Project Manager, Title X National Training Center for Quality Assurance, Quality Improvement, and Evaluation
How long have you worked at JSI?
15 years, it’s crazy! Here I am in my [late] thirties and already a lifer.
That is a long time. What has kept you here all these years?
I love the culture at JSI. The entrepreneurial environment allows you to grow and pursue your interests. I’ve found myself in a number of different roles, divisions, and capacities working on a variety of public health and international development issues. That’s part of the secret to why people stay so long: you can keep yourself stimulated, interested, and learning while hopefully having a positive effect.
How did you first end up at JSI?
I came to JSI from its sister organization, World Education (WEI). While I was in WEI’s Africa Division in the early 2000s, our projects in West Africa increasingly focused on working with schools and parents’ associations to prevent the transmission of HIV. That was when I figured out that I was more interested in the public health side of development. So, I left WEI to pursue a master’s in public health at the University of Michigan, and later found myself back in Boston at JSI working in family planning.
Is there anything you are particularly proud of that you have been a part of during your time here?
I am very proud to contribute to JSI’s family planning work. JSI’s been training federally funded (Title X) family planning providers in the U.S. for 38 years – it’s what started JSI Research & Training Institute! Having a role on a project with such a long history gives it even more meaning to me. Since I’ve been here, JSI’s family planning work has evolved from a regional to a national program. I manage one of five Title X Family Planning National Training Centers in the U.S. (two of which are managed by JSI) and have loved being part of that evolution.
What is your favorite part of your job?
That is a big question. One part of my job that I really appreciate is the people who I work with. Many people at JSI have been in public health for a long time and have experienced some really critical public health moments. They make coming to work wonderful because I know that I’ll leave each day having learned something new. Plus, they’re a lot of fun to be around!
My other favorite part about my job is training family planning clinic staff. I work with my colleagues to develop training tools and resources, but I love facilitating trainings in clinics that help people learn something, see something in a new way, or overcome a challenge. I am lucky to have the opportunity to help people in this way.
What are some things that you like to do outside work?
I love going to the beach! However, I will admit that it is much less relaxing now that I have a one-and-a-half-year-old son who would rather me be in the sand, digging big holes and building sandcastles. I also love to cook and bake.
Tell us something about yourself that we don’t know.
I’m a huge adrenaline junkie. Sky diving, hang gliding, bungee jumping: you name it, I’ve done it.
I know you’ve traveled extensively. Do you have a favorite part of the world?
West Africa holds a special place in my heart. I lived and worked throughout the region when I was in college and while I was with World Education. There is a Wolof word, teranga, which translates to “hospitality.” It depicts all parts of life there. The warmth and vibrant culture in that part of the world is unlike any other.
Is there any place left on your travel bucket list? Maybe somewhere you’d like to take your son?
There are still so many places to see and explore. I’d love to go to India. It’s a big country, so I wouldn’t know where to start, but I’ve got to get there at some point!