Recovery Task Force

The Simmons University COVID-19 Recovery Task Force's four subcommittees analyzed a variety of factors related to when and how we safely return to our campus.

Guiding Principles

As we return to campus and work to maximize face-to-face interactions for our on-the-ground programs while exercising flexibility where possible throughout the decision-making process, the Task Force has committed to evaluating all options through the lens of the following guiding principles:

  • Put the mental and physical wellbeing and safety of community members FIRST; continue to follow state, city, and public health guidance to minimize risk and exposure of faculty, staff and students
  • Center equity and fairness in opportunity and experience in our decision making
  • Maximize student engagement with a commitment to providing a quality Simmons experience for all students
  • Put students first by prioritizing degree completion, progression, and optimal conditions for learning and teaching
  • Preserve financial stability and long-term sustainability while meeting operational business needs

The Steering Committee

Vice President of University Real Estate and Facilities Management Laura Brink Pisinski leads the Steering Committee: Mike Barone, Kerri Brophy, David Bruice, Nakeisha Cody, Joan Martinez Cuerva, Renique Kersh, Russ Pinizzotto, Laura Wareck and Corey Zohlman.

Task Force Sub-committees


Provost Russ Pinizzotto leads the Academic sub-committee: Stephanie Berzin, David Bruce, Nakeisha Cody, Benjamin Cole, Marie desJardins, Kelly Hager, Justin Jones, Renique Kersh, Alicia Lapolla, Sarah Leonard, Cathie Mercier, Vivienne Piroli, Ray Pfeiffer, Gretchen Ralston, Amber Stubbs, Mary Struzska-Tyamayev, Roslyn Taylor, Geoff Turner, Richard Voos, Laura Wareck and Jason Wood.

The Academics sub-committee worked to determine the best way to minimize health and safety risks for students, faculty, and staff. They reviewed all course offerings, academic schedules, classroom capacity, and a variety of other factors related to the critical academic program at Simmons.

Operations and Finance

Assistant Vice President of University Real Estate Development and Facilities Management Joan Martinez Cuerva and Interim CFO Mike Barone lead the Operations and Finance sub-committee: Danny Barker, David Bruce, Marybeth Davis, Renique Kersh, Diane Hallisey, Lauren Murray and Kathy Rogers. 

The Operations and Finance sub-committee created plans and protocols for testing and symptom checking, building access, cleaning and disinfecting common spaces, and technology usage. 

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff sub-committee: Danny Barker, Sharron Credle, Elizabeth Hurley, Alexa Jackson, J. David Hollinden, Andrew Kiritsy, Aaron Morrison, Geoff Turner, Nikki Vanderpol, Laura Wareck and Christina Webber.

The Faculty and Staff sub-committee discussed key factors that affect our workforce in both on-campus and remote work scenarios — such as transportation, childcare, remote work policies, and how to maintain engagement in a mostly remote workforce. They also discussed and planned for a safe return to campus of our workforce.

Student Return to Campus

Assistant Dean of Student Engagement Corey Zohlman leads the Student Return to Campus sub-committee: Lisa Bauer, Kerri Brophy, Nakeisha Cody, Sarah Cormier, Marybeth Davis, Luci Delgado, Sanda Erdelez, Sherri Ettinger, Cindy Firestein, Erin Gibson, Kate Innes, Ali Kantor, Emma Keeling, Renique Kersh, Alicia LaPolla, Amelia McConnell, EriKa Monfort, Amanda Moser, Myesha Neely, Stephen Pusateri, Sara Simberg, Mary Struzska-Tyamayev, Nikki Vanderpol, Alie Wilkins, and Jazzy Williams-Smith.

The Student sub-committee discussed how to successfully maintain and build the Simmons community experience whether students are on campus or connecting virtually.