When did you start at the Laboratory, and what were you doing previously?
I started at the Laboratory in 2005, processing security clearances and background checks at the Personnel Security Services Center. Previously, I worked in law enforcement at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), holding positions as special state police officer, traffic officer, and dispatcher. I started looking for new opportunities outside of law enforcement in which I could use my degree and skills because law enforcement can be a frustrating field; you arrest someone and they are back on the street, or you break up a domestic violence event and the individuals involved get back together. It's a vicious cycle that sometimes makes you feel like you aren't making a difference. Obtaining the job at the Laboratory completely changed my life, as I really feel that I am accomplishing great things.
What are your areas of expertise?
Over the years, I have gained experience in many areas of security. I have managed the Laboratory's Personnel Security Services Center; Special Security Management Office; locksmiths; and the Investigations and Threat Assessment Office. In the last five years, I have been focused on projects and process improvements for the Security Services Department (SSD), whose overall mission is to create an innovative security architecture to accelerate the business of research. Such improvements have included modernizing the Laboratory's VPN [virtual private network], identification badge request forms, and the Security Reporting Tool.
In August 2022, I was promoted to manager of the department's Strategy and Project Management Office. In this role, I am a senior security leader working closely with the leadership team to move our department into the future. Within my office, I lead a team of six who are engaged in projects to improve process efficiency—for example, by upgrading and expanding the Security Information Management System to include automated workflows and dashboards for each of the Laboratory's technical divisions. We are also focused on engagement internally and externally to strengthen culture, increase visibility in the community, and recruit and retain top talent.
Which accomplishment are you most proud of?
I won an MIT Administrative Excellence Award in 2016. I received positive feedback about how I was serving the Laboratory and supporting its mission. Most of all, I am proud that my young daughter saw me receive the award. We have had many discussions since about women in leadership, excellence, and work-life balance. I have similar conversations with women in my department through our security subgroup of the Lincoln Laboratory Women's Network. Supporting women in security — a male-dominated field — is an important focus area. As a group, we discuss challenges, share education and training opportunities, and provide mentoring. Currently, we're planning our second Women in Security webinar, in which we will host a panel of successful women in our field to share their experiences and answer questions.
Where are you from?
I was born in Massachusetts and lived there my whole life until November 2021, when I relocated with my family to Naples, Florida. I'm fortunate to have many tools that allow me to complete my projects and stay connected with the team from a distance. Living in a different climate has been a big change. I miss the cool autumn breeze and the leaves changing color, but I'm grateful to be in the beautiful sunshine every day.
What do you enjoy doing for fun?
My family and I really enjoy eating! We excitedly try new restaurants and exotic foods, and cook large, elaborate meals. We are most proud of our homemade triple-layer buttercream frosting birthday cakes and Polish family recipes for golumpki and pierogis.