There was a time not too long ago when we yearned for more time at home – when we could barely keep up with our daily chores, and our lists of home improvement projects just kept getting longer and longer. There were barely enough hours in the day to maintain our living spaces and our yards – much less get creative with them. And learning how to do some new craft or new skill? Nobody had time for that!

But then everything changed. And, when the world all but shut down in an effort to flatten the coronavirus curve, the DIYers among us got busy. From building new porches and installing new walkways to cooking new recipes and creating new hobbies – College of Charleston faculty and staff have used their extra hours at home to be productive and creative.

Here are just a few of the “pandemic projects” that have been keeping us busy!

Nancy Bright's Pandemic ProjectNancy Bright ’99
IT Project Manager, Division of Information Technology

“From drawing to drink holder! My husband and I built two end tables for our screened porch pandemic project.”





Molly Jean Callahan Pandemic ProjectMolly Jean Callahan
Student Support Coordinator/Office Manager, Office of the Dean of Students 

“I knitted some small hearts for some of my loved ones with April birthdays since I couldn’t make it to the store. It was a new pattern that took some getting used to, but I liked being able to send a physical piece of love their way in these difficult times.”


Franklin Czwazka Pandemic ProjectFranklin Czwazka
Catalog and Curriculum Systems Manager, Office of the Registrar

“Just as this whole COVID-19 started, I finally took the plunge and started to work on making my own Mandalorian armor. I’ve always wanted to, but the show on Disney+ inspired me to actually make my own. I’ve never made my own cosplay or costume before so I’ve been learning as I go. The helmet shown is our first attempt, more of a prototype to learn the pattern itself and how it all fits together. I learned a lot from this first run-through and found some places for improvement, especially when cutting the bevels for the cheeks of the mask. The next one will be the real one that I’ll actually seal. I already have a black visor to insert as well. And I’m working on one for Rowan (my 7-year-old son) now. I think he wants his armor and clothing to be red, black and silver. I have some thoughts for my color scheme as well, but I’m not 100 percent sure yet. My plan is to wear this on campus for Halloween (assuming we’re back).”

Arian Fernandez Pandemic ProjectsArian Bonetto Fernandez
Assistant Director of Admissions, Division of University Marketing and Enrollment Planning

“I have been going to paint our former house, the one my wife and I lived in before we moved downtown earlier this year. We are trying to sell it, so any beautification I can do on my own and save some money is always the way to go for us. My wife and parents help sometimes. We work together keeping a safe distance and always wearing face masks if we think we might be in proximity. In addition to the painting, I recently bought a sewing machine and I have been trying to learn how to sew by making some simple face masks. Anyone who needs one and doesn’t mind a crappy looking mask can contact me over email, and I can drop one or two off on campus.”

Rachel Mason Pandemic ProjectRachel Mason
Assistant Director of Annual Leadership Giving and Special Projects, Office of Development

“Quarantine, or 2020, has been a learning curve. I am an active person and love getting out to do things. So being confined to my house has been challenging, but I took the opportunity to try a few new things. The most fun being a garden! I live in a townhome so had to make sure I could fit the plants and myself on my back patio. I knew I wanted to plant herbs. Too often I buy herbs in bulk from the market, and they go bad or they are just so expensive. I started with basil, rosemary and cilantro. After those did not die, I added sage, parsley, mint and thyme. Finally, I challenged myself a bit more. I planted green onions from the bulb (fun science project – buy green onions, save the bulb, replant – IT WORKS!), tomatoes and jalapeños – all still living. I have made several dishes with my garden. It has been fun and has sparked a creative bug I never knew I had before. I have been creating some of my own recipes and cooking. Once quarantine is over, I will still have this passion and hobby. I am already looking forward to next growing season and seeing what I can do on my little patio.”

Laura Sanders Pandemic ProjectLaura Sanders
Associate Director of Admissions, Upstate Region, Division of University Marketing and Enrollment Planning

“We have been super busy working on projects. My husband has been working from home as well, so we literally have a plan that we meet at 5:15 p.m. and work until dark each evening, and all day on the weekends. We made a to-do list early on and have stuck with it. A major task was completing our front porch which we have done over the last four weekends and have finally finished!”