5 Minutes with Tyrese Hinkins-Jones

By Stephanie Weiner posted 02-15-2023 08:35:55 AM


Welcome back to another edition of our #MemberSpotlight series. This month, we're excited to introduce the community to @Tyrese Hinkins-Jones, EdS, MEd, the Director of Medical Education Programs at Emory University School of Medicine. If you’re looking for expertise in staff development, staff leadership, staff management, and/or instructional technology – reach out to Tyrese!

If you’re viewing this Member Spotlight as a non-member of the community, won’t you consider joining us?

Let's dive right in and hear what Tyrese has to say.

Do you have a professional skill or area of expertise that might be of particular interest to your peers in this community?

I am a champion for staff professionals and educators working in medical education. I have recently successfully submitted (along with other staff professionals) a proposal to create a new section of the AAMC’s Group on Educational Affairs (GEA) called S.P.A.C.E. This acronym stands for Staff Professionals Across the Continuum of Education and will be launched this year. 

Did you have an unusual path to your current career? Tell us about it.

I don’t think of it as unusual, but instead as a natural progression. I started as an academic advisor for adults seeking advanced degrees, a recruiter for adults seeking advanced degrees in rural areas, a testing coordinator and supervisor for academic and student affairs, a coordinator and trainer for academic and student affairs for all technical colleges in adult education, and then medical education. My experiences have grown me personally/professionally and wouldn’t trade any of them. 

What’s the biggest misconception people have about your position?

That I am the Director of OMESA (Office of Medical Education and Student Affairs), and that I have control over it all!

I have amazing colleagues who direct the many units under OMESA and I am the Director of only ONE of those units. We work together as a team and that seems to be a point of confusion for our outside stakeholders. It sets the tone for unrealistic expectations when that understanding of our structure is not clear.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A nurse like my mom. That changed very quickly when my favorite uncle had a stroke and we became caregivers for him in high school. It takes my mom to tell this story, but my first experience cleaning a trach tube was confirmation that I would never be a nurse. She still laughs at my sister and I today telling this story!

Why do you think engaging in the AAMC Virtual Community is important?

To connect with other staff professionals working in medical education like myself to learn, grow, and collaborate. 

What do you hope to gain from this online community?

To create a SPACE for staff professionals to connect, learn, and grow from and with each other. 

What’s the best piece of professional advice you have ever received? Why?

Lately, I have been intentional about taking my own advice. The most recent advice I gave myself was “in every situation, lead with peace and understanding, with no expectations.” Why? Because if I expend all of my energy with negativity and chaos, I go in depleted. If I go in with peace and understanding, I have space to process and regroup, which gets us closer to solutions. 

A close second is “Lift as you climb!” I have seen great examples of that and my parents instilled that in me! 

What’s the worst piece of professional advice you have ever received? Why?

I was told jokingly to “dim my light to allow others to shine.” We all know behind every joke, there is some truth. I’m of the “Yes, AND…” mentality and believe both can co-exist. I’m not great (have gotten better) about highlighting myself, but I don’t have to dim anything about me to celebrate others! I cheer for EVERYBODY for the WIN! 

What do you think is the best, most challenging, or most unique thing about working in academic medicine (or your field or specialty specifically)?

I believe being a staff professional in medical education is a unique experience in itself. I have always loved the idea of a “mini medical school” for staff professionals to get an appreciation for what our future physicians learn. Making the connection of their learning experiences and how we help shape that in the work we do behind the scenes is a very unique experience. 

Thinking about all conferences, workshops, and webinars you have attended in the last few years, was there a speaker or session topic that stands out as your favorite? Who? Why?

My first time attending Learn Serve Lead (the AAMC Annual Meeting) in 2019, I attended a session about how to use social media (Twitter specifically) to highlight and share the work we do professionally. It opened my eyes to how we can use our platforms for good in the professional space. I wish I could remember the facilitator(s) names, but it definitely had an impact on me. I don’t have a blue check or anything like that, but have made great connections with the use of 140 characters (now 280). 

How do you prefer to start your day?

With hugs and kisses from my kiddos and some hot tea with lemon, no sugar. 

How do you prefer to end your day?

With hugs and kisses from my kiddos, Wordscapes and BubbleWitch games on my phone, and the fan ON 365 days of the year!

What do you do to turn things around when you’re having a bad day?

Take a walk or call a trusted family member/friend to vent. And of course, hugs and kisses from those kiddos of mine will turn any bad day around for me!

How did you maintain your wellness and resilience during the pandemic? Any tips to share with others?

We did a lot of family & friends virtual meetings, game nights with the family and going outside for fresh air.

The one tip I would share is being thankful. Many did not make it and the fact that we are blessed with the gift of life is something to be thankful for.

You’re throwing a dinner party and can invite 3 people (alive or dead). Who do you invite?

My grandmother, Michael Jackson or Prince, and my son.

What was the best book you most recently read (or TV show/movie) that you watched?

The last book I read was “Disruptive Classroom Technologies: A Framework for Innovation in Education” by Dr. Sonny Magana

If you could only have three apps on your smartphone, which would you pick?

Wordscapes, Notes, and Calendar

You live/work in the Atlanta area What’s your favorite restaurant there? Is there something special we should check out next time we visit?

I live outside of Atlanta. I don’t really have a favorite, but my family frequents Lazy Dog Restaurant (I believe they have 3 locations now). Check out Ponce City Market and National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

The Lazy Dog Restaurant sounds delicious… but what’s the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?

Cottage Cheese (why is this even a thing?) and chitterlings (YUCK!)

Do you have pets? Please be unashamed in showing us a photo of your adorable pet(s).

Yes! Two dogs named Max and Peanut!


Say “hello” to Tyrese 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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