Community Engagement

Addressing the needs and interests of our diverse communities locally, statewide, nationally and internationally.


New clinical site for the School of Dentistry expands reach to western Kentucky

A collaboration between the University of Louisville and West Kentucky Community and Technical College will allow students from both institutions to work together in a dental clinic while providing services to residents of the Jackson Purchase region.

Dr. T. Gerard Bradley, dean of the University of Louisville School of Dentistry (ULSD), joined WKCTC President Anton Reece and Carrie Hopper, dean of WKCTC’s Allied Health and Personal Services and dental assisting program coordinator, for the announcement today in Paducah.

A memorandum of understanding between UofL and WKCTC allows the dental school to operate the mutually beneficial dental clinic on the second floor of the Anderson Technical Building on the WKCTC campus.

Partnerships like the one with WKCTC provide dental services to communities, an essential component of UofL’s dental curricula, Bradley said.

“Our goal is to develop a network of community-based partner clinics in a variety of locations across Kentucky. These externship sites enhance our clinical curriculum while meeting the oral health needs of underserved populations,” he said.

Reece said the UofL / WKCTC partnership is historic. “We are excited to partner and collaborate with the University of Louisville School of Dentistry to provide needed dental services to the community and our region.”

“Collaboration with WKCTC strengthens our community engagement in the western part of Kentucky and we are proud to join with the college to establish a dental clinic in Paducah,” said UofL President Neeli Bendapudi. “The important work of the university is not only educating future health care professionals, but also teaching students to become culturally competent providers.” 

The clinic will have a full-time licensed dentist managed by ULSD, and will be a clinical learning site for fourth-year UofL dental students. WKCTC will provide dental assistants from its existing dental assisting program along with use of existing dental equipment and chairs.

“Having the opportunity for our dental assisting students to work with UofL dental students will provide valuable learning experiences,” said Hopper. “This collaboration will help serve the underinsured, underserved population in our service region. I am beyond excited to begin this partnership with UofL School of Dentistry.”

ULSD will provide expert dental oversight, supervision and management of the dental clinic operations, including the establishment of all dental fees, billing and collection.

UofL is engaged in a similar collaboration with the Red Bird Mission and Red Bird Clinic located in Beverly, Ky. Dental students work under the direction of a local dentist, providing the students an opportunity to treat patients in a rural community and culture. Students also rotate through similar externship sites in urban settings, including the Shawnee Dental Clinic located in an underserved area of Louisville.

“These experiences truly teach our students to become confident, compassionate dental providers,” Bradley said.

UofL Kent School partners with Wellspring to aid homeless Louisvillians

UofL med school student launches nonprofit to help minority students

Tino Mkorombindo

Increasing diversity in the medical field is Tino Mkorombindo’s goal, and the reason he has established Greater Influence Inc., a nonprofit that serves as a resource for minority students who plan to pursue a career in medicine.

Mkorombindo has completed his third-year as a student at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. This fall he is pivoting to pursue a MBA before completing his medical education and ultimately applying for a residency position in orthopedic surgery.

A native of Zimbabwe, Mkorombindo grew up in California, and says the number of minority physicians in the United States is far too few to reflect the patient population.

According to the U.S. Census of 2019, those who identify as underrepresented minorities (Blacks, Mexican-Americans, multi-race, mainland Puerto Ricans, and Native Americans-American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians) represent more than 36% of the general population. However, according to data from the Diversity in Medicine: Facts and Figures 2019 report of the Association of American Medical Colleges, individuals from these groups comprise just a little more than 12% of the physician workforce.

“Increasing physician diversity is important for ensuring culturally competent patient care and access for underserved populations. Studies also tell us diversity leads to improved patient outcomes and patient satisfaction,” Mkorombindo said.

His vision for the organization is to create a space that ensures all students, from high school through medical school, have the tools they need to excel.

“This would ultimately allow us to positively address the dire need for diversity in the physician workforce,” he said.

Mkorombindo created and designed a website that provides a blueprint and support for high school students until their final year of medical school. Website resources address various topics including weekly motivation, study information, guidance for applications to undergraduate schools, medical schools and residencies, advice on seeking and providing mentorships, along with printable checklists and timelines.

