancing part of your daily routine and limit travel to no more than 50 miles from home per recent guidance from the University of Maryland Medical System.

Restoration of campus operations to normal is currently anticipated to be March 30. We will continue to consult with local and state health and higher education authorities and will make future decisions with your health and well-being in the forefront of our minds.

I know there may be questions about how this transition may affect completion of the semester and commencement. We are committed to successfully completing classes while protecting the health of our community, and will communicate updates to our community regularly. Please send questions or concerns to president@msmary.edu.

On behalf of our senior leadership, thank you for your commitment to the health and safety of our community and our educational mission during this challenging time. Please join me in continued prayer for a swift containment of this virus and recovery of those afflicted. As stated in 3 John 1:2: “Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.”

March 11 (1/2): Updated - University Response to COVID-19

The Mount's leadership team continues to monitor the coronavirus outbreak, which has just been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, and the evolving complexities associated with it. To date, no instances of the virus have been detected on our campuses or in Frederick County.

We are aware that several universities in Maryland are suspending in-person instruction for various periods of time. We are in conversations with experts, our leadership team, the Board of Trustees and other universities to determine the best course of action to keep our students, faculty and staff safe while preserving our educational mission. I anticipate providing another update soon. Please keep practicing the CDC recommended healthy hygiene practices we have passed out previously.

Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D.
President

March 10: Updated guidance for employees with recent travel

Dear Mount Community,

Thank you for your continued vigilance to keep the Mount community safe. Following up to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation, please see the following updated guidance for employees.

It is critical that employees do not report to work while they are experiencing respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills or fatigue.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms AND you recently traveled internationally, please do the following:

  1. Self-report your trip to Kristin Hurley, Director of Human Resources at k.hurley@msmary.edu AND
  2. Ask your physician to complete a health care risk analysis or return to work eligibility form and provide to HR via the above email address (or delivering it to Mount HR/Bradley #220). Employees may also use the MD Live Tele-health Service (please see HR email communication from 03/09/20). Note: If you have already completed an assessment with the Mount Health Services team you should continue to follow their guidance. This new protocol is for any new self-reported cases. Mount Health Services will continue to focus on students and we are advising employees with any symptoms and recent travel to impacted areas to go to their health care professional prior to return to work (e.g. as opposed to visiting Mount Health Services).

Also, please keep in mind the following continued guidance:

Department of Human Resources

March 9: Sickness Policy & Tele-health Services Reminder for University Employees

Dear Mount Community,

As we strive to maintain good health practices in the face of concerns about coronavirus, please see the reminders below about workplace practices and services.

Please continue to practice every day preventative health behaviors. This includes, covering coughs, washing hands often and staying home when sick. It is critical that employees do not report to work while they are experiencing respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills or fatigue.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that employees remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C) or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. Many times, with the best of intentions, employees report to work even though they feel ill. The Mount provides paid sick time for full time employees to compensate employees who are unable to work due to illness. Employees who report to work ill will be sent home in accordance with these health guidelines.

Just a reminder that the MDLive on-demand tele-health care service is available to employees. Details are below:

  • This service offers 24/7/365 on-demand access to health care professionals using your phone, tablet or computer.
  • Avoid the inconvenience and high costs of going to the emergency room or urgent care center.
  • Prescriptions can be sent directly to your local pharmacy if medically necessary.
  • The service can be accessed by employees who are currently enrolled in the Mount’s health insurance plan (and any enrolled dependents) for a cost of $8.20/consultation. Anyone who hasn’t elected the Mount’s health plan should check with their health care provider on any telehealth services or visit: MDLive
  • Register now! Be ready whenever you or a family member need quick, convenient access to quality medical care.
  • Download the MDLive .pdf for additional information.

Please contact Mount Health Services, your health care professional or the Human Resources department with any follow-up questions.

Department of Human Resources
Mount St. Mary's University

March 6: Updated - University Response to COVID-19

Dear Mount Community:

As promised, I will be providing email updates about the coronavirus as warranted. Last night Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in Maryland after three cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Montgomery County, located just outside of Washington, DC. The governor took this action to speed delivery of funding and other resources so the state can proactively prepare for and mitigate spread of the virus.

In his news conference, Governor Hogan encouraged people to stay informed but not to panic, saying “While today’s news may seem overwhelming, this is not a reason to panic. Marylanders should go to school and work, just as they normally do.”

