By Leila Ugincius, University Public Affairs
VCU News interviewed VCU Engineering’s operations manager, Cindy Lovelace, as one of the employees who has been keeping the campus running during the coronavirus pandemic.
Lovelace and her operations team at VCU Engineering do not seek out the spotlight.
“We’re here to serve the community and whether we’re in a pandemic or not, we’re behind-the-scenes kind of people,” Lovelace said. “We don’t like to get out in front and make a lot of noise. But if there’s an issue, we try to solve it. And if there’s a problem, we’re here to take care of it.”
In that respect, it’s mostly business as usual for Lovelace and her team, which includes Michael Morrissey, David Clowser, Zac Hryciak and Cian Myers. Together they continue to coordinate with VCU’s Facilities Management Division for renovations, electrical support, deliveries and the moving of heavy machinery.
“I can’t believe how busy we are,” Lovelace said. “It’s just been amazing with the lack of students and faculty and staff on campus that we’re still busy receiving packages. That really hasn’t changed. … The other thing is, our focus isn’t so much on events and the day-to-day craziness. But we’ve had three large deliveries of equipment for the college.
“We’ve had to reassure our colleagues that we are here, we’re operating. If you need to have a delivery, go ahead and make arrangements for your delivery. We’re here to accept it.”
But they also are finding themselves serving in unexpected ways in addition to their regular duties.
For instance, Lovelace has had to restart the information technology servers so that an IT person didn’t have to come on-site. She’s also had to reboot computers when people have accidentally “remoted out,” not realizing that when they turned off their remote computers, they were also shutting off their computers at work.
And the team is doing little things for their colleagues that have nothing to do with their actual jobs, such as watering plants and cleaning out refrigerators.
“I have an amazing team,” Lovelace said, “and we all work together to serve the College of Engineering. We’re grateful that we all have our jobs and that we can come to work and that we have the support of the college for whatever needs come up.”