The community-based nonprofit looks to increase early exposure to medicine, launching new initiatives that will improve access to health care in Louisville’s West End, and implementing fundraising campaigns for student scholarships.

Mkorombindo says the scholarships will fund things like SAT/ACT/MCAT/Board prep courses, medical school applications, travel funds for interviews and conferences.

Find out how to get involved, visit or @Greaterinfluence on Instagram. Follow Mkorombindo @tinomko on Twitter and Instagram or email him at

Bendapudi joins other area higher ed presidents in pledging commitment to end racial inequality

UofL nursing scholarship created to honor Breonna Taylor

UofL student-athletes lead Power 5 schools for community service

This marks the sixth consecutive year that UofL has ranked in the top 10 in all of Division I in community service.
This marks the sixth consecutive year that UofL has ranked in the top 10 in all of Division I in community service.

University of Louisville athletics generated more hours of community service during the 2019-20 academic year than any other power five school.
This announcement, which came last week, marks the sixth consecutive year that UofL has ranked in the top 10 in all of Division I in community service, improving upon last year’s seventh place ranking.
Fourteen teams placed in the top 10 in community service in Division I for their sports, including Field Hockey and Lacrosse, which led their respective sports.

Men’s Soccer, Women’s Soccer, Baseball and Dance ranked third in the country, Men’s Swimming and Women’s Rowing ranked fifth, Cheerleading ranked sixth, Women’s Golf and Softball ranked eighth, and Women’s Basketball, Men’s Golf and Women’s Swimming ranked tenth.

From April 2019 to April 2020, Louisville athletics generated $279,831.72 in financial impact of service, worked with 208 different partners, took part in 864 service opportunities and conducted 11,004 validated hours of community service.
Overall, 735 Louisville student-athletes participated in community service with 262 student-athletes completing more than 15 hours of community service.
Louisville was also named NCAA Teamworks Champions in the fall of 2019.

UofL interior design students gain experience through homeless veterans project

Twenty UofL students were able to work on an interior design project for Camp Restoration, a community for homeless veterans set to open next year.
Twenty UofL students were able to work on an interior design project for Camp Restoration, a community for homeless veterans set to open next year.

In the fall of 2019, Valerie Fuchs, a part-time professor at the Hite Art Institute in UofL’s Department of Fine Arts, tasked her interior design students with designing a few rooms and raising funds for the Louisville Hotel for the homeless.

Unable to reach anyone in time, that project was put on hold. But the fire had been ignited in Fuchs, who was determined to find something that mixed a comprehensive interior design project with benevolence.  

Around that same time, she read an article about Camp Restoration, a planned community of homes made of shipping containers for homeless veterans in southwest Louisville. The objective of Camp Restoration is simple: to help those veterans get back on their feet.

As reported by WDRB, the idea for the community came from Jeremy Harrell, founder and CEO of the Veteran’s Club, who recruited Paul Sirek, an architect at Luckett & Farley, to conceptualize what those homes would look like.

Coincidentally, Sirek works with Fuchs’ husband. So, she asked if her critique class could participate in the project. Initially, the class was approved to design two of the planned 25 container homes.   

“After we had a critique with Jeremy Harrell, he was so happy about how different each design was, that he said we could do more,” Fuchs said. “He wanted the veterans to be proud of their homes and show them off to encourage socialization.”

The 20 students went through the entire design process, coming up with three different schemes each and choosing one to pursue. At one point, there were 36 different single-family home designs and 24 different family home designs.

The junior class (eight students) had the family home, which consisted of four containers, while the sophomore students (12) had the single container home to design. However, the project entailed much more than just interior design. Each home has to be tailored for challenges like PTSD, for example.

With adaptive reuse of a shipping container, the students were initially required to design homes within the containers, similar to  interior design programming in most projects, Fuchs said. But the project grew as the students began their work.

“After working with the students, I thought they needed to learn how to work on the process of how to create great design as they all were so talented. So I adapted that style of studio, similar to how an architecture traditional studio is run,” she said. “Design is design and it needs rigor to accomplish anything worthwhile.”

