Personal Attributes and Current Projects
- Computer Literacy: I have used both PC and Mac. I have limited experience with Linux. Most familiar with PC.
I know the basics of the Office suite and can use word processors, spreadsheets, databases, presentations, and more.
I am comfortable learning new software. I taught myself the basics of HTML and CSS in order to design and build this website, which
I continue to update and maintain. I'm not afraid to learn new technology. I know some basics in graphic software and animation.
- I have operated several kinds of telephone systems and a switchboard.
- I have been a certified first aider several times over (needs renewal currently) and know how to perform CPR.
- I have a current Michigan driving license and can operate a motor vehicle with an automatic transmission.
- I'm experienced speaking with clients by telephone and can deal with irate or very upset customers.
- I have an outstanding customer service record.
- Critique was an important part of my classwork as a writer and a student, and as a result I can offer it constructively and tactfully.
- I have served as a liaison between parties on multiple occasions and am able to communicate effectively between groups with differing agendas.
- I am always interested in taking on projects, courses, or other resources to keep myself informed and relevant. Training keeps my skills sharp,
and since graduating, I've traveled, taken on freelance projects, volunteered, taken a seminar on organizing a small business, and renewed my
first aid certifiction, which I like to keep current whenever possible. While I was in the UK I managed my partner's art career as well as
contributed to it and after my return to the States I've taken up my own career as a business, which is to say that I continue to
be self-employed, at least part time.
Hobbies, Volunteering, and Projects
- Foster Carer for Rescue Animals - my partner and I cared for rodents and sometimes dogs on behalf of local rescues.
I'm a lifelong animal lover and hobbyist, and more information about that can be found
- Performance Art - I'm an avid storyteller. In high school I was on the forensics team and involved in the drama club, and as an
adult I enjoy exploring various performing arts, such as music, making videos with friends, and creating and performing puppets.
I trained to volunteer as a tour guide with Gibside, which is a National Trust heritage site, though sadly I had to leave the country
before I was able to lead any tours.
- Art and Crafting - I am a digital artist and a crafting devotee. I have some favorites but love to pick up new skills, for example
I'm currently really enjoying learning crochet and beginning to learn to knit as well. I draw, animate, take photographs,
sew, work with clay, do some work with resin, beads, and jewelrymaking, sculpt with papier mache, and basically, just love to create and to work
with my hands. I'm working on a manuscript for a graphic novel I'd like to complete.
- Gardening - I love plants and the outdoors and I'm especially interested in herbs. I had a container garden in my previous home,
where I grow a variety of herbs and vegetables, as well as a rogue "stonecrop" succulent I found growing in the wall and couldn't resist
transplanting to a hanging basket because it was so fascinating and attractive.
- Writing - This was my first love and the subject of my undergrad degree, and I'm always writing. I tend to be the most
prolific with blog posts, articles, and other short pieces, but I also love
stories and sometimes poetry. I'm working on a manuscript for a longer piece as well and would dearly love to expand my dissertation
research into a published text, if I could figure out a way to get the scope of data I'd need. If I ever go for a PhD that's going to be on
my list of goals within the role...
- Computers and Programming - I'm a beginnger in the world of programming but I do like to dabble in it. In order to design and
maintain this website I taught myself HTML and CSS from online resources and I'd really like to learn something like Python or C as well.
I have a fairly impressive collection of creative software I'm learning- programs for drawing, animating, editing video and sound, making
games, and lately I'm also learning 3D design because I've been getting into 3D printing.
- Languages - I'm fascinated by linguistics, which played an important role in my research, and am very interested in learning
a foreign language to fluency, or several ideally. I've been working with some online resources in basic Spanish, and if I got so much as
half the chance I would take a course in it. I'd also like to learn German, Japanese (this was my minor first, but I ended
up needing to switch and never finished my fluency), possibly French, and possibly some manner of Scandinavian language.
