Common Ground Health Research Associate
John Jay College (CUNY) BA/MA, Forensic Psychology
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How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
I have a long I'll give the short end of it are somehow I ended up in my current position, which is a senior research analyst at coming grown Hubble. So comical help is they need not for profit, that specializes in how all of the and help plan in the Finger Lakes region. So we're in Western your but my career trajectory, Really, in case in Jamaica, that's where I was born. That's where I grew up. Um, I started, um, interesting was primarily in sociology and really ho systems work at Holy Interact with the Systems Patty Murray medication at the time. And so I did high school in Jamaica, started university in Jamaica, and then I migrated to the United It stays to complete my undergrad way work. Um, I went Teoh Julie, John J, which really provided me multiple opportunities to do independent student research as well as working with faculty members who really cultivated my interests it doing or learn more about systems and how they function. Um, whether it is the purpose of the system. So education. I also learnt about how thinks I'm in that time p read. So I did my under when I concluded my undergraduate work has actually changed. Major is interestingly, uh, from legals horizontal time to forensic psychology. And I ended up doing my masters at the same time while I was doing my bachelors course for. So I ended up from Canton a bachelors and masters at the same time and relating it to the quiet Frank. It's all the skills that I learned in my Masters program, but I'm still utilizing right now. So at 46 psychology at John Jay, um, is very research heavy. And Vermont focus on using tools and techniques and statistics toe understand and to develop type apologies off criminal behavior and understanding, um, criminal intent. Really. All of those, um, those pills that learns there that I built upon and I'm you took fighting right now in my current feel. Um, and of course, some of the skills that I honed over time in my PhD program

What responsibilities and decisions does one handle in a job like yours? Tell us about weekly work hours, including the time spent on work travel and working from home.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
well, let's see. So the responsibilities I'll do that part first. It's reading broad, ranging because we at common grown service A or focus on nine comfy region ranging from or covering geography is including a large metro in the area. Very well. Community is the scope of my responsibilities very so prime. But I'll touch on what I primarily do. So I full cuts AIDS on the social determinants of help and understanding hobo social determinants of health. Impact the communities within the finger re Finger Lakes region primarily. I focus on the little built environment and neighborhoods and communities whole. Do structural inequality, for example, manifest in or health policies and adversely impact various communities across the region so that I researched responsibility. Another part of my responsibility is suffering in almost as an advisor. Toe projects that I might not be the lead on, so we have leads and we have secondaries in common grown on or projects that that's manicure and system. And so I serve in a statistical advisory role on a research advisor, rule to several projects that is ongoing at coming so that that is the school. There is a piece off my current that is evolving around is I? I'm training in doing medication policy research. So dicks a piece off my job that is evolving. I do. Um, Earth took off my time prior to Cove. It was spent in the field when primary data collection. Um however, with with Kobe aid or how less significant could be reduced. So we're and we're working from home? No. So what? I've had Teoh. It's that s o that those projects those research projects that leading that involves primary data collection. I have the capacity. The continued old used an electronic mediums such as zoom. So that that is I don't have said all workers on paper, it's 37 45 worries. But because I'm working with so many different communities and on so many different projects, often it's more what we specify on paper. But again, I don't mind because I love what I do

What are the challenges in a job like yours? What approaches are effective in dealing with these challenges? Discussing examples will help students learn better.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
well, they may challenge. I often confront. It's a job because I work with data, right? I collect the data. I analyzed the data and I used the data to inform decision making and to some extent, Parsons. One of the challenges that I country faces. How do I delivered a message? How do I communicate the mix? Um, where it is that I'm talking with a group of parents where it is I'm talking with a group of community activists ordered it. I'm talking truck and I'm doctors, medical doctors. How do I communicate this information? A. So it's understandable and be so. It's actionable, right? So one of the one of the things that I have, um, I have a teen. My work style to do is ensure that as I gripping for my meetings, I am running through a cruel individuals who are O are a part of the prominent is that I'll be talking with and asking them questions. Are your odds on hole the presentation if it's a presentation or if it's a piece off contents such as a war, understand what I am trying to communicate, right? So it's almost doing an informal focus group to get back through the at a time I get in front of that often ends. I know exactly how to the for the message. So it is clear it is con size. And also in this time, especially when it comes onto looking at data and looking at for a sectional veda inherited that you deliver a clear in Kansai eyes argument or current Kansai story about what a data is telling us. What if there are any action items to be So my, my, um, my recommendation, My number one recommendation to students. It's the practice practice. Practice your delivery off your story or your content, or you actually get there an axe for feedback because you're surprised but over a look and take for granted so

