Meet @Stacy Beers Director, Strategic Marketing and Communications at Penn State University College of Medicine. If you’re looking for expertise in having difficult conversations or making the pitch, reach out to Stacy! #MemberSpotlight
Let's dive right in and hear what Stacy has to say.
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Approximate length of time in your position
I will be celebrating my four-year anniversary with Penn State on June 19th.
Why do you think engaging in the AAMC Virtual Community is important?
I am a big advocate of professional networking. The AAMC Virtual Community is filled with such an energetic, talented group of professionals. I am honored to not only work for a AAMC institution but to also have the opportunity to learn from other marketing, communications and development professionals in this community dedicated to academic medicine.
Do you have a professional skill or area of expertise that might be of particular interest to your peers in this community? Are you the “go-to” person at your institution for advice or expertise in a particular subject?
Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to have had the ability to learn how to work with different types of individuals from the tough chairs, the stubborn researcher or the "show me the data" finance team. Finding creative ways to have difficult conversations or challenging conversations is the role we have to play in our industry, and I am often asked for advice on how to approach difficult conversations. Above all, we are selling an idea and I bring expertise on how to make the pitch while helping others to understand the value and rationale of the approach. I also have a proven background in branding and how to help your brand connect with audiences whether that be physicians, patients, students, faculty or employees.
What should people in the virtual community contact you about?
I am excited to meet others in marketing, communications or advancement across other academic medical centers. I recently shifted to just the academic side of medicine after being over both clinical and academic marketing. The opportunity to focus on one health college and to see the impact our organization can provide inside as well as externally has been an honor, but I would love to learn new approaches, new opportunities and to brainstorm creative ideas.
What was the best book you most recently read?
My daughter was diagnosed with a mental health disorder after five years of not knowing her diagnosis. It has been a challenging time as a mother and in my ability to truly separate work from life. In fact, it has made me grow to be a more empathetic and compassionate leader and person. The best book I recently read was called Stop Walking on Eggshells by Paul T. Mason. This book gave me perspective and validated my feelings, which is so important to not only be a good leader in academic medicine but also to be a good mother to my daughter.
What’s the best piece of professional advice you have ever received?
The best piece of advice I have received is to say yes to the things that scare you. In our industry, this is so true. Change is inevitable in health care and this everchanging field of medicine. It is what I actually love about the work we do. With change though there is a certain level of trepidation that you can handle what is coming or what is next. My ability to turn the change and that anxiety into purpose is what keeps me moving forward. One foot in front of the other with the mantra challenge accepted!
What’s the worst piece of professional advice you have ever received?
This is also a great question and one I will never forget. In a performance review, I was told that I should stop talking about where I was from. While I thought about that feedback, I really had a hard time with why I should not talk about where I'm from. I had moved 1,000 miles away for a job and where I was from and where I used to work were a part of my experience and who I was as a person. It seemed a little critical and not quite the work environment that fostered growth or inclusiveness. As a hardworking employee, I needed to feel like I belong and can contribute. I am more than just a nodding head. From that point forward, I was left with a very different feeling and have used that to foster a team of respect, compassion, empathy and trust. If people feel like they are valued, the work, the effectiveness and the productivity will happen because they want to do a good job for a company that makes them feel wanted.
What do you think is the best, most challenging, or most unique thing about working in academic medicine?
The best part of working in academic medicine is definitely the patient stories. It is so rewarding to see the gratitude of a patient and their loved ones for what a clinician researcher was able to do for them. The nerdy side of me loves the fact that we can share how the science and the research really helped them and provided lifesaving options for someone to live. There is nothing better!
What do you hope to gain from this online community?
I hope to gain new connections and new friends who are in the trenches with us every day. I hope to learn, grow and be inspired.
How do you prefer to start your day?
I prefer to start my day catching up. I'm in constant meetings making decisions so the ability for me to control my morning is essential.
How do you prefer to end your day?
Wine. Just kidding. I prefer to end my day with husband and maybe one, two or three of my many animals.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about your position?
The biggest misconception is probably that I have all of the answers. I never want to be in a position where I stop learning and stop growing as a person.
You’re throwing a dinner party and can invite 3 people (alive or dead).
1. Aretha Franklin for the music.
2. Matthew McConaughey for the storytelling to entertain guests.
3. Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails to add a dark, mysterious element to keep it interesting.
How did you maintain your wellness and resilience during the pandemic? Any tips to share with others?
My family and friends. We kept our circle small, but I love my husband and twins. It was such a surreal experience, but it just made me love all of them that much more.
You live/work in Hershey, Pennsylvania. What’s your favorite restaurant there? Is there something special we should check out next time we visit?
First, chocolate is a must. You will have the best chocolate martinis ever in Hershey. The something special are the people. It is the most pleasant, welcoming community.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An astronaut. I'm pretty sure it was because I watched Space Camp (yes, I am dating myself.)
What do you do to turn things around when you’re having a bad day?
Breathe. What else can you do but control the things you can control. Yourself.
If you could only have three apps on your smartphone, which would you pick?
2. Giant (a lifesaver for grocery shopping without having to go in the store and make bad choices)
Do you have pets?
I have a whole zoo! I have two dogs – Charlie and Ollie. Six (yes, six) cats – Lulu is the oldest, Luna and Wren are brother and sister and were found in a dumpster, so we took them in; Henry is a kitten my daughter found in the parking lot of McDonalds; and Mabel May and Theo who are my daughter's kittens from college that are now at my house. I should add that all but Charlie were brought home by my daughter!
Say “hello” to Stacy here in the community! Feel free to post any questions you have for her in this blog post, or direct messages via the community as also a great way to connect.
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