Allow me to re-introduce myself My name is Samantha (or Sam, or Hey You) and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am writing this as my first introductory blog for the course I am taking – Diversity and Inclusion for a Global Society, which I have been wanting to take for a while, but couldn’t make fit into my schedule. To better understand who I am, I’m providing you a bit of my background so that you can try to figure out how in the world I got to this moment!
Currently, I am a part-time student in the Urban and Regional Planning master’s program which I have been working on for 4.5 years and have promised myself I am going to complete this semester! I am also in two certificate programs and eyeing a third one, which is probably why I haven’t finished my degree. In addition to being a student, I am also a full-time employee in the College of Agriculture and Life Science where my primary responsibility is to train our administrative professionals, which means I spend a lot of time on the road or in web-based trainings. In my professional work, I sit on several committees at the University level, most centering around professional development initiatives, as well as councils for my college, one in particular is the CALS Diversity Council.
I am married to a former VT Ph.D. student who is now an adjunct professor for the College of Natural Resources and Environment as well as a contractor for the Federal government, which means he travels quite a bit. Together we have a very LOUD and TALKATIVE four-year old daughter who keeps us on our feet all day, and sometimes throughout the night! All of us, as well as my mother-in-law, live in Blacksburg, VA.
Before coming to Virginia Tech (6 years ago), I worked for non-profits and for-profit development agencies based in Washington D.C., however much of my work has been abroad. I have had incredible opportunities to live in Niger, Kenya, Sudan, and Afghanistan for many of my adult working years, and have been fortunate enough to have a great many mentors from all over the world who have helped me develop my skills in my current career.
While I never thought of myself as a teacher, I have found that my passion area is training (adults, I don’t think I can handle the under 18 crowd) and that no matter where my husband and I go, I will always want to find a place where I can instruct!
As a final comment to this blog, I’ve been asked to provide another anecdote about myself, and after much thought, I have decided to share my quirky side. I have a very weird obsession with doing logic puzzles and practicing languages (specifically French, though I’m reintroducing myself to Spanish). While I do both pretty much on a daily basis, after so many years, I still suck at both!
P.S. The photo is my family apply picking last year.