USM Students Poised to Volunteer this Spring at Vaccine Distribution Sites Across Maryland, Assist with Operations in Fight Against COVID-19
During Spring Break, Students Fulfill a Critical Health Need Close to Home
Baltimore, Md. (March 10, 2021) – The University System of Maryland (USM) celebrates the efforts of students bringing the spirit of spring break volunteerism to their own backyard by helping Maryland residents get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The State of Maryland is providing an opportunity for college students (over the age of 18) to serve as volunteers at one of the several vaccination sites around the state. The recently announced Student Volunteer Program is a special part of the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps.
Volunteers may serve as greeters, ambulatory assistants, observers, or in other roles as assigned by the on-site volunteer coordinator. Each site will need a substantial number of people who keep the process running smoothly.
USM students will be part of a scaled-up effort to have hundreds and sometimes thousands of Marylanders vaccinated each day at these sites.
Traditionally, many USM students travel during spring break to other states and countries to perform a wide range of community service activities. As state leaders expand mass vaccination sites in all regions of Maryland, USM students can now give their time during spring break and beyond at these close-to-home locations by registering online with the Maryland COVID-19 Vaccination Site Student Volunteer Program.
“Our students bring a lot of desirable qualities to this volunteer effort: compassion, skill, energy,” said USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman. “I’ve talked with so many university system students who have a heart of service, especially when they see overwhelming need. They want to do their part during the pandemic, and helping these vaccination sites run smoothly is a great way to contribute to the cause.”
The USM is playing a strong role in a number of activities designed to help vaccinate Maryland residents and advance public health during the pandemic:
As part of their volunteer registration, USM students will complete an online tutorial explaining the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps, watch a short training video, and assist the flow of operations by indicating their scheduling availability.
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) alumna Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett and her colleague Dr. Barney Graham led the team of scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases that helped develop the Moderna vaccine.
- Chancellor Perman and presidents of the system’s 12 universities joined together in a special promotional effort to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations across Maryland. The effort includes a statement in support of vaccines signed by the 12 presidents—more than half of whom are Black women and men—and a video distributed on social media.
- Recently, creative students from several USM campuses produced engaging video and image awareness campaigns to fight pandemic fatigue, part of a USM Public Health Challenge that rewarded six winning teams with $3,000 awards from a group of generous sponsors.
- UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski and his wife, Jacqueline C. Hrabowski, former vice president of T. Rowe Price, joined in support of the state’s GoVAX campaign, discussing in a video why they participated in COVID-19 vaccine trials.
- Coppin State men’s basketball head coach and former University of Maryland standout Juan Dixon also joined in the GoVax campaign, with a video that encourages vaccinations to protect loved ones.
“It is gratifying to coordinate with the Maryland Department of Health and a number of campus leaders and see the energy USM students bring to this important effort,” said Joann Boughman, USM senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs. “Our students are hearing the message—that this is a great opportunity to serve their community, to engage with and observe a cross-section of the Maryland population, and gain experience in a large public health endeavor.
“I join with our student affairs staff and student leaders at all our campuses to encourage as many students as possible to join in this critical public health activity, so that we can return to more normal conditions as quickly as possible. Let’s help GoVax Maryland!”
Mass vaccination sites in Maryland are operational at Six Flags America in Prince George’s County, the Baltimore Convention Center, M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, and the Regency Furniture Stadium minor-league baseball facility in Charles County. The state announced it has secured Eastern Shore (Salisbury) and western Maryland (Hagerstown) sites as additional vaccine distribution centers. The geographic diversity of USM’s institutions and three regional higher education centers means USM students are well-positioned to volunteer at these and other locations operated by the state health department.
The USM comprises 12 institutions: Bowie State University; Coppin State University; Frostburg State University; Salisbury University; Towson University; the University of Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; the University of Maryland, College Park; the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and the University of Maryland Global Campus. The USM also includes three regional centers—the Universities at Shady Grove, the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, and the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland—at which USM universities offer upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses.
Systemwide, student enrollment exceeds 172,000. The USM and its institutions compete successfully nearly $1.5 billion in external grants and contracts annually. USM institutions and programs are among the nation's best in quality and value according to several national rankings. To learn more about the University System of Maryland, visit www.usmd.edu.
Contact: Mike Lurie