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  • George Washington University

  • Courses: Community Engaged Scholarship

  • Impacts

    GW Community Response to COVID-19

    Today's work day was intense but I finally got into the bulk of what my role as Social Media Manager will be. One of the other members on the U.S. team, an innovator, notified me of a shared google doc that's shared among people spanning from Singapore all the way to New York; it's called "Navigating COVID-19 for Job Seekers." It's a list of resources, advice, and inspiration for people looking for employment during the COVID-19 pandemic. This document was compiled by Muriel Clauson and Rumaisa Mughal. I used new content management systems (CMS) to plan various social media posts to platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook. I also helped my supervisor in creating a media toolkit for internal use. We focused on the following verbiage along with creating an "about me" page on the website. Now that I have administrator access and learned how to code, I imagine this will take up the bulk of my work in the coming weeks.

    Q1. What is Good Goes Viral?
    We are an open innovation platform created to capture, develop and promote the best
    ideas against the negative effects of COVID-19.
    Q2. What is it that we do?
    We collaborate with a broad range of organizations, companies, public authorities and our
    community to spread innovation. We study success stories and challenges faced by the
    initiatives, encourage discussion and exchange of ideas, publish relevant insights and make
    sure they reach those groups that need them the most.
    In case of any doubt, check our “about” and “get involved” sites.
    Q3. Can I reach out to people outside of Good Goes Viral?
    Definitely! Involving a wide network of stakeholders is essential in our projects. You will very
    often need to reach out to experts, authorities or organizations. Please, when doing so,
    remember these guidelines:
     Always be open about who you are and who you represent
     Remind your contacts that we are an open innovation platform and they should not
    share anything that they consider a secret, or they do not want publicly available
     Manage your contacts’ expectations – check with your team before you oblige Good
    Goes Viral in any way (i.e. “I will discuss with my team” vs. “We will help”)
     If reaching out to secure any sponsorship (benefits), loop Przemek in
     Be professional, polite and follow up – we are all in this together and it is great to
    keep in touch with people that helped us
    Q4. Can I share what we are doing at Good Goes Viral?
    Feel free to share, repost and comment on everything that we are making public on the
    website or social media. If something that you are working on is not public yet, there is a
    good chance that our social media team is working on it too. Then, it is best to reach out
    and check.
    Q5. How should I speak about my role at Good Goes Viral?
    A short description of your responsibilities has been provided in your contract. Feel free to
    use it to speak about your role. Also, as normally we will not be working on confidential
    projects, you can freely talk about them with your friends and include them in your CV.

    We added links to the descriptions of each of the positions' descriptions. We also linked to the social media graphics folder to refer to graphic/visual guidelines.

    Gave 5.00 hours on 04/23/2020 with COMM 1041 Interpersonal Communication
    GW Community Response to COVID-19

    Yesterday's work was full of communication via slack and Google Hangouts! Here are some of the main points we discussed:
    Creating a resource sharing plan for grocery stores and basic utility services in the area.
    Creating a risk mitigation plan for Hospitals with huge rise in cases and provide a communication protocol for both patients & hospitals.
    Create a platform for sharing of administrative tactics from all these countries which have been able to curb the spread of COVID -19. (Kinda like testimonials)
    Create an operating plan for local restaurants to ensure the survival of these small food chains.
    Another idea is to see how tourism across nations has been affected., especially where tourism is huge part of the economy and how it is linked with SMEs in the area.
    We ended up agreeing on the first idea pertaining to grocery stores. I was able to obtain Admin permissions to the website, worked on the landing pages, and planned our Facebook launch with my advisor. It seems that the U.S. team is still struggling with time zone differences, making it difficult to produce our deliverables.

    Gave 4.50 hours on 04/22/2020 with COMM 1041 Interpersonal Communication
    GW Community Response to COVID-19

    After being approved by Prof. Weiner, this was a training call for my volunteer internship at Good Goes Viral! It is a nonprofit that was just founded at the beginning of April, and is an aggregator for the world's leading solutions to the Coronavirus pandemic. We have a U.S. branch (where I'm based), a European Union branch, and an Asia branch. This Google Hangout was with our supervisor, Przemek Czerklewicz, and the two other members of the U.S. team who serve as social innovators. This call went over our entire business model and our approach to problem solving as an organization— particularly how to contact these big names in healthcare and other industries impacted by the virus. Even though we're all based in the U.S., the three of us were still in different time zones. I'm on the East Coast, one was in Michigan, another in Tennessee, and another in Arizona. I've found that communication is harder with this group vs. when it was just social media managers, probably because their educational background is more focused on the business/entrepreneurial side of things. Of course, there were some moments where nonverbal codes of communication were difficult to interpret, especially when the computer would lag. It was also weird introducing ourselves, I could tell that everyone was uncomfortable, even virtually. I could see through the webcam that people were avoiding looking at the screen or camera, fidgeting with their hair, and other nonverbal cues of discomfort.

