Rebecca, let’s start by you sharing why Blueprint 1543? Why did you co-found this organization?
Everything we do at Blueprint is characterized by designing meaningful connections that change the world. I love doing work that connects people and ideas in fresh, new, and creative ways. Combining a positive, focused, big picture vision – to increase the number of Christians making key contributions in the sciences – with our mission – to integrate Christian theology and the sciences to answer life’s biggest questions – is something I can get really excited about.
What personal story drives you in this work?
I was drawn toward the sciences as a kid, and in sixth grade, I went to Space Camp. I loved every minute of the experience, and it encouraged me in my (then) goal of becoming an astronaut. I do however remember distinctly how I felt like I stood out like a sore thumb. I was one of only two girls on “Team Saturn,” and the two of us stayed up late every night talking about what it would be like to be the first woman in space.
Now I want to do what I can to cast a positive vision for people of faith, and for women of faith, that we have an important role to play in the world because of who we are and how we think. I often wonder, how do people of faith simply ask different questions because of the way we uniquely see the world? What unique opportunities do we see for using the sciences because of our own personal understanding of the purpose of the world?
I love that now I get to play a small role in changing the larger landscape for the future of believers making contributions to life’s biggest questions.
What are you excited about?
I’m excited because I think the combination of our positive vision, practical focus, and unique emphasis on equipping and “theologically robustifying” scientists has the potential to be a real game-changer. What if a positive approach to asking and answering very specific questions really did help change the world?
How did you get here? Tell us a little about your background.
My career has been oriented around people development and program design. I started in the student development side of higher education, trained as a leadership coach, and transitioned to the business of higher education and research. I currently combine all those pieces of my background to help design intentional and meaningful connections for researchers, whether in project development coaching and consultations or designing and facilitating events.
But, my favorite job just may have been when I was a barista in a coffee shop in college because I got paid to talk to people all day long, and to make cool drinks that made people happy. I’ve also been a tutor, involved in radio, a dance teacher, worked in a call center, done an internship at the state police forensic crime lab, been a hotel housekeeper, and made copies in a legal office.
What else makes you who you are today?
I’m super extroverted and so I love being surrounded by community. I enjoy running and dancing, and have done those activities from childhood through to adulthood.
Okay, what about some pop culture. What’s a favorite line from a movie?
My team constantly shakes their head when I talk about my favorite movies, but one of my all-time favorite movies really is, Hitch, starring Will Smith. In the opening sequence Smith’s character, Hitch, says, “begin every day as if it’s on purpose.” I’ve had that line posted on the wall in my office for 15 years because it’s a constant reminder that our lives are made up of a series of individual days. Those seemingly insignificant little days are what actually matter. They add up, and who we are and how we show up each day is what matters.