The McCarthy Center recently gained a new staff member, and so we wanted to get to know her and her position a little better. Welcome, Lauren!
Tell us a little about yourself
I was born and raised in a community just outside of Dayton, OH called Jefferson Township. Jefferson was a little more rural than other neighborhoods in the greater Dayton area (people on my street had cows!) but city proper was only a 20 minute drive away. After 13 years of Catholic school, I attended the Ohio State University in Columbus.
What did you do prior to joining the McCarthy Center?
Prior to USF, I held several roles in education, nonprofit program management, and corporate social responsibility – most recently with Safe and Sound (formerly the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center) and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
Most of my career has focused on rallying folks in the community to support nonprofit causes, either through volunteerism or philanthropy. That’s required me to build relationships with universities, churches, businesses, and more, and I’ll draw from that experience to ensure USF has mutually beneficial partnerships with the schools and community groups involved in our literacy programs.
What has surprised you so far about USF?
I’m surprised by how quiet it is around here! USF is a lot smaller than my alma mater and although it’s certainly an urban campus, it’s not at all crowded and it somehow feels very remote and calm.
What’s on your schedule for this summer?
The McCarthy Center supports three distinct literacy programs that place USF students in local schools and community organizations to help children with their reading – through tutoring, classroom assistance, and more. In my role, I’m challenged with finding connecting points across all programs, from common training for USF students to shared metrics and goals among partner sites.
In my first few weeks, I’ve been meeting with key community partners and student leaders and observing our programs in action to get a sense of what’s working well and what needs improvement. Over the summer, when two of our three programs are on a break, I’ll have the time to organize the feedback I collected this spring and set priorities or the upcoming school year.
One area I’ll focus on is speeding up our recruitment and placement process so that USF students can start working with children as close to the start of the school year as possible.
Outside of work, there are lots of summer birthdays in my family, including my own, so I’m sure I’ll be attending several gatherings! I’m expecting lots of hiking, barbecues, and maybe even a camping trip.