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Gannon Student Works on Frontlines of University COVID-19 Surveillance Program

Published: 01/11/2021

Gannon University COVID-19 Testing & Surveillance Program

Gannon University COVID-19 Testing & Surveillance Program

Gannon University is one of only a few schools in the nation to implement an in-house COVID-19 surveillance program as part of its approach to keeping students and employees safe and on campus.

Gannon’s COVID-19 surveillance program has given a few students invaluable hands-on experience, as well.

Austin Hertel, a senior biology major, goes to the lab every afternoon to test the samples available that day. For Hertel, that involves extracting genetic material from the sample and cycling it through a machine to test for the virus. A computer interprets and displays the results.

“The experience I’m gaining here with this work is invaluable,” Hertel said. “I’ve gotten experience with molecular biology, virology and public health all while a pandemic is raging across the world. I’ve gotten to see just how much work goes into managing a public health crisis from an institutional perspective.”

(Read more in the December issue of Gannon Magazine.) 

Learn more about Hertel’s vital role in Gannon’s COVID-19 surveillance program in this exclusive video. Also featured is Steve Mauro, Ph.D., Gannon’s vice president of strategies and campus operations and spearhead of the program, as well as a molecular biologist with 20 years of experience working with pathogenic viruses.

This is just one example of the many individuals across the nation who are boldly confronting the COVID-19 pandemic from behind the scenes, including those featured here in the New York Times.