With the help of some special colleagues, the U gets the job done  from home

With the help of some special colleagues, the U gets the job done from home

By Lorena Lopez

With the help of some special colleagues, the U gets the job done from home

By Lorena Lopez
We reached out to the University’s faculty and staff to see what working from home looks like. Here’s how some of the teams—and their animal “co-workers”—have been adapting.

Now almost a month into working from home, many of our teams are coming together like never before to bring online courses and services to the University community. For some it may have been a challenge to find a quiet workspace at home, while others had to learn to work with new “co-workers.” We reached out to ask, what does working from home look like for you?

Toppel Career Center

The team  at the Toppel Career Center continues to provide  career services and advice to University students. Earlier this month, Toppel hosted a virtual career fair, that provided students and alumni with the opportunity to network with employers. The group plans to extend its services to community members who have lost their jobs—either temporarily or permanently—by offering a free virtual professional development day. With their purr-fect co-workers by their side, this crew is ready to support the community.

Division of Continuing and International Education (DCIE)

The team at DCIE is no stranger to online learning. After all, the Distance Learning Institute has been at work for almost 10 years. However, the group has had its hands full these past few weeks helping to move University courses online. This included many of the division's own courses including professional certificate programs, language programs, and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offerings. With part of the team working remotely, and others on campus helping faculty members with online learning, the group certainly has its hands (and paws) full. 

School of Communication

The School of Communication faculty members found ways to embrace the lighter side of working from home, learning to share space with new co-workers. Professor Erin Brown—and her cohorts, Flynn and Quorra—encourage her students to take this time to learn new skills like web design, so more people have the skills to post cat photos on the web. (Because, after all, that's what the web is for, right?) Meanwhile, Alberto Cairo, associate professor and Knight Chair in visual journalism, launched a Dungeons & Dragons campaign to keep his children entertained during their time at home. His eight-year-old daughter made her character a  6'11'', half-orc berserker lady who has a very particular personality traitaccording to his daughter, she loves hugs.

Division of Student Affairs

Employees within the Division of Student Affairs continue to keep students—and at-home, four-legged colleagues—engaged. To stay on track, Buddy and his owner Michael C. Baumhardt, director of orientation and commuter student involvement, take in a bit of fresh air while looking over details related to orientation and commuter student involvement. The team from the Department of Student Activities definitely kept the ’Canes spirit alive at the end of a Zoom meeting by throwing up their best U’s. Bryan Ensel, associate director of housing operations and facilities, invited his two furry pals to help with housing operations.


UMIT Innovate Team

The UMIT Innovate Team opted to work remotely using augmented reality, complete with avatars casted in cyberspace around a virtual Harkness table. Their daily 15-minute, stand-up meeting uses agile methodology employed by software developers. The team uses the Magic Leap "Social" app to meet and review the work for the day.

Office of Undergraduate Admission

The excitement of welcoming newly-accepted ’Canes to the University will not be stopped by COVID-19. While Coral Gables campus tours are on pause for now, the team at the Office of Undergraduate Admission has turned to tools like Facebook to welcome new students and their families through live Q&A sessions, with the help of a few friendly faces.

University Communications

The team at University Communications and their special companions continue working to support the communication needs of the University community. They provide daily updates for faculty, staff, students, and their families; elevate the voices of University experts; and support the U’s digital presence in households around the world. This crew and its pets work around-the-clock to ensure that the University of Miami is at the forefront of moving forward together, as one U.

Across the University, each unit continues to find creative ways to stay positive and embrace the changes and temporary limitations. Whether you’re on the front lines or working from home, stay safe, y’all—and keep posting those pet photos!