The Importance of Teamwork

By Rose O’Neill FCLC 2021

Click here for Rose’s experience while interning at the Met during the Covid-19.

One of the most challenging aspects of adapting to remote workplaces over the past year is navigating communications with colleagues.  Outside of the office, the process of quickly asking a co-worker a question takes more time and feels more formal.  Being new to an office in which I did not know anyone made it even more intimidating.

Luckily for me, everyone in New York City Ballet’s development department was extremely welcoming.  My supervisor called me in the morning every workday to check in.  This gave me a good opportunity to ask questions that seemed too low-stakes to be the sole purpose of a phone call or email. It also allowed me to get to know him better, and we sometimes spent a few minutes chatting about more personal interests.  

A number of my assignments also necessitated collaboration with other members of the department.  One of my favorite things to work on was WordFly communications.  In WordFly, I drafted messages and inserted images into an already-uploaded template.  These elements formed emails to go to donors.  Because the emails would be seen by so many people, they could not have any mistakes.  Another member of the development team taught me how to use WordFly.  Once I had written drafts to work with and selected possible images to include, I would send a test email to other people in the office to ask for their suggestions.  I received critiques over email. Sometimes, I had so many questions about the feedback that I would need to set up an additional call to ask these questions.

Once I had gotten the necessary people in the development department to look my test emails over, I would send the test to the marketing department.  The marketing department would reply with even more feedback, sometimes giving me preferred verbiage or editing the images for me.  When I needed clarification on this feedback, I was able to reach out to someone else from the development department for help.

Because of the kindness with which I was treated at this internship, I now realize more fully the importance of having a group of colleagues that can give advice.  I look forward to meeting some of my co-workers in person this summer at New York City Ballet’s outdoor engagements at Lincoln Center.  

My Experience Working with Underserved Communities at SALUD Lab!

By Elizabeth Breen, FCLC 2022

Hello! My name is Elizabeth Breen and I am a Junior Neuroscience/Theology major in the Honors Program at Fordham Lincoln Center. I was lucky enough to secure a research position at the beginning of Spring Semester my sophomore year, in January 2020, meaning that once Fordham shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rest of my lab and I were able to transition completely remote, which provided an opportunity to stay totally involved in the research process from my home in Illinois. 

The lab I joined is the SALUD laboratory, which is dually associated with Fordham University and Mount Sinai Hospital. We are led by Dr. Monica Rivera Mindt, a professor of Psychology and Latinx Studies here at Fordham. I actually learned of her work by taking a class, Biopsychology, for my major, and was so interested in her work that I asked to join her lab! Our work primarily focuses on investigating the effects of HIV, aging, substance use, and substance use treatment on the brain, functional outcomes, and health disparities – especially among U.S. Latina/o and Afro-Caribbean populations. I was particularly drawn to this lab by the combination of studying cognition and HIV’s effect on the brain from a scientific perspective with the strong social justice intent behind SALUD laboratory’s work in achieving equitable healthcare.

I have been working for SALUD laboratory for over a year now, so my responsibilities have grown immensely over the past months. On a typical day “in-lab”, I usually start out by responding to emails and setting up meetings for both myself and Dr. Rivera Mindt – there’s a lot of administrative work that goes into research! I also do things like source papers that may be relevant to our research and investigate opportunities that could lead to further outreach for our lab. The bulk of my time, however, is spent with participants. One of the things that initially drew me to SALUD laboratory was the potential opportunity to work directly with research participants as an undergraduate, and after COVID, the chance to start seeing participants over the phone along with the rest of the graduate students.

Today, I saw a participant for a neuropsychological interview. In this interview, we test participants using standardized psychological measures of thinking and memory that, when scored, will give us insight into different areas of the participant’s cognitive abilities. Administering these tests over the phone can be a bit tricky, but I really cherish the opportunity to interact with people over the phone, especially since so many of our participants, who are generally older adults, do not get the chance to go out due to the pandemic. I also saw another participant to finish up a questionnaire call, where I administered a variety of questionnaires to the participant to learn more about their demographics, education, language use, and many other sociocultural factors. These factors give us insight into why some participants do better on their neuropsychological tests than others. 

Overall, I enjoy my time in SALUD laboratory immensely. I’m so fulfilled by the opportunity to do outreach in underserved communities, especially given the pandemic situation and the fact that I’m only an undergraduate. The research we do isn’t just interesting, it has the potential to make a massive impact on how community-based research is done and how funding is distributed by the NIH. I am so excited to continue this kind of work in my future education and research opportunities!