Program Analyst

Stephanie

Health and Sciences
Maryland
Years at GDIT: 2

Stephanie had spent the better part of two decades in a molecular research lab. Since joining GDIT two years ago, she has found her purpose by applying her neuroscience background to the brain injury needs of the military community. While growing her career and skills every step of the way.

I realized at the end of my graduate career that I wanted to work more closely with a patient population and see the impact of my work. At GDIT, I’ve been able to take my background in traumatic brain injuries and do that with a focus on the military community. It’s been a very rewarding experience.



Helping patients. My team owns it.

I am a Program Analyst at GDIT in the Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence, an organization with a network of research sites and clinical spaces that focus on traumatic brain injury (TBI), including the diagnosis, tracking, and treatment of the injury.

One of my roles is to keep the network informed of important TBI-related research studies by creating knowledge products—like informational papers and research reviews—and by presenting at conferences. I get to dabble in a little bit of everything to help facilitate the work that the researchers and clinicians are doing around TBI.

My role is really exciting to me, and one reason is because of a major shift I made in my career. I had previously spent over ten years in the lab, doing bench research in molecular science. What I realized at the end of my graduate career was that I wanted to do something that was more relevant to the patient population. My role at GDIT provides exactly that.

Creating opportunities to grow.

One factor that made my career shift easier was that I have a fantastic supervisor who is very much into mentoring. He is the person who proactively recommends conferences to attend if they sound like something you’d be interested in. Or if he thinks you could benefit from a meeting or conversation he is a part of, he'll bring you into the fold.

Recently, he gave my colleague and me the chance to coordinate a session for an international conference on neurotrauma. Our session, which we designed from the ground up, was military-relevant but also benefited the entire neurotrauma research community.

That experience was different from anything I have ever done before and has been massively influential to my career.

Making a positive impact on the military community.

One of the biggest challenges in the health space is building connections between researchers and the clinical community serving patients. In my role at GDIT, I am able to increase communication between those two groups to make sure our military community has as much useful information as possible.

For example, I worked on a report to Congress examining the brain health and performance effects when someone is exposed to a low-level blast. Through that project, I had the opportunity to support a group of researchers that were really invested in this problem.

For the first time in my career, I got to see how connections between clinical communities and researchers can make a huge impact. It was a really fulfilling experience.

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