In 2003, as a recent graduate of Howard University, Thelisha Woods was waiting for her journalism career to take off when she saw the Society’s advertisement for someone to create training materials. Thelisha had minored in publication design, interned with online news publications, and was interested in web publishing. “Fast forward 15 years later, and I’m still here!” she said. “Everything came together, and it made sense for me.”
Although she started off in the training department working on training manuals and PowerPoint presentations, Thelisha’s expertise quickly got the attention of others within the Society’s headquarters who began asking for her help with their publications. “They created a new position in 2006 and I became electronic publications manager,” she explained. “I’d gone back to school at The George Washington University to get my master’s degree in electronic publishing, so this was a perfect fit. What I learned in my classes about content management and strategy I could apply here to my work.”
As the Society transitioned, so did Thelisha, now serving as the internal communications director helping staff and volunteers around the world learn to use the Society’s intranet, affectionately named “the SeaBag.” “When we launched SeaBag in 2013, I was already working closely with the NMCRS IT department to release all of our new policy manuals and forms,” she said. “I learned to use SharePoint—the Microsoft platform that supports our SeaBag—and attended SharePoint events with the IT team. I got involved with SharePoint user groups and attended training. I have to keep up to date with the technology to help all of our users. Each NMCRS office has a SeaBag site, and each headquarters department has a site, so it’s a real digital workplace that I’m managing. I help people create content and resolve technical issues and respond to help desk requests.” Thelisha also manages the Society’s blog – an online newsletter.
“I do a lot of technical work in addition to writing and editing,” she explained. “It’s a perfect blend of the journalism degree I earned from Howard University, and the electronic publications degree I earned from The George Washington University. It all came together.”
“I love collaborating with people on their content and helping them accomplish their work. It’s an exciting job because I learn so much and get to work with so many people to build digital communities. I continue to grow and learn. I never like to be stagnant. I always like to learn more, do more, achieve more and help others do the same.”
The Society’s digital workplace has received attention from other organizations, and Thelisha has been asked to speak at several events for digital workplace developers. Publications she’s designed have also earned industry awards. “One great thing about working for the Society is how it’s supported my career growth. When people saw I had the ability to do more, they gave me new opportunities. That’s why I’ve stayed.”
Thank you for your contributions, Thelisha, and congratulations on 15 years with the Society!
By Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso