Lucian Myers and Bill and Trish Sullivan may have been some of the first on the scene following the Joplin tornado, but they were just a few of the thousands of PSU faculty, staff, students and alumni who have worked or are working to help the Joplin community recover.
Some of the ways the Pitt State family helped included:
• Dr. Brenda Robinson, the newly appointed director of student health services at PSU and a PSU alumna, was working the emergency room at Freeman Hospital in Joplin the night of the tornado.
• Dr. Peggy Snyder and her husband, Jim, worked for several days with the Salvation Army’s disaster response unit from Pittsburg.
• Pittsburg State opened its residence halls to hundreds of Missouri Highway Patrol officers and Red Cross disaster response teams.
• Pledging to begin class as planned in August, Joplin School Superintendent C.J. Huff (BS ’96) and High School Principal Kerry Sachetta (BS ’84, MS ’90, Spec. ’97) are leading the effort to get the school system back on its feet. At least eight of the district’s buildings, including Joplin High School, were destroyed or damaged.
• Social work students earned high praise from Via Christi Hospitals and Catholic Charities for their help with case management.
• Undergraduate and graduate nursing students spent many hours in Joplin, where some helped staff the makeshift triage center at Memorial Hall.
• The Weede PE building was designated as a community collection point for relief supplies. More than 60 volunteers, including student athletes in town for the summer, shipped more than 100 pallets of much needed supplies to Joplin.
• The university joined the Joplin Schools’ Adopt-A-Classroom project, pledging to adopt at least two classrooms.