University of Charleston

UC School of Business and Leadership Students and Alumni Applying Leadership Lessons in COVID-19 Fight


For Immediate Release


Charleston, WV – As the world continues to battle the deadly COVID-19 virus and copes with its impact on our daily lives, many current students and graduates of the University of Charleston (UC) have found themselves on the front lines, fighting this virus in both the United States and abroad.

According to Dr. John Barnette (MG ret.), Assistant Dean of the School of Leadership, the majority of students in the leadership program at UC serve in the military or as first responders and are very involved in the COVID-19 response. Our students, both past and present, are genuinely talented leaders lending to their organizations and communities daily. Looking at our current national challenge, we wanted to share a few student and alumni thoughts, observations, and experiences.

Michael Scheepers, a recent UC leadership graduate originally from Johannesburg South Africa, who is a law enforcement officer, stated, “My overall education through UC has been invaluable in my career and has made me a better leader to those I serve as a first responder. As a law enforcement officer finding my way through the uncharted territory set forth by the COVID19 pandemic, I find myself leaning heavily on the education I received through the leadership program at UC.”

This alumnus noted that the citizens he serves look to first responders for security and peace of mind. “Our interactions with the public are of utmost importance in these difficult times. I find myself using techniques like framing, as learned at UC, which emphasized communicating concepts or ideas in a manner that enables others to see how their actions can help achieve a mutually beneficial end goal. I have found this concept especially helpful when talking to citizens about mandatory quarantine orders imposed by the state.”

Adame Arturo, an Organizational Leadership military student stationed in Singapore Asia, is deployed and working for the Medical Department of the Military Sealift Command. His unit coordinated the two hospital ships to assist with patient overload in both the East and West Coast. This logistical and operationally challenging coordination and delivery of vital resources resulted in treating numerous patients and easing hospital burdens during this life-saving process.

These are just a few of the countless ways many UC students and graduates are serving as leaders and participants in helping our country in the fight against COVID-19.

“We are extremely proud of our Leadership students and their often heroic frontline efforts in combatting the Pandemic that is now gripping our Nation,” stated Major General Barnett. “Their character and competence are on full display as they carry out their demanding and sacrificial leadership roles, these University of Charleston are among the best of the best. From the University President Roth to all the faculty and staff at UC, we want to solemnly thank all those who are on the “front lines” for their unwavering service to our great country.“