My name is Stephani Wilkes. My mission is to empower others in their pursuits of knowledge by providing guides, resources, and emotional support.
I am insatiably curious about the human condition. Learning and disseminating information is my most time-consuming hobby. In my free time, I enjoy conducting independent research, having civilized debates, listening to others’ life experiences, reading countless articles, and searching for answers to random questions. Although I am interested in a variety of topics, lately I have been particularly obsessed with advances in job seeker resources, alternative uses of common technologies; psychological research and space exploration, as well as personal narrative and research articles that focus on mental health disorders.
Three years ago, I completed my Master of Arts degree in Learning Technologies. Participating in, and completing, that program was the greatest experience of my life. Throughout the program, I focused on alternative uses of technology; specifically, using video games in educational settings.
Two years ago, I started my Mental Health Sabbatical. I have used this time to heal and accept my authentic self. The road to recovery my mental health has been long and arduous. Luckily, in addition to being insatiably curious, I am exceptionally resilient. I am no stranger to adversity; and, I’ve never liked being told what I am and am not capable of accomplishing. It is important, however, to note that my resiliency would not be possible if not for the people I have chosen to surround myself with (my tribe) these last few years. Without them, I can honestly say I would not have survived the worst days. When I fell into the sunken place, they were there to pull me up and out. When moving forward for myself wasn’t enough to give me momentum, they were there to push me forward. They restored my hope, and I will be forever grateful for their unconditional love and kindness.
Currently, I am on the path to rejoining the workforce. With the help of my Case Manager at the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation — as well as my Career Counselor at Eastern Washington University — I have identified a general direction for the next step in my career. I plan to pursue a career in Human Factors Engineering and Ergonomists (source), which is a fancy way to describe an occupation that will allow me to, “design objects, facilities, and environments to optimize human well-being and overall system performance, applying theory, principles, and data regarding the relationship between humans and respective technology (source).”
Even before I completed my graduate degree, I knew I wanted to pursue a career that enabled me to solve relevant, high-impact problems. I love research (obviously), people, and … well … solving problems! As a Technical Writer, I was able to solve problems but they weren’t high-impact. I want to help people, but not by telling them how to do their job correctly. And, although I am passionate about organizing and managing content, I’d rather be organizing and managing content that is being used to improve someone’s life.