COVID-19 has made life harder for students, but also for the staff at Vanguard University, who have faced a myriad of challenges these past few months. While the spotlight has been bright on students, the perspective from a staff member or professor has been, at times, neglected. Despite being overlooked, Vanguard’s staff and faculty have pulled together to keep the campus moving forward.
Vanguard University’s Associate Dean of Students, Denise Khaw said, “Covid-19 and online work has greatly impacted my work experience. I am a highly relational person and not being able to see my staff and my students in person has been very challenging.” Denise also explained that one of her favorite parts of doing her job was interacting with students and she felt like she was not being as impactful as she normally would when meeting in-person.
Most of the staff members at Vanguard have the drive to meet with and see students regularly, but due to COVID-19, they cannot fulfill this sociable and emotional need to meet with students they care about. It is a fact that most staff members feel the same way students feel, as the Resident and Commuter Life Director, Justin Capener said “As a staff member, I feel I have a lot of the same thoughts/feelings that students are feeling in this moment. There is a big mix of emotions.
“There is a huge desire to be back on campus; back to normal. I miss seeing students faces all the time, fostering on-campus community efforts, and having in-person meals and conversations with people,” explained Capener.
Although this season seems to be a huge setback for our staff and faculty, there are some who have taken the time to accept and find solace during this time. Adjunct Professor Shana Koh stated that she actually appreciates and enjoys working remotely. Lia Osley, an Advancement Coordinator added “I’d say that working remotely didn’t have a harsh impact on me… I mostly had some realizations about productivity and personal growth.” Lia mentioned that she was able to start new activities and bring back old hobbies because of working from home and not having to commute to Vanguard’s campus.
Growth and adapting to this “new norm” seemed to be a theme among staff members. Many are grateful for the opportunity to work from home and that we have the technology to stay somewhat connected. Working from home has been a huge blessing in disguise for many due to the ability to grow productivity and efficiency. There is something about being home all day during work hours that would curate a sense of wanting to accomplish more and see things get done better.
Things at Vanguard are very different, but staff members are still working diligently to ensure that students are getting the best out of their remote experience while navigating through their own struggles from COVID-19.