What do you like to do in your spare time?
I play a lot of classical violin in my spare time. I never really quit, I guess. I received private instruction throughout my time at university, including a symphony tour abroad and master classes with groups like the Tokyo String Quartet and Buffalo’s own JoAnne Faletta. I have a small private studio of my own, and I continue to enjoy playing concerts and weddings around the area. Lately, I’ve fallen in love with teaching violin/viola to school-aged refugee children in our community a couple of days a week with Buffalo String Works.
I also spend a lot of time trying to squeeze exercise into my schedule including yoga, cycling, swimming, and weight lifting.
What inspires you?
That’s a tough one! I am inspired in different ways by different things around me. If I watch an intense action movie, I am ready to go run around or play football (and I will!). If I am looking up at space, I’m inspired by knowing that I exist at all and can step back for a minute and feel thankful for all of the things that I enjoy and all of the people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. I am inspired by people who are willing to dive into things head first and are also willing to listen if what they’re doing is not necessarily the best idea – the best people I have known take feedback for what it is and improve themselves or what they’re doing. I am inspired by people who prioritize kindness because you can still be strong, smart, in charge, not in charge, unique, etc. while being kind. Harumpf-ing a cashier isn’t going to do anything but make both of your days a little bit sadder in the end.
Why are you in non-profit work? What emotional reasons?
I am a true idealist at heart. I continue to hope that humanity will work toward the betterment of ourselves and each other as a community rather than increased profits. There is certainly a place for the latter, but it doesn’t belong everywhere. I would love it if all non-profit workers were out of jobs due to a lack of need for them, including myself. That way I could worry less about the world and turn my focus to the things that I love doing like reading, writing, playing and teaching music, exercising, gardening, and spending time with loved ones.
What’s something quirky about you?
I notice everything. It’s very hard for me to turn my brain off. I know the order that people entered a room, I know the pitches on the phone keypad, I remember the names of my kindergarten classmates, I know when two people in a room aren’t getting along, etc.. I sometimes find myself either trying really hard to force myself to not notice things, or I’ll pretend that I had no idea in order to avoid explaining how I know something or to avoid freaking people out.
What’s in your coffee?
Why is CCNY’s mission important to you?
CCNY’s mission is important to me personally because time and again I have seen service organizations make decisions based on hunches or opinions rather than facts. This happens more often than not, from my experience. This is cause for both inefficiency and for negative outcomes for the populations that organizations serve. And that means that individual people, people who are someone’s daughter or the friend next door, are negatively affected by a shrug and a, “Well this is easier, let’s just do it this way.” CCNY takes the time to look long and hard at appropriate data in order to provide recommendations that are followed up by step-by-step quality improvement plans that let an organization/program do much better at what they were originally intending to do.