Staying Engaged with Students Virtually: A Q and A with the Assistant Director of Student Activities

Chez Neilson shared what it has been like working the last several weeks of the spring semester remotely. At the time of Neilson’s interview, Campus Activities Board was getting ready for its end-of-semester Destress Fest, which featured singer/songwriter AJ Rafael via live stream followed by a Q&A. Neilson said she looks forward to resuming in-person campus activities and especially misses the Hawai‘i Spotlight events.

What’s been the most helpful technology in working remotely?

My laptop and wifi and perfect timing, too, as the laptop was a Christmas gift.


Tell us about your collaborative virtual environment.

Student Activities has #DiveintoDIY videos that we post to our Instagram account. Nicole Wechselberger (Assistant Director of Student Organizations) and I have done a couple of videos on recipes, bullet journaling, and more.

I am also assisting the Campus Activities Board with staying connected with fun challenges and Destress Fest for our students. Destress Fest is going to be different but fun and exciting this year.


What are some of the ways things have changed for you at home?

Meeting with coworkers and students online is interesting. My son insists on being in the meetings and saying hi to everyone…video bombing is a daily occurrence.


What are you looking forward to the most when we get past our sheltering and distancing?

I am missing the Hawai`i Spotlight events! These events are fun, and being able to connect with students by sharing my culture is rewarding.


Do you see any of the changes in your life as a positive that you will carry forward when we rebound from COVID-19?  

I’m trying to get better at practicing self-care!