In the Know: SMPH Updates for September 9, 2020

In the Know: SMPH Updates for September 9, 2020

  • This evening (Wednesday), UW–Madison announced a shift to two weeks of all-virtual instruction, following Monday’s announcement that directed all undergraduate students to restrict their movements to only essential activities until September 21.
    • Undergraduate, graduate and professional in-person group instruction will pause from September 10 to September 25. These classes will be cancelled Thursday, Sept. 10 – Saturday, Sept. 12 and will resume remotely beginning Monday, Sept. 14 for at least two weeks. Classes that are currently offered remotely will continue to do so.
    • Clinical training will be permitted to continue.
    • Graduate and post-doctoral research activities will be permitted to continue. Undergraduate students should not be part of study teams working directly (face-to-face) with human subjects for the next two weeks, though they may continue to support related activities that do not involve in-person interactions.
    • Operational changes to libraries, study spaces, dining, University Health Services, events/gatherings, and facilities have been announced.
  •  HSLC room reservation guidelines have been updated with the implementation of COVID-19 related campus policies and aligned with UW-Madison’s Smart Restart Plan. Please find the guidelines here.
  •  Don’t forget to take your furlough time: As a reminder, all furlough days must be taken by October 31, 2020. Please work with your supervisor to ensure remaining furlough days are scheduled and taken by that time. Final deadlines for submitting and approving furlough time are: October 5 (non-instructional staff paid monthly), November 5 (instructional staff and faculty who hold UW-Madison appointments; does not apply to faculty with dual SMPH and UW Health appointments) or November 7 (staff paid bi-weekly). These are final deadlines for the whole furlough period; employees and approvers should still adhere to biweekly and monthly reminders to report furlough time sent by HR.
  •  View non-COVID-19-related news of the week including a national award to Prof. Nancy Keller, an honor bestowed upon the SMPH Medical Student Orchestra, and more.
  •  Building an Anti-Racist SMPH — events and resources:
    • Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences virtual Grand Rounds on September 11 at 7:00-8:00 a.m. — Cheryl Gittens, EdD, interim deputy vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer, presents “Our Wisconsin Tomorrow: What Can We Do To Create a More Welcoming and Inclusive Community?”
    • White Coats for Black Lives webinar on September 16 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. with Loren Krueger, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at Emory University. Register
    • WSELI offers virtual workshops on Breaking the Bias Habit. Workshops in October and November are available for faculty and staff. A specific workshop for SMPH members serving on faculty search committees will take place on October 21 (refresher version available on October 16 for those who have taken this training before).
    • The Building Community/Ebling Library Book and Film) Club offers two discussion sessions on September 25 and October 15 for the award-winning documentary Human Zoos: America’s Forgotten History on Scientific RacismDiscussions will be led by Senior Associate Dean Elizabeth Petty, MD and Associate Dean Tracy Downs, MD, FACS. The 55 minute film is freely available via YouTube. Also, consider stopping by Ebling Library to pick up a free UW Go Big Read book (Parkland: Birth of Movement) and join our book discussion on September 22. Visit the Book & Film Club website to register.
    • A collection of articles addressing race and racism in medical education has been released by the journal Academic Medicine.
  •  Reminder: It’s flu shot time: All SMPH faculty, staff, and students are required to receive a flu vaccination annually. Provide proof of vaccination or have a completed waiver on file by December 7. See this link for more information on waivers and upcoming campus clinics.


  • Shout-outs:
  • Please send kudos about your colleagues. Honor someone at and we’ll share the stories. Visit this page to see a collection of shout-outs to date. Submit your thoughts and we’ll share them in a future issue.

“A big THANK YOU to all who have made the launch of the COVID vaccine trial possible – UW Health and UW SMPH collaboration at its finest from HICs, lab, clinics, facilities, nursing, scheduling, billing, UW SMPH collaborators jumping in to help – All Of Us Crew, UW Carbone Cancer Center, Infectious Disease, Allergy/Asthma and the usual cast of characters who have worked endless hours to make this a reality – OCT, PRC, CRU, HL Research crew. We have needed everyone of you. We’re doing it!”
— Jennifer Parnell, Director, Office of Clinical Trials, Institute for Clinical and Translational Research


“Adept problem-solving skills, split second decision making, the ability to find unique detours around road blocks, and expressing appreciation for a job well done are just some of the many characteristics that make Skip Resenhoeft an outstanding testing administrator in the Medical Education Office.…[Due to the pandemic], new testing scenarios were designed, additional software, and a messaging system were added to testing procedures. The hiring, coordination, and training of staff to operate these systems became paramount. All systems work well due to Skip’s insight and willingness to address such a monumental challenge.” — Cheryl Wille-Schlesser, University Services Associate 2, Academic Affairs


“We’re all getting better at the new normal of teaching and learning virtually, but it’s clear that there’s an enormous amount of work behind the scenes! Phase 1 Educational Coordinator Amy Vincent and her team have done a remarkable job of coordinating, coaching, managing IT, putting up with complaints, and inventing new approaches to everything, often on the fly – all with an amazing attitude! We couldn’t do it without people like her, and I know I speak for all the students & faculty in expressing appreciation. Thank you!!!” — Jim Conway, MD, Professor (CHS), Department of Pediatrics and Associate Director for Health Sciences, Global Health Institute

Telecommuting tip:

  • A guide to work from home productivity: Fast Company has guidance on how to take strategic pauses during your day and how to take advantage of technology but also give yourself permission to unplug.

 Staying strong & supporting one another: 

  • How to work through pandemic-related emotions: CNN talks with an expert about how to productively process feelings of sadness and anger.