We survived! The past week was crazy as we launched the COBE initiative. Six days and ten (!) Welcome Week events later, we now have >1200 followers across Facebook and Twitter (and if I could ever figure out how to get my Instagram account to work, I know we have more there too). Our supply of 2,000 COBE t-shirts is nearly gone, and we have another order underway so we can continue to build the COBE community (more to come about times we’ll be in the Commons and around campus). Next comes the fun part, where we get to create a campus focused on well-being together!
Most importantly, I want to take a moment to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to all the individuals who have made the COBE launch a success. I especially want to thank my AMAZING team, who did all the heavy lifting (often literally; think 2000 t-shirts being drug around campus!): Amy Adkins, who oversaw the entire COBE launch, while also supervising our undergrads and prepping for the first week of class; Craig Zirpolo, our new digital media specialist (and recent VCU grad) who just started with our group in July and managed to build a website, launch video, and everything associated with them in the matter of a few weeks; Zoe Neale, my graduate student who juggled classes, clinic, research, and COBE craziness all at once; Jessica Salvatore, my right hand person whose leadership keeps all the grants and projects chugging along, enabling us to engage in ever-expanding new initiatives like COBE; Fazil Aliev and Bin Cho, who amaze me with their statistical brilliance and yet are still willing to pitch in any time a hand is needed (need a fridge painted or bulletin board hung anyone?); Jinni Su, Peter Barr, and Sally Kuo, my three new postdocs who just started and immediately got thrown into the COBE craziness, and jumped in as enthusiastic team players; Megan Cooke and Jeanne Savage, my amazing graduate students, who are always willing to pitch in and help; and lastly, Regina Coles, my project coordinator, who keeps us all organized and makes the group run. I am so grateful to work with such a talented, supportive, and enthusiastic group of individuals. None of this would be possible without you.
In addition to the members of my immediate team, there were countless others who helped make COBE possible. Tom Woodward and Mark Luetke at the ALTlab – you are amazing. Mark is the talented artist who quite literally brought COBE to fruition. Remember back in June when I talked to you both about whether we could launch a major university initiative by August? I think you thought I was a little crazy – but thanks to you we did it!
Linda Hancock – without your support, and the fabulous group of individuals that you have brought together at The Well, none of this would be possible. Thank you all for being such wonderful partners.
Finally, the launch of COBE is quite literally the product of hundreds of meetings and conversations over the past couple years. Without the encouragement and support of senior leadership and faculty colleagues across VCU this would have never come to fruition. Thank you all for making VCU such a creative, innovative place to live and work.