Culture Network Member Spotlight:
Meet Meghan, Senior Associate Director of Stewardship and Development Operations
What made you decide to join USC’s Culture Network?
I think USC’s Culture Network is the perfect opportunity to embody our collective Culture Journey and Unifying Values. USC’s Culture Journey represents what we value as a community. What better way to learn, connect, and grow, individually and together, than by being an active member of that community?
Can you give an example of an activity or program that has broken down silos between different departments and has a positive effect on workplace culture?
There are so many valuable activities and programs across campus that provide an opportunity to engage with others and learn about various aspects of our unifying values. I really love the initiatives presented by the WorkWell Center. Many of their offerings focus on personal well-being, which can significantly improve workplace culture, and provide a chance to converse and share among colleagues from different departments in a way that isn’t always possible with the common webinar style programs.
In your experience, how does USC promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, and how have you contributed to these efforts?
I feel USC promotes DEIAB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Belonging) efforts in many ways. I see it in the hiring of our first Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, Chris Manning. I see it through the investment in our Culture Journey and Culture team. I see it in the support of all the programs that happen across campus advancing this work. At a micro level, I see it in the way managers support their team’s attendance and participation in these events whenever possible. Within my unit, I led the implementation of Culture Connections, a 5-part series that allowed folks from various departments to come together to discuss and learn about important, crucial topics. These sessions really cultivated growth and connection among our staff and helped to shift how we look at DEIAB in our workspace.
Have you taken advantage of any events or trainings sponsored by USC’s Culture Network or other campus partners? If so, how has what you learned there helped you in your role?
I try to attend as many of these programs as my schedule allows. I love the chance to connect with cross-campus colleagues, and to expand my perspective of these topics. Brainstorming with other Culture Liaisons has also proven beneficial. It’s hard to pinpoint just one, as I’ve participated in so many, and all were valuable! Whatever the program, a key learning has been to listen to understand. Expanding how I think about these topics and hearing from others with different backgrounds and lived experiences has taught me that there is always another layer to uncover. Ask questions to understand, and actively listen to the responses. I’ve also learned the strong impact of leading with vulnerability. The best conversations I’ve witnessed began with someone showing their vulnerability, and others followed. That is where real connection and community (and healing) can begin to grow.
How do you hope to see USC’s culture evolving in the future, and how do you plan to contribute to this evolution as a member of the Culture Network?
I hope to see the Culture Network expand and strengthen among USC’s various constituents – students, staff, faculty, alumni, and donors. The Culture Network provides many learning programs and engagement opportunities. Looking ahead, I hope we continue to measure the ongoing needs of our community and the performance of these offerings and adapt them as necessary. The DEIAB space is constantly evolving, as is our cultural landscape as a university and greater collective. An effective Culture Network will navigate that with flexibility and commitment to our overall mission. As a Culture Network member and liaison, my personal goal is to partner with other schools and units who wish to implement the Culture Connections program within their teams. Guiding and facilitating this work is so fulfilling because you can see the difference it makes at the individual level and at the group level. It’s a great way to exercise our Unifying Values and see the impact in real time, in one’s immediate work environment.Meghan Hoover