Hi my name is Michelle Podolec, and I’m an administrative assistant at the Employment and Disability Institute at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. I’m a landscape architect and professional gardener by training, and I graduated from Penn State in 2000, Longwood Gardens in 2006, and I am recieving my master’s in landscape architecture from Cornell in 2013. It may seem like an odd choice of degree considering my career path, but I’m really interested in getting things done effectively and efficiently, and project management ‘for the people’ is at the heart of my degree.
I’m very interested in community engagement, outreach, and research extension through the utilization of technology and social media. I have been working as a project coordinator/extension aide/project support person since 2006 in various positions. I get really excited about new methods for connecting people with resources and research (especially if the method is cost-effective) and am seeking insight and inspiration.
I completed working on a grant with the Beginning Farmer’s Project for USDA in August of 2012 before switching to my current position and a whole new and amazing audience – it’s always exciting for me to meet new people and learn more about new fields. I’m looking to learn more about grant management, administration, and research and how I might utilize my project coordination skills more effectively. I’d like to move my career into more management/leadership, and am open to opportunities of all sorts. Upstate NY can be a bit of a tricky place to find employment – a pragmatic outlook on career opportunities seems to be a necessity. I am looking to network and innovate with the inspiring folks of GovLoop!
I’m especially interested in nerdy tech stuff – like digitizing old databases for public access, data tagging, and legacy document storage. If making musty old ‘schtuff’ publicly accessible is your cup of tea, I look forward to meeting you for a chat!