Emergency Response Teams and Related Working Groups

These teams have been charged with conducting focused planning in specific areas that align with the College’s overall COVID-19 scenario planning.

Active Groups


Primary Charge: The Admissions ERT develops recommendations regarding the recruitment of prospective students, admissions, class size, use of spring class and campus visits.
Leadership: Leykia Nulan, Dean of Admission

Alumnae Experience

Primary Charge: The Alumnae Experience ERT develops and implements opportunities for alumnae engagement and community building to replace and augment traditional offerings. Provides student-alumnae connection opportunities.
Leadership: Liz Lierman, Executive Director, Career Development Center; Interim Executive Director of the Alumnae Association

Buildings and Grounds

Primary Charge: Buildings and Grounds makes recommendations regarding the opening of indoor and outdoor public and mixed use spaces.
Leadership: Shannon Gurek, Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer

Classroom Group

Primary Charge: The Classroom Group makes recommendations for use  of academic spaces with a focus on determining new occupancy standards in light of physical distancing guidelines.
Leadership: Gary Gillis, Norman Wait Harris and Emma Gale Harris Foundation Professor of Biological Sciences; Associate Dean of Faculty; Director of the Science Center

Emergency Response Team Leadership

Primary Charge: ERT Leadership provides leadership to ERT working groups, maintains deadlines and documentation and ensures coordination between the ERT and Cabinet.
Leadership: Marcella Runell Hall, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students and Laura Smiarowski, Interim Chief of Staff

Employee Return to Campus

Primary Charge: The Employee Return to Campus Group, in alignment with MA’s phased re-opening strategy, considers plans for approaching safe practices and timelines for on-campus work.

Events Management

Primary Charge: The Events Management ERT is responsible for developing protocols, guidelines and recommendations for the implementation of in-person events on campus at Mount Holyoke.
Leadership: Alicia Erwin, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Involvement and Heather Tetrault, Assistant Director of Event Services

Financial Review Group

Primary Charge: The Financial Review Group  advises the College leadership as it considers the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic while being as attentive as ever to our core educational mission, its preservation and renewal, as well as to our community values.
Leadership: Shannon Gurek, Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer

Health and Safety Committee

Charge: Mount Holyoke College will continue to prioritize the health and safety of all community members. Therefore, the COVID-19 Health and Safety Committee (which is separate from the overall ERT structure at the College) will focus on any or all of the following matters related to COVID-19 and the safe operation of the College:

  • Vaccines
  • Masks
  • Variants
  • Testing
  • Safety Protocols
  • Quarantine & Isolation Protocols
  • Additional health and safety matters may be added, if applicable.

The committee will be responsible for monitoring changing guidance, responding to questions raised by that changing guidance and informing protocols for operational issues that are brought to their attention, either by the cabinet or other operational groups. Their role will be to assess the issues in accordance with recent health and safety guidance, make recommendations related to health and safety protocol changes to the Cabinet for its ultimate decision and then develop communications related to these decisions and/or provide guidance to those responsible for regular operational processes.

Leadership: Paul Kandel, Associate Vice President for Strategic Projects (Chair)


  • Shannon Gurek, VP for Finance and Administration (Cabinet liaison)
  • Marcella Runell Hall, VP for Student Life (Cabinet liaison)
  • Josh Dufresne, Assistant Director, Public Safety & Service
  • Lindsay Adkins, Marketing & Communications
  • Gary Gillis, Associate Dean of Faculty
  • Cheryl Flynn, Director College Health Services
  • Lori Smith, Director Environmental Health & Safety
  • Imad Zubi, Director of Auxiliary Services

Residential Student Group

Primary Charge: The Residential Student Group is charged with researching and making recommendations regarding campus housing, campus health, safety and testing needs, dining services operations and co-curricular activities.
Leadership: Karen Engell, Director of Health Services and Rachel Alldis, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life

Senior Policy Group/Cabinet

Primary Charge: The Senior Policy Group/Cabinet considers the recommendations brought to them by the ERT groups and makes decisions as needed upon them.
Leadership: Sonya Stephens, President

Student Accounts/SFS

Primary Charge: The Student Accounts ERT researches and makes recommendations regarding matters that impact financial aid and student accounts.
Leadership: Robin Randall, Vice President for Enrollment Management

Student Employment

Primary Charge: The Student Employment ERT makes recommendations regarding off-campus, remote and on-campus student employment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leadership: Jenny Watermill, Senior Associate Director, Experiential Learning & Exploration

Student Experience

Primary Charge: The Student Experience ERT is charged with developing a vision and framework for a co-curricular student experience that is inclusive of all students whether they reside on campus or not in 2020-2021.
Leadership: Alicia Erwin, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Involvement


Primary Charge: The Travel ERT makes recommendations regarding travel by members of the MHC community. This includes any travel restrictions, required quarantine, etc.
Leadership: Gary Gillis, Norman Wait Harris and Emma Gale Harris Foundation Professor of Biological Sciences; Associate Dean of Faculty; Director of the Science Center

Groups that have completed their work

Academic Planning Group

Primary Charge: The Academic Planning Group is responsible for researching and recommending an academic model for 2020-2021; evaluates all academic policies and makes recommendations to faculty governance groups. This ERT houses working groups focused on retention and graduation, scheduling, faculty development, academic first-year experience, faculty work/life balance and faculty health and safety.
Leadership: Jon Western, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty; Carol Hoffmann Collins '63 Professor of International Relations
This group has completed their work and is no longer active.

Spring Review Group

Primary Charge: The Spring Review Group makes recommendations regarding the opening of campus for the spring 2021 semester.
Leadership: Paul Kandel, Strategic IT Project Management Lead and Stacey Lyons, Associate Vice President for College Relations Operations, co-chairs
  • David Powicki, Director of Technology Infrastructure & Systems Support
  • Lori Smith, Assistant Director of Environmental Health & Safety
  • Imad Zubi, Director, Willits-Hallowell Center