Introduction

Meet Caitlin Perna, QIP Research Associate and Administrative Systems Coordinator

Meet Caitlin Perna, QIP Research Associate and Administrative Systems Coordinator

CAITLIