OISTer Spotlight

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.

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 Mai Barnes

The Resource Center Team

When OIST operations were reduced to critical research and essential business operations only, along with increased home quarantine and self isolation measures, many OISTers faced 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.

Shivani Sathish

PhD Student

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. 

CDC Teachers

When the CDC closed its physical building from April 18 until May 21, the CDC teachers made an incredible shift from their usual work to host virtual circle times twice a day. They created videos of songs and book narrations as well as new curriculum and resources, all to support our OIST preschoolers at home. Even after re-opening, CDC teachers continue to host virtual circle times for preschoolers who cannot yet return to school. We truly appreciate their amazing effort and persistence in providing care and a sense of consistency for our children.

Mari Takenouchi and Akiko Ringdahl

OIST Translation Team

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 shifted dramatically, and they worked very hard to ensure that all guidance given to the OIST community about operations as well as community research projects was provided in Japanese as well as English in addition to supporting OIST's communications with the Okinawa Prefectural Government. The work they have during this pandemic has been truly astounding, and we would like to recognize and thank them for their valuable contribution to OIST.