The first COVID‑19 virtual town hall of 2021 will focus on the needs of employees and students who are caring for others in the midst of the ongoing pandemic.

The hour-long event is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Jan. 28 and is being broadcast on YouTube. Questions can be submitted ahead of time using an online form.

Speakers will provide insight on balancing work and home responsibilities as well as resources to assist caregivers. Updates on current K–12 guidance will be discussed, as will how to help children dealing with COVID‑19 anxiety.

WSU President Kirk Schulz will be joined by several speakers, who will discuss the following topics:

Plans for fall instruction

  • Elizabeth Chilton, Provost and Executive Vice President

Update on the State of Washington’s vaccination plans

  • Ben Stone, Whitman County Public Health Department

Leave and training resources for faculty and staff

  • Kendra Wilkins-Fontenot, Human Resource Services

Employee relations/processes

  • Lisa Gehring, Human Resource Services

Employee benefits and Employee Assistance Program resources

  • Ann Monroe, Human Resource Services

External programs and services for caregivers

  • Melanie-Angela Neuilly, Associate Professor and Chair, Criminal Justice and Criminology

Changes to the tenure clock for faculty

  • Laura Griner Hill, Senior Vice Provost

Advice on how to secure quality childcare services

  • Heather Mac Dermott-Havey, Director, WSU Children’s Center, Pullman

Advice on how parents and other caregivers can express emotion in a positive manner to children

  • Sara Waters, Assistant Professor, Department of Human Development, WSU Vancouver

Support for students who have caregiver responsibilities

  • Mary Wack, Vice Provost for Academic Engagement and Student Achievement

All past town halls can be found on the Experience WSU website.