Caption: Sacha having fun on ‘school picture day.’
About Sacha’s Work
What career development services and support do you offer students and how can they access them?
As the associate director of career development and cultural inclusion, I am committed to student success with a strong focus on students matching into residency. In addition to the services lead advisors already provide, I support students by providing detailed CV assistance, personal statement and noteworthy characteristic reviews, and one-on-one mock interviews. I am also here to help students build cultural competencies. I do this by working with Diversity Affairs to host events that promote cultural inclusion and cultural professionalism. Overall, I hope to help each IU School of Medicine student better understand who they are in order to make the best career decisions that fit their skills, personality and life goals. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that reflecting and understanding oneself can positively impact career decisions and interacting with others (i.e. interviewing for residency, interactions with colleagues, etc). Through the services I provide, I allow students the space for self-reflection and the ability to practice how to present themselves in a professional setting.
What are the top career mentoring resources and tips you want students to know about.
While I am excited about all the resources that the Career Development Office provides, I am especially excited about the Career Development Office website updates on the MedNet student portal. We have worked hard to make sure pertinent information is available to students no matter which phase or the campus they are in. We are also working hard to make sure connecting with a mentor is an easy process, and that all career mentors are responsive to student needs.
What do you like best about your job and working with IU School of Medicine?
I really enjoy getting to know students and working with the IU School of Medicine Medical Education Team. Firstly, my passion is to support students and help them reach success goals. I am interested in the different paths students walk and how their backgrounds impact overall growth and development. The medical school experience is such a unique one, so it is great to be a support system to students in this environment. Then there is the Medical Student Education team. Everyone has been so welcoming, and you can tell everyone is passionate about student development and success. When everyone cares so much about providing the best service, it makes the job much easier.
What are your goals for career mentoring with IU School of Medicine?
- That students at all nine campuses recognize me by name and know that Dr. Rusk and I are available to them for assistance with career-related goals.
- That career mentors are equipped with the resources required to provide high quality mentoring to all students.
- That all students match in a residency program of their first specialty choice.
Any exciting changes or developments in progress that students should know about?
As previously mentioned, the career development pages were recently updated and are useful to students in all phases at all campuses. I am also excited about student interest group (SIG) specialty cluster events. We now have three SIG clusters (primary care, hospital-based, and surgery) that were created to assist medical students with career exploration. The cluster student representatives are amazing and innovative, so we have some great programs coming up. We update the medicine.iu.edu/events calendar with all our events so keep an eye out!
Tell us a little bit about you and your background.
I’m a doctoral candidate in educational leadership and policy studies with an emphasis in higher education and student affairs at Indiana University. I also hold a Master of Arts in education and human development from the George Washington University. Born in Arkansas and raised in the south, I consider myself a military kid who loves building relationships and meeting new people. I’m currently involved with the IU School of Medicine Diversity Council, the IU School of Medicine Ad-Hoc Committee on Student Success, and work as a research associate for the National Institute for Transformation and Equity. My research interests include student development in higher education, retention interventions for minoritized student populations, social media and identity, and I am especially interested in the experiences of black women. I live in southern Broad ripple with my husband, two daughters (Nora and Nadya), and dog Margo.
What’s your educational training?
I am currently working on my doctoral dissertation, which focuses on how black undergraduate women use social media for self-expression. Additionally, I hope to better understand the artifacts black women produce on social media and I want to explore how those artifacts contribute to reclamation and representation for black women. I hope have my dissertation completed in the next two years (hold me accountable!), and want to expand my research to focus on black women in medicine.
Outside of work, what are your hobbies and interests?
I enjoy singing/music, I was originally a music major in undergrad, but changed it to have a stronger focus on education. I also enjoy movies/TV. More specifically, I like to binge on Netflix. I am really into SyFy shows at the moment.
What else would you like IU School of Medicine faculty, staff and students to know about you?
I recently gave birth to my second child, Nadya. She is such a joy and it is because of her and her sister Nora that I do my research and work as hard as I do.