What tools (software programs, frameworks, models, algorithms, languages) are typically used in a role like yours?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
a variety. Um, in my day today, I use SPS. I saw that is statistical package for social sciences. Um, I also use, um, Microsoft access as a data storage more so I I use SQL so sequel I cannot. That's enough importance off burping and honing your skills, it whatever to programming languages. So for me, I had to learn are as well, so I moved Simple. I'm ripping our because it is imperative that from any ice flexible s possible, and every so often you have new programming languages coming online. And so as a data person and as an individual who whose job it is to interpret and shooter the results off research I'm Kreimer and second, a research. It is imperative that I know and be able to use, um, data languages. I also be nimble with them. Right? The other tool, um, that I that I look and I used probably Antonini's once per week were in my day. Today job is RG iess. So that is the package that, um, you have to create thematic max. Um, a lot off work at common Grown is focused not on one specific area, but nine coal cows. And because of that mapping or visualizing a phenomenon via map, sometimes more useful. Then show it more charter or right, right? And so mapping has become my one of my go to tool ones on, and actually it has become rituals and help pops social science research. So if I was to recommend programs are the ice would be one learning how to visualize your data is it is Petey. Individuals are no longer only, um, you've izing or responsive to those traditional visualizations. I only buy bar charge eyes nine grass. But if you use an infographic, however, I'm to visualize your the results of your research project, you're more likely to get reactions. I'm from folks, and also it makes your results digestible for the company people who may be a part of the conversation and may not necessarily have old context that you have as you're working on this

What are the job titles of people who someone in your role routinely works with, within and outside of the organization? What approaches are effective in working with them?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
I worked with a cross section of individuals as I mentioned, and it may be a Marantz. It may be educators. I'm so over the school district. It may be coming into act, and it may be policymakers, I think, however, or number one the number one and number two even at work with our individuals. In the medical community, there are Number one partners and Kim partners besides individuals in the community. So those are hold. I work with daily right outside off the organization. Common. It is very small. It's less than 60 individuals working there. So really, we work across teams, and so I'm working with my colleagues. So other research associates and research analysts I'm working late or director of research or director of analytics work the see you off, coming grown. There are times when we were working on a project any all hands on deck, right, and that you don't know the lines, um, are sometimes blurred in that instance. And so, you know, working you may be workable to see you and Seol on one object, right? And on another project, just be the team off analysts and medical doctors or public health directors from across the region. So it's a myriad of individuals and that is why it is imperative that you know how to deliver and you were off, how you're delivering your content to the groups that you're talking with and working with.

How would you describe your management style? How has it evolved over the years? Can you tell about experiences or books that influenced your management style?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
I am not currently in a management position about previous I Waas because prior to the common grown I served in in a director's capacity, and in that role, I suppose, is students on bond to be front. My management style is one bad. I think that the product off I didn't read any books per se, but it is, um, but process that I observed and I appreciated both in my undergraduate career as well is that my graduates buttons and that is so the person, the flexibility to learn independently but half or whole pen for him or her to really acts, quit and acts. Probably question and solicit feedback, amenable feedback, that is, before they go too far in it. So it's for me. It's open communication, Andi. Providing students with opportunities, toehold or that is eating. That has been very beneficial to me in my development. And so when I supervise students or any individuals, I mentally number side off providing opportunities to lead in whatever capacity that individual feels comfortable, leading it

