The Abbasi Program's program coordinator, Colin Hamill, shares his experience in a story highlighting the creative ways staff in the Stanford Global Studies Division are adapting to work from home during the panademic.
Colin Hamill, who coordinates dozens of events each year for the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, focused on rescheduling and moving events online in response to the rapidly evolving crisis. In May, the program hosted its first virtual seminar, which highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on Muslim communities. “The holy month of Ramadan is currently underway, and with travel restrictions around the globe, our event discussed how Muslim communities and everyday life have been impacted,” he explained.
One of Colin’s most significant challenges has been working from home – away from the students, faculty, staff, and community members he enjoys interacting with on a daily basis. “I miss lunches, events, and helping the students that come through the office. The SGS office was my home away from home, so I suppose ‘homesickness’ has been the biggest challenge at this time.”
Despite this obstacle, Colin says he feels lucky to work with supportive colleagues, who inspire him personally and professionally every day. “Over the last couple of months, I have been motivated even more than I normally am by my work family. I've gotten to ‘see’ how they've transformed portions of their personal lives into an everyday part of their work life seamlessly,” he said. “I've been inspired and welcomed by my colleagues in ways I never thought would or should happen. Every day of this sheltering in place has been a lesson in just how fortunate I am to be part of such an amazing team.”
To keep in touch with his co-workers in the Stanford Global Studies Division, Colin started leading weekly trivia nights, which test players’ knowledge of miscellaneous topics including musicals, artwork, Marvel comics, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and geography. “I got the idea from my time living in DC, where I'd meet up with friends regularly for trivia nights, especially in the winter, when there wasn't much else going on and people were staying inside most of the time,” he said. “The inspiration came from the similar circumstances, and it has been incredible gathering everyone together, organizing the questions, and coming together to have some fun.”
He added, “It is so rare to work in an office where you get along with everyone, and even rarer still to work at a job where you love going to work every day, so I know that I've hit the jackpot working with Stanford Global Studies.”