The students’ process for the “adaptive reuse project for homeless veterans” included:

  • A summation of nine readings covering design theory, PTSD, homelessness and sustainability.
  • The creation of three collages and models.
  • Site visits of other container-built structures (the Russell Neighborhood Community Center, Copper & Kings and Jeremy Semones Core Containers).
  • A lecture and critiques by Jeremy Harrell of the Veteran’s Club and architect Paul Sirek.

All of that was even before the design development for a 9-foot-by-40-foot shipping container. The students created a thesis, designed at least four schemes and generated four plans, four elevations, one section and renderings in perspective/axonometric. They also created color and furniture finishes for the project and endured several in-class critiques before creating the construction documents. The documents included dimensions, plans, elevations, sections, schedules and cut sheets/specs.

Additionally, two students, Kayleigh Garner and Micheal Blanton, taught themselves how to use AutoCad drafting software during the project and then taught other students how to use the programming as well.

According to Fuchs, working on this “real” project allowed the students to gain the experience of solving problems within conditional parameters. 

“They learned the structural limits, had to learn codes for egress, fair housing requirements of room sizes, natural light, zoning and where to put the electrical box. These are real problems interior designers face every day and the sooner you know what your parameters will be, the better designer you will become,” she said.

Despite the abrupt shift to remote operations in March due to COVID-19, the project, and the students’ enthusiasm for the project, continued.

“Even during quarantine, the students were able to create construction documents,” Fuchs said. “The students really rose to the challenge and went way beyond my expectations. Their enthusiasm for a real project that will help so many veterans was amazing. I loved their designs and how deeply they thought this through. They worked so hard and I am so proud of them and their efforts.”

Although COVID-19 has put most things on hold, the groundbreaking for Camp Restoration was still held over spring break and the community is expected to be completed in 2021.

Meanwhile, fundraising continues for the community, and Fuchs plans to do what she can for that effort through a new, online free design service called Design for Everyone. The idea is that anyone can submit their home design problems and Fuchs and a few UofL students, acting as interns, will come up with a solution.

“In exchange we are going to ask for donations to be sent to Camp Restoration,” Fuchs said. “It is going to be fun. I had been wanting to have a real project that could give back to the community for my two interior design classes, as I believe good design is for everyone.”   


UofL researchers are working to develop a more effective and reusable N95 mask

UofL, Louisville Metro study finds local social distancing measures are saving lives

UofL drum major plans virtual performance of ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ on what would have been Derby Day

About 100 participants from UofL and 13 other colleges and universities around Kentucky, will perform
About 100 participants from UofL and 13 other colleges and universities around Kentucky, will perform "My Old Kentucky Home" virtually.

Although the flowers are still in bloom and the grass has turned that signature blue-ish green, things are no doubt different this year.

The traditional pageantry that kicks off springtime in the commonwealth – the Kentucky Derby – isn’t happening on the first Saturday in May for the first time since 1945.

A pandemic has put us all on pause.

However, while we’re relegated to our homes, left to wait for an unpredictable amount of time for things to get back to “normal,” our spirit still resonates. You see it when the green lights turn on. You hear it when the bells toll.   

On Saturday, you’ll feel it when that old familiar song plays. Our song.

Since 1936, UofL’s Marching Cards have served as “The Official Band of the Kentucky Derby,” opening up the “Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” with our rendition of “My Old Kentucky Home.” Each year, our students play this song to about 150,000 people at Churchill Downs and an additional 15 million television viewers across the world.

By the time the band is finished playing, there typically aren’t many dry eyes left. A Courier Journal columnist described this experience best last year: “I’ve interviewed Kentuckians who haven’t set foot in the state for 30 years who still stand in front of their televisions and weep when they hear the woodwinds and brass instruments strike the first few notes of ‘My Old Kentucky Home.’

The lyrics tell us that there’ll be hard times, by and by. But at the crescendo, it’s as if 150,000 voices nudge us to weep no more.” 

Has there been a better time for such a nudge than now?

UofL’s drum major Natalie Humble didn’t want that feeling – that experience – to get lost this year.