How do you manage conflicts within and across teams? How do you promote trust, openness and a healthy work culture? Sharing stories will greatly help.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
for me, trust if I take the back end of that trust is key. And for me, trust is also foundational toe any relationship you're building where it is between colleagues, between managers, it is foundation and actually a part of my dissertation were looks at this issue off Trust is obtaining and utilising information. And what I will say is that for me I tried. I build trust by demonstrating that I'm a trustworthy individual number one and and so do it. I hope that is reciprocated by the individual with whom I'm interacting again if it's someone on the same team that I'm working with. So colleague to Connie or manager to toe Kali. Um and that's how I do it. It's reciprocal. Um, it earns Also, I manage conflict. I take if I have a problem or arises and problems do arise whether it is philosophical or it is mythological, because off the work that I do it. So it in culture a pontifical or sometimes it's interpersonal. What I tend to do is to have a conversation with that person because I believe, and one of the things that I always I'm advocating for is the have open and honest discussions. Whatever does look like for individuals, not every individual will be able or feel comfortable having those kinds of conversations. But for me, I toe approaching from Let's have open and honest conversation about issue eight. And if I'm talking with a colleague and I'll give an example if I'm talking with Connie about she a so it whether it is, um, that person not being able to contribute or not contribute in there portion of the work to project and somewhat all in below the expectation that we old line at the beginning off the project, I will say, I've noticed this and I want to talk with you about this. Are you available to talk? And I always find I'm talking with individuals about tell you ups 10 was topics outside of the office. I'm is Doan, um, their guard. And so they're more inclined toe have that open and honest conversation as opposed to us sitting around a conference table and saying, Well, you didn't do this. It's not about finger pointing. It's really trying to understand what may have gone awry on what that individual and maybe experience and in veer in their lives at the time. Really, that is adversely affecting their ability toe meet expectations or and deliverer bols off the project that we're working and it happens that happens a lot, especially no, um, holding company that is happening.

How can one get better recognition of work from one's boss and higher management? What mistakes should one avoid? Stories or examples will be quite helpful.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
commission huddle. Okay, so recognition from one's boss. I get not in a supervisory capacity, but I will give you reflecting on my previous experience as a manager in a director. What I tended to dio to recognize my staff. So and this happens I come and grown to actually, right now, I'm really small showed off, so we called them. Big ups come and grow in previous capacities that I have served that's or served in Itwas called showed adults, um, during staff meetings, and that is a public acknowledgment off what I'm an individualized done or the work that an individual has contributed to a project that sometimes we don't think about in the moment. But after project is completed, I do believe it's important to say, um, person A they this, and we just want to say thank you because it led to this outcome right. Oftentimes, as managers, what tends to happen is the person we don't evaluate or assess or employees until a certain being rude. So often times I end up the fiscal ear or an end of the academic year, and sometimes that's too late, right for some individuals getting back and getting recognition for your work in real time as they're doing it, or as the project, and is more important than it can boost morale. So for that reason, I tend to err on the side of doing the public show told. But I also tended to acts My staff, you know, how do you How do you want to be recognized for your contribution toe abroad? It It's good to acts, folks that because not everyone would appreciate I'm being publicly recognized. I knew recall having, um, students that I supervise. Who can? Someone came up to me in one of these particular instances that I did a public shot up and act not to do that again, right? And what he asked me not doing that again. He and I had a comprehension of followed conversation, and I said, Tell me, how exactly would you like to be recognized? Because I value your contribution to this staff and to deceive. So tell me how I can recognize you in for you. It was during a one on one meetings when I would say to him, You have done a great job thinking for doing this and going above and beyond on, and that's how I would provide him with his recognition versus some of the members off the team who wanted that public acknowledgment.

What indicators are used to track performance in a job like yours? Think of the indicators such as key performance indicators (KPIs), objectives & key results (OKRs), or so on.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
when you do have a work in at common ground that we used to track were and each team member Winter is a manager or one of the analysts is responsible for working on one or more off these working on high times and so we have K p as per se. But your work is guided by the mission, which informs, or on woodwork, bad indicators. We tend to use a simple indicator on which is the yellow green blues. You want to think about it like that to say OK, cracked we are we have pausing. Work on this, I take me is something is happening. For example, Colville or we are moving full steam ahead. I'm and always in progress, which is in the yellow or green, in which its company and actually, in previous capacities managerial capacities that I've worked in. That's what I have you. So I was quite excited when I saw that a similar processes or indicate inter eyes used that common grown help out be it. This is in a work done, um, come and grown help and in previous the past, where I was in higher education, waas more off the KP acts that were being used but nonetheless you three tier system off radio red, yellow and green to indicate river doctor current.

