Each Monday, the Daily Voice introduces you to a member of the UMass Medical School community—could be a new face, or maybe one that’s has been around for a while. We’ve asked our subjects, in their own words, to answer a few questions that might give you insight into their personalities. If you have a suggestion as to someone who might be profiled, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sharon A. Grundel is the manager of workforce development for Massachusetts Area Health Education Center (MassAHEC) Network which is part of Commonwealth Medicine’s Center for Health Policy and Research. She has been at UMMS for four years.
What brought you here to UMass Medical School?
A fantastic job that was a glove fit.
What do you love most about the work that you do?
Making connections that help build successful youth-to-health career programs.
How would you explain your work to your spouse/child/a student
I work with our statewide network of six community-based centers, and together we develop programs for teens who want to explore what careers in health care are, and also why learning about cultural diversity in health care is so important.
What is the practical application of your work?
Developing the next generation of health care professionals and diversifying the workforce to more closely resemble the communities it works and serves in.
Which trait do you most admire in yourself?
I am grateful to have a job I am so impassioned about and I use that passion to get the work done.
Describe yourself in six words or fewer.
Driven, compassionate, smart, easy, creative and steady.
If you could have dinner with a famous person, living or dead, who would that be?
Oprah, for sure.
Who or what inspired you to enter your field?
I have always been curious about people and the work they do. My career has evolved very naturally here. I brought experience with health care training programs and Workforce Investment Boards. With MassAHEC, I’ve been able to channel that experience with our youth programs and to begin a new partnership with a national organization, Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). HOSA expands the MassAHEC Network into high schools, on college campuses and in AHEC programs.
What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?
Pedaling on bike trails, paddling on rivers and lakes, good animated films and slow cooking.
What’s book have you read, or what movie have you seen, most recently, or what kind of music do you most enjoy?
Life is good with a full iPod and a few choice playlists.
What’s the most exciting thing happening in your field right now?
People are really getting the value of health careers exploration programs for teens. The value doubles when we’re also talking about outreach to young people who may not otherwise have access to this type of enrichment. Altogether, it is a prime ground to establish new partnerships, and broaden our statewide reach.