I recently had the honor and pleasure of speaking with our new UWG president, Dr. Brendan Kelly, during a phone interview.
Dr. Brendan Kelly, who officially began his role as The University of West Georgia’s eighth president on March 23, had a lot to say about his commitment to our school.
Once all of the serious talks about his plans for our school ended, I shifted the focus on something very much more relatable to the students right now.
Given our current situation with COVID-19, it is not surprising that we, UWG students, are concerned with finding ways to keep ourselves busy while trapped at home. As we are wondering what we could be doing with our newfound free time, I thought that maybe Dr. Kelly could be an example for us to follow. So, very seriously, I asked him, “What are the five major things that you do daily while social distancing?”
After a burst of laughter that expressed both his surprise and appreciation, Dr. Kelly proceeded with the list:
- Drinking coffee: Like any regular day before the outbreak, Dr. Kelly drinks a cup of coffee for a boost of energy to start the day with a clear and focused mind.
- Exercising: This isn’t the time to be lazy because we are at home 24/7. On the contrary, staying home is the perfect opportunity to work out and to get in shape. It is essential to stay active while being at home, not just to have a fit body figure, but because working out improves our mental health and mood. We are now dealing with extreme stress due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. Working out is the perfect solution to make us feel more relaxed, as exercising can help us manage stress and reduce our risk of depression.
- Working remotely: Clearly, this is not a vacation. Dr. Kelly still has professional responsibilities, which include participating in video meetings, reviewing and responding to emails, and planning his actions to improve our school. Further, since he has just started his position as the new president, Dr. Kelly makes one of his priorities to connect with his new colleagues.
- Reconnecting with people he had lost touch: While social distancing, Dr. Kelly takes the time to reconnect with people with whom he had lost touch. This is definitely an example that we can follow. Right now, not having enough time is no longer an excuse. Just like Dr. Kelly, we can pick up the phone and reconnect, whether it is with friends, acquaintances, or family members.
- Connecting with his family: One advantage of this outbreak—the only advantage if you ask me—is that being in quarantine allows us to have plenty of quality time with our loved ones. That is something Dr. Kelly enjoys. Let’s try to do the same and be grateful.
Alma Beauvais is The WOLF's News Director and current junior of Mass Communications at the University of West Georgia.