On the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Fight: Ph.D. Nursing Students and Alumni Share Their Stories

Sandra Langston, Shawna Townsend, Paul Quinn, Scott Kaye, Fernand (Dean) A. De Los Reyes, and Janusz Kaleta

Graduate Center Ph.D. nursing students and alumni are at the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. They are working in hospitals and other health care centers, risking their own health to save lives. And they are putting their education to work, applying what they have learned as researchers to improve patient care.

Read their stories.

De Los Reyes

Fernand (Dean) A. De Los Reyes, a Ph.D. nursing candidate, recently recovered from COVID-19, cares for patients at Mount Sinai Morningside hospital. “The training I had at The Graduate Center has made my thinking sharper,” he says.

Scott Kaye

Scott Kaye, a Ph.D. nursing student works seven days a week directing a telemedicine group in Queens. “The greatest thing that we’ve been doing is keeping people out of the hospital,” he says.

Shawna Townsend
Shawna Townsend is a second-Year Ph.D. nursing student at a hospital transformed to care for coronavirus patients. "You learn to think differently as a graduate student. Health care is a complex environment, and with the crisis, you’re thinking about how to react, the disparities, the cultural issues," she says.


Ph.D. nursing student Sandra Langston cares for COVID-19 patients in an underserved community. She described a typical day caring for coronavirus patients — who are often alone, unable to be visited by family members — and what goes through her mind after over 13 hours at her shift.

Paul Quinn, Ph.D. ’13, a nursing director in northern New Jersey, has been working 16 hours a day at The Valley Hospital. He describes his experience and offers advice for people caring for infected loved ones at home.

Janusz Kaleta
Ph.D. nursing student Janusz A. Kaleta works with clients in Queens who have the coronavirus. His plea: “Please remember those most vulnerable in our communities.”


Submitted on: MAY 15, 2020

Category: Alumni News | Diversity | General GC News | Nursing Science | Student News