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NCSA Welcomes J.D. Graham to the Center Stage!

A picture of JD at the Castle of Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra, Portugal

Testing my feet at the Castle of Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra, Portugal.

NCSA welcomes J.D. Graham to the stage! J.D. has been working at the Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub (MBDH) for seven months. MBDH is headquartered at NCSA and it’s made up of a diverse and committed network of partners dedicated to addressing the challenges in data management. J.D.’s role is with Outreach and Engagement, and his work focuses on building relationships with diverse stakeholders, bridging the divide of their educational needs in data science, and laying the foundation for a more inclusive scientific community.

Without further ado, here’s J.D., in his own words.

What are your title and team?

Outreach and Engagement Specialist at the Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub (MBDH)

Displaying my smoked Thanksgiving Turkey

Why NCSA? What attracted you in terms of what you can bring?

As a secondary science educator with over 20 years of experience and a fellow in WaterCLEAR, WaterCAMPWS, and nano@illinois at UIUC, I bring a unique blend of technical expertise and a passion for learning. I see NCSA as an ideal place to leverage these strengths and cultivate authentic relationships.

What are you most proud of in your experience here?

While I certainly have accomplishments and goals that I am proud of, what I value most about my experience here are the people I work with. I am incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by a team of highly intelligent, dedicated and understanding individuals, and I couldn’t ask for a better group of colleagues.

What would you consider your superpower?.

I’ve got a few powers, but I’m not sure any of them would be considered super. But, my ability to calmly persevere through challenges while maintaining a sense of humor is probably the closest thing I’ve got.

Reflecting on the statue of Charles Buls’ excellent taste in facial adornments while vacationing in Brussels. 

What’s on your bucket list?

Explore the universe with my friends and family.

Who’s your hero?

Mr. Fred Rogers. I would like to emulate his dedication to helping others learn and grow through compassion, kindness and acceptance. 

Thank you, J.D., for coming up to the stage to answer our questions. We look forward to seeing who will step into the spotlight next month!

A Christmas selfie of my family and me at Union Station in Chicago after visiting the Christkindlmarket
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