Natalie Humble
Natalie Humble


So, she reached out to a few of her friends, both at UofL and at other colleges and universities across Kentucky, and asked if they would want to perform a virtual version of the state song and debut the finished piece on May 2, what would have been Derby Day. 

“I came up with the idea one day while doing online schoolwork and reflecting on what the semester would have been like in a normal situation. ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ popped into my head and I immediately wanted to create something that brought some normality back into the spring. But I wanted it to be something that all of us – as Kentuckians – resonated with,” Humble said.

Everyone she reached out to was interested. In fact, Humble recruited about 100 total participants – about half of whom are UofL students. Another 20 or so are UofL School of Music alums, a handful are UofL faculty and the rest are from other institutions throughout the state. Thirteen total institutions, to be exact.

“We had a massive amount of interest from students at UofL, and it was really incredible to see the alums show so much interest. I am truly proud of how many other schools we got to participate,” she said.

Humble, a rising senior Music Education major from Monticello, Kentucky, has performed at the Derby twice. Her favorite memory was during her freshman year, when it down poured. 

“It doesn’t sound like much fun, but it was so memorable that I can still feel the adrenaline now just the same as I did on that day,” she said.

Although performing “My Old Kentucky Home” to kick off the Derby is a signature UofL experience, Humble said it was important to get other schools involved this year because of the unusual circumstances created by COVID-19.

“As a college student and as a Kentuckian, I know how hard it is to adjust, and this experience is something that we all share. In times like this, it is especially important for all of us to realize that we aren’t alone and that we’re a team, so inviting everyone to be part of such a meaningful project was the most valuable part of the whole idea,” she said.

“The Derby performance always represents togetherness for me. It is such a short part of the timeline, but it is a time where all the people watching – no matter where they are in the world – are taking a moment to pause and come together. I think this year’s performance represents the same thing, just in a different way.”

Stay tuned for this performance of the “My Old Kentucky Home,” which will be available on both the UofL and UofL Cardinal Marching Band Facebook pages Saturday, May 2.

The following schools will be represented in the performance: Campbellsville University, Eastern Kentucky University, Georgetown College, Ivy Tech Community College, Lindsey Wilson College, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University, Thomas More University, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, University of the Cumberlands, Western Kentucky University.


Piano professor bringing world-class music to COVID-19 patients

UofL partners with city for data skills training initiative

Six UofL student-athletes receive ACC service awards

Collaboration to test healthcare workers for immunity and establish top plasma donor pool

The purpose of this new initiative is to help healthcare workers understand whether they were unknowingly exposed to COVID-19, to determine how much immunity was generated by such exposure, and to identify those with the best immune responses as donors of high quality plasma for treatment of patients with advanced COVID-19.

The purpose of this new initiative is to help healthcare workers understand whether they were unknowingly exposed to COVID-19, to determine how much immunity was generated by such exposure, and to identify those with the best immune responses as donors of high quality plasma for treatment of patients with advanced COVID-19.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky, in collaboration with the University of Louisville Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute and the Louisville Healthcare CEO Council, is launching a groundbreaking initiative with three large Kentucky hospital systems – Baptist Health, Norton Healthcare and UofL Health. The purpose is to help health care workers understand whether they were unknowingly exposed to COVID-19, to determine how much immunity was generated by such exposure, and to identify those with the best immune responses as donors of high-quality plasma for rescue treatment of patients with advanced COVID-19.

In addition, these data will be informative as scientists worldwide are working to determine whether quantitative antibody measurements can be used to predict immunity in the overall workforce. This program represents a unique alliance between government and otherwise competing private groups in order to address an unprecedented crisis.

Testing will begin with high-risk personnel in Kentucky, starting with the health care workforce. As the process is scaled up it will be made available to other essential workers. There will be three steps of testing:

  • First, a point-of-care test will provide a yes or no answer on the presence of antibodies.
  • In a second step, positive blood will then be assayed for the amount of antibodies present in the blood.
  • Finally, in patients with high amounts, the neutralizing power of the antibodies will be evaluated.

The University of Louisville Center for Predictive Medicine for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases (CPM), has established a high-throughput, real-time assay for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies that will be utilized and CPM will use their renowned Bio Safety Level 3 facility to test for the neutralizing activity of the antibodies.

