Has work in the Health and Wellness Resource Center at UW Bothell changed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic? Jo Blue, HaWRC manager, answers a few questions from Maria Lamarca Anderson, director of communications.
Q. What did you learn during the 18 months of remote operations, and how does it inform your work now?
A. Being remote for 18 months cemented for me how important it is to be able to connect with colleagues, friends and family. It was easy to take for granted the strong sense of community on campus, and it was a challenge to replicate that from home. Now that we’re back, we are continuing to put emphasis on building connections with students. I am constantly reminded of how grateful I am to be back as I walk around campus and see students doing usual student activities.
Q. What, if anything, are you doing differently, and how are you doing it?
A. One of the silver linings of remote work was having to learn to use new technologies like Zoom and MS Teams. Now that we’re back on campus, we are able to continue using those to make scheduling easier for both students and staff. For example, our Benefits Hub coaches still offer Zoom as one of our multiple ways for a student to have an appointment. While being in person is great, these new technologies provide us convenient and helpful options in meeting the needs of students. It also helps give staff some flexibility in doing their jobs, which is a really great thing.
Q. What are you working on today?
A. Today is one of our open shopping days for the Husky Pantry, a resource in the HaWRC for UW Bothell students experiencing food insecurity. We are working on putting together some Thanksgiving specials for students. The HEROs (peer health educators) are also working on plans for a de-stress event the last week of the quarter, so we’re reserving rooms and making sure we have mental health tips and resources ready. The quarter always seems to fly by — we are already starting to brainstorm events for 2022!
Q. How does who you are show up in your work?
A. I originally went into the field of public health as someone who has always been drawn to “helping professions.” While my work in the HaWRC is often varied and is different than roles I’ve done in the past, it boils down to helping connect students with resources. Being able to offer a hand to those who need it brings me a great amount of joy and contributes to why I love working at UW Bothell.
Q. Where is your favorite spot on campus, and why?
A. One of my favorite places on campus is the Campus Farm, down by the athletic fields. I often eat lunch at one of the picnic tables and take a few minutes to walk around. It is generally pretty quiet, and the garden is so peaceful and beautifully kept up. I always feel reenergized after some time there in the middle of the day. (Now I worry that others are going to take my lunch spot! I probably shouldn’t publicize it.)
Q. What is your favorite thing about working at UW Bothell?
A. My favorite thing about working at UW Bothell is the strong community on campus. I have really enjoyed getting to partner with other staff and faculty in the name of helping students be successful in achieving their goals. I also love getting to be a small part of the student journey and to see students take advantage of all of the opportunities that can come during their time at the University. It has been great to be back on campus getting to see our community in action once again.