Ariel recently joined the TechChange team as a Program Manager, where she helps elearning partners build and deliver learning experiences on digital health.
Q: So, tell us more about yourself. How did you end up working in education?
I was born into the ‘role’ of unofficial mentor and teacher as an older sister to two of the best sisters in the world, but it wasn’t until college that I taught in a classroom for the first time, leading a sub-section for a course on violence against women. After I graduated with a degree in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies and Public Health, I got a job in the international development space in Washington, DC. I developed and co-facilitated many trainings through my work at Social Impact, which propelled me to explore further how trainings can be more effective at instigating sustainable behavior change. I decided to go back for my masters in public health at Johns Hopkins where I focused on social and behavioral interventions, zeroing in on the challenges of creating health behavior change and how trainings fit into the puzzle. In school and out, I have found that most of my jobs usually require me to support some level of capacity building, so understanding how to transmit and translate information to action is something I am actively working to improve.
Q: How did you first hear about TechChange?
I was working with an organization called Clear Outcomes on a needs assessment for DIAL on the Principles for Digital Development. We presented our findings to both DIAL and TechChange, so that TechChange could use our findings to develop and execute a pilot training on the Principles for Digital Development. This was the first I had heard of an organization focused specifically on how to create and execute participatory, blended-learning courses in the social sector for a variety of clients, with a thought towards building supportive communities around these trainings.
Q: What are some of your favorite parts of working at TechChange so far?
I have been solely focused on content development in a space that I am very excited about: digital health. It’s rewarding to be able to apply my experiences in public health in and out of the classroom to developing course material that is useful and beautiful. But mostly, I have very much enjoyed getting to know the team here, especially over lunch and dessert(s).
Q: What excites you about this role?
I am most excited about not only using my own background and experiences in public health to develop this training, but also learning from TechChange’s subject matter expert on even more about the ins and outs of digital health. I can’t wait to see it piloted in Sierra Leone.
Q: Anything you look forward to working on or learning at TechChange in the next year?
I’m looking forward to learning more about instructional design and applying a human-centered design approach to developing trainings in the health space and beyond.
Q: Lastly, what’s something that not a lot of people know about you?
I have won every hula hooping contest I have ever entered.