Since graduating, I’ve had three very different jobs. While I can’t say with certainty where I might go next, I know that I want to continue to be in a position of helping and empowering other individuals to do good things for the world.
Degree and Class Year
Job Title, Organization
What three words would you use to describe L&C?
Life After L&C
October 2022 Update
How would you describe Textio to the uninitiated?
We all carry our own bias, which is shaped by where we grew up, how we were raised, and all of our lived experiences. No matter how much training one goes through, at the end of the day, we don’t know what we don’t know. Language is constantly evolving, and it’s challenging to know how certain phrases or words will resonate with different groups of people. So many organizations have meaningful values and strong internal diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, but the language they’re choosing to use doesn’t always reflect that to the general public, and more importantly, job seekers.
Textio is an augmented writing platform that helps interrupt bias and understand the impact of written words before they’re put out into the world. Textio provides real time language guidance for job posts, recruiting mail, web and social media content, and employee performance feedback by flagging problematic language and suggesting alternative language to make content more unbiased, inclusive, and engaging.
More than ever, job seekers are looking to join organizations with strong values and inclusion strategies that align with their own. Textio is an interactive and educational bias interruption tool that harnesses the power of language to empower individuals to use intentional and inclusive language.
What are the features that will be most helpful to L&C?
As an alumna, I know how important DEI is to everyone at L&C. The first step in building a diverse organization starts with attracting talent. When organizations aren’t using inclusive language on their website or in recruiting content, many qualified and diverse candidates self-select out of the application process because they don’t see themselves fitting in or succeeding. Textio would enable your team to get inclusion right in your content so that the broadest range of qualified applicants feel encouraged to join L&C.
It’s equally important to retain the qualified talent you’ve recruited, and make sure that everyone feels welcome and supported beyond the recruiting stage. Textio provides scalable DEI coaching for the entire organization through our five online learning courses. We also just released our newest product for performance feedback, which addresses inequities in employee development by ensuring bias-free and actionable feedback for every employee. Every aspect of Textio causes you to pause and think about the words you’re choosing, which would extend far beyond written content, and into the classrooms and interactions that happen on L&C’s campus.
What makes your platform unique?
Textio’s founders invented augmented writing, and our CEO, Kieran Snyder, is a world authority on biased language at work. Textio’s language guidance is 100 percent data driven and uses artificial intelligence to keep up with changing language trends.
Unlike a one-time DEI training or online course, Textio’s software integrates with the work people do on a daily basis, causing them to pause, think about their language, interrupt bias, and choose more inclusive language. We firmly believe that tools aren’t magic. It’s the people using them who make the difference. For this reason, Textio is the only inclusive writing tool that also includes DEI learning courses for everyone at an organization.
When an organization chooses to partner with Textio, it’s because they’re looking to bring inclusion into every part of the candidate and employee experience.
Now that you’ve been out of college for a while, what would you say is the most important thing you learned at Lewis & Clark?
It’s hard to narrow this down, so I’ll share my top two learnings:
- Trust and have confidence in my voice. L&C provided a safe and supportive space for me to ask the silly questions, feel encouraged to share my opinions on topics where I wasn’t an expert, be curious, and ultimately find my voice. For the first time, it seemed my professors and mentors invested in my learning and took sincere interest in my thoughts and ideas, even when I was unsure. I am forever grateful for my thesis advisor, Assistant Professor Amelia Wilcox, who was the first person to help me see, and believe in, my own voice and academic capability.
- Having awareness and compassion for different perspectives, even if you don’t agree with them. I feel incredibly lucky to have learned this lesson at such a young age, and it has served me so well in my career and personal life. Regardless of the subject, L&C professors do such an incredible job of folding in different perspectives to their lessons, and encourage students to not only think about the subject matter, but think about how others who are different from yourself might think about it.
What are your career goals?
Since graduating, I’ve spent the last six years in three very different positions. I started out working in an adolescent neuropsychology research lab, then became a broker at a tech company helping small businesses set up health insurance plans, and now I’m at Textio selling a bias interruption tool. While I can’t say with certainty where I might go next, I know that I want to continue to be in a position of helping and empowering other individuals to do good things for the world.
Where did you find community on campus when you were a student?
I found community in three very different areas of Lewis & Clark, which all influenced my growth as both a student and person. I made some of my fastest and closest friends through athletics, which made the transition away from home significantly easier. My experience studying abroad in France during junior year was one of the most impactful experiences I’ve ever had. I didn’t know many of the students on the trip before departing, but within weeks, we became a tight knit group who took care of one another as we all navigated moving to a new city.
Much to my surprise, I found more connection with students and professors in the psychology department than I thought was possible. Whether it was nerding out on certain topics, iterating on project ideas, or spending many late nights in the library studying together, my psych friends made the rigorous academics at L&C feel less daunting and more team oriented.
2017 Alumni Update
Did you have the opportunity to do research with a professor? If so, describe that project and experience.
Unfortunately, I was not able to do research with a professor at Lewis & Clark. However, I did do research at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in the Developmental Brain Imaging Lab during the summer after my sophomore year. The study I worked on was looking at the neurotoxic effects of alcohol in adolescents with and without a family history of substance use.
Why did you choose Lewis & Clark?
Aside from the enticingly beautiful campus, I chose Lewis & Clark for three reasons. First, I loved the prospect of being able to continue with athletics, while still having my primary focus be on academics. Second, I was very attracted to the small class sizes and the ability to have personal relationships with professors. In fact, I still have lunch every so often with several of my professors! Finally, I was impressed with Lewis & Clark’s global focus. Studying abroad was highly recommended, and even required for some majors. My study abroad experience in France provided me with new perspectives, confidence in the unknown, and a greater sense of self.
Describe your job.
I work in the Developmental Brain Imaging Lab at OHSU, and am a research assistant on the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The ABCD study is funded by the National Institutes of Health, taking place at 22 other sites across the country. As a consortium, we plan to enroll 12,000 nine and ten year olds by September 2018, and follow them for ten years. The purpose of the ABCD study is to examine how the brain changes as children become teenagers and young adults, and how these changes relate to certain behaviors. I administer neuropsychological tests and interviews, as well as operate MRI scans.
What do you like best about your job?
I love showing our young participants how fun science and research can be. The kids have so many great questions, and are always so interested in what we’re doing. I also love that I am part of something much bigger than my daily work schedule. In 10 years, this study will have likely changed the way in which we view and approach adolescent brain development.
How did Lewis & Clark prepare you for your job?
Lewis & Clark is the reason I have my job. As a sophomore, I received the Miller Award that allowed me to take the OHSU internship, and I was able to continue in the lab during the academic year doing an independent study under my advisor. I was offered my current position upon graduation. My success in the lab as an intern, and now as a full time research assistant, can also be credited to Lewis & Clark. My professors, classes, and peers taught me to think critically, question everything, and really think outside the box when solving problems. The classes I took for my psychology degree taught me how to read, digest, and also write research papers, which is a skill I utilize almost every day in my job. Over the four years I spent at L&C, I developed a passion for learning and a strong desire to continue my education.
What are your career goals?
I would like to gain more clinical experience, and eventually apply to medical school. I am very interested in health policy, and bridging the gap between behavioral health care and primary health care in vulnerable populations suffering from mental illness. Ultimately, I would like to go into psychiatry and work towards implementing a more comprehensive health care system for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.