If you came to January’s community call, you will have heard CSCCE’s Director Lou Woodley talk through some changes to our staff team. There are some new faces joining the team and a new way of looking at our organizational structure that reflects the way we are continuing to grow. In this post, we outline these shifts, signpost where we’re headed, and acknowledge some of the challenges we’ve faced as a rapidly growing, highly collaborative staff team.
This month, we welcomed Cat Dayger and Maya Sanghvi to the team. Cat is our Director of Operations and Technology, a new role funded thanks to our NSF POSE grant. She’s working closely with Lou to figure out how our all-remote team stays nimble and productive while honoring our core values. She’s also taking on overseeing some big shifts in technology use that will support the delivery of the POSE training program – and have positive impacts on related areas of our work. These include the implementation of Canvas as our Learning Management System and identifying and implementing a new Customer Relationship Management system that integrates with our existing tools so that we can better serve our community members, learners, and clients.
Maya has joined the training team as a Junior Trainer and Curriculum Assistant, and as a new college grad is keen to learn the ropes and grow as an educator. She’ll be working with Director of Learning Camille Santistevan and Trainer and Learner Liaison Alice Martinic as we roll out our Community Manager Certification Program and all of the new courses that go along with it.
At the same time, Adrienne Gauthier has a new role as our Learning Technologist (and resident Canvas LMS guru!). She’s transitioned into this part time position after joining us as a full time Program Manager last year. And Saima Sidik, our creative Communications Assistant, will be focusing on her burgeoning career as a science writer full time from March. We’ll miss you, Saima!
Our new organizational structure
These changes are just the beginning, and we anticipate adding at least two more team members in the first half of this year. This rapid expansion, made possible by increased demand for trainings, consultancy, and a new grant from the US National Science Foundation, means that responsibility for different aspects of our work (and the management of the people doing that work) will now be split across three different teams: Operations, Training, and Communications.
The leadership team of Lou, Cat, Camille, and Katie will work together on staff management and organizational strategy. While team members will continue to collaborate across the organization, this evolving structure is intended to further differentiate the type of work each team is responsible for.
Challenges and opportunities
For the last two years, Lou, Katie, and Camille have worked closely and collaboratively on numerous projects as we’ve established CSCCE and our priority areas. With the addition of more staff, however, comes the need to clarify roles and update the processes that underpin how work gets done – so we stay nimble and able to collaborate effectively as an all-remote organization. This has included building out project management processes and the tools and training to support them – and continuing to template as we go for tasks we’ll repeat again in the future. It’s also included thinking hard about staff onboarding and how we support and maintain a positive team culture while working towards financial sustainability. Bringing Cat into the team will now free up Lou from many of the operational and administrative tasks, while also bringing onboard a thought partner for staff management.
We know that we’re not alone in facing a few growing pains and making adjustments as we continue to expand – it’s a theme that’s common both when building organizations and communities. When supporting dynamic, human-centered projects, the work of reflecting and adjusting responsively is never truly done – which makes it all the more important to pause, note, and celebrate the transitions. So here’s to this next phase – we’re excited to keep building!