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Meet James Craig 2016 Pittsburgh Fellow

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1.       Favorite Book of all time  AND the last book you read?

For Whom the Bell Tolls- Ernest Hemingway;

The Art of Fielding- Chad Harbach

2.       If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be?

                Financial Planning/Using the Stock Market

3.       What’s your Zodiac Sign? If you know anything about it do you think it’s you?

                Sagittarius- I believe that we create our own personalities and destinies so I do not pay any attention to zodiacs.

4.       What’s the First album you bought and what media was it on? (CD, tape, 8 track?)

Lynyrd Skynyrd; Skynyrd’s Innyrds- CD; This speaks volumes to the fact that I grew up on a farm in rural Pennsylvania

5.       If you had to sacrifice one of your five senses which would it be and why?

                Hearing-  Of all of the senses, hearing is the one that I believe would negatively impact me the least.  I would never give up taste or smell because I love eating so much.

6.       What was your dream job growing up? Astronaut, cowboy/girl, Science Ninja?

                Believe it or not, I always wanted to be a lawyer.  I loved the idea of not being taken advantage of by people who claim that they knew “the law.”

7.       What’s your favorite thing about Pittsburgh?

                This is a tough one.  I would have to say that it’s a tie between the people here and the direction that the city is taking.  I have never found people anywhere who are more kind, sincere and willing to tell you exactly what they think.  I am also excited for the potential that the city holds.  It seems like our Mayor and elected officials are doing all of the right things and helping Pittsburgh grow into a more beautiful, successful, environmentally friendly and inclusive community.

8.       If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

                I have always wanted to visit Ireland and see where it is that my family comes from.

9.   In what ways are you a leader? In what ways are you a follower?

                I believe that I exhibit my leadership most when it comes to voicing my opinion when it’s contrary to what most people believe and feel.  I have never been one to compromise my opinions and values to appease others.  However, I always take other people’s feelings into consideration and include others in the process.  I must say that I have always struggled to be a follower.  However, I know enough to know what I do not know.  When I recognize that someone has a better understanding of a situation or issue, I let them take the lead and just hope that I can use my skills to better assist them. 

10.   If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?

                I have thought about this a lot.  I would not want x-ray vision or the ability to fly; I would want the ability to know how people actually feel rather than what façade they are putting on.  Selfishly, it would help me be more successful in practicing law and business.  On the noble side, it would help me understand people better and would cause me to treat everyone like they deserve to be treated.  So, either that or the ability to teleport.  Either one is fine with me.  

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Meet Jenna Baron 2016 Pittsburgh Fellow

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1.       Favorite Book of all time AND the last book you read?

Does my favorite childhood book count? The Very Hungry Caterpillar really takes the gold on that one.

 

The last book I read is a novel that my best friend gave me called Dust by the Kenyan author, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor.

 

2.       If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be?

Being fluent in American Sign Language

 

3.       What’s your Zodiac Sign? If you know anything about it do you think it’s you?

Taurus - most of the personality profiles I've read about Taurus include something about having great ambition, which is a trait I can relate to. Though, those same profiles typically mention that the Taurus's ambition is motivated by money or materials, which has never been my main motivation in developing and working toward my goals. I guess I'm saying that I'm a bit unconvinced that my zodiac sign actually represents me!

 

4.       What’s the First album you bought and what media was it on? (CD, tape, 8 track?)

Millenium by Backstreet Boys on tape 

 

5.       If you had to sacrifice one of your five senses which would it be and why?

I really don't like this question! It's too real for some folks who already have an impaired sense and have to learn to navigate the environment and advocate for more accessibility. 

 

6.       What was your dream job growing up? Astronaut, cowboy/girl, Science Ninja?

To be the lead vocalist of a band

 

7.       Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Pursuing another degree (Masters or Phd) in education policy and/or related field

 

8.       What’s your favorite thing about Pittsburgh?

The people! Many folks who are from Pittsburgh have great pride in their city and because of it, make newcomers and visitors feel welcome. It has [most] benefits of a big city but maintains that small town feel. Now, if we could just get this public transportation situation in a good place...

 

9.       If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

At the moment, I feel that a trip to Italy needs to happen. I've always wanted to go with my mom and connect with our distant family who still live in Naples. 

 

10.   In what ways are you a leader? In what ways are you a follower?

As it relates to social justice work:

There are two ways of leading that come to mind, 1) by inspiring others to pursue new opportunities, particularly those to become civically engaged and 2) challenging the status quo and thinking "outside the box" by connecting people and existing ideas to create something new. 

 

As it relates to my daily life:

I tend to allow others to make decisions about where we'll go, what we'll do, where we'll eat, etc. I don't mind coming up with a plan, but I have found that other people often have the best ideas!

 

11.   If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?

Flying at super speed, FOR SURE. Most days out of the week I wish I could be two places at once; I think flying can help me get closer to that. Also, until we figure out a way to make it easier to get around the 'burgh without a car, flying will remain my superpower of choice.

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  1. Favorite Book of all time  AND the last book you read?

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to study and learn about cities and urban policy. My favorite book of all-time is The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs, who was ahead of her time when she suggested that vibrant  street life and less reliance on the automobile is crucial to the future of cities.  Recently, I read Ted Glaeser’s Triumph of the City.

  1. If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be?

If I could, I would love to learn how to sing. My current singing voice is cacophonous, except when I am in the shower.

  1. What’s your Zodiac Sign? If you know anything about it do you think it’s you?

I am a Virgo. Virgos are very meticulous and this trait is illustrative of me. I am a   picky and critical person until I believe something is correct.

       4.   What’s the First album you bought and what media was it on? (CD, tape, 8 track?)

            When first CD was N’Sync’s No Strings Attached, which included the classic “Bye Bye Bye.” I quickly learned the dance for an elementary school talent show. Needless to say, I was not as talented as Justin Timberlake or even J.C. Chasez.

       5.       If you had to sacrifice one of your five senses which would it be and why?

            I would sacrifice my sense of touch. As a foodie, I could never live without my sense of taste or smell. As a music buff, my ears are very important. As a architecture enthusiast, my sense of sight is crucial.

      6.       What was your dream job growing up? Astronaut, cowboy/girl, Science Ninja?

            From a young age, I have always been a politics buff. Ever since I was able to hear then-Vice President Al Gore on the presidential campaign trail, my dream job has been President of the United States.

      7.       Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

            In 5 years, I’d like to remain in role with the City of Pittsburgh that allows me to ensure that Pittsburgh is an affordable, vibrant, and livable city for all residents.

   8.       What’s your favorite thing about Pittsburgh?

            Pittsburgh is either America’s Biggest Small Town or America’s Smallest Big City. It’s big enough to feel vibrant with its distinct neighborhoods, newly reinvigorated food scene and ample opportunities to make a difference. However, it is just small enough for individuals and organizations to make a big difference and to forge strong connections.

9.       If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

            I’d love to visit all of the Scandinavian countries where residents are guaranteed basic rights such as free health care, free college education, and a family friendly workplace. I would like to take the lessons of urban planning and expansion of public transit from Scandinavian cities back to Pittsburgh. 

10.   In what ways are you a leader? In what ways are you a follower?

            Friends and family know that I am often the person who makes plans and takes charge when it comes to planning an event, a trip, a night out, or course of action. However, often times, I admittedly find that going with the flow is much easier than taking action of my own.

11.   If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?

            I would love the ability to be in two places simultaneously. Generally, this superpower would come in handy so that I could be at two events in the same evening. Other times, I would be able to be on a beach somewhere and in Pittsburgh at the same time.  

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Getting to Know Kyshira Moffett...

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1.       Favorite Book of all time AND the last book you read?

 Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi is my favorite book of ALL TIME! Its the best book on networking and relationship building on the market. The last book I read was Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso. Awesome read.

 2.       If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be?

 Graphic design!! It would save me so much time and money LOL Being a blogger visuals are so important.

 3.       What’s your Zodiac Sign? If you know anything about it do you think it’s you?

 Virgo - I represent about 90% of everything they say about virgos. 

 4.       What’s the First album you bought and what media was it on? (CD, tape, 8 track?)

 Destiny's Child The Writings on the Wall CD/

 5.       If you had to sacrifice one of your five senses which would it be and why?

 Ummm???

 6.       What was your dream job growing up? Astronaut, cowboy/girl, Science Ninja?

 I wanted to be a doctor! I wanted to be a pediatrician specifically so I could help kids. 

 7.       Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

 Jet setting around the world speaking to audiences about branding! #mogul

 8.       If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

 Well considering I woke up to snow recently, anywhere with a beach! The Bahamas!

 9.   In what ways are you a leader? In what ways are you a follower?

 I quickly take charge and look to create a plan. I get impatient when things drag so I like to step in so we can create a plan to get to our end goal. I also challenge others to do their best all the time which inspires them to do a little more than they thought. I am follower when i want others on my team to flex their wings. If someone on my team is planning an event, they own it fully. I ask them to tell me what to do.

 10.   If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?

 I'd fly! Just so I wouldn't have to sit in traffic.

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Getting to Know Chris Lin...

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1.       Favorite Book of all time  AND the last book you read?

Favorite Book: Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

Last Book I Read: Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham

2.       If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be?

Krav maga

3.       What’s your Zodiac Sign? If you know anything about it do you think it’s you?

Based on the Chinese Zodiac, I'm either a rabbit or a dragon depending on what calendar you're using. I can see myself as a combination of the two.

4.       What’s the First album you bought and what media was it on? (CD, tape, 8 track?)

It might have been the Lion King movie soundtrack on CD.

5.       If you had to sacrifice one of your five senses which would it be and why?

Hearing because it seems like it would limit my experience of the world the least; you could still enjoy music through vibrations.

6.       What was your dream job growing up? Astronaut, cowboy/girl, Science Ninja?

Physicist until I discovered sports, then it was NFL quarterback or NHL goalie.

7.       Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Modernizing our legal framework for homeland security through legislation and the courts.

8.       What’s your favorite thing about Pittsburgh?

The blue-collar mentality valuing substance over flash.

9.       If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

London

10.   In what ways are you a leader? In what ways are you a follower?

People always turn to me for advice and planning. On the other hand, I often to prefer just go with the flow and improvise.

11.   If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?

Immortality: I'd just sit back and watch the long arc of human progress (and give it a few nudges now and then). 

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Getting to Know Mark Ptak...

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1.       Favorite Book of all time AND the last book you read?

My favorite book would probably have to be Fight Club. I’m a big fan of Chuck Palahnuik’s writing style, and his plots are always incredibly imaginative. The last book I read was Between the World and Me, and I’m currently working onThe New Jim Crow.  

2.      If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be?

Multilingualism. I took Spanish in high school and could converse pretty well, but a lot of it’s been lost since then. Our world is increasingly interconnected and I feel like knowing only one language boxes us in when it comes to understanding others and making important decisions that affect them. So I regret not having kept up with at least one other language, but I’m trying to commit to catching back up with Spanish.

3.      What’s your Zodiac Sign? If you know anything about it do you think it’s you?

I’m a Libra. From what I understand, they’re supposed to be balanced and diplomatic. I think that’s a pretty good fit, but I’m more of a Myers-Brigg personality person (I’m an INTJ for the record, and it’s pretty spot-on).

4.      What’s the First album you bought and what media was it on? (CD, tape, 8 track?)

The first album I loved enough to actually go out and buy was Hot Fuss by The Killers. “Mr. Brightside” is still the greatest song of all time.

5.      If you had to sacrifice one of your five senses which would it be and why?

Smell. It seems like the one you could reasonably get by without and not really notice.

6.      What was your dream job growing up?

One of my favorite movies growing up was The Mummy. For a good while I was fixated on archaeology and thought I’d be digging up pyramids in Egypt when I got older. The shine wore off after I realized that’s not how it actually works.

7.      Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

No matter where I am, I want to be working to advance causes I’m passionate about, whether that’s in the office of an elected official, a nonprofit, or something else entirely. I have a strong attachment to my communication background and I’m a big policy wonk, so I’d like to find some way to combine the two. Vox is a great example of a website that’s really filled the void for a broad audience interested in those kinds of discussions, but in a more digestible and visual way. Similarly, BuzzFeed gets a bad rap for some of its tabloid-style content, but it doesn’t get enough credit for finding a way to get young people to stay aware of current events while actually reinvesting in investigative reporting at a time when most traditional news outlets have been moving away from it. These are the kind of outside-of-the-box thinkers that are going to thrive in the digital age, as easy as it is to be cynical about changes to long-standing traditions people are used to.  So right now I have a general vision of where I want to end up, but I’m leaving all pathways open and seeing where the opportunities take me.

8.     What’s your favorite thing about Pittsburgh?

While I was working in NYC, the one thing that reminded me of home was how many unique neighborhoods there were, all in such a compact area. Whether you’re visiting for the first time, or you’re a lifelong resident, there’s such a welcoming sense of community here in Pittsburgh. I think we’re on the frontlines of tackling some big challenges that come with a rapidly changing economy and demographics, but that core value isn’t going to go away.

9.      If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Barcelona! I’ve always loved the culture of Spain, but I’ve heard great stories about Barcelona in particular when it comes to their art, food, weather, and open-mindedness in general.

10.  In what ways are you a leader? In what ways are you a follower?

Thinking about myself as a leader is a relatively new experience for me. I consider myself an introvert, and I think society unfortunately teaches us that we don’t have certain qualities that make up a leader. While extroverts might have an easier time doing some things, there are really a lot of valuable strengths introverts have that can give us an edge. We like to think about a problem, break it down, and turn that analysis in action after we’re confident we’ve conquered it from every angle. Bill Gates is a great example of someone who’s talked about this. Leadership for us means refining our weaknesses and running with our strengths, just like everyone else. So hopefully I can be a leader on that issue!

I’m a follower when it comes to listening to anyone who has more knowledge or experience than me on a given topic. You’re not going anywhere if you’re not growing every single day, and the best way to do that is recognizing that everyone around you has a different background that you can learn from.

11.   If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?

Being able to see into the future would come in handy. There’s nothing more excruciating than being at the crossroads of a tough decision and not knowing what the right move is. Having that power would make things a lot easier. 

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Our 2015 Fellows rock! Learn more about them at http://www.pittsburgh.newleaderscouncil.org/2015_fellows

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Inaugural Session

Our first Institute weekend was a huge success! Our Fellows dove deep into Life Entrepreneurship and came out stronger leaders. Up next: Fundraising

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