What qualities do you look for while hiring? What kind of questions do you typically ask from candidates?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
so a previous capacity. Um, as a managing director. The present, I tended to axe folks is to get an understanding off their work style on I asked those questions this crab, your work style. That's oftentimes what I asked because I think it's phone digital and fundamental that a manager or supervisor knows how to supervise that person. And you can discern, hold to supervise that person if you have a look. But then the biggest line understanding all back person works. So for pectorals that I have worked again. Many students, um, they will say to me, I like to I like learning by doing right Some folks, because they have never had a part time job our full time job, do not necessarily know what their work Sally's. But they send it to me. Well, I like to learn by doing on, By the way, what? What will happen is a libel goes off for me, and I say, OK, this is a person who likes Amir. Hands on, right has a work style so that if I have, I'm working on a project with that student. What I will say to the student is I am putting you in charge of days to do this thes our goals. This is what the alcohol this is Okafor Outcomes we need to achieve. But I'm putting you in charge of this for you to put the ones on the immediate really on this skeleton free and leave door open again for that student or that individual to come back to B. C. Could you put me but further details? Because I'm doing this. But I'm not exactly achieved with so that I think I should miss you. Is there a better way I can do this? Or do you have any suggestions or recommendations for how, exactly I can achieve this result? So it was really me, an iterative process. I'll for me when I supervised individuals to really understand their work style and try to work within that framework. Yes, committing difficult because sometimes individuals some individuals need more guidance than others. But I think that that has worked for me and how to supervise individuals, especially young adults and students and so on and by Syverson know that I am not supervising anyone. I tend to share opening. This is my preferred works in human. That I have a little discussion that big fireworks that if at all possible, I would like to work like this. But keep the doors of communication open so I can come back and acts were further directions if necessary.

Can you discuss career accomplishment(s) that you feel good about? Please discuss the problem context, your solution, and the impact you made.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
Let's see. So my greatest career accomplishment, um thus are really Is I there to really one? Um, happened some time ago, About three years. Nowhere in education. I worked as an analyst, and the problem that we were facing at the time is that we needed a document or some kind off some way rather to track students, school curricular activities and involvement. And so, coming from the City University of New York, we had what was gonna co curricular transcript. And so I settle with the blessing off my then director and some and a senior college administration to create what is called a co curricular transcript. And so it took a lot of hours to do the program in to get the data to meet with force the convince, folks that and to share their data with me. Um, but in the end, and to get I t to partner with me also to build the infrastructure, the date infrastructure that was needed to support this transcript on and have it be a real time process where a faculty member can input data for student and very easy to use method, and it will register under students Trans Group within 48 hours. So really, really, Time data use a lot off iterative work. But in the end, I'm and I would say, took a boat estimate here. Took less than an academic your first to get get this project up and going to test it, um, or piloted that some folks with couples a boat, we were able to do that. And so I was especially proud of that project because for so about that institution need it toe have, um, something t just give to show students to show that yes, you are doing all of this volunteer work. You're doing all of this service in the community. Here is how you can show or demonstrate to a future employer or graduate full that will actually engage in that process. So that's one of my major accomplishments. All the one that coming grown help is really the word that I'm doing no, to bring light and attention to issues around housing on the relationship between housing and help in or Finger Lakes region, um, the region that we are located in the region that we serve there, that there's disparate access to affordable housing and the housing quality varies by where you are. And so for me it was it was personal off rules to bring attention to that. And Amber, please, that I'm have a point at which that not only is do we internally acknowledge that there is an important connection and relationship between housing and help, but no, we're also investing time and resource is into investigating, act leading and also individuals in the community. I'm so external bingo is beginning to recognize common grown health as a source for information and data row health calls. So I for me, those two are my two biggest I'm accomplishments.