“The University of Louisville is committed to addressing all forms of health,” said Neeli Bendapudi, President of the University of Louisville. “We are uniquely positioned to play a key role in this effort because of our talented researchers at CPM and our UofL Regional Biocontainment Laboratory, which allows us to establish the very best donors of plasma for patients.”

This unprecedented collaboration of the public and private sector has already secured private donations of $1.75 million in the form of a challenge grant to build community-wide coalition of philanthropic support, which will allow the program to scale more quickly and save more lives. (Click here for more details on how you can help).

“America and Louisville need more and advanced COVID-19 testing now. I am excited about this ambitious project and its potential to provide useful data for the recovery of our community. Louisville’s team of cutting-edge scientists represents the best of who we are as Louisvillians – compassionate, smart and entrepreneurial,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

“This is exactly the kind of collaboration that Kentucky is poised to enable,” said Dr. Cedric Francois, CEO of Apellis Pharmaceuticals and LHCC board member. “We have the infrastructure in our commonwealth to quickly bring this revolutionary technology together by leveraging the great work already being done with the health care stakeholders, such as Norton Healthcare’s convalescent plasma program, and the extensive work that had already been done to start their antibody serology testing to improve Kentucky’s response and recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic and be a model for the rest of the nation.”

“This model for testing is exciting and it is our hope that antibody measurements can be used to predict immunity,” said Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear. “If so, it will be a critical tool in the reopening of Kentucky’s economy.”

UofL increases capacity for processing coronavirus test results

UofL students mobilize food delivery to senior citizens during COVID-19 outbreak

Praneeth Goli
Praneeth Goli

Praneeth Goli, a senior chemistry major with minors in philosophy and biology, has kept himself plenty busy during his time at UofL.

Goli is both a Henry Vogt Scholar and a KEES Scholar. He serves as the founder of both the Louisville Social Innovation Lab and the Droplet Water Project, and is also a member of the Indian Student Association. He has been involved in research in diabetes care and treatment at the University of Louisville and Harvard Medical Schools.

For the Droplet Water Project, Goli teamed up with UofL alum Jarui Desai (’18) to provide clean drinking water to those who need it most.  As of now, they have completed water projects in both India and Colombia.  

Last year, he was named a Barry Goldwater Scholar, a prominent award that goes to sophomores and juniors pursuing research careers in math, science and engineering. There have been just five Goldwater Scholars at UofL in the past decade.

In 2017, Goli earned the CCU Outstanding Freshmen Student Award. The next year, he earned the CCU Outstanding Sophomore Student Award. The year after that, the CCU Outstanding Junior Student Award.

Goli has certainly shown a pattern of achievement and a global pandemic hasn’t slowed that down.

Goli and Nico Ferreyra, another UofL student, recently assembled a committee of volunteers that have so far distributed nearly 800 meals to those who need them during the COVID-19 outbreak. The students are working with Blessings in a Backpack to facilitate the meal deliveries and are focused on making sure the food needs of the city’s elderly population are being met during this crisis.

According to Goli, the committee he and Ferreyra assembled is built in partnership “with inspiring local nonprofit leaders and include the key public organizations working on this issue.”

“We are excited to continue mobilizing our volunteers in a safe and coordinated manner,” Goli said.

For John Nevitt, director of economic mobility at Metro United Way, Goli’s efforts are not surprising considering his extensive resume.

“Praneeth Goli has been an extremely thoughtful and engaged Metro United Way volunteer, serving on our Community Impact Cabinet,” Nevitt said. “As you may know, he is extremely industrious, having launched two non-profit organizations since becoming a student at UofL, and soon to help with the creation of a social innovation lab at the university.”

Earlier this month, Goli was presented with a Cardinal Award. Formerly known as Mr. and Ms. Cardinal, the Cardinal Awards are presented by UofL’s Student Activities Board and is based on academic excellence, co-curricular activities and service to the university. It’s clear, however, that Goli’s service extends far beyond the university.

