Interview: Amanda Lombardo
NCW – Amanda
Kenny: Hello everyone, and thank you again for joining us with the third installment of NCSA Crush Wednesday. Today I am with Amanda. Hi Amanda, how are you doing?
Amanda: Good, how are you?
K: Doing well. Thank you for interviewing with me today. So, it’s come to my attention, because so far we’ve done interviews with people who’ve been working with NCSA for 15+ years, but I’ve been informed that you haven’t been working here as long. How long have you been working here?
A: I’ve been working here about five months now.
K: Ok, and in the five months, what have you thought so far?
A: It’s been a very quick five months. It’s been a whirlwind of activity. There’s so many exciting projects and things going on in the building, and across campus as well, so it’s been fun for me to learn about all the different aspects of NCSA.
K: Ok, and what is it you do here at NCSA?
A: Here at NCSA, I’m the research coordinator for research and education. So I’ve been helping develop several different programs, post docs to the faculty fellows, and a number of other things like that.
K: Cool! So, what have your impression been so far? I know it’s been, like you said, a quick five months, but what have your thoughts been so far?
A: I think there’s a lot of energy right now around NCSA. There’s a lot of new changes being made, good changes I think. I feel like there’s a momentum shift right now, and so I’m very excited to see where these new changes take us, and go from there!
K: Did you have any expectations for the position and for the organization as a whole, before you came here?
A: I really didn’t know much about NCSA at all, before I arrived here in Champaign. I had met with Gab (Gabrielle Allen) briefly the summer, and she kind of explained what the mission was here at NCSA, and it sounded like there were some cool things going on, and it sounded like it was a good time to get on board.
K: That’s very cool! So what did you do, before coming here?
A: Before here, I worked at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York, and I worked in the Deans office, coordinating projects.
K: And what, at the time, attracted you to coming to NCSA?
A: Well to be honest my husband is a faculty member in civil engineering, and so I was part of the duel hire process. And I have to say I’m pretty lucky, I think I ended up in a really good spot here at NCSA.
K: That’s very exciting! So, it’s 2016 now, we’re on February 2nd, did you know that this year would be our 30th anniversary?
A: I did not know until about a month ago.
K: Well now that you do know, are you excited at all for it?
A: Yes! I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. I hear there’s a lot of really great activities planned this year, for the staff, as well as the alumni of NCSA, and the campus as well, so I’m really excited to participate in some of the activities!
K: Now again, I know I’m very much highlighting your not so longevity at NCSA so far, but can you at all give me any highlights of your time here?
A: When I first arrived, Larry Smarr, the founder of NCSA, was speaking, and so I think that was a really great introduction to my time here at NCSA. Just to get an overview from the source of how NCSA got started, and everything that’s taken place since then. So that was very neat to get to meet Larry, and since then, you know, we’ve had some staff events that have been really great opportunities to meet people around the building, and getting to know the post docs in the fellows programs have both been really great for me, because, it’s kind of expanded my horizons just beyond NCSA.
K: Very interesting! So to kind of rap up, NCSA has been here for 30 years. What do you foresee in the next 30 years for NCSA?
A: Gosh, that’s a good question. I think, I mean, sky’s the limit. I think there’s a ton of potential here, like I said, I think there’s a lot of momentum building right now, and they’ve done some pretty great things in the past, and I just…I don’t know I can’t wait to see what happens in the future. I’m not exactly sure what’ll happen, but I know it’ll be really good!
K: Well thank you very much for your time, and thank you for interviewing with us.