UND Today

University of North Dakota’s Official News Source

COVID-19 Impact Survey seeks UND students’ input

UND Masters in Public Health candidate partners with GF to survey University students about COVID-19 

Photo by Shawna Schill/UND Today.

How does virtual learning compare to in-person courses? How often students gather with people they do not live with? Has COVID affected students’ finances?

These are some of the questions that a new survey seeks the answer to. Developed by Shelby Brossart, a Master of Public Health degree candidate at the University of North Dakota, and the Grand Forks Public Health Department, the COVID-19 Impact Survey probes how the pandemic has impacted UND students’ return to the classroom this semester.

“The questions vary from whom students live with to where they spend most of their free time,” said Brossart, who’s overseeing the survey as part of her practicum with the city’s Public Health Department. “We want to track if people are going downtown a lot or if they’re in group settings. We want to get a rough idea of where the majority of our students are spending time and, then, how we can go about slowing the spread down, if need be, throughout campus.”

Shelby Brossart

Brossart, who played hockey for the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in health care management, said she wanted to do the survey following a spike in positive cases among UND’s student-athletes earlier this year.

Having launched in mid-October, the anonymous online survey will last through this month. Thus far, it has been distributed on a variety of social media platforms as well as through the University’s Student Life Weekly newsletter. Fewer than 100 students have already filled out the survey, which takes roughly three minutes to complete. Brossart hopes that more students will participate in the last few weeks of the survey.

“I know everybody wishes the pandemic to be over,” Brossart said. “We want to get back to our normal life. But, the reality of it is that it’s not over. On our end, we’re trying to do everything we can to collect our information to help better the University atmosphere. It is very important that we can get as much feedback as we can, so that we can help students get back to normal on campus.”

After survey window closes, Brossart will analyze the gathered data with the goal of releasing a final report by December.

The COVID-19 Impact Survey is available online. It is also optimized for completion on a mobile device.

A busy schedule

Aside from her practicum with the Grand Forks Public Health Department and graduate studies at UND, Brossart works for Altru Health System, where she handles insurance pre-authorizations and referrals. Her days are packed, but the skills she mastered by playing hockey in college help her stay on track, she said.

“I give a lot of credit to my college hockey career,” Brossart said. “You definitely learn time management very well. I work eight to five; and then at night, I dedicate my hours to schoolwork.”

Along with her professional and academic obligations, Brossart also carves time for CrossFit, a type of physical training that blends high-intensity strength and conditioning exercises.

“I am super big into CrossFit,” she said, adding that she dedicates up to two hours of her mornings to workouts.

Together with her two teammates at CrossFit SoulFire in Grand Forks, Brossart is currently preparing for the Dakota Games, a completion for individual and team contestants that kicks off early next month in an online, five-week format.

“So, it’s definitely busy,” Brossart said.