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Parade of Masks


An orange puppet with yellow hair in pigtails is wearing a child's fabric mask.

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When we wore masks to slow the spread of COVID-19, some of us got a bit more creative. West Virginia University Libraries exhibits and program coordinator Sally Brown curated mask images from across the University into a digital display – where we all could see them during lockdown.


Matthew Tolliver, MA ’08, adjunct instructor in counseling and president of the West Virginia School Counselor Association, had a lot of worried students during the pandemic. Luckily, he had Emily (pictured above) to help ease their fears and show them the way. 

“As a school counselor at Skyview Elementary School in Westover, W.Va., I wanted to help relieve the anxiety of my students as they prepare to return to school. Emily, my puppet – and literal left-hand girl – helps me as I teach classroom lessons and talk with students.” 

Woman wearing black face mask that says "It's in the Syllabus."


Suzanne Gosden, management assistant chair and teaching associate professor, has a mask with every professor’s catchphrase. Her entry won “most ironic mask.” 

“A former student made this mask for me! Isn’t it hilarious!!??” 

Tomatoes arranged to be the body and face of a person with marigold blossoms for limbs and a white garlic skin face mask.


Angela Embrey, finance and business administrator at the Cancer Institute, won “most original mask” for a display from her garden. 

“I grew these tomatoes and marigold flowers and picked them on Sept. 11, 2020, and they looked like a face. I posted on Facebook and people enjoyed him and with the help of others, we named him Sir Roma.”

View the rest of the exhibit online: