What was working in IOS like?
Being that this was my first time in a government agency, working in IOS was amazing. Even though I was only here for a year, I felt welcomed and appreciated by the teams I worked with. I will say that it was a little intimidating at first since my background was in finance, and not Biology, and I would hear terms I wasn’t familiar with like Arabidopsis or C. elegans – but the Program Directors were always excited and willing to explain their research to me in a way I could understand. Before coming to IOS, I hadn’t experienced working with such a large group of collaborative colleagues and it was a really refreshing change for me. It was also super cool to have a tiny (tiny) part in helping fund research that we hope can change the world.
What was the highlight of your time at IOS?
I have several highlights which included working with the entire IOS administrative team learning the ins and outs of proposal processing, getting several SOPs finalized with the IOS SOP working group, and lastly planning a successful Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP) Principal Investigator IN PERSON meeting with Courtney Jahn (along with the other PGRP Program Directors, Sheila Wilkinson, Liz Bell & Clay Nguyen).
What personal goals did you accomplish while at IOS?
I survived (and thrived) with three kids under three. My twin boys were born in October 2021, and I was so grateful to all of IOS for being so supportive during this crazy time in my life. There were a lot of doctor appointments and panels going on in October 2021, and the entire team was so awesome in supporting me. I have also never had a group of colleagues who I had worked with for less than 6 months be so excited about my personal life events. IOS is just made up of awesome people!
What are you most looking forward to next?
My trip home to Guam. It will be our first trip back since the pandemic – I can’t wait to be in tropical weather and surrounded by the Pacific Ocean.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about joining the NSF as an administrative staff member?
I would tell them that the NSF is one of the coolest places to work within the federal government and if they have the opportunity to join us, they should take it.
Michelle Elekonich, Acting Division Director of IOS at the time, said about Joelle, “Despite joining us while NSF was fully remote in response to the pandemic, Joelle connected to her new colleagues and had a lot of impact in a short time. We’re all glad she is staying at NSF, but we will miss her greatly!”