TU’s Bryan Schlein ’05 a Maryland VaxCash winner

TU's COVID-19 testing site coordinator among state’s $40,000 daily drawing winners

By Roy Henry & Kyle Hobstetter on June 9, 20201

Bryan Schlein ’05 has spent the past year helping Towson University and the local community fight through the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the campus’ COVID-19 testing site coordinator, Schlein has organized and conducted hundreds of virus tests daily at the Health Center since last August. Through Wednesday, TU had run 34,000 COVID-19 PCR tests through its on-campus test facilities. More than 29,300 rapid tests have been conducted.

So when the vaccine rolled out in January, he was one of the first to receive it.

A few months later, he would be one of the first to win the state’s daily $40,000 VaxCash prize drawings. It was a fitting reward for someone who has been heavily involved in TU’s health and safety efforts since last summer.

“I’m still in shock about it,” laughs Schlein. “It’s kind of apropos that the person who is running the COVID testing at Towson University be one of the winners.”

When asked what his plans for the money were, Schlein says most of it will be put into savings. But with his 40th birthday coming up next year, the avid Disney fan has a special trip in mind—Tokyo Disneyland.

Schlein participated in the Disney College Program and has been an annual pass holder for Disney parks. With his winnings, he can now take his dream trip to the top-rated Disney park in the world.

Schlein has a long history with his alma mater. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in theater design and worked at TU’s Office of Housing & Residence Life from 2007–20.

After looking for a career change last year, Schlein came back temporarily to work at TU’s COVID-19 testing center. He was later asked to join the Health Center as the testing site coordinator.

Helping develop the university’s COVID-19 testing center in West Village Commons gave him the chance to use the skills he learned as a student to re-evaluate how TU used its spaces so it could increase testing.

Bryan Schlein '05, left, meets with staff at the COVID-19 Testing Facility in West Village Commons
As the COVID-19 testing site coordinator, Bryan Schlein, left, can be seen regularly at the COVID-19 testing facility in West Village Commons. (Roy Henry/Towson University). 

“We imagined what the space looked like and how we can increase testing from 300 people a day to over 1,000 people a day,” Schlein says. “It’s been exciting, and it’s been a challenge at times. At the end of the day, partnering with other groups on campus to make things happen from the ground up as quickly as possible but also be really effective has been a real joy.”

As the fall term approaches, Schlein will continue to coordinate the testing centers on campus, the University System of Maryland is urging the campus community to get vaccinated.

The University System of Maryland is requiring all Towson University students, faculty and staff on campus this fall to be vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to the fall 2021 term. Community members should be fully vaccinated, including any waiting period following a vaccination, by Aug. 9.  [BROKEN LINK]Students, faculty and staff can submit documentation of their fully vaccinated status at Towson.edu/vaxverify

The Maryland VaxCash promotion continues through July 4, and while Schlein admits the money is nice, he’s hoping people get vaccinated so campus can return to some normalcy this fall.

“It’s been weird with so few people here and being low density, so I’m ready for the campus to be alive again,” Schlein says. “I think we’ll do that through the vaccination process.”