Beyond the Call: Setting the stage for UO’s virtual visits

Editor’s note: Beyond the Call is a new section in Around the O Workplace that highlights the exceptional work of UO employees during COVID-19. Each story features an interview with one employee, in his or her own words, with light editing for clarity and length only.

Michael Luna Interview

Interim Coordinator of Welcome and Transition Experience

How long have you worked at the UO?

Nine months officially now.

I started off in Student Orientation Programs as a Student Ambassador back in 2015. I gave tours and wore the yellow jacket and everything.

Tell us about your work:

I usually say they made my title very broad so I can cover a lot of different things for whatever comes my way. The amazing thing about my job is that I’m able to work on things that involve recruitment and that involve retention. It allows our department to keep growing and for us to do some pretty amazing things with the team we have.

What does your workday look like during COVID-19?

I am currently in a set we use for filming (pictured above). I never thought I would say I created a set for someone to film an admission session. I worked on developing the different sets our talent used for their parts of the Virtual Visits and virtual (PathwayOregon) event. I'm really thinking about the stories that we want to tell with the props. For some of the people we’re recording, they’re not only a University of Oregon employee. They’re also alumni, so we want to be able to share their story as well.

I think the biggest thing I've seen is how our different skills and strengths work together to create this amazing product for students. That's always in the back of my mind when we're working on different sets and our different projects. That allows us to really make sure we're not only accomplishing what the need is, but also making sure we're keeping the students and families always in mind with every decision we make.

What is keeping you motivated during this challenging time?

There are so many different things that I think have kept me going. Seeing and understanding that every little move we make really affects the students and families in so many different ways. We sent out parent envelopes to families. Inside we put a cake topper for them to put on a cake of their choosing to celebrate their student before graduation. It's seeing those moments and students post about them that really makes me happy.

Michael is a part of Student Orientation Programs. He helped prepare guest speakers and designed sets for the Virtual Visit programs.

Do you know someone who has gone beyond the call? Nominate a UO employee.