At the beginning of the fall semester, Seminole State College selected Dr. Deanna Miles to serve as the campus’s COVID-19 Officer.
Dr. Miles most recently served the College as an Assistant Professor in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Division and a Curriculum Specialist through a Title III grant.
“I’m excited to serve as the COVID-19 Officer. It’s a challenge, but we’re doing everything we can to get students and employees what they need to make everyone safer,” Dr. Miles said.
Dr. Miles received her Bachelor of Science from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She then completed her Medical Doctorate at the University of Oklahoma and she also completed her Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz..
As someone who grew up in Moore, Okla., Dr. Miles is no stranger to adversity. On May 3, 1999, her parents’ medical clinic was hit by an F-5 tornado. She learned from watching her parents and those around her respond and rebuild in a time of crisis.
“I remember moving the phone lines to our home, trying to get prescriptions to people in need. While this health pandemic is obviously a very different scenario, dealing with the tornado gave me more experience to handle these challenging times than I even realized,” Dr. Miles said.
One of the first tasks Dr. Miles undertook in her new role was helping campus administrators and staff from several different departments compile a COVID-19 Safety and Procedure Manual. The manual is regarded as a living document and will be updated when necessary. It includes information on sanitization, workplace accommodations, what do when you or someone you have been in contact with has tested positive and many other topics.
“I’ve been really impressed by our professors. They’ve been really great about sanitizing classrooms and reinforcing what steps need to be taken to their students,” Dr. Miles said.
When walking around campus, Dr. Miles has found most people following preventative measures. “At times I’ll see a few overlooking things—they aren’t staying six feet apart, maybe their masks are positioned under their noses, but for the most part everyone seems to be doing a good job.”
To improve accuracy in contact tracing, SSC has developed seating charts for each course that meets face-to-face and added a reporting form to the top of its website, sscok.edu. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to fill out the form if they test positive for COVID-19, if they develop symptoms and are in quarantine until they get COVID-19 test results back, or if they are a first-degree contact with a person who is confirmed positive.
SSC President Lana Reynolds said Dr. Miles will be continually reviewing SSC protocols and responses to COVID-19-related issues.
“We feel very fortunate to have someone with Dr. Miles experiences in the medical field, as well as the classroom, to provide guidance to us during this time. She will also serve as a liaison with the Seminole County Health Department and the Oklahoma Department of Health in reporting positive test cases and monitoring campus exposures,” Reynolds said.
For more information about SSC’s COVID-19 response, visit sscok.edu/covid19/covid.html.