Check out the video Metro United Way put together about their efforts here

UofL engineering students producing 3-D printed face shields for healthcare professionals

A team of Speed students are printing 3-D face shields for health care workers, to help with the shortage due to COVID-19.
A team of Speed students are printing 3-D face shields for health care workers, to help with the shortage due to COVID-19.

COVID-19 has caused a sea change in day-to-day life. Work, school, recreation, retail, medical care, everything has been altered.

Many have expressed a sense of frustration or helplessness because they feel there is nothing they can actively do to help – this virus is unprecedented. But for Speed School engineers at the University of Louisville, creating innovative solutions for the most complex problems – and taking action – is what they do best.

The Additive Manufacturing Institute of Science and Technology (AMIST) facility at Speed School of Engineering has risen to this challenge by contributing something vital to the pandemic: protective face shields for healthcare workers, an item currently in a critical shortage due to tightening of hospital supply chain lines. The original impetus for the project was a request for 100 of the shields from the Internal Medicine Department at UofL Health.

Created with state of the art 3-D printing technology, the team has been printing face shields at their core facility, increasing their production output to 55 shields per day by running continuous shifts from 8 a.m. to midnight daily.

Ed Tackett, director of Workforce Development at AMIST, is coordinating the COVID-19 Speed School Response Team.

“We asked ourselves, ‘what can we do right now?’ How do we protect our most vulnerable citizens and how can the University play a positive role in making that happen?” said Tackett. “We have medical professionals literally on the front lines, and if we can help them be safer or keep them from getting sick, we’re going to do whatever we need to do to make that happen,” said Tackett.

What he needed was a dedicated and talented production team. He got that team with graduate assistant Kate Schneidau and four other Speed School students who wanted to help however they could with this health crisis. Schneidau is the production manager who helps manage the scheduling of shifts totaling 16 hours a day, and ensures that builds are continuously running so they can output as many face shields as possible in a day.

Schneidau said she feels a sense of pride knowing that she is contributing skills she learned at Speed School in such a direct way to benefit the community.

“It’s more than just helping produce a product that can be sold commercially. It’s a sense of camaraderie with the community knowing in tough times I can still help. I was taught all my life if somebody needs help, you step up and help as much as you can without expecting anything, because it’s the right thing to do.”

The first batch of 100 face shields have been picked up, and while the face shield production is filling the gap until the medical supply chain catches up, the Additive Manufacturing center is nimble and can adapt quickly to new 3-D printing needs that may arise due to COVID-19.

“We’re producing face shields now but that could change at any moment,” said Schneidau. “We are here as a tool to help in whatever way the medical community may need. We could shift production to ventilators if that is what is needed next.”

The community is doing their part to help, too. After a post on social media about the project, citizens with 3-D printers have stepped up, wanting to be part of the solution. Schneidau has helped to coordinate drop-off locations for the components being printed by people with their home printers, and these parts are picked up and put in the production stream at Speed School.

Schneidau said this experience is one she won’t forget and, in fact, it has solidified her interest in a career in building medical devices.

“I want to make an impact to help people better their lives – to make sure they live their best life possible,” she said.

Tackett said with all the bad news every day about COVID-19, it is great having the team of students and other people involved in this.

“They feel like they’re making a difference, and they actually are making a difference. Students involved in this will be better equipped to provide significant engineering changes in the world. It’s what we should be doing as an engineering school. We’re all going to come out of this, and we’re all going to be stronger when we come out of this,” he said.

As for Schneidau, she is a millennial leader ready to keep making a difference in her world.

“The fact that these students have these skills and are willing to step up to the plate to help – this has just reaffirmed my belief that the next generation – we got it covered,” she said. “The future is in good hands.”

Check out the team’s work: 

UofL professor leading Louisville’s charge against coronavirus

Mayor Greg Fischer, Sarah Moyer and Craig Blakely
Mayor Greg Fischer, Sarah Moyer and Craig Blakely

If the person often standing next to Mayor Greg Fischer and providing regular updates on the city’s COVID-19 response looks familiar, that’s because she’s part of Card Nation.

Dr. Sarah Moyer is the director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness and the chief health strategist for the city of Louisville. She’s also an assistant professor of Health Management and Systems Sciences in UofL’s School of Public Health & Information Sciences.

