Q&A with Christy Cherrier

Christy and her husband Kristian at a stop on the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge.

How has work in the School of STEM’s labs changed since remote operations began at UW Bothell? Partly in recognition of National Bike Month, Christy Cherrier, science lab manager and avid cyclist, answers a few questions from Maria Lamarca Anderson, UW Bothell’s director of communications.

Q. What would you normally be doing now and where?

A. I would be down in the Discovery Hall biology labs, either setting up a lab exercise for today or preparing materials for an upcoming class.

Q. What are you trying to work on today?

A. Today is full of Zoom meetings. In between meetings, I plan to work on some course fee updates for next year, work on our plan for moving into STEM4 (breaking ground this summer) and continue migrating the biology labs’ chemical hygiene plan into the cloud.

Q. What adjustments have you made to fulfill your work responsibilities?

A. My team and I usually spend our time supporting lab sections on campus. Our biggest adjustment has been helping our faculty figure out how to teach lab exercises remotely. The whole STEM lab team has been really creative this last year — building home lab kits, making lab demo videos and finding online resources. Teaching labs remotely is a challenge, but we’ve been making it work.

I’ve been splitting my time between working on campus and working from home. As much as I can, I group my tasks so that when I’m on campus I’m focused on in-person lab work, and I save my desk work to be done at home.

Q. What are you doing to care for yourself or for others?

A. For myself, I’ve kept as much of my pre-pandemic routine as I can, including biking to campus. It’s helped me maintain some sense of normalcy. For others, I’ve been sending postcards each week to various friends and family. Everyone loves getting something fun and unexpected in the mail.

Q. Do you have a change of perspective to share?

A. I’ve gotten to know my own neighborhood pretty intimately this past year. Even though we’ve lived in our house for more than 10 years, there are parks and trails that I didn’t know existed until I started taking a lot more neighborhood walks. I still love going out to the mountains, but there’s a lot of exploring to be done right outside my front door.

Q. What other thoughts or feelings do you want to share?

A. I’m working hard on figuring out my new normal right now, deciding what I want to keep from this last year and what I want to change. Transitions are hard, but they’re also great opportunities to try new things and grow.

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