SPHHP Graduate Student Videos Fill in COVID-19 Information Gaps

SPHHP student videos aim to fill gaps in basic COVID-19 information.

Published May 26, 2020


Graduate public health students at the University at Buffalo launched a Stay Safe and Healthy video series to fill in early COVID-19 information gaps. MPH students Kristen Buell and Katelyn Rogers, and MS-epidemiology student Marissa Kawyn led the project, writing scripts, creating outlines to visually represent information to the public and producing the videos.

MPH student Kristen Buell, who teaches mathematics in the Buffalo Public School District, the largest public school system in the western region of New York State, created a video on proper glove removal to avoid contamination.

“In the beginning of the pandemic, there was conflicting information about whether or not someone should wear gloves. I came up with the idea for this video as a way to help people understand how and when to properly use gloves,” said Buell. The University at Buffalo shared the video on its website and social media sites reaching hundreds of viewers. Buell also shared her video with Buffalo Public Schools administrators.

Answering the call for ways to reduce stress during the pandemic, MPH student Katelyn Rogers, who is also a yoga instructor, created a video on neck exercises specifically for people working or taking classes from home to social distance. The video demonstrates neck exercises to reduce anxiety and stress.

“The video about neck stretching was so helpful! I immediately felt my neck loosen up, which helped me be more productive while working from home. Even my son found the video helpful as he studied from home,” said Grace Lazzara, UB School of Public Health and Health Professions director of marketing, communications and outreach.

Marissa Kawyn, MS-epidemiology student, created a two-part video series on epi curves, explaining what epidemiology is and showing what epi curves are and how they help understand disease trends. She followed up on the epidemiology video with a flattening the curve video, helping viewers understand what this means.

"Not all language being used to discuss COVID-19 has been accessible to people without a science background,” said Kawyn. “I tried to create these videos to be easily digestible for people who do not fully understand the terminology that is used in many reports. From there, I believe people will have a better understanding of what epidemiologists do, the reasoning behind the numbers we are seeing, and important interventions to combat the pandemic."

“The fact that this project was led by public health students and reached hundreds of people with accurate and timely COVID-19 information demonstrates student commitment to improving the public’s health during a time when they are most needed,” said Kim Krytus, UB’s assistant dean and director of graduate public health programs. “We are so proud of our students who strive to positively impact health of our communities in any way they can.”