The faculty, staff and students at Old Dominion have spent the past weeks adapting to and overcoming challenges associated with COVID-19. It has been nothing short of a Herculean effort. We as Monarchs have clearly proven that we are resilient and rise to the occasion when called upon.

Gov. Ralph Northam recently announced a statewide effort in collaboration with the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) to recruit an additional 30,000 medical and non-medical volunteers to fight this pandemic. You can be part of this force of dedicated volunteers who stand ready to support the community in the event of a public health emergency.

"Over the past month we have had 15 public health students in the MRC and we are constantly increasing our numbers," said Muge Akpinar-Elci, M.D., professor and chair of the School of Community & Environmental Health in the College of Health. "We have at least three faculty working and volunteering with them. As a school of community and environmental health, we are using MRC as our internship and practicum site."

Serving on the Medical Reserve Corps is a great opportunity for those interested in helping fellow Virginians. ODU has several public health students already enlisted. Medical experience is recommended but not required, and there are many opportunities for everyone.

To become a Virginia Medical Reserve Corps volunteer, please visit Virginia Volunteer Health System ( If you have any questions, please contact

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