When Julian Morales joined the College of Education as its inaugural director of operations nearly a year ago, he didn’t expect his "other duties as assigned" would include serving as pandemic safety officer. But, Morales has added that to his portfolio of responsibilities in the college and he wants faculty and staff to know that they can reach out to him with any concerns related to the pandemic.
In preparation for the return of employees and students to campus for the fall semester, and in compliance with Pennsylvania Department of Health requirements, the University in August had each college, campus, institute and administrative unit designate a pandemic safety officer. For the College of Education, it made sense to give that role to Morales, since he already had been doing much of that work.
“People should be aware that I am the pandemic safety officer for the college and if they are unsure about anything, they should feel free to reach out to me, or our team here, and ask those questions; they should never hesitate,” Morales said.
The best way to reach Morales is by calling 814-865-2526 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pandemic safety officers coordinate the planning and implementation of the work unit’s COVID-19 safety procedures, including the distribution of pandemic supplies. They stay familiar with relevant resources available on the COVID EHS and Return to Workplace websites. They also assist with the assessment and reporting of suspected/probable COVID-19 cases within the work unit, including the assessment, closure and response to the reported case, as well as responding to student, employee and authorized visitor questions regarding requirements with their designated buildings and work areas.
Morales said there was a long list of personal protection equipment (PPE) he had to organize and distribute to employees in the college at the outset of the semester — from masks to hand sanitizer and more.
“It is a total team effort,” Morales said. “I am the pandemic safety officer but I couldn't do what we need to do without Brandy (Wood, the college’s facilities coordinator and financial coordinator) and Janel (Fitzgerald, administrative support assistant), and the guys in the Carrara Education Technology Center (CETC). Everybody has contributed to making our college as safe as possible.”
Morales also had to help implement the switch to the University’s Mask Up or Pack Up campaign from its previous Stay Well movement by altering signage and other details. “It was kind of switching gears there and getting things organized,” he said. “It’s really keeping a watchful eye over all those things and making sure the team knows what's a priority as far as what needs to be where and when.”
He reiterated that people within the college should contact him with any issues or questions. Those who are still working remotely and need to drop-in to campus for any reason should fill out the college's drop-in request form, found here. Other forms related to COVID-19, including a mission-critical purchase request form, can be found here.