Play energizes us and enlivens us. It eases our burdens. It renews our natural sense of optimism and opens us up to new possibilities.
– Stuart Brown, MD, Contemporary American psychiatrist
I’ve made the change from working on behalf of elementary students to college and graduate students. While I will miss being in classrooms that have rug reading circles and tiny plastic chairs, I am thrilled to be back on my alma mater’s campus (plus if I really need my fill of sticky hands and snack time I can visit the UW Preschool lab on the floor below my office!). When I first toured Nancy Nicholas Hall and the new facilities, I became excited about being part of such a dynamic place. Everything being done within SoHE is something that should interest anyone. Students are applying their learning to address real-world issues in an academic environment that fosters creativity and a focus on community well-being.
My background lies heavily in the non-profit world. I started as an educator with Playworks, a national non-profit that harnesses the power of play to support academic learning and the emotional and physical well-being of students in low-income elementary schools. After two years working directly in schools, I moved from San Francisco to Chicago in 2011 to help launch Playworks programming in the Windy City. I took on a development role, supporting all facets of foundation and corporate partnerships, individual donor fundraising, and community outreach efforts. I am looking forward to using my skills and experience to increase alumni engagement with SoHE and leverage industry relationships to enhance the learning experiences of current students. Coming from a “professionally playful” organization, I think that play is not only essential to a child’s development, but to an adult’s growth and learning processes as well. I truly believe that SoHE embodies the spirit of play in its innovative programs.