The safety of its students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community is of the utmost importance to Lenoir-Rhyne University.
And as an institution of higher learning, it has the capabilities to put that sentiment into action.
At the end of the fall term, the university encouraged students, faculty and staff on campus to participate in a friendly contest to create public service announcement videos featuring best safety practices regarding the COVID-19 virus.
"We feel like it's important for students to hear from their peers, as well as people who are part of their community, to get good information on how to protect themselves from COVID," said Jenny Smith, associate dean and director of counseling services at LR. "We had some excellent submissions that were very well done, thoughtful and engaging from both students and staff."
On Friday, March 5, the winners were announced with Olivia Van Voorhis earning first place and a $300 prize among student entries, while Mikeala Skelton took first place earning the $300 prize among faculty and staff. Second place finishers won $150, while third place won $75 and honorable mention $25.
A student, faculty or staff member from any of the three Lenoir-Rhyne campuses could participate in the contest, which focused on educating the public in the areas of handwashing, social distancing, COVID-19 signs and symptoms, masking, stress and mental health.
"I was inspired to put together an uplifting video that would hopefully make people laugh, while also sharing some important information," said Van Voorhis, a graduate student in the occupational therapy program.
Content parameters included that the video be no longer than 60 seconds, be a well-produced final product with information relevant to college campuses with current and factual information.
Lenoir-Rhyne Board of Trustees Secretary Kate Esch '70, LR digital content strategist Darsee Heath and Anthony Jackson '69 of The Jackson Group and Good for Business Publishing in Hickory served as the panel of judges that oversaw the competition.
Student Winning Submissions
1. Olivia VanVoorhis, graduate student occupational therapy
2. Andrew Nguyen, junior in entrepreneurship
3. Student Athlete Advisory Committee
HM. Maranda Wallace, junior in psychology
Faculty/Staff Winning Submissions
1.Mikeala Skelton, digital media producer
2.The Rev. Christy Lohr Sapp, interim campus pastor
3.Jenna Beauregard, associate athletic director
HM. Cameron Robinson, director of student life