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Space Management Team Moves Through the Pandemic

3 women and a man wearing sterile mask in front of a college building
Posted on: December 07, 2020 in Staff Stories by Academic Affairs

Last March, the pandemic forced Titans to push pause on academic life as we knew it. And although the campus has successfully transitioned to life online, some projects simply can’t be done virtually, especially when they have hard deadlines. 

Enter CSUF’s Academic Affairs’ Space Management Team: Alyssa Adamson, Executive Director, Academic Finances and Space Management, Jacki Drumm, Associate Director of Academic Resource Projects, Cynthia Chandrasena, Assistant to the Associate Director, and student assistants, Andrea Diaz and Jason Solares.

Without a pandemic, their projects are challenging. But, add a pandemic, and now their work is the equivalent of hiking up a mountain with a backpack full of weights–while wearing a mask. They had to figure out how to reach the top of each project’s mountain safely. 

“The pandemic brought many challenges, but our team rose to those challenges,” said Drumm.

“We have seen such an amazing level of commitment, empathy, and compassion for the University and each other,” said Adamson. “This makes a day full of moves, walk-throughs, and zoom meetings worth every minute.”

McCarthy Hall Renovation

The space management team oversees academic physical resource projects and major capital and minor in-house projects. They work alongside architects, construction teams, Capital Planning and Facilities Maintenance (CPFM), and Information Technology.

Space management also supports colleges with packing boxes and moving entire departments. They are literally on the job from the first day to the last day.

One major endeavor they had to tackle during the pandemic was the McCarthy Hall 2nd Floor Renovation move. The Space Management Team was tasked to move the entire floor by mid-summer so construction could begin.

They collaborated with the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and administrators in managing the relocations of teaching labs, special collections, faculty offices, and administrative offices to service students in the fall.

Team Work

Not only did they accomplish their work while wearing masks and social distancing, they did it while using mostly the stairs, since all elevators but one was closed due to construction. Hiking with a backpack full of weights probably would have been easier.

“This took a lot of on-campus work, collaboration, coordination, negotiation, and long days while wearing masks, socially distancing, and walking up and down the stairwells,” said Drumm. “We certainly got our steps in!”

The team worked together like a gold-medal relay squad; each person had a specific strength to push the team over the finish line.

“Cynthia served as the point of contact and communications specialist, and ensured organization of the schedule,” said Drumm. “Andrea was the zooming bee who went from space to space, floor to floor, to answer questions, and to keep everyone on point. Jason was in charge of quality control as he inspected the spaces to confirm its vacancy or completion. Together, we pulled off a successful move, and in the midst of a pandemic!”

They also worked on the annual new faculty office preparation, prepared spaces for the Fire Life Safety Improvement Project, and updated the divisional space inventory. 

“Through it all, everyone always maintained the sense of urgency to the projects and the pandemic, but we never lost our sense of humor,” said Adamson. “We love the ability to work with and get to know others. We have a heart of service and a commitment to our Titan family.”

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    Academic Affairs' Spotlight on Success is a weekly newsletter featuring stories about Cal State Fullerton's faculty and academic programs. http://www.fullerton.edu/acadaffairs/spotlight/

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