From the start of the pandemic, the University of Alabama at Birmingham has been united in the fight against COVID-19.
Published: January 22, 2021
Employees, students, and faculty have worked together to safely unite and protect one another during this unprecedented time. Below are video stories of four members of the UAB community who have excelled at serving and protecting our campus and community.
Officer Kimani George has wanted to be a police officer since he was 6 years old. George, who is a field training officer with the UAB Police and Public Safety Department, and his fellow officers have been an essential part of keeping the campus open and safe.
Along with their daily duties of patrolling campus and protecting the UAB community, they are also ensuring students, staff and faculty remain vigilant in protecting themselves and others from COVID-19. UAB police officers have enforced social distancing guidelines and ensured everyone wears a mask.
“I think people actually get a chance to talk to us more now, so that they can see that we are not just police officers, but that we are humans, have feelings and have a love for everyone out here,” George says. “I feel like I am able to give back to my community; this is where I grew up and where I am now. UAB is home.”
“Basically, anything that you can touch we spray and wipe down. We have always cleaned; but now we do more cleaning, we are more careful, and we are more hands-on with everything we do,” Thompson says.Creating a safe and clean environment is of the utmost importance when it comes to keeping the campus open. Jasmine Thompson, a supervisor with UAB Building Services, says cleaning efforts have been ramped up to protect those on campus.
Knowing that her work is essential to keeping the UAB community safe drives her to work hard every day.
“I actually feel like a superhero when it comes down to the cleaning because people depend on us,” Thompson says. “I’m ready to work. I’m ready to make sure things are clean. I feel like I have an ‘S’ on my chest. I’m a superhero without a cape. We’re all superheroes here.”
“We are extremely proud to be UAB alumni and also proud of everything that they have done to really protect our patients, their staff, faculty and our community as a whole,” says Kate Daluyin. “UAB is awesome, and I couldn’t be prouder.”Thanks to the dedication of UAB’s health care providers and staff, patient care has remained as strong as ever throughout the pandemic. Kate Daluyin, O.D., a cornea and contact lenses resident with UAB Eye Care, and her husband, Kevin Daluyin, an intensive care unit nurse, are two of thousands of employees at UAB who have continued to make patients their first priority. While visits may look different, the care remains the same.
“Teaching with a mask on is a different challenge, but teaching with a mask on probably isn’t as strange as it is to look out and see a class full of masks and to not be able to read the responses of your students,” Ennis says. “It’s very different when you can only see a small portion of their face.”Adapting to new teaching methods has been crucial to ensuring that students are able to continue their educations. Robin Ennis, an associate professor in the UAB School of Education, has had to adjust how she teaches to make sure her students are still engaged and that they are taking care of themselves during these uncertain times.
Ennis, who is a mother to 5-year-old triplet boys, has faced challenges of her own as she adjusts to balancing work life and home life. She says she has encouraged her students to put their health first, just as UAB has encouraged the community to do.
“We really need to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves so that we can take care of the others in our lives, and that’s particularly true in a caregiving-type profession like education,” Ennis says. “I am really proud to work at a school like UAB that is so focused on the health and well-being of all their employees, and it’s really felt good to be a part of this united spirit to support one another during this time.”
For more information about UAB United, visit the website at www.uab.edu/uabunited.