When I left Tufts University last fall and started Crosstown, it was because I wanted to help other universities improve the way they told their stories on the web. I felt there were tremendous opportunities to learn and do good work just waiting out there. So I set off in search of them.
Boy, did I find them. My brain has been stretched six ways to Sunday, both by reflecting on my experience at Tufts and tackling new, challenging projects for clients. I’ve also had the opportunity to see how a range of universities, large to small, manage their communications, which has been incredibly enlightening and informative.
It’s been a successful, fulfilling and rewarding year, to say the least.
But while I have been blessed with the opportunity to learn and do good work, there’s been something missing. Indeed, a lot of the learning I’ve been doing has been not only about the subject matter of my field, but self-discovery around what makes me happy, challenged and fulfilled as a professional.
I soon realized what I missed. I missed being part of a team, sure. But more importantly, I missed being part of a community. I missed feeling invested in a mission. I missed feeling invested in a project — or a strategy — beyond the end of a contract.
In short, I missed caring about something bigger than myself.
A Homecoming, of Sorts
While I grew up in South Florida, I was born in Boston, spending the first two years of my life living on Beacon Hill. Before we moved to Florida, my mom finished up her bachelor’s degree (yep, she was an adult learner) in English at the school just down the hill, Suffolk University, located in the heart of downtown. Class of 1981. In high school, I often wore a Suffolk t-shirt and sweatshirt — people didn’t know how to pronounce the name!
My mom tells me she used to wheel me down in my stroller to the classroom buildings, where I met her classmates and professors. In fact, one professor — Prof. Stuart Millner — met me and declared with certainty to my mom, “I can tell she has English major blood!” (Journalism, but close enough.)
They say we all go home again, and I guess this much is true, because next month I will begin working at Suffolk as the Director of Online Content.
I am beyond excited to be returning to the higher ed fold, and I couldn’t be happier to be doing it at Suffolk. It’s a dynamic school with a smart perspective on the web, a savvy staff of communicators, and a ton of opportunities to do good work and learn new things — and that’s a magic combination. Suffolk is home to a community I am thrilled to join and a mission I am honored to serve.
As for Crosstown, that obviously takes a backseat, though I’ll still have limited availability for work or speaking engagements. And don’t worry, Meet Content will continue to grow and publish unabated — after all, we’ve still got a lot to talk about when it comes to web content in higher ed.
But right now, my main focus is on helping Suffolk tell its story. I look forward to walking around and beginning to learn what that story is. One of my stops will certainly be Prof. Millner’s office — no stroller necessary, this time around.