The three Marylanders who contracted the virus are a husband and wife in their 70s and a woman in her 50s, all of whom arrived back in the United States February 20 from the same international trip. They are in good condition and are quarantined.

As spring break comes to an end, I also remind students and employees who have recently or are currently traveling internationally to report immediately upon return Monday morning, March 9, to the Student Health Center on the 1st floor of McGowan Hall to do a risk assessment with our health care team. We need to protect the health and safety of our entire community. If you have traveled to China, Iran, Italy or South Korea (Level 3 travel health risk countries), you must self-quarantine for 14 days upon return to the United States and get checked by a health professional before returning to campus. Students who have traveled to these countries as well as other international destinations must report their travel locations to Student Life at studentlife@msmary.edu. Faculty, staff and administrators should inform their supervisor of any recent international travel, along with Director of Human Resources Kristin Hurley at k.hurley@msmary.edu, while seminarians should report to Msgr. Andrew Baker.

For additional information, visit the COVID-19 Information page on our website. Thank you again for doing your part to help promote the health and safety of all members of our community.

Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D.
President

March 4: University Response to COVID-19

Dear Mount Community:

In response to an emerging and rapidly developing outbreak of a 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), Mount St. Mary’s University is taking proactive steps to protect the health and safety of our community. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the Mount or in Maryland. However, we require your assistance in promoting the health and safety of our community and in reporting international travel to the University.

Travel Information and Guidance

Spring Break is in process, and a number of students and faculty are traveling. We are continuously monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and State Department guidance as well as maintaining communication with Frederick County and Maryland health officials regarding this rapidly evolving situation. Currently the CDC recommends avoidance of nonessential travel to China, Iran, Italy and South Korea (Level 3 travel health risk).

Because of the Level 3 risk in Italy assessed by CDC on February 28, the Mount suspended our study abroad program in Florence for the rest of the semester. Students will complete their semester online from home.

Any Mount community members who have recently or are currently traveling to countries with a Level 3 CDC travel health risk are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return to the United States and get checked by a health professional before returning to campus. Students who have traveled to these countries as well as other international destinations should report their travel locations to Student Life at studentlife@msmary.edu. Faculty, staff and administrators should inform their supervisor of any recent international travel, along with Director of Human Resources Kristin Hurley at k.hurley@msmary.edu, while seminarians should report to Msgr. Andrew Baker. If you have traveled internationally outside of the CDC-reported Level 3 countries, you should report to the Student Health Center on the 1st floor of McGowan Hall upon return to do a risk assessment with our health care team. We need to protect our entire community.

Mount students studying in Cuenca, Ecuador, this semester will remain abroad unless conditions change. We also have students on spring break trips to Spain, Florida and South Carolina. Regarding our athletic programs, we are continually evaluating all of our teams’ travel plans and destinations. As of now, no changes have been made to game schedules or travel plans. If any concerns arise regarding specific cities, counties or regions, we will adhere to state, local and CDC travel advisories in those areas, in addition to communication with the universities involved.

We ask that everyone limit travel over the coming weeks, particularly to areas with widespread sustained or community transmission of COVID-19. Any university-related international travel must be approved by the provost or president until the threat of this virus has subsided.

Preventive Health Measures

As we seek to ensure the good health of our community, the CDC offers these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other flu-like illnesses:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60% to 95% alcohol. It is especially important to wash hands after going to the bathroom, before eating and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • Stay home when you are sick. If you have a cough, fever and difficulty breathing, visit a health care provider. We will continue to ask faculty to work with students who miss classes due to illness.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. The Mount’s custodian team is wiping down and disinfecting desks, work surfaces, bathrooms and public doorknobs and has installed hand sanitizers at various locations across campus.
  • Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask. The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.

How to Keep Informed

To ensure that we keep the Mount community well informed about COVID-19, the University has launched a webpage related to COVID-19 that answers frequently asked questions and provides links to helpful resources. This page will be regularly updated. I also will be sending out additional email messages as warranted. In addition, I strongly advise you to sign-up for Mount Alerts, as any urgent or emergency communication from the University would come through this channel.

Thank you for doing your part to help promote the health and safety of all members of our community. Please join me in praying for a speedy containment of this virus and for the recovery of those afflicted.

Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D.
President

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