What is your name?
What do you do for work and what is your slash?
I work for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services as an Epidemiologist/Evaluator. I split my time between the Tobacco Use Prevention Program (MTUPP) and the Nutrition and Physical Activity Program (NAPA). For tobacco, I collect and analyze data on who is using what type of tobacco products, where products are sold, and how to best provide cessation programs. For NAPA, we look at factors that influence obesity, which include providing access to healthy food options, increasing active transportation/lifestyle infrastructure in communities and improving breastfeeding policies and practices.
How did you land in Helena?
I was finishing school in Atlanta and looking for jobs when my advisor came across this one and thought it would be a good fit. I’d never been to Montana before, but it sounded like a cool place so I said I’d give it a shot and if I hated it, I could always quit. Turns out, Montana IS a pretty cool place. Plus I discovered mountain biking, met a boy, and had a kid, and now I’ve been here almost 5 years.
What is the best piece of advice that you ever received – career-related or otherwise?
"Go join the Peace Corps. The experiences you’ll have will be invaluable and you can make money later." – From an old professor. He was right.
When do you feel the most yourself?
When I’m coasting down a mountain on my bike on a warm, sunny day.
Where is the last place you explored and where do you want to explore next?
I last explored Thunderbolt Mountain just south of Helena. Beautiful bike ride and great 360 degree views from the top. I’m looking forward to exploring Girdwood, AK this summer.
Tell us something about yourself that we didn’t ask:
I still believe in hitchhiking and in the goodwill of strangers.