During this challenging and uncertain time, these OISTers have gone above and beyond to help the OIST community. Here we recognize and celebrate their efforts and say thank you for their valuable contribution.
If you would like to nominate someone who you feel should also be in the spotlight, please send their name, their position at OIST, a short description of their contribution, and their photo (if possible) to email@example.com.
Dr. Tomoari Mori
Occupational Health and Safety Doctor
Usually you would only meet Dr. Mori if you needed to stop by the OIST Health Center for medical advice or routine medical treatment. However, since the global outbreak of COVID-19, Dr. Mori has been working tirelessly to support OIST staff and research in addition to his regular practice. He has served as a liason between OIST and the Okinawa Prefectural Government to facilitate the flow of information and the work of our Community Research Projects. He has helped to coordinate OIST's efforts to aid local hospitals. And he has provided valuable medical guidance as a member of OIST's Emergency Response Team, also taking the additional time to work closely with the Communication and Public Relations Division to keep the entire community informed. Thank you Dr. Mori for all you have done and continue to do for OIST and for Okinawa.
Keita Uesugi, Akiko Ishimine, Yoshimasa Nakamura, Paula Anthony, and
The Resource Center Team
With OIST operations now reduced to critical research and essential business operations only, along with increased home quarantine and self isolation measures, many OISTers are now facing difficulties with transportation to meet their basic needs—such as buying groceries and over-the-counter medications. The Resource Center team saw this need and stepped in to help, setting up a program within the Resource Center to assist with online grocery orders and coordinating a team of volunteers who are willing and able to go shopping for those who can't. Thank you to all who work in the Resource Center for your compassionate contribution to those in our community in need. We truly appreciate you.
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all of us at OIST in a variety of ways, but it's also taking a serious toll on local businesses and health care workers. Witnessing these struggles and recognizing a way to help both of these groups at the same time, Shivani Sathish started an OIST community initiative to raise funds for restaurants who would then be able to feed healthcare workers, supporting their wellbeing as they work dilligently to serve the people of Okinawa. This project is currently getting off the ground, and we look forward to seeing more updates as it develops, but already we want to commend Shivani for spearheading such a warmhearted response to a such complex challenge.
While OIST is continuing to support only critical research and essential business operations on campus, the CDC has closed until May 6. However, this doesn't mean that the CDC teachers are sitting at home taking leave until OIST returns to normal operations. No, they are all still working incredibly hard creating videos of songs and book narrations, hosting virtual circle times twice a day, and building new curriculum and resources, all to support our OIST preschoolers as they adjust to being at home instead of in the classroom. This is an incredible shift from their usual work, and we truly appreciate this amazing effort and persistence in providing care and a sense of consistency for our children even from afar.
Mari Takenouchi and Akiko Ringdahl
OIST Translation Team
It may not be widely known, but the Communication and Public Relations Division has a translation team that consists of two of incredibly hard working and busy women. During a normal week at OIST they can be found providing simultanous interpretation work for numerous meetings and lectures and as well as written translation work for almost all the materials that come out of CPR as well as some work requested by other divisions. During the OIST response to COVID-19 their work has shifted dramatically, and they have worked very hard to ensure that all guidance given to the OIST community about operations as well as community research projects is provided in Japanese as well as English in addition to supporting OIST's communications with the Okinawa Prefectural Government. The work they have done in the past few weeks has been truly astounding, and we would like to recognize and thank them for their valuable contribution to OIST.