What responsibilities and decisions does one handle in a job like yours? What are the challenges? What strategies are effective in dealing with these challenges?

Based on experience at: Principal Consultant, Pinnacle Planning & Assessment Consultants LLC
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
So had Pinnacle Cannon and Assessment Consultants. My cool phone during night. It's really are minority owned business woman on business. What we sought to do is we didn't see a lot of individuals who looked like us woman women off color who were leading consulting a Rome data. An assessment, right? And so for us, we wanted number one to say, Hey, some of the issues that we're talking about um, you need tohave another lengths to look at it, right? So for us, it was somewhat of a personal mission For many in particulate er, it was more personal because I work with data every single D right. That is the language I speak that is one of the languages I speak on. I wanted to be able to say toe fools. Well, have you thought about X or I thought a boat called these factors inter related to each other, right? And so for us, my job responsibility as a founder, I was the the budget person. So I was a financial officer for Pinnacle Planning. But I was also the principle consultant and on as a principal consultant. What I simply means is you're going out to your finding, isn't it? For your consulting group? Were Injun. See your also actively family in, um, projects as they come through the door. Right? So I was So I was one of the principal consultant, and my specialization was really a role applied evaluation and research, especially research methodology amongst committed or within communities off color. It's schools serving as the primary financial officer as well as open, out and actively recruiting business for for the consulting group Onda, taking a lead role in doing those projects or complete indoors projects in terms off challenges. I think the main challenge we face and continue to faces time right there is that not always in the day toe work a regular and do consulting. But you have to find balance because these projects, we tend to take on projects that we are ourselves Ashley about. So we don't have any problem really in spend it. You know that extra amount of time that is needed to the labor, what it burn off and toe work with whatever group or organization or individual that we're working with to say What are you seeing and have we met the goals and objectives that you outline for us

How did the school prepare you for your career? Think about faculty, resources, alumni, exposure & networking. What were the best parts in each of your college programs?

Based on experience at: PhD, Education, Specialization in Policy and Theory, University of Rochester
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
my program has prepared it provided me with invaluable opportunities or innumerable, rather opportunities and experiences to conduct research. Right? So that is the design research Thurday's actually go to feel and collect data to waiter is qualitative data or, um, doing surveys to and putting together your data set. So training me to do mixed methods research? Really, Um, the second part off that is the ability to work with faculty members and, um, faculties. Not only not only are they faculty members, but experts in the field, right, um, expert store individuals were experts in research methodology. It ordered it whether it is quantitative research, quantitative research or make efforts research and not only working with them but also publishing boots up. Specifically, my dissertation cheer. Um, she has alone me and afforded me multiple opportunities toe publish with her, which it is one thing to write a policy, breathe or research report. But it's another thing to published in a journal and actually go through the experience off working across the universe team column with experts to read a higher notable differences. Again, Woodard is philosophical or method illogical and produce a product that is to Saint that is clear and back is addressing a very timely issue in a public engine topped a publication. So those are some of the research experiences in terms Off meant working, I think who you have as a as a a dissertation chair or a PhD or doctoral invite er in his time to mount also being able toe, go, go and find other faculty members who, um, work with a partner with. So I've been very fortunate at Warner School in a University of Rochester to be ableto walk in tow. Faculty members offering is and you're bringing so to speak about issues and topics that I know they're experts in and that I have an interest in and get their feedback as so called to shape and who I'm a research question where we search product and a wrong issue and board that I'm very grateful. And also networks, you know, going to conferences in your era is it's important and necessary to not only die rate others in your field, but also for you to get exposure as a practitioner. That feeling as a researcher in that

