Through an inter-collegiate emerging technology competition, graduate students Chuk Ezuma and Rikin Gajjar developed M3, a product that would enable medical professionals to treat elderly patients using the technology of tomorrow.
“There’s something really magical about supporting people through growth,” says Katie Todd (she/they) ’15, ’24, director of Communications and Strategic Operations at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. “I get to do that every day, whether it’s with students, faculty, or staff. Being there as students enter the classroom for the first time all the way through to when they graduate is a gift. You never forget your first set of students you’re present for their entire four-year journey.”
Todd, who originally hails from Scotland, came to Pace as part of the MS in Publishing program and eventually landed a role within Seidenberg as a copywriter. After meeting with then-Associate Dean Jonathan Hill, DPS, Todd says she was hired on the spot for $8.25 an hour (still her hourly rate! she kids).
Since then, her role has expanded within Seidenberg. As Director of Communications and Strategic Operations, she not only makes sure that things in Seidenberg are running smoothly but she gets to talk about how outstanding the programs and the people who bring them to life really are. They’ve also got a very unique perspective to add to the mix: they are currently a grad student working on her second master’s in Seidenberg’s Human-Centered Design program.
“The folks I get to work at Seidenberg with are a phenomenal bunch. The faculty and staff both are from all over the world and it’s so cool to work with such a mix of people,” she says. “My staff team is the best at keeping the humor going as we work through all kinds of challenges in a flexible, dynamic way where there’s a lot of trust. I’m very grateful for that.”
Outside of Pace, Todd’s got a lot on their plate and their work is getting noticed. This past year, they were selected as an INvolve 2022 OUTstanding LGBT+ Future Leader and, recently, they have been added to NASA’s roster of diversity, equity, and inclusion professionals to participate on inclusion panels in the future.
“I have my own executive and life coaching practice, Pride Coaching, through which I support LGBTQ+ leaders and our allies in creating a better world,” says Todd. “It’s vocational work for me that takes my skills and passion in people development and applies them to a community looking, not just to be accepted, but to be seen and celebrated as they are.”
In addition to coaching, Todd works to educate people on various aspects of the queer community, including workplace development sessions that focus on inclusion and respect. “A lot of people mean well but just don’t have the knowledge or understanding to feel comfortable speaking to or about queer people—especially trans and non-binary people,” Todd explains. “I give them the opportunity to ask questions in a way that feels safe and welcoming. I’ve run sessions at Pace and worked with some really wonderful companies, too.”
So, where do they see these paths taking them?
“That’s a good question! My personal mission is to make coaching accessible to as many people as possible and to make the world a safer place for queer people to live authentically,” says Todd. “I can’t do that alone, so a big part of what I’m up to at the moment is just finding like-minded people and growing my vision of what’s possible. It’s a really exciting time.”
Want to get connected with Katie? Reach out to her on LinkedIn.