A student receives their vaccination.

Brenau holds clinics on Gainesville campus to vaccinate faculty, staff and students

Apr 6, 2021
Kathryne Davis

A student shows a thumbs up after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.Over the past month, Brenau has held multiple clinics at the John S. Burd Center in Gainesville to help its community get vaccinated and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

With anyone over the age of 16 now able to get a vaccine in Georgia, many Brenau faculty, staff and students have taken advantage of the opportunity.

Sarah Davis, university nurse practitioner, and her staff have vaccinated more than 1,100 faculty, staff and students, with nearly 400 being fully vaccinated, through the clinics on the Gainesville and Norcross campuses, with more clinics planned in the future.

“Being able to vaccinate our Brenau community is a true heartfelt desire that I’ve had since the beginning,” Davis said. “Being able to see these students face-to-face and see their excitement about getting the vaccine has made my heart smile. We’re here for the students, and we’ve finally been able to vaccinate them.”

Not only are students helping at the Gainesville clinic, but many in the university’s Ivester College of Health Sciences are going out into the Hall County community to assist as well. One of the students getting practice at administering shots at a Gainesville clinic was Jairius Mayweather, a member of the inaugural class in the new Physician Assistant Studies program.

“I’ve given flu shots before, but this shot is different,” he said. “This one leads us to getting back to normal. It has been refreshing to play that part. It’s always much better to be able to see a real body or practice on a real person. You can’t really replace that.”

Jairius Mayweather administers a shot.Being able to get vaccinated on campus was convenient for many students, including Aubree Parker, a junior psychology major, who walked over to get hers.

“I didn’t have to go out of my way to find a place to get vaccinated,” she said. “The information was emailed to me. And I trust the staff here.”

Due to safety precautions, Parker hasn’t been able to see fellow Brenau students around campus as much as she has in the past. With the vaccination site and the 15-minute mandatory wait after getting the shot, that has changed.

“It’s so nice to be around people,” she said. “Some of the people I’ve never seen before because they’re freshmen. It’s nice to see new and old faces.”

Rachel Goss, administrative assistant in athletics, said she felt comfortable getting the vaccine after seeing so many others get it before her.

“I went from being reserved to being excited,” she said. “I’m excited about getting COVID behind us and being able to move on with our lives. I do feel blessed to be at Brenau because of the way the administration has dealt with COVID, establishing the task force and putting the health of Brenau families and students first. It has been wonderful to work for an organization that cares deeply for their people.”

Not only were many able to get the vaccine, they also got to view art from the LA Stories exhibition as the clinic was set up in the Leo Castelli Gallery.

Rachel Goss speaks to a nurse about the vaccination.Nichole Ferguson, galleries director, said the reception of the collection, which is an exhibition of work from 30 Los Angeles-based artists curated by artist Paul Paiement, was scheduled the day campus shut down in March 2020, meaning many people were unable to see the work in person.

“We have it online so the work can be seen virtually, but people have an amazing opportunity to get the vaccine and physically see the space with the art,” she said. “One of the people administering shots was walking around and looking at the art during her break. That’s an exciting thing to witness, and it makes me feel really proud to be at Brenau. I think the artists are going to be happy about the way the space is being used.”

At the clinic held March 25, Brenau President Anne Skleder was on hand to show her support for those getting vaccinated and helping with the process.

“I am ecstatic that we are now seeing our students being vaccinated,” Skleder said. “I can’t be happier, though I want us to continue our culture of prevention while we get to this last part. I am so grateful that Sarah and our health care faculty and students have vaccinated so many Brenau faculty, staff and students. I am equally proud that our Ivester College of Health Sciences students and faculty have gone beyond our campus to vaccinate so many in Gainesville and Hall County at various clinics.