Where were you working before you joined HBS?
I was working as a studio artist when I started at HBS, and continued making art for several years. Prior to that, I worked in Denver and Dallas for Hunt International Resources Corporation.
How has your career developed at Harvard or HBS?
When I first came to HBS, the administrative staff was a matriarchy, with ample opportunity for women to take on more responsibility. The woman who hired me, head of Campus Planning, Construction and Operations Department, was an incredible mentor. Our offices were in Gallatin Hall (staff working on the first two floors, students living on the top two floors) and, unless her conversations were very private, she left open the door between our offices — it was a first-rate education. The projects she tossed at me, as well as her expectations of me, were challenging and dangled just the right carrots.
I help to create buildings and outdoor spaces that need to accomplish specific objectives — some tangible, some intangible. These objectives, even within a single building, can run the gamut from academic-related to the logistics of accommodating hundreds of students through a lunch line. Only by talking to and observing the people around me, by seeing what works for them and what doesn't, can I understand how to get there. It's primarily through the efforts of other people that I can develop the insight needed to do a good job. I suddenly find myself an old-timer here, and luckily there are always plenty of new things to learn.
How does HBS compare — positively and/or negatively — to your previous place of employment?
More importantly, how do I compare to the person I was when I first came to work at HBS? Like a number of other people, I've sort of grown up here. I've been exposed to many amazing people and professional experiences. I sincerely hope that I have given as much as I've received.
What is special about working at HBS?
Look around you — this campus is one of the most beautiful work environments I can imagine. It literally feeds my soul to take a walk in this setting.
What HBS accomplishment are you most proud of?
As of today, it's Spangler Center, because the building has profoundly enhanced the student experience. In a couple of years, I hope my list will include the new Harvard Innovation Lab, for the same reason.
What opportunities have you had at HBS that could have only happened here?
Let's see — there was the time Michael Bloomberg and his family watched me dribble a gooey chocolate dessert all over myself at the dinner table; or the time Robert Stern taunted me about vacationing on the Redneck Rivera; getting to spend time with the incomparable Charles Gwathmey — the list goes on.