Advisory: Marquette community helping combat various coronavirus challenges

April 1, 2020

nursing patchMILWAUKEE — The Marquette University community is helping in several ways to combat various challenges presented by the spread of coronavirus.

From harnessing expertise and providing thoughtful insight on timely issues, to working innovatively to address medical supply and equipment shortages, these are the ways in which faculty, staff, students and alumni are working to be the difference: 

  • Dana Cook, instructor professor of practice in the Opus College of Engineering, teamed up with two Milwaukee School of Engineering faculty members for the Department of Defense’s Hack-a-Vent competition. The competition challenged teams to develop a ventilator that costs under $300.
  • A group of Marquette staff have been investigating avenues to make voting in the upcoming Wisconsin primary election easier for out-of-state students who have been displaced by coronavirus. The staff involved worked with the Wisconsin Elections Commission to develop a system to provide digital voter registration cards to students who need to register to request absentee ballots. This has helped students now residing away from their campus address avoid traveling during this time of quarantine and social distancing to vote.
  • Kristina Thomas Dreifuerst, associate professor of nursing and director of the College of Nursing’s doctorate program, can describe how the college has moved its courses online and created virtual simulations to continue teaching nursing students who cannot go into hospitals for learning experiences amid coronavirus.
  • Jill Guttormson, associate professor of nursing, can shed light on “Post-Intensive Care Syndrome.” She can explain why someCOVID-19 patients, who spend a long period of time in the ICU, might face problems even after recovery.
  • Jacqueline Formanek, assistant director of the Rec Plex, shares the three weeks of “Get Fit at Home” workouts she created for those looking to exercise during quarantine and social distancing, as the spread of coronavirus has, among many other things, resulted in gym closures.
  • A Marquette alumnus and board member of the Opus College of Engineering’s Excellence in Leadership program is working to quickly shift manufacturing lines in Milwaukee to produce personal protective equipment (PPE), such as N95 masks. A number of faculty, students and other alumni are also creating face shields for places outside of the United States in need and collecting supplies such as masks, gloves and hand sanitizer.

Note: Marquette will exercise best practices in social distancing for all media interviews to protect the health, safety and well-being of our university community and our partners in the media. Interviews will be done remotely via Skype or a similar mutually agreed upon technology; b-roll footage may be captured on a limited basis and in close coordination with the Office of Marketing and Communication.

Media interested in covering any of the stories above should contact Shelby Williamson in the Office of Marketing and Communication at or (262) 441-0516.

About Shelby Williamson

Shelby Williamson

Shelby is a senior communication specialist in the Office of Marketing and Communication. Contact Shelby at (414) 288-6712 or