Students Travel to University of Washington to Assist with COVID-19 Tests

March 31, 2020 - 4 minute read

Two Concordia University Irvine Biology students, Hannah Hopkins ('20) and Anna Chao ('21), were recruited to travel to the University of Washington (UW) to help process COVID-19 tests. The academic labs at UW have been developing their own testing resources, which contributed to the early recognition of the outbreak in Washington.

Hannah is heading to Baylor University in the fall, where she was accepted into a PhD program in a virology lab. She received the invitation to help at UW's COVID-19 testing center through that connection. Many of the Biology faculty at Concordia consulted with her as she weighed the risks of being in Washington during the outbreak as well as the service opportunity that this presented. After much thought and prayer, Hannah decided to join the team at UW, and her classmate, Anna, decided to sign up, too.

Hear more from Hannah and Anna about why they decided to serve and their experiences so far:

Hannah Hopkins

"Anna and I are both working in the virology lab at UW. We are going to be processing samples (labelling and then pipetting patient samples from a big test tube to a smaller tube for processing). It's not the most exciting work, but we are both so excited to be here and to be helping.

As a Christian, I believe we are called to serve. I might not be able to do what I used to be able to do, but I can do something to help with this situation, and I am so thankful for that.
Anna Chao and Hannah Hopkins

Anna Chao and Hannah Hopkins

"As a Christian, I believe we are called to serve and I think this was definitely a call to do so. I know this is going to be hard work and long hours, but I think it is going to be so worth it in the end.

"I am so thankful that the biology professors are being so supportive with Anna and me coming up here. I definitely would not have had the courage to come here without their support. I am thankful that my family was also super supportive and gave their blessing. Lastly, I am thankful that Anna was crazy enough to come with me on this trip."

Anna Chao

"At work, I found myself feeling idle with this urge to do something. I am by no means a role model Christian, but I found myself called to do something, anything to help the situation. When I heard of this opportunity, I knew that God had presented it to both Hannah and myself, and I could not say no.

I found myself called to do something, anything to help the situation. I knew that God had presented [this opportunity] to both Hannah and myself, and I could not say no.

"What initially seemed like an escape from the grips of boredom and depression soon turned out to be the chance to serve our community and put to use the education our family and professors have equipped us with.

"The support from our biology professors has been overwhelmingly wonderful, and I cannot thank all of them enough for offering us the guidance and showing us all the love they have. My family for the unconditional support. To Hannah, who I am so incredibly blessed to spend these next few months with."

We are proud of Hannah and Anna and their great demonstration of the values, skills, and service that make our students so valuable to the world around us. To learn more about CUI's response, please visit

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