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Michael Foy Armstead

#CStateChampions | Wednesday, July 1, 2020

He's tired at the end of a 12-hour day, but Michael Foy Armstead is helping a lot of critical caregivers breathe a little easier.

Since the beginning of May, Armstead has been in Montrose, Colo. running one of Battelle Memorial Institute's Critical Care Decontamination Systems. The systems can remove traces of the COVID-19 virus from N95 respirators, and have been a key part in addressing the shortage of personal protective equipment for health care providers.

Armstead, who is originally from Mayfield Heights, graduated with an associate degree this spring and plans to transfer to Ohio State University to study physics. He finishes with an extensive Columbus State resume, including the Future Scientists of Ohio Scholarship Program, STEM Club, Student Ambassadors, MAN Initiative, the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation, serving as a student-representative to several College committees, and introducing Dr. Harrison at a panel discussion.


Michael For Armstead Standing near Battelle sign at work.


He's a guy who likes to keep busy, but that's hard in a pandemic.

"All of this happened, and my life just came to a screeching halt. I was looking for some way to make a difference," Armstead says.

Armstead's science background helped him quickly grasp the system's workings, and his training in the lab helped him handle materials safely.

Battelle, a Columbus-based research institution, got expedited approval to field the Critical Care Decontamination Systems in April, in what was one of the country's first wins against the coronavirus.

The system is built out of shipping containers, and each one can sterilize tens of thousands of respirators a day. Health care providers send their N95s to a central location, where they are sterilized and sent back.

Armstead's been working 12 hours, seven days a week, but he says he doesn't mind. He unwinds afterwards by taking a run.

"It's the best summer job I've ever had," Armstead says.


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Across the country and here at home, our grads are stepping up for the good of others. We are proud to tell their stories here, and we encourage you to share them with those in your social and professional circles. If you or someone you know have a similar Columbus State story to share, please tell us about it at the link below. Let’s celebrate our #CStateChampions.