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Mississippi College Family Faced Pandemic Challenges Since March 2020

Mississippi College Family Faced Pandemic Challenges Since March 2020

Beth Stapleton sounded an optimistic tone regarding America’s response as the COVID-19 global pandemic marked its first year.

Leading Mississippi College’s team efforts as the campus COVID-19 coordinator, Stapleton stays focused on coronavirus issues on a daily basis.

“As cases continue to drop across the state and as more of us are being vaccinated, the future looks much better,” Stapleton said. “Travel is slowly starting to pick up again, and there is light at the end of a very long tunnel.”

A Spanish professor and director of the McMillan Center for Education Abroad, Dr. Stapleton makes sure MC meets health protocols. She’s the go-to person for questions as the university combats the coronavirus.

Stapleton praises faculty, staff, and students for the way they met many challenges over the past year.

“What COVID has taught us is flexibility,” says the Mississippi College graduate. “We have been forced to do things in ways like never before.”

Faculty and students pivoted to online instruction for six weeks to close out the spring 2020 semester. Traditional in-person classes returned in August on the Clinton campus and at MC Law in Jackson.

“Looking back, I am amazed that the college and law school were able to reopen and continue operating in person throughout this school year,” says law professor Deborah Challener. “It seemed like an impossible task, but people really worked together to adapt and make it possible.”

In July, President Blake Thompson proclaimed “Strong and Courageous’’ to be the focus for Mississippi College in 2020-21, taking inspiration from the Book of Joshua.

The MC response to the pandemic isn’t letting up. Wearing masks, hand sanitizer stations, and limiting crowd sizes are among the health protocols staying on track.

“I’d just like to say how proud I am of our students rising to the challenge both academically and professionally during these unprecedented times,” says Andrew Porter, a physician assistant professor. “They have shown grace toward faculty in an ever-changing environment and have led by example in protecting others.”

Co-chairing the medical crisis response task force, Dr. Steve Martin, director of the physician assistant program, and School of Nursing Dean Kimberly Sharp provided valuable advice on numerous health issues.

Follow MC's COVID-19 campus operating guidelines at