These are truly unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed life across the nation and right here at Colorado State University. Stay-at-home and social distancing orders, unemployment and managing work from home have become the new normal, all while thousands become sick and die from the coronavirus.

At Colorado State University, the campus community has been on the frontlines, continuing the University’s land-grant mission of teaching, research, extension, public service and engagement in new and innovative ways to face the challenges head-on.

Below are the stories of Colorado State University amidst the COVID-19 crisis — the faculty, the researchers, the staff, employees and of course the students who are championing the University’s rallying cry: “Together. We Continue.”

Together. We Continue

“When you look at the history of CSU, what you see is a tremendous educational community that cares very deeply about the work it does and the impact it has on the world. You can go back 150 years and see that sense of pulling together to meet the world’s challenges, and you can see that in 2020, in the face of this pandemic. You can see that joining together, linking arms, and moving forward together puts us in a stronger position.” read more

— CSU President Joyce McConnell

Virus Research

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Decades of experience fighting deadly viruses has positioned CSU researchers to lead the fight against COVID-19. Researchers have applied innovative approaches to target the spread of the coronavirus, with dozens of projects and more than 100 investigators and staff engaged in the worldwide battle against the virus.

“Once again, when it comes to this kind of research, CSU is the center of the universe,” said U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colorado), who toured CSU’s Infectious Disease Research Center on March 4. “They’ve got the people and they’ve got the facilities, and they’ve got the history with dealing with viruses like this one.”

Applied Expertise

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Across CSU, the campus community has shared and applied its expertise in the fight against COVID-19. Faculty, staff and students have stepped up to assist in producing medical face shields for hospitals and even making hand sanitizer for workers on campus. CSU economists have helped shape the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill and computer scientists have looked for ways to combat falsified data and misinformation.

As Jeremy Rodriquez, an undergraduate electrical engineering student who is also an experienced technician in the Idea-2-Product lab, put it: “I’ve always been really big into helping people. Any sort of beacon of light can make a big difference.”

Student Impact

CSU students move from across campus in to the Corbett/Parmlee complex to consolidate everyone in to one building. April 8, 2020

COVID-19 couldn’t stop CSU students. Whether it was on-campus or online, students stepped up to continue learning and making a difference in their communities. Students leveraged technology in new ways to stay connected and showcase their scholarship, research and creativity.

As Provost Rick Miranda said to parents and families of graduating Rams: “Your students have shown enormous courage and dedication, and no doubt they have followed your lead. Thank you for all you’ve done.”

Working through the Pandemic

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The campus community persevered. Faculty and staff continued online, with some employees even working on campus to ensure mission-critical resources. CSU Extension reached out to help older adults and centers retooled to ensure students had access to valuable resources online.

CSU alumnus Mostafa Hassan, who had to postpone his Olympic dreams, said it best: “Always stay positive, control what you can control, and stay home and safe until these tough times pass.”

Scenes from the Homefront

The sun comes up after a heavy spring snow blankets campus, April 17, 2020

Community members howling every night at 8 p.m. in support of health care workers. Rams Against Hunger helping to feed those in need. A quiet Old Town. These are just a few of the scenes in the community.

As Coordinator of Archives and Special Collections Mark Shelstad wrote: “Similar to the 1997 flood and the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, these stories contribute to a larger narrative about the struggles, emotions, and changes resulting from this international crisis.”