On Engineering in Crisis: Finding Your Rhythm

Over the next few weeks, we invite you to join us for a short-form blog series on how SWE Members are navigating the world amidst COVID-19. In this fifth blog, we are pleased to feature Mary Isaac, a Member at Large in the San Diego area.

Today, we are pleased to feature Mary Isaac, a Member at Large in the San Diego area. These blogs will showcase how different SWE members are engineering their lives during this fluid and ever-changing environment.

Want to be featured? Submit your engineering in crisis story here.

Your Name & Affiliation: Mary Isaac, Member at Large 

Engineering Discipline: Mechanical Engineering

On Engineering in Crisis: Finding Your Rhythm mary isaac

How do you handle stress and maintain a work-life balance right now?

One of the most important ways I reduce stress right now is through music. I am in a small jam band that has been meeting for over ten years, along with a women’s chorus, and it is fun for me to figure out how we can still meet virtually! I am retired, but I have many volunteer commitments and I am grateful for the opportunity to take a breather from the daily hustle bustle as gatherings get canceled. I also exercise every day to try to avoid the creeping Coronacation 19, analogous to the Freshman 15, and to keep my heart healthy.

Do you have any tips for studying or working from home? 

There are so many great blogs and posts out there with hacks for working from home during a crisis, that I can’t offer anything unique other than to say try to set a schedule or rhythm that your head can resonate with and that supports the work or school schedule for any online classes or calls. I know most schools are using asynchronous distance learning, which simplifies many things but doesn’t offer much hand holding for navigating how to use, so that takes some time to get used to.

How do you maintain community with your fellow SWE members, section, or affiliate?

Zoom is a great tool for maintaining community. We recently had our first virtual SWENext meetup in the San Diego area on Zoom and spent an hour talking about getting ready to return from spring break to a distance learning (DL) environment. Two of the participants were collegians already using DL and two of the girls had started DL the day before.

Engineers will be part of the critical solution to the global crisis created by COVID19. How are you engineering in crisis today?

I am also a Tech Trek summer camp director whose camp will likely be canceled in the next few weeks, so over the next few months, I will be working with my local SWENexters and advocates to design and deliver a virtual camp to ensure the selected girls get some awesome STEM experiences this summer.


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  • On Engineering in Crisis: Finding Your Rhythm mary isaac SWE Blog

    SWE Blog provides up-to-date information and news about the Society and how our members are making a difference every day. You’ll find stories about SWE members, engineering, technology, and other STEM-related topics.

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