Clare Hall, University of Cambridge
Visiting the Parker Library, summer 2018

“As a psychologist who studied all the tips and tricks to cope with stress and understood what people might be feeling during a pandemic, I, too, struggled”

Dr Keri Wong, a Life Member and former Betty Behrens Research Fellow of Clare Hall, updates us on her experiences working at UCL, and shares what she’s learned during the pandemic so far

I’m an Assistant Professor in Psychology based at the UCL Department of Psychology and Human Development.
As an international scholar I’ve enjoyed meeting all the international students and colleagues on campus here at UCL. I also like the beautiful Bloomsbury-based site, convenience of living and working in central London, and knowing that my collaborators at other institutions are just a 10- to 20-minute walk away.

My weekends blurred into weekdays as I worked to launch and manage this time-sensitive study

As a psychologist who studied all the tips and tricks to cope with stress and understood what people might be feeling during a pandemic, I, too, struggled.
My job was made even more challenging when I started the UCL-Penn Global COVID Study (www.globalcovidstudy.com) — an online survey on the impact of Covid-19 on people’s mental health, social trust, and physical health. This was coupled with the move to online teaching, so my workload increased exponentially. My weekends blurred into weekdays as I worked to launch and manage this time-sensitive study — in fact I am still doing this since the study is ongoing. I watched YouTube videos to upskill in video editing, Zoom lecture recordings, website-making and translations. The study kept me busy and lockdown flew by. All of that said, I look back now and realise how much I have learned when push comes to shove — and how important it is to stay open to change and to focus on the silver lining which is that I can improve my teaching and student experience using technology; and that much of this might translate to future face-to-face teaching.

Sunday view from the Treehouse — Apartment 21, Clare Hall, November 2015
Clare Hall Women’s Boat celebrations, March 2017

Learn more about life at Clare Hall on our website: https://www.clarehall.cam.ac.uk/

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