Though the novel coronavirus pandemic is certainly on a different level than what she — or anyone in her field — is used to, Moyer is no stranger to leading the charge to affect better health outcomes for the city of Louisville. She’s a board-certified family physician who works with all sectors of the community to affect policy, systems and environmental changes. She spearheaded the creation of Louisville’s successful syringe exchange program in 2015, for example, to slow the transmission of HIV and hepatitis C cases in the state.

During the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak earlier this month, the Courier Journal published a feature about Moyer and her work as it pertains to this specific crisis. In that story, SPHIS Dean Craig Blakely praised her ability to “adapt to public health situations.”

“In these settings, like what’s happening now, quick movement is essential to being successful,” he said. “It’s the same as Ebola – some lost the war, others did really well. It has to do with quick responses.”

Moyer told the publication that she is learning what is working in other places and applying it to the COVID-19 response in Louisville.

“I have faults, but adaptability and solving complex problems are on my strength list,” she told the CJ. “When you’re a mom of four kids, you’ve got to be able to adapt, no matter what comes your way.”

Prior to joining UofL in 2015, Moyer earned degrees from Temple, Wake Forest, Dartmouth and Colorado College.

UofL researchers addressing urgent need for knowledge about COVID-19

Infectious disease researchers at UofL are working with all 10 Louisville hospitals and two in southern Indiana to process tests and study the illness in order to gather information needed to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
Infectious disease researchers at UofL are working with all 10 Louisville hospitals and two in southern Indiana to process tests and study the illness in order to gather information needed to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

If the SARS-CoV-2 virus is to be contained and cases of COVID-19 controlled, more knowledge is needed about how the virus is spread, who becomes ill and how the illness progresses. The University of Louisville is already at work to answer these urgent questions to reduce the impact of the global pandemic.

Infectious disease researchers at UofL are working with all 10 Louisville hospitals and two in southern Indiana, including UofL Health, Norton and Baptist, to process tests and study the illness in order to gather information needed to prevent transmission of COVID-19. Julio Ramirez, MD, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and Ruth Carrico, PhD, RN, professor in the division, along with Donghoon Chung, PhD, and Kenneth Palmer, PhD, director of the Center for Predictive Medicine for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases (CPM), have developed a surveillance program to track the prevalence of the illness and which patients are most affected. 

“I think the big issue is understanding the emergence of this illness and the pandemic response in terms of where the cases are, how many cases we’re seeing and among what types of patients,” Carrico said. “This study will help us better understand risk factors and how we need to approach it from a preventive perspective,” Carrico said.

Because this virus is so new, health professionals do not have as much information about how the disease presents initially and how it progresses as they do about other diseases that have been studied for decades. They also still need a better understanding of how the virus, SARS-CoV-2, is spread. The work being done at UofL will help provide that knowledge.

“With the information we are gathering, we will better understand how transmission occurs. When we understand how transmission occurs, that provides us the tools we need to develop some effective interventions,” Carrico said.

The development of testing for this research has been led by researchers at the CPM, where Chung worked to establish and refine procedures for high-throughput testing of more than 350 clinical samples per day for the research.

This information is needed not only to protect the community, but to protect health care workers from becoming ill. In China and elsewhere, doctors and nurses contracted COVID-19 at high rates, which affected their availability to care for ill patients. The information gained through the surveillance program will be used to generate guidelines for real-time hospital and community education and response activities, reducing spread in hospitals and protecting health care workers on the front lines.

Over time, the surveillance project will reveal not only the current scope of the pandemic in Louisville and beyond, but will monitor the epidemic over weeks and months, allowing the researchers to predict the impact of the virus in the future. 

Notably, this research comes on the heels of UofL’s Division of Infectious Diseases having been selected by Pfizer as its first Global Center of Excellence. 
The university is supporting this research with $500,000 in funding, but additional funds are needed to continue the research over time. Donations specifically for this research can be made online here

UofL will finish the semester online; spring commencement ceremony postponed

UofL's campus with red overlay

An update from President Neeli Bendapudi regarding the coronavirus outbreak: 

Dear Cardinal Family,

What a time of unpredictable and rapid change we are facing today, as individuals, as families, as businesses, as organizations, and as communities. Each day seems to bring with it new issues and new complications. And yet each day also brings some hope and confidence and resilience because it is clear we are working together, and working with one singular purpose: to keep everyone healthy and informed as we move forward. 

