Annaliisa Aisindi ’01
Ministry of Health & Social Services in Windhoek, Namibia
Annaliisa is an anesthesiologist in part of the COVID-19 response team in Windhoek, Namibia, where there have been 16 total cases, three of which are currently active, and zero deaths. Annaliisa works with patients who need intubation and ventilation as part of their intensive care admission.
Dr. Katherine “KJ” Janssen Klaassen ’85
Daniel Klaassen ’88
Sofia Bouffard ’20
Music therapy intern
KJ is making masks at home for people to wear in order to help stop droplet spread, discourage touching faces, and remind others to keep their distance. Daniel and Sofia have helped KJ’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. They repurposed the elastic in old fitted sheets to use in their homemade masks.
Professor of Journalism and Communication
When the college announced it would transition to remote learning in mid-March, Dr. Penni Pier knew her students would be fine academically. She was more concerned about maintaining the relationships she had with them.
“As soon as students started moving off campus, I got a list of all the students in the department, and I would email them every three or four days. Then, the next week, I took some time with my advisees,” Pier said.
With registration behind them, Pier sent an open invitation to all journalism and communication students for a virtual coffee, which has grown into a weekday routine that now includes several students and even a professor from outside the department.
“For me, this is all a form of therapy. Spending time with students, writing letters and cards, it all helps me self-soothe and keep my mental health in balance,” she said.
Pier has sent letters of encouragement, mailed care packages, and even delivered Easter dinners to students and community members in need.
Jill Nobles-Botkin ’84
Oklahoma State Department of Health
Administrative Program Manager for Perinatal & Reproductive Health
“My primary role is to ensure family planning and reproductive health services are available in all health departments in the state, especially now in the context of COVID-19 restrictions. This includes writing new policies and procedures for provision of services according to current safety recommendations and prioritizing essential services for all county health departments,” says Jill.
“As part of the emergency response team I help staff the COVID-19 hotline 24/7, secure PPE for county health departments, serve on strike teams for coronavirus testing and antibody testing, and collect data for the CDC Pregnancy Module tracking pregnant women diagnosed with Coronavirus. My daughter and I have made many masks for friends, family and coworkers. I also still work labor and delivery on weekends providing direct care for labor patients.”
Angela Zook ’16
The Cincinnati Insurance Co.
Talent Management Analyst
Angela recently partnered with a co-worker, Malory Rinderle, to create care packages for frontline healthcare works during the COVID-19 pandemic. The two brainstormed how to serve the community while respecting social distancing; they decided to create care packages to share with two Cincinnati hospitals. The Amazon Wish List includes small items such as tissues, chapstick, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and more. The hope is to bring a smile to the workers saving lives. You can support the initiative today by clicking here.
Emily Harkins Norris ’08
Master of Divinity student Wartburg Theological Seminary
Emily currently serves as the Developer Pastor for a new community of faith in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This community, The Dwelling, is a mission development of the ELCA and the North Carolina Synod that exists to create a faith community for neighbors specifically, but not exclusively, experiencing homelessness. The Dwelling’s official launch and first worship was scheduled for Easter, but as the world began to change because of Covid-19, the mission of The Dwelling and Emily’s call to her community shifted to meeting the critical wellness needs of her people.Instead of gathering for worship, Emily has shifted her energy and ministry to providing daily showers, clean clothing, toiletries, and more to those who are without shelter. On Easter, community restaurant owners helped sponsor a socially-distanced Easter breakfast that served over 100 neighbors who are experiencing ongoing food insecurity. Most recently, Emily was asked by the city of Winston-Salem to steward the leadership and community care of a hotel that is providing shelter for 60 of the city’s homeless neighbors who also are at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19 because of various health conditions. Emily is incredibly grateful for the ways that God has remained faithful to building this new church in the midst of unprecedented times and continues to be in awe of the unexpected creativity of the Spirit’s movement in this unique call to God’s church.You can learn more about The Dwelling and their ministry by visiting the website at www.thedwellingws.org