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Sophie Gladding2013 Rising Alumni

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As a result of her doctoral studies, Sophie Gladding changed careers and is now focused on the development of a competency-based curriculum in global child health. She has received teaching awards from Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University.


Assistant Professor and Director of Evaluation, Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine
Medical School, University of Minnesota

Who has inspired you the most during your career?

My teacher for first, second, and third grades. She was wonderful, creative, and innovative. She encouraged curiosity, investigation, and the fun in learning that I continue to benefit from every day. I have experienced the difference that a great teacher can make.

If you could have coffee with anyone from history, who would it be?

Charles Darwin. I would like to ask him about how he maintained his openness to new ideas and how he persisted in his pursuit of understanding.

What skills are important to succeed as a young professional today?

Communication skills are critical, especially for evaluators who are often working in many different content areas and contexts. The ability to listen and ask good questions is key to being able to understand the needs of the people with whom you are working. Working collaboratively is also important, as projects are improved through the inclusion of different perspectives and experiences.

What is a good book you would recommend to others?

River Town by Peter Hessler. It is a Peace Corps memoir that at its heart is a wonderful account of a teacher and his students.

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

A librarian. I made Dewey decimal labels and check out cards for all of my books and issued library cards to my stuffed animals.

What was the impact and benefit of your experience in CEHD?

I use the research and evaluation skills that I learned every day at work. I often return to Stuart Yeh’s work in research design, Michael Rodriguez’s measurement instruction, and all of my statistics courses. My experience in CEHD has had an enormous impact on my career.