Planting our own “Victory Gardens” in our CoE community

To Our Dedicated Engineering Staff:

Our lives have been disrupted. Many of us are now juggling the responsibilities of working remotely while caring for children or handling other duties. Or trying to help translate curriculum to an online environment. Or determining which part of research can continue outside of the lab.

One thing is acutely clear: As we settle into the “new normal,” we will have to adapt.

Some of you have been working at full speed for some time, helping to move to remote operations and to support our community. Thank you. Your commitment and hard work has made these adjustments possible.

Some of you will need time to adjust, or just recuperate. If you need the time, take it. The well-being of our community is of utmost importance now – and that includes each and every one of you. Your mental and emotional well-being are as important as your physical health.

I have no doubt, however, that we can tackle this “new normal.”

As individuals and as a community, we can step up. Consider what you can do to contribute to the common good. It’s in our mission statement for a reason. The spirit of cooperation and solidarity in our community is already inspiring. Don’t stop now!

It is possible that in the coming days and weeks, you will be called upon to do work not usually in your job duties. Consider it your way of planting a “Victory Garden” — during World War I and II, citizens in countries around the world answered their governments’ call to grow food for the common good. It was a way for people to pitch in and do their part, even if it was outside their normal activities.

One thing you can do immediately is give blood. The Red Cross is experiencing a severe shortage. In the next 30 days, if you go give blood, the College will count that effort as a full work day of activities. This is an example of how your action as an individual can apply towards your work as a staff member. The clinics accepting blood are doing so in a safe manner.

In the coming days and weeks, we will provide more opportunities like this, or calls to help units within the College or across campus. We all have skill sets and abilities that can be put to good use during this time of need. Maybe your skills can be better used to help faculty conduct online classes, comfort and assist students still on campus and practicing social distancing, or assist with remote research operations. Flexibility and daring will be critical in these unprecedented times. Please continue to jump in, figure things out, and forgive each other for the inevitable mistakes along the way. Please be good to yourself and to each other.

I have every faith this community can do this together.

Stay well,