    Gave 1.50 hours on 04/21/2020 with COMM 1041 Interpersonal Communication
    GW Community Response to COVID-19

    After being approved by Prof. Weiner, this was my first onboarding/introduction call for my volunteer internship at Good Goes Viral! It is a nonprofit that was just founded at the beginning of April, and is an aggregator for the world's leading solutions to the Coronavirus pandemic. We have a U.S. branch (where I'm based), a European Union branch, and an Asia branch. This Google Hangout was with our supervisor, Przemek Czerklewicz, and the two other social media managers from Europe and Asia. This call went over our roles as social media managers and some of the efforts we've been seeing in our local communities doing to cope with the pandemic. We discussed a virtual architect competition and how we may want to cover that on our various platforms. From a communication perspective, I found the whole experience to be very interesting. Despite the fact that the other three people on the call were across the globe, they used the same social media managing platforms that I do! I had no idea that platforms like Hootsuite and Adobe were so universal. I also found it interesting that everyone on the call was proficient in English, despite that being the other three's secondary or third language. There were some moments where nonverbal codes of communication were difficult to interpret, especially when the computer would lag. It was also weird signing off because while it was bright and early for me, my supervisor was starting to wind down for bedtime all the way in the Netherlands! He also told me that there, people aren't even allowed to walk or run outside with masks.

    Gave 1.00 hour on 04/17/2020 with COMM 1041 Interpersonal Communication
    Free Minds Book Club

    I loved this! As a journalist, getting to read other people's writing is beyond crucial to my craft. I honestly am not the biggest fan of reading (even though I know how beneficial it can be) and have a hard time with poetry because of its ambiguity and artistry— I find that if you're not the one writing it, it can be hard to understand. I edited/ made comments on about 20 poems and I have to say, I'm very impressed. Some writers were anonymous, and others included an anecdote about their poem. For instance, there was one by Alex C (I edited a lot of his work, he showed up a lot on my feed, not sure why), which was a response to the question "what does freedom of speech mean?" The characters in his poem were flowers and nature, which seems to be a motif throughout his writing. I thought it was interesting the way he connected the human right of free speech to the basic right to life (via plants and nature). If I were asked the same question, even in a poem, I would not have thought about nature. Granted, he's a 33 year old man (as told by his anecdote), so his outlook is obviously different. I had a lot of fun!

    Gave 2.00 hours on 03/25/2020 with COMM 1041 Interpersonal Communication
    Volunteer Opportunities at DC Central Kitchen

    This experience was great! Though I missed the staff-friend I made, Ruth, I worked with the head chef (Ray) and a couple other people from GW (I knew one of them very well and we had no idea we'd be volunteering at the same time). We sliced raw beef to prep it for the beef stew, which we made later in the day. We emptied countless packages of pre-made stew to make it as big as possible. We had to troubleshoot and figure out what would be the most effective way to do so, as fast as possible. We figured out that squeezing the packages on the side of the container would be the fastest method. We organized frozen meats onto sheet pans and stacked them in the freezer. All in all, we communicated very well with each other. Again, the main issue was of space and territory, as we were working as a team of four in a confined space so if we ever collided there was a lot of "oohp, sorry!" especially because we're four young women. My only complaint was that cutting beef made me a bit queasy, but I was able to move past it by talking with the people I was working with.

    Gave 3.00 hours on 03/09/2020 with COMM 1041 Interpersonal Communication
    Volunteer Opportunities at DC Central Kitchen

    I had an amazing time volunteering! It started with a very quick uber ride, and I was welcomed into the kitchen (which was a little difficult to find). I've worked in a kitchen before, so I was familiar with the processes. They asked if I had been there before and I said no, and we watched a video outlining what the typical day of a DC Central Kitchen volunteer is like, and some upper-executives spoke in the video about what their goals for the non-profit are. I talked to a couple people I was volunteering with, and one was a middle-aged man who seemed like he had an office job (which might be thin-slicing), but he did tell me he works a 9-5pm and wanted to "give back to the DC community," because he had the day off. There were a couple students from Georgetown Preparatory School, and I was able to gather from eavesdropping that this was part of their coursework. I first packaged strawberries with two other girls my age in small plastic containers, but we ran into a communication problem when we realized we weren't filling the container all the way— the lady named Ruth who was directing us and served as an "advisor" to us during our time showed us how to do it properly, and we proceeded packaging them and putting on labels. There was a bit of a language barrier between us and Ruth, because her first language was Spanish and she had a very thick accent. However, we were able to work around that through listening carefully and her demonstrating what we should be doing. Then I cut up some grapevines into smaller pieces so that the vines could then be removed and packaged. Then the three of us made pancakes, which was probably my favorite part. Ruth taught us the art of properly flipping a pancake and how to get it perfect within the confines of the space. I noticed a lot of spacial awareness throughout the kitchen, and the three of us took turns flipping the pancakes. I wish I got to see the people we were serving, but I really enjoy the environment of the kitchen. It was easy to tell that the staff was very close-knit. All in all, it was very therapeutic and relaxing for me— Ruth said many people felt the same way.

    Gave 3.00 hours on 02/26/2020 with COMM 1041 Interpersonal Communication