communications officer, Internal Communications
Q: Tell us about your career path at Yale University.
A: Before Yale, I worked as a marketing and tradeshow manager at BIC Sport in Milford. After being laid off, a co-worker’s wife (Donna Alchimio—who still works for the University today!) suggested that I apply at Yale. When I came across an employment advertisement in the New Haven Register for an administrative assistant position working for Linda K. Lorimer, I promptly applied. Shortly after the interview, I got the call from HR “welcoming” me to Yale, and I started working for Linda and her staff. About a year and a half later, Linda was made chairperson of the Yale Tercentennial committee, charged with organizing Yale’s 300th-anniversary party. She hired Janet Lindner to direct the event, and I began reporting to Janet. As I reflect on my career, I consider myself extremely lucky to have met and had the opportunity to work for these incredible women at the beginning of my Yale career.
After the tercentennial project ended, I accepted a business manager position at the School of Architecture. While the job wasn’t necessarily a perfect fit for me, it provided me with great experience—I had the opportunity to work with students and faculty in a true college setting.
I then spent some time at the School of Nursing as the dean’s chief of staff, and then at West Campus as a temporary project manager, before working as a special projects coordinator for Janet Lindner. It wasn’t until Janet moved into her current role that I became part of the Internal Communications team, where I am currently.
As a communications officer, I am part of a large team for the first time in my career. It has been great and I feel fortunate to be part of it. I’m thankful that my career has allowed me to gain many different experiences, explore various areas of the university, and to discover what I like and don’t like. All of these experiences have guided me to where I am today. I’ve been with Yale for 23 years now, but I still remember my first day like it was yesterday.
Q: What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting their Yale career?
A: Yale can be a big complex place—find a mentor or someone who can show you around your department and the campus to help you get the lay of the land. If you think you’d like to move to another area of the university, use HR as a resource. After moving around on my own for a while, I finally reached out to HR and wished I had done it sooner. There are so many resources available to staff members. Take advantage of them!
At the end of the day, only you know what brings you happiness and joy. Use that to help guide you when making career path decisions. Even if you have some missteps, you’ll be ok, just keep on truckin’!
Q: What are you passionate about outside of work?
A: I am very passionate about animal rescue. I work with a few rescue groups, but I’ve been heavily involved with Where the Love Is Animal Rescue in Hamden for the past five years. I primarily write grants to help them find funding. To date, I’ve written over $30,000 worth of grants. That money has been used to provide veterinary care for our dogs, cats, and horses, and most recently, to purchase a van used for adoption events and vet transports. I’ve also fostered 13 dogs, done long distance transports, and performed site visits of prospective fosters and adopters. The most rewarding part of volunteering is knowing that I’ve saved an animal from a bad situation while at the same time bringing adoptive families joy and happiness.
I am also an avid road cyclist and mountain biker. I began mountain biking 25 years ago and am at my happiest when on a bike.
I started mountain biking somewhat by chance. While working at BIC, my director invited my husband Tom and I to a mountain bike ride and BBQ at Supply Ponds in Branford. My colleagues were all very athletic, so I knew we had to show up prepared. Two weeks before the party, we bought bikes and started practicing. Before I knew it, we were both hooked! We were avid mountain bikers for 10 years, but mountain biking is a grueling sport and can be tough on the body, so when Tom turned 40, he started road biking. Reluctantly, I eventually took up road biking as well, and soon fell in love with that too. We now each have three bikes (two road and one mountain) and ride on the road or in the woods whenever we can!
My love of cycling has led me to another passion. I have been a Liv Cycling ambassador for three years now. Liv Cycling manufactures bikes specifically for women. Ambassadors are located throughout the country and are charged with creating a community of female cyclists. Women often feel intimidated to go to a bike shop or participate in rides, and ambassadors try to break down those barriers. We also host in-store events such as “fix a flat” clinics or the now annual “pancake ride.”
When I’m not on a bike or working with Where the Love Is, I spend time with my husband, Tom and our 11-year-old Brittany Spaniel, Benji. You might also find me scrolling PetFinder searching for senior dogs who need homes. I’ve helped over a half dozen senior pups find loving homes!
Q: What are three fun facts about you that your colleagues might not know about you?
- One of my goals is to road ride or mtn bike in all 50 states. I have ridden in 35 so far and this week I will be in Iowa cycling in state #36! (My favorite states so far to road ride in KY, Western MA, Idaho, and Western WA. I’ve even mountain biked in MT in grizzly bear country!)
- I collect T-shirts – I travel A LOT and buy a t-shirt wherever I go. I have at least 40 or 50 at this point and created my own hashtag #tshirtfriday.
- I write poetry and have had 3 poems published (one in a very small literary paper!) I’m inspired by nature, the four seasons, my late mother, and my beloved pets.