#CalUTogether: Student Affairs and SAI staff create video offering ‘signs of strength’ for students

Cal U Student Affairs


Eron McMillen

Becky McMillen, executive director of Conference Services at Cal U, displays a “sign of strength” for the Student Affairs #CalUTogether video, April 1, 2020

Jeff Helsel

Cal U’s Student Affairs and Student Association Inc. staff collaborated from remote locations, many working from home, to create a video offering “signs of strength” for students who have transitioned to online learning this spring semester due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“If you have seen the ‘signs of strength’ various outlets have posted on social media, we would like to create one for student affairs to share with our students,” said Becky McMillen, executive director for University Conference Services, in an email message sent to more than 50 division staffers.

“We thought this might be a way to connect and encourage students in this transition,” McMillen said.

The University transitioned to remote operations in March 2020 with most staff members working from home in an effort to curtail the potential spread of the novel coronavirus.

How was it possible to gather the needed visuals from more than 50 staff members when nearly all are required to work from home during the campus shutdown?


Each staff member was assigned the task of appearing in a ‘selfie’ photo, preferably wearing Cal U apparel, with a sign displaying a specific message of encouragement to Cal U students. The photos were then gathered via email attachments and edited together into a video sequence. The final edited video was uploaded and shared on various social media outlets affiliated with Cal U and Student Affairs.

“It is fabulous and it is a true reflection of our Student Affairs family,” said Nancy Pinardi, vice president for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. “I am proud to be a part of it.”

In addition to McMillen’s effort to coordinate the project within the division, others credited in the production include: Lindsay Mongell, scriptwriter, Gary Smith, video editor. Gloria Minutello created Photoshop photos of the Vulcans mascot Blaze, Rendie Settles collected the photos,  and Pam DelVerne served as overall media team project coordinator and organized the effort to share the video via social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“It was a division effort and we really appreciate everyone’s effort,” said McMillen.

Social media postings of the video included the tagline: “Student Affairs staff offers signs of strength for our students. Stay Well. Stay Strong. Stay Connected. #CalUTogether.”

Here’s a breakdown of the script and the staff members in order of appearance:

  1. During these – Diane Hasbrouck
  2. uncertain – Justin Schiefelbein
  3. times, – Donna Hoak
  4. it might feel – Gloria Minutello
  5. Scary and – Micah Reed
  6. Lonely- Lisa Hartley
  7. We want you – Jeff Helsel
  8. to know – Leigh Ann Lincoln
  9. that even though – Blaze, Vulcans Mascot
  10. we might – John Massalla
  11. be apart, – Dawn Bellotti
  12. we are in this together.– Becky McMillen
  13. The Student Affairs division – Jared Shiner
  14. at Cal U – Rachel Michaels
  15. wants you – Cheryl Golembiewski
  16. to know – Donna George
  17. that we miss you – Missy Dunn
  18. and we look forward – Tom Hasbrouck
  19. to having – Blaze Vulcan Mascot
  20. you back – Sheleta Camarda-Webb
  21. to campus – Paul Fazio
  22. Before long. – Diane Tomi
  23. Until we – Keith Skirpan
  24. Are together – Becky Barnhart
  25. Again – Nancy Skobel
  26. We are here – Terry Carnathan
  27. To support you – Doris Wadsworth
  28. And make – Nicole Arthur
  29. this transition – Rendie Settles
  30. As easy – Joy Helsel
  31. As possible – Kim Cupplo
  32. for you.- Cheryl Lotti
  33. We are still – Cody Dietz
  34. Available – Deb Custer
  35. To assist you, so – Dawn Moeller
  36. Please send – Christa Grillo
  37. us an email at – Jamison Roth
  38. [email protected] – Tammy Clark
  39. And we will – Quiana Golphin
  40. be happy – Lindsay Mongell
  41. to help! – Gary Smith
  42. And until – Cathie Czernecki
  43. We are – Vulcan statue
  44. Together – Jayna Bonfini
  45. Again, – Tina Pierce
  46. We wish you – Tony Steve
  47. Happiness – Pam DelVerne
  48. And courage – Debbie Anderson
  49. And we will – Jim Pflugh
  50. Be together – Brenda Depaoli
  51. Again – Tim Susick
  52. Before we – Larry Sebek
  53. Know it! – Nancy Pinardi