When Georgia State University sent faculty, staff, and students home in mid-March, instructors shifted their courses to a remote format—including hands-on projects designed for in-person delivery. About a week after the campus closure, Kyle Townsend remembered the unopened boxes of 1,800 rubber gloves sitting in Robinson’s Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration. The gloves originally were intended for the kitchen lab component of Food Production and Service Management. But over the past couple of years, the undergraduate class has focused less on the inner workings of a kitchen and more on the food service business overall.
“It’s a push-pull happening across the country at schools like Robinson,” Townsend said. “Having an understanding of back-of-house kitchen operations is important, but we aren’t a culinary school.”
Townsend considered donating the gloves, and brought the idea to School of Hospitality director Deborah Cannon. Cannon knew who to approach about the university’s policy on transferring equipment to another unit: Anne Dries, Robinson’s assistant dean for administration and finance. Through Dries, the gloves made their way to Georgia State’s High Containment Laboratories, a network of secure research facilities focused on the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. This includes a multidisciplinary team of six researchers from Georgia State’s Institute for Biomedical Sciences who are part of the global effort to fight COVID-19.