Where are you from?
– Cincinnati, Ohio
What led you to getting involved with the TOPS program?
– I actually started as a peer mentor with the program while I was getting my undergraduate degree at OSU! My majors had NOTHING to do with the disability field, but I had enjoyed working with some programs in Cincinnati during high school, so I thought it would be a nice extracurricular activity. Little did I know that I would be hooked. After a few semesters as a volunteer intern, I became a paid student assistant. After I graduated, I left and worked for the Association for the Developmentally Disabled for about eight months before I was called back to the TOPS program for my current position and I have been here for the past six years!
What is your job title with the TOPS program?
– My official title is “Program Coordinator,” but my working titles are “Academic Advisor,” “Peer Mentor Supervisor,” and “Parent Liaison.” I wear a lot of hats.
What responsibilities do you have with your job?
– I work with the students and their instructors to ensure that both parties have the best possible course audit experience during the semester. In addition, I recruit and train our peer mentors to ensure that they are the best supports for our students and that they have positive experiences engaging with our program. I also seek and disseminate feedback from parents to better our programming from year to year and teach the 1st Year Independent Living SLC.
What do you like best about working with TOPS?
– I know this is going to sound cheesy, but the students! There is NEVER a dull day working with these super fun folks. If your student has mentioned some goofy or off-topic conversation that they have had with me it is probably because I am just as silly as they are – I love talking to them about their interests, goals, and ambitions. They truly make this job amazing and I look forward to coming to work every day.
What are some hobbies/interests that you have?
– Ask the students! LOL – they know all too well that I am obsessed with houseplants (I have 300+) and cats. I also love reading, being outside, traveling, and exploring Columbus!
Any interesting facts about yourself
I will be graduating in August with my Masters of Social Work! I also currently have three jobs, although I am not sure if that is “interesting” per say.