Keifer Sykes plays professional basketball in Turkey, not Los Angeles or New York. He hasn’t yet made his NBA dream fit inside his 6-foot frame. And life off the court has been pock-marked with losses and tragedies tied to the gun violence that has riddled the streets of Chicago for a century. The former UW-Green Bay star had his successes and heartbreaks documented in the award-winning 2018 documentary “Chi-Town.” Audiences saw Sykes become the first college graduate in his family’s history. They watched as he led Green Bay to a Horizon League Championship for the first time in more than a decade.
UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc and Sheboygan, will be hosting a monthly speaker series with distinguished leaders making a positive impact in our communities. The Lakeshore Leaders Breakfast Series will take place on the second Wednesday of the month starting on October 14, 2020.Registration and the food portion of the morning will take place from 7:30 to 8:00 a.m. with the guest speaker taking the stage at 8 a.m. The speech will be followed by a wrap up, Q&A, and networking session until 9a.m. UW-Green Bay Chancellor Michael Alexander will be the speaker at the first event on October 14.
This video series features UW-Green Bay’s Immunologist Brian Merkel on COVID-19 and Why it Matters. This series empowers viewers with knowledge to help them navigate through the pandemic. Merkel has a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from the Medical College of Virginia. He is an associate professor in UW-Green Bay’s Human Biology & Biology programs and has an appointment at the Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He will be responding to a number of questions related to COVID19 and try to get behind the “why” it’s important to be educated in your decision-making as we navigate the pandemic together.
Video Transcript – COVID-19 Why it Matters, Part 9: What is the science behind a vaccine?
Hi, I’m Brian Merkel, Immunology at UW-Green Bay, and we’re here to talk about Why COVID-19 matters to you.
One of the questions I think that’s looming, that’s on the mind of a lot of people, is when is the vaccine for COVID-19 going to be available? And I think one of the things that we come to realize is that making a vaccine is a difficult and arduous task and it takes a long time. Now I can explain the reasons behind that; it has everything to do with how science works and the value of science. One of the things that science does especially with developing a vaccine, like the one for COVID-19, is to vet that very very carefully, and that’s what the scientific process does.
We want to make sure that the vaccine, in this case, is safe and we want to make sure that it does what we want it to do, and then finally we want to make sure that it’s generally applicable to anyone that gets it. That it does work for everyone. So, the way that this is done is through a double-blind randomized study and it’s done through three trials.
It’s an arduous task on purpose. All vaccines or drugs go through this very meticulous grueling process because we want them to be safe. The great thing about a double-blind study is that if I’m the investigator or I’m the scientist that has created this vaccine, I don’t know who’s getting the vaccine, they don’t know who’s getting the vaccine, I don’t know who’s getting the placebo, they don’t know who’s getting the placebo. We call that a double-blind study because I’m blind to who’s getting what as are, they. That’s on purpose because that takes away bias on their side, bias on my side.
At the end of the day when the study is done, we analyze the data without any bias whatsoever, and then only after the analysis, do we disclose which group received the vaccine, which group received the placebo.
We circle back to why is vaccine development so arduous? It’s because we want it to work and we want it to be safe. So, by design the scientific method in order to do all those things, which we want, it takes a long time.
COVID-19 Why it Matters: Video Series:
Introduction with Brian Merkel https://youtu.be/M-yYPSPk30Q
Part 1: What are viruses and where did this one come from https://youtu.be/DYbiIv8ICgs
Part 2: Two main types of viruses https://youtu.be/O-OVk3rx96s
Part 3: Why is this virus serious? https://youtu.be/EDFyNN8i5G4
Part 4: Why wash hands/wear mask? https://youtu.be/FlcAvlt876Y
Part 5: I’m young! Why should I care? https://youtu.be/TDrEV_beY1U
Part 6: Can pandemics be stopped before they start? https://youtu.be/lgWnJZNYbFI
Part 7: Pandemic is not local, why wear a mask? https://youtu.be/IG3Sl3q-xH8
Part 8: Why does everyone need a flu shot this year? https://youtu.be/G6CNUPTEHGw
Part 9: What is the science behind a vaccine? https://youtu.be/eQ3FclkYaQo
Vince Lowery, Director of Student Success & Engagement at UW-Green Bay, provides steps for students who test positive or may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus and are under isolation and/or quarantine. Please reach out to your professors to let them know that you will be out indefinitely. Let them know that it’s your intention to continue in their course and complete your work. If you need assistance, the Dean of Students will work with your instructors to facilitate remote learning. Most importantly, if you are too ill to participate in classes, the Dean of Students will work with students and instructors in applying the Extended Absence Policy. Contact info: https://www.uwgb.edu/dean-of-students/contact-us/. Any questions related to COVID-19, reach out to the Office of COVID-19 Response at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 920-465-5060.
Video Transcript for How do I keep up with my classes if I’ve been quarantined?
Hello, my name is Vince Lowery. I’m the Director of Student Success and Engagement at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and I want to speak to you today in particular about ways that you can engage your faculty and the support services that are available to students who have been quarantined or are in isolation as a consequence of exposure to COVID-19 or positive tests for COVID-19.
When you are moved into quarantine or are placed into isolation your instructors will see receive this communication which is standard protocol from the Dean of Students Office, you’re currently dealing with a personal illness and that you will be out indefinitely. Now you might be thinking what’s the next step. What do I do?
What I want to do is offer a few very specific action steps that you can follow in order to try to mitigate as best we can the stress and anxiety that your courses might cause alongside the move into quarantine or isolation. First, after you’ve been moved into quarantine or isolation, reach out to your professors. You’re under no obligation to tell them what’s happened. When you reach out to your instructors, acknowledge the fact that they’ve been contacted by the Dean of Students Office, something to the effect of “Dear Professor Lowry, you’ve already been contacted by the Dean of Students Office letting you know that I will be out for an indefinite period of time. Know that it is my intention to continue in this course and complete my work in a timely manner.”
Now if it’s a face-to-face class that’s probably going to require accommodations of some form for your professor to relay information assignments, expectations, deadlines to you so, that you can complete that work remotely. If your class is virtual, asynchronous, or hybrid you should still be able to continue the course as long as your health permits. To the extent possible, remain in contact, regular contact with your instructors. Any questions you have, any concerns you might have, any difficulties that you encounter, and if your situation changes, you certainly want to be in contact with your professors. Know too that the Dean of Students Office will be able to support you in handling communications if your situation, specifically your health changes.
Understand that instructors have been advised to provide reasonable accommodations to all students impacted by COVID-19. If at any time you have issues with the accommodations that you’re provided, need additional support in advocating for those accommodations, you can contact the Dean of Students Office. Communication is key. It’s important that you then reach out, you stay on top of things to the best of your ability. They’re going to accommodate you to the degree that they can or when you return from quarantine or isolation, they can then formulate a plan. Communication is key and if you need support with those accommodations, you can reach out to the Dean of Students Office for assistance. And please know too, that I am a resource you can reach out to me at email@example.com. I will be more than happy to take time to chat by phone by virtual call or by email to support you in whatever capacity we can. While we’re facing unprecedented times, our ability to get through this and for you to achieve your goals will come as a consequence of us working together at every stage.
Your goals are our goals and together we will persist. Together, we will rise.