Costume department assists in mask production

May 07, 2020 / by / 0 Comment

Sierra Strong is one of the GCU Hotel workers assisting Nola Yergen with pleating masks.

By Ashlee Larrison
GCU News Bureau

Nola Yergen

It’s all hands — and sewing machines — on deck in Grand Canyon University‘s production of cloth face masks.

Nola Yergen, who teaches in the College of Fine Arts and Production and designs costumes for Ethington Theatre plays, has joined the multi-department effort by managing the final steps of the mask-making process.  

The first masks created by Canyon Promotions used embroidery machines, but Yergen tweaked the design and added pleats to help the masks to fit more like traditional hospital masks. Production of the newest iteration of the masks started this week.

Yergen is happy to use her skillset to make a positive impact on the health of students and staff.

Kazuki Nakae also is assisting on mask production.

“I think that it is important for us to be able to come back to school in the fall, and I think that this is something that is going to help us get there,” she said.

Canyon Promotions is sending Yergen’s team between 600 and 1,000 masks a day to send to Yergen for pleating. From there, the finishing touches are put on masks, but Yergen isn’t doing it alone.

Three GCU Hotel employees — Kazuki Nakae, Sierra Strong and Lenore Hernandez — are assisting Yergen, and Yergen expects more help to arrive as more employees hear of the need. Anyone willing to assist should contact her.

Lenore Hernandez sews GCU masks.

Yergen finds beauty in people coming together for a common cause.

“I think this is about teamwork,” she said. “We’re forging more connections between departments and we’re forging connections with the hotel people and other students from other departments, and I think that that’s just bringing us together as a whole and making us stronger. That’s what we need to be doing right now — we need to find more common ground and more unity as a country.

“We’re just a small microcosm of that, and I’m really excited that we’re a part of doing that because that’s important.”

Contact Ashlee Larrison at (602) 639-8488 or [email protected]


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