Look at this ingenuity and teamwork!

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Last week, I shared how my family and I were coping with the pandemic … and I asked the college how the Campus Engagement workgroup might help.

The engagement team’s purpose is to help enhance internal communication and knowledge sharing across Virginia Western.

Becky Kraemer, VWCC’s Assistant Recruitment Coordinator (who also serves on the engagement team), quickly emailed me some examples of the positive — the joy! — happening in the midst of the crisis. 

Becky wanted to spotlight three coworkers (and all of them said it was OK to publish before this post went public). She wrote:

Ray Wickersty (New Student Advisor): He made an awesome YouTube video demo-ing how to work Google voice so all the advisors and people in Chapman could get a hold of students during this time but protecting their real cell phone numbers.  (Ray added that this allows anyone at the college to have a spare phone number to interact with students, thus protecting their personal phone numbers. He is setting up a Zoom meeting room at 9 a.m. weekly. If anyone would like to Zoom in and get some assistance or pose questions, he will be available. You can find Ray at: https://vccs.zoom.us/j/3723698837.)

Chad Heddleston (Recreation Coordinator): I loved his video of the challenge with the water bottles. He is really making an effort to make things interactive and I thought it was great! (Chad said he couldn’t have gotten his Facebook Group going without the help and vision of Natasha Lee as well as Corey Bapst and Joe Bear on the technical side. The Fitness Center staff will be posting workout videos and more at https://www.facebook.com/groups/567592430516201/?source_id=20446006533

Nicole Bell (Help Desk / Information Technology Specialist): She was amazing helping me set up all my VM Ware from home, she WAS SO PATIENT! I have already sent her a thank-you and copied Shivaji and Elizabeth on it, but I think it’s so important to highlight KINDNESS and PATIENCE. After all, we truly are all in this together. 

Nicole also wanted to add: 

Thank you to everyone that has sent the Help Desk and IET such kind words of appreciation. The Help Desk is also telecommuting so please have patience with us as we also adjust to our new way of business. Anyone that is using new software or equipment should test ahead of time so questions can be answered and issues resolved before your class or meeting begin. Please remember to call the Help Desk before you are frustrated — we are here to help! [ Phone number is  540-857-7354 ] Everyone at the college has really pulled together during these crazy times. Thank you for all that you do!

The Campus Engagement workgroup met by Zoom on Tuesday, and everyone shared some silver linings of the past couple of weeks, ranging from getting outside to garden, to spending more time with family, to just taking a pause from our normal routines. 

We have each witnessed patience and teamwork and willingness to just “roll with it,” from our leaders to our colleagues to our students. 

If you would like to publicly recognize someone at the college, please email sseagle@virginiawestern.edu (I will ask the person before sharing!).

And Lindsey Weston urges us to continue to send “You Make A Difference” shout-outs by email to Human Resources (lweston@virginiawestern.edu). The drawings will continue!

— Stephanie Ogilvie Seagle, April 2020

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About Stephanie

Stephanie SeagleStephanie Ogilvie Seagle has served as Grant Specialist at Virginia Western since 2016, but she prefers her honorary title: “Chief Joy Officer.” Stephanie spent most of her career at The Roanoke Times, a daily newspaper, where she served in various news and features roles including “Shoptimist” shopping columnist. She earned a bachelor’s degree in integrative studies at George Mason University and a master’s of arts in liberal studies at Hollins University. Stephanie is a mom to one human daughter and multiple chihuahuas … and is obsessed with reading nonfiction, Halloween, and crafting glow necklaces inspired by the Mill Mountain Star. Glow Roanoke!