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Q&A with G&E and Cancer Biology Program Manager Amy Carter

July 01, 2022 By: Emily Rech/MD Anderson UTHealth Houston Graduate School

Q&A with G&E and Cancer Biology Program Manager Amy Carter

Amy Carter has been a part of the GSBS staff since 2017, and has contributed to the success of our students since she joined the team. The following Q&A highlights Carter’s current role, personal history, and excitement for the future of the GSBS.

What is your current title and program, and what do you do on the day-to-day?

My current title is program manager and I support the Genetics & Epigenetics program. I also will support the Cancer Biology program in the interim while we interview candidates to backfill the program coordinator position. 

I serve as the first-point of contact for program faculty and students on program-specific policies, procedures, activities and engagement opportunities.  I work with the program directors to develop the annual program budget and advise them on all aspects of leading the program.  I schedule, develop agendas, and record meeting minutes for program meetings such as steering committee meetings, student/director meetings and program faculty meetings. 

I also handle all aspects of event coordination from conception to completion. These events and activities include; annual program retreats, student seminar series, orientation and visitation events, and social networking and career development activities.  I process awards such as travel awards, handle new faculty membership applications and maintain the program desk manual.  I also maintain program communications such as manage content for the program website, produce program brochures and newsletters, and manage publicity for program activities, awards meetings and all other program affairs. 

Are there any special projects coming up that you’re working on?

For the G&E program, there are several initiatives that I will be involved in planning and implementing, with one example being the annual G&E newsletter.  I will work with the 2022 G&E newsletter committee comprised of five students and one faculty advisor to gather historical data, pictures, and provide editorial advisory assistance. 

We are also busy planning our 2022 G&E fall retreat which will be held in Galveston, Texas on November 4-5. In addition, we are working on planning summer activities and orientation events, as well as planning for the next arts showcase in conjunction with the Neuroscience program.

What most excites you about working at the GSBS?

The most exciting part of being at the GSBS is working with and supporting our wonderful graduate students.  It is invigorating to work with such talented, intelligent and driven people!  Helping in whatever way I can to make their graduate school experience as enriched as it can be is what keeps me excited about being at the GSBS.

Another exciting part is working with the GSBS staff.  We all really work as such a cohesive group who all have the same mission; to make sure all students are well cared for.

What does your professional background look like?

Prior to joining the GSBS, I worked in the MD Anderson Cancer Center Biostatistics Department for three years, and supported the Quantitative Sciences program for two of those years. Previously, I worked in HR management in the software industry and administration for a landscape architecture firm. I earned my BS in psychology from Ball State University.

Do you have a fun hobby you enjoy doing outside of work?

Outside of work, I enjoy oil painting with a focus on landscapes and animals.  I love traveling, especially to the outdoors and hiking trails. I recently enjoyed hikes in the El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico and in Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Canyon, Texas. I also love hanging out with the most fun person that I know, my seven-year-old daughter, Madi.

What skills in your skillset do you find most valuable in your work?

I think being agile and maintaining a desire to learn has served me well in my roles at the GSBS. Supporting GSBS graduate programs allows me to wear many hats and learn new skills as I go.  This makes every day a little different which adds to the excitement of my role.

If you require assistance in navigating the Genetics & Epigenetics program or the Cancer Biology program, please feel free to reach out to Amy Carter with any questions or concerns—and if you see her in passing, don’t forget to say hi!

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