Isabel Cardenas-Navia is the Director of Research at Workcred, an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute whose mission is to strengthen the quality of the workforce by improving the accreditation system. Co-author of a recent article on apprenticeship and employment issues, she holds a doctorate. in biomedical engineering. Before participating in the Zócalo /Science and technology issues “Is It Time To Throw Out Our Resumes?” event. She called into the green room to talk about her skills as a number cruncher, coconut flan and why research projects depend on project management skills.

Question:

Are you dressing up for Halloween next week?

A:

I’m still deciding, but if I do, my three daughters dress up as ghosts, so I would have to accept the theme. They’re all gothic ghosts, so I imagine myself in some sort of gothic ghost costume.


Question:

What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had?

A:

I’ve done a lot of research, and so I wouldn’t say it was the strangest, but: counting colonies on cell plates, and doing some research on animals, watching how blood vessels develop in tumors. These things are a bit unusual, but are very typical for people who have done biomedical research.


Question:

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

A:

Morning person. I like to get up early, walk the dog, and if I get up early enough, I exercise – and again, I fight with my kids to get them out. I can have some peace and quiet and a nice cup of coffee when they are at school.


Question:

How do you use your scientific and technical training in your work at Workcred?

A:

The problem-solving approach and the ability to do project management. In terms of problem solving, it’s about thinking about which piece of this complex workforce and education puzzle we’re going to focus on, defining a problem in such a way that we get data to solve the problem. , and of course interpreting the data, getting results and applying them. The project management part is very similar. We don’t see a research project as something that necessarily falls under project management, but it is. You start with a blank sheet of paper or research, and you develop it, you have a budget, you have a project schedule, you have milestones. And you usually work with a team, rely on others for feedback and feedback, and rely on them for results.


Question:

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

A:

May the person you marry be one of the biggest decisions of your life, in a positive way! It influences your career choices, your personal life choices, and it’s really great to have a partner who supports my career development while having personal goals aligned. I got this advice when I was 21 from a faculty member at Berkeley, and at the time I thought she was completely crazy – I was looking for career advice. But it ended up being very good.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.