Hi Everyone! I’m Nancy, the newest new member of the Maker Ed team. I’m so happy to be the Program Coordinator here – because it means I get to do a little of everything and interact with everyone. I love making because I think creative literacy is just as important as fundamental reading and science literacy.
I’m from a little “not-actually-a-town” outside of Austin, TX– no thick drawl here either, but my speech is definitely sprinkled with authentic “y’alls” and “all of y’alls” (and I listen to a lot of country music). I lived in Istanbul, Turkey for a summer before I moved to Berkeley, CA in 2011 for grad school.
Even as a kid, I was all over the place with what I wanted to do with my life. The answer is now: everything! I first became interested in science when I discovered I could stick balloons to the wall if I rubbed them on my little sister’s head first. When I was 5, my brothers gave me a hammer for my birthday and I built a lot of things in trees. I played piano for 10 years. I tried to teach myself greek at the age of 12. I fantasized about running away to the circus, because I really liked animals. I grew up on a farm where we had: pigs, goats, rabbits, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, dogs, cats and other misc. animals (lizards, a roadrunner, guinea pigs, a possum, and fish). I was in 4H (I showed pigs, rabbits, and chickens) and in my free time, I would read about exotic animals (tigers and dolphins) from the 1972 encyclopedia set at our local library. This local library (and the librarians!) made such an impression on me as a kid, and is one of the biggest reasons I became a librarian in my grown-up life.
Formal education-wise, I have two undergraduate degrees: one in Cognitive Science and one in Arabic Language and Literature. I also have minors in Chemistry and GIS. Throughout my undergrad, I worked as a Special Education/Language Acquisition TA in a STEAM camp for pre-schoolers, a tutor for Iraqi refugees, and a book repairer for the UT Austin Libraries. I went to graduate school for Library and Information Science – where I focused on the user experience of online research. I have too many internships to mention, but the highlight of my graduate career was being a story teller for the Oakland Public Library,
Making-wise, I also dabble in a lot of different things. I’m a maker baker, I crochet wire, I sew, build, japanese joinery, and I tinker with computers etc. Like Stephanie, I love practical around-the-house and garden projects (I diyed a patio this weekend!). Up next: an outdoor cobb oven and an outdoor chandelier.
My favorite things I made last year: Apple Cider (above) and a Fig/cheese galette.