Universitas 21 is celebrating U21 Champions in a series of stories about people who have gone above and beyond to make a real difference to their colleagues and their workplace during the pandemic.
Arjumand Younus, was nominated by two colleagues at University College Dublin, both Hilary McDonald and Usama Ikhlaq wrote to us saying:
Hilary - The last 7 to 8 months have been very challenging for all of us due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has required all our researchers to work at home and in a lot of cases work in isolation, disconnected from their team and indeed their families. This has been even more difficult for those researchers that started just before the pandemic as they didn’t get a chance to meet their colleagues in person and to start forming working relationships.
Arjumand, from the start of the pandemic has been a rock in our team. Helping to support our students and postdocs both online and offline. She has been a vital contributor to our online informal Hangout Zone for our team – sharing everything from recipes from her home country to chats with her children, from sharing music to sharing honest feelings about the pandemic and how it affects us all. Such honesty has allowed the rest of us to share our feelings and realise we are all feeling the same way.
After all, Arjumand's published papers are well enough to know her, I found her an exceptional candidate with exceptional qualities which forced me to write for her nomination.
"At the start of 2020 we were all so excited as it marked the beginning of a new decade but who knew that it was going to be a very tough year. In fairness, I never found it easy for myself and my family but if there's one thing I have learned from my loved ones is that helping others and being a rock for them in tough times opens up doors of help for yourself, and indeed this is what happened to me during the pandemic. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that dealing with all stresses of covid-19 while being challenging on so many fronts has also brought out the best in me."