How the Incident Response Team Supports COVID-19 Planning

Throughout the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic, members of Meredith College’s Incident Response Team (IRT) have met to prepare. The IRT is comprised of key decision makers from all areas of the campus whose input, plans, resources, and collaborative efforts are designed to serve the College’s students and employees at critical times of actual or potentially disruptive events on campus or in the area.

Campus leaders who participate in IRT may change, depending on the situation at hand. Typically, IRT comes together, for instance, to address incoming inclement weather conditions and preparedness, whether hurricanes or snow/ice events. Modest weather events clearly call for those with oversight for grounds, dining, classes, and special events but probably not some other key areas of campus life (e.g., health services). During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, we made adjustments to include several participants (e.g., health services, counseling services, the chaplain) whose expertise helps guide critical decisions about the College’s work. Other typical participants on IRT were not needed to sit in these pandemic meetings (e.g., athletics director Jackie Myers because all sports were cancelled for spring, although she will be engaged with us as we learn more about the return of athletics in the next academic year).

Students, faculty, staff, and all functions of the College are represented in our planning and recovery strategies. The IRT is an invaluable resource as the “eyes and ears” of the preparations we are making. Knowing we can reach beyond the team to check details, data, information, and needs is important to the College’s success in the days, weeks, and months ahead. In that sense, we are all the Incident Response Team.

During the pandemic, the members of the IRT include

  • Jo Allen, President
  • Melyssa Allen, Media Relations
  • Craig Barfield, Business and Finance
  • Lennie Barton, Institutional Advancement
  • Donna Battle, Chaplain
  • Bill Brown, Event Planning
  • Sharon Campbell, Aramark Facilities Services
  • Laura Davidson, Library Services
  • Kristi Eaves-McLennan, Marketing and Communications
  • Pam Galloway, Human Resources
  • Ann Gleason, Student Life
  • Jeff Howlett, Tech Services
  • Jean Jackson, College Programs
  • Mary Johnson, Health Services
  • Todd Lechner, Facilities Services
  • Heidi LeCount, Residence Life
  • Beth Meier, Counseling Services
  • Matthew Poslusny, Academics and Enrollment
  • David Penney, Aramark Dining
  • Tony Riddick, Housekeeping
  • Aaron Schettler, Grounds
  • Tomecca Sloane, Student Life
  • Jeff Stell, Maintenance
  • Al White, Campus Security

For more on Meredith’s COVID-19 response, visit

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330