- Research, Learning, Teaching/Mentoring - I never quite got out of the mindset of being a student and I consider continual learning
to be an important part of the way I live my life, so I certainly include it among my hobbies and projects, because I'm always seeking
to understand. Such opportunities as I have had to tutor or assist in learning have really been rewarding
to me as well, and I'd love a chance to explore that further. I especially enjoy working with teens and adults. I still have a variety of research interests
I'm passionate about, and my academic page has more information about that.
- Travel - I went to Scotland for my Master's (at the University of Glasgow's Chrichton campus in Dumfries) and while there,
I traveled to both Glasgow and Edinburgh frequently. After graduating I moved over the border to Sunderland, England, where I lived
for about four years, during which I visited Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Sweden. I lived in Ireland for a few months before
moving back to the States, where I lived in upstate New York for a time before going back to Michigan. I've been to Vermont, the Carolinas,
Florida, and most of the Midwest. I love exploring new places, and I especially love museums.
Stories from the Field
- Initiative and Drive to Improve - During my call center position, I was receiving a lot of complaints from customers about the
hold music, which was a single song on repeat that had a repetitive chorus. The song was chosen by our CEO because the lyrics were relevant to the
company's product and image, but it was causing stress to the customers and this, in turn, was causing stress for myself and my coworkers
who were dealing with frustrated and cranky patrons on the telephone. I found out who to address on the subject (the CEO himself, as we were
a small company), and wrote a letter, citing research that soothing instrumental music could promote calmness, and explained that it might
be better for everyone if we selected two or three soft instrumental tunes to loop instead of the song. He told me to find the music, which
I did, and after that we almost never had a complaint, and customers were less stressed out and upset with us when we got to them after
longer hold times.
- Leadership, Teamwork, and Responsibility - As a dormitory warden I always had the safety of my residents as the foremost
thing on my mind. I was pretty glad for my first aid training in that regard. One night one of the girls had overestimated her
drinking capabilities and told her roommates she really felt sick and was going to lie down. She locked herself in her room and her
friends were concerned so they came to get me. I unlocked the door. She was responsive but not very lucid and had a cut on her leg from
her high heel. I washed and bandaged the cut, took off her shoes and tucked her in, left her door unlocked and told her friends to check on
her once an hour and come get me if they couldn't get her up. A couple hours later I went up myself to see how she was, and she was up and
having a glass of water and seemed all right. I was satisfied with the outcome and went to bed, but the next day she found me to thank me personally for
taking care of her. I was really pleased that the residents felt safe with me. That job was very rewarding to me and it taught me
a lot about myself.
- Calmness in Tense Situations - As a teenager I had a cashiering job at a pet shop. One of our customers was about to leave when
he fell to the floor in the front of the shop and began to have a seizure. Thankfully my supervisor was very close by and I knew she'd
previously worked as a nurse, so I just kept ringing up customers. I had never seen a seizure before myself, but I knew that people
with epilepsy could sometimes have a fit at random and that they aren't harmful in themselves. There isn't much to do but monitor the
surroundings so he didn't hit something hard, and wait to make
sure he recovered quickly. I asked if she needed a hand, she said no, so I just kept taking care of the customers. Again it was something
I didn't particularly think much of at the time but later that supervisor praised me for taking it in stride. She said it kept the
customers calm and she was grateful.
- Adaptability - I like to learn new things and I like to have new experiences, so I'm fairly adaptable and I can accommodate a
variety of people and working (or living) conditions. I think the most difficult transition so far has been moving and living overseas, but it actually proved
to be a little easier than I was expecting, even though it certainly wasn't easy! I've lived in Scotland, England, and for a brief time in Ireland,
then moved to upstate New York where I'd previously never been. Each time has been a new experience of culture and lifestyle.
- Social Justice, Equality, Diversity
- Peace, Understanding, Compassion
- Education and learning, with respect for those at all levels
- Creation, Curiosity, Wonder, and Joy
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