To that end, and in response to updated recommendations from leading health experts and from local and state government leaders, we are moving forward with the next phase of our emergency response to the COVID-19 situation.



  • We are extending remote and online instruction through April 28, the end of the semester. Professional colleges are making decisions at the unit level to ensure the timely graduation of their students. Those students will receive additional guidance from their dean.
  • Finals will be conducted remotely. You will receive more information from your professor on this in the coming weeks.

Housing and Dining

  • By March 29, all students are asked to move out of our campus traditional and suite-style residence halls (Threlkeld, Miller, Unitas, Community Park, Kurz, Louisville and Billy Minardi).  This is extremely important to increase social distance for health and safety. Students must complete the cancellation form (also located on the housing portal). Campus Housing will send you an email with further instructions.
  • We understand that some students will have to stay on campus, because we are your home.  If you are in this category and need an exception, please log into the UofL housing portal at and complete the “Housing exception form for Spring 2020” located on the home page immediately, and we will work to accommodate your need before the March 29 deadline, pending space availability. For those students who do stay on campus, we will make sure there will be grab-and-go dining options and other services through the semester.
  • Students who do move out of our campus residence halls and have no outstanding balances may have a pro-rated portion of their housing costs and meal plan dining dollars credited to the fall semester in the 2020-2021 school year.  The credit may go toward housing, dining, or tuition and fees. Final credit amounts will be dependent upon the individual student’s financial aid situation and compliance.
  • Students who are graduating this semester and have no outstanding balances will be refunded a pro-rated portion of their housing and unused dining dollars. We do sincerely request any student who is able to do so to waive their refund and donate it to UofL to help manage the significant financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the University.


A particularly difficult decision is to postpone the Spring Commencement ceremony. We will invite all Spring graduates to our December 2020 Commencement ceremony to be honored for your achievements. We know this is a tremendous disappointment to our graduates and their families.  And we share that disappointment as well.  Nonetheless we hope you understand the complexities we face now. We will also be thinking of alternative ways to celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of students who will be graduating this semester. Professional schools with separate graduation celebrations will be also be exploring creative alternatives such as virtual events. Please note:  the date for spring degree conferral remains May 9, 2020, and students approved to graduate this spring will be awarded the degrees and certificates they have earned then. 

Recreation Facilities

The Health Sciences Fitness Center and the Student Recreational Center facilities have closed.


  • The remote work program will continue through the end of the semester, April 28th.  Please go to our Working Remotely site for any help getting adjusted to working using our various virtual tools. If you have questions about your particular remote work situation, please speak to your vice president, dean, vice provost or their designee.
  • International and domestic university-sponsored travel is suspended through the end of the fiscal year, June 30.
  • Events hosted by any University of Louisville entity or at any University of Louisville facility are to be postponed or cancelled through at least April 28.

I know that you have been receiving numerous updates and messages from me and from our campus leadership on this topic. I understand that the pace of messaging might feel overwhelming to some, and not enough to others. Please know that we are constantly working to keep all of your needs top of mind and to pivot as quickly, and as thoughtfully, as we can when new information becomes available.

Remember to also frequently check UofL’s COVID-19 webpage for the latest updates and answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions that we hear from you.

Meanwhile I hope each of you takes care of your own physical and mental health. Despite all the busy-ness, I hope you will take a moment to pause.  Slow down.  Anchor yourself in what matters most to you. Reach out to someone for help.  Whether it is your dean, supervisor or another leader on campus, let us know how we can support you best at this time. Reach out to see if someone else needs help.  Let us be patient with one another. Together we will persevere through this tumultuous time and come out the other side a stronger, more unified university community.


Community Engagement

University of Louisville

2323 S. Brook St.

Louisville, KY 40208

(502) 852-6026

Office Hours

M-F 8:30am to 5:00pm

No holiday hours

About us