Educating a diverse population in the liberal arts

For personal, professional and global responsibility

In the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame

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Notre Dame College has answered the call for donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) to aid in the fight against COVID-19.

When the Cuyahoga County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) issued a request for contributions of masks, gowns, eye protection and related PPE to address the supply shortage for health care workers on the front lines of the Coronavirus pandemic in Northeast Ohio, the Heights-Hillcrest Chamber of Commerce forwarded the message to its constituents. The College immediately responded.

Karen Poelking, M.A., vice president of board and community relations, and Vincent J. Palombo, D.B.A., vice president of academic and student affairs, connected on the appeal, and Sharon Balchak, Ph.D., professor of biology and chair of the mathematics and science division of the College, approved release of the lab items. Balchak is a 1984 graduate of Notre Dame.

“Responding to the request for PPE’s was our way of doing what we can. Through our mission, we teach our students about responsibility—personal, professional and global responsibility,” Poelking said.  “Responding to the needs of all our community members is a part of that mission.”

Tracey T. Meilander, Ph.D., Marie Goetz Geier Distinguished Professor of STEM, associate professor of biology and Choose Ohio First STEMM @ NDC program director at the College, transported more than 100 boxes of gloves, two large boxes of gowns as well as multiple pairs of eye protection and extra isopropyl alcohol from the Notre Dame science labs to the Cuyahoga County COVID-19 collection point.

“When people call for assistance, and this is a very serious situation, you dig in and help in any way you can. This is the mission of our College. This is our responsibility. This is the right thing to do,” Meilander said.

The endeavor truly was a College-wide effort. Members of the essential office services and facilities staff at Notre Dame assisted by providing cartons and moving the containers of PPE from the labs.

Meilander even enlisted her teen children, Ethan and Maya, to assist in the collection and delivery of the items in order to limit possible exposure to other members of the community and to maintain social distancing. Ethan Meilander is a Boy Scout, and Maya Meilander is a Girl Scout as well as a member of Scouts BSA.

Several educational institutions are donating their science lab supplies for this semester to the effort to fight the outbreak. Most schools, colleges and universities have transitioned to virtual delivery of courses to heed the Ohio governor’s order for residents to stay at home, except those serving essential functions in the fight against Coronavirus.

Notre Dame begins virtual delivery of courses on Monday, May 30, at the conclusion of its extended spring break.

The Heights-Hillcrest Chamber of Commerce in Ohio serves the cities of South Euclid, where the College is located, and Cleveland Heights, Lyndhurst, Richmond Heights, Shaker Heights, and University Heights.

Cuyahoga County leads Ohio in the number of Coronovirus cases, with more than 250 of the total almost 900 cases reported so far in the state.

The county’s EMA has established a donation collection point at the Cuyahoga County Public Works Garage located at 2501 Harvard Ave. in Newburgh Heights. The county encourages veterinary clinics, dentists, elective surgery centers, and other non-essential medical providers to donate surplus Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to support those responding to the pandemic. The collection point will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Items needed include N95 masks, surgical masks, gowns, eye protection, face shields, nitrile gloves, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer.

March 2020

About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master’s degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or