What three life lessons have you learned over your career? Please discuss the stories behind these lessons, if possible. Stories could be yours or observed.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
number one is Communication Figaro. Communication style is and perfect that communications that will work to perfect it. So, for I am very emotive. When I speak, I use my hands, I contact his key. So learn what your communication style is actually credence to give you feedback on how you communicate with them. I tend, um, make or use my friends sometimes as as as guinea pigs for oh, if changing something about my three or how I communicate with folks I tend to use my friend dies getting pigs. But I also limits some off. Their communication style is well, because I have a very diverse group of friends who are very good at delivering ah ha and communicate. And there are there gods a myriad off stakeholders. So they're in your communication start perfected. The want is doing being afraid to fail. It may be hard to say and think off, and it may be a cliche, but failure the part of learning, especially when you're doing research right on and apart from that, there is surrounding yourself with individuals who will say to you, I think this on. I think you need to address this. Um because it's not it. Your interpretation is not is either a not correct or you have missed the mark company. And you have to surround yourself with individuals with mentors, with teachers, with colleagues with friends who are able to give you that critical assessment right that critical but developmental assessment. So don't be afraid to fail and try to learn. Um, let is when you missing the mark on something. The other thing that I'm saying I do it. I've seen colleagues and friends of mine did, but I think we're getting better in doing this. Is celebrating small successes often act as we wait for a big success. I e, for example, use myself finishing my my PhD. That's a big success, yes, but along the road there been small successes. So the male, the exams that you you complete doing your your dissertation on and did your your proposal to do your dessert to do your data collection and eventual disheartening study. I love the way you have to celebrate those successes is if the adult you kind of lose track at new, you start. If they are asking, what am I working for, right? Why? What What does this mean? Him. So you will have to celebrate your success since and you may not need to celebrate them with anyone, It may just be you take a ah couple of always and saying, OK, I'm not looking at anything for a couple of hours. I'm gonna indulge and reading it a magazine union, um, that I that I endure reading or reading a book that I've been figuring on my bookshelf for months because I've been working on this project. I'm going to read a chapter at Lease So Sweet you're smoking successes because those important

What starting job (after internship) would you recommend to students who hope to grow professionally like you? What other parting advice, dos, and don'ts would you give?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
possible if you even have a phone that you are interested. A statistic. Explain research. Get a internship paid or unpaid internship with an organization. I may not be an organization that you per se see yourself working with, but get experience working with the data because you can complete a bachelor's or master's program. Um, statistics are one of the cell feels off statistics or research, but really and truly, if you don't know the sceneries underlying what you're doing and, um, how really hold data is structured and this basic understanding off if you put garbage and you're going to get garbage out? A. My psychology professor is blatantly told me. You are going to miss the mark and you're going. It's going to be very hard for you. Once you go into that professional market, please to relearn those skills, you will not have the time. Let me just say to learn those skills, so tape of time, as in one right away. Even in your master's program, I am a student. Never you are. Take the time to get experience. Working women data picketing or unpaid. I tend to prefer on you. Can I? I can recall. I didn't many unpaid internships because I just wanted to get that experience off, working with the data touch of the data, knowing where to find the data and knowing how to analyze the data. So get an internship that we'll allow you to space and afford you to time when you one toe work. Dana, in terms of does find a mentor early on. Dad will enable you toe have open and honest conversations. You will not feel you served or, um, less than or in it. In some cases, someone who understands. So find a mentor in the date we weren't even if it's not in the field that you want to be, who has experience working with data, find someone in that field because they will become very useful and will be ableto point you it. But in the direction that you need to go as well as help you avoid certain pitfalls and turns off. Don't I don't know if it acts for help. Sometimes even I don't know everything right. I know a sliver of what I need to know, right, And so I tend to bounce ideas off Colleen's, um, and say what are your thoughts on this and again. I have friends who are in the paint, a world as well as outside, and I tend to bones things off them. They're my unit. Pigs consistently. I'll text them late in the night 11 oclock in the night and say, I'm working on base and I hit a roadblock. I'm thinking, it's what are your thoughts? Thoughts? Sometimes they don't. Sometimes they do. If they don't, sometimes they're able to point into someone who may be able Teoh appointment the right direction and also be open until reaching out to people. Send in even knows the people it is. You would be quite surprised at how many experts and scholars in the field are very open and welcoming and cannot wait so shinier, their experiences and what they know and knowledge with new researchers and woke up and researchers in the field so B and the region. Out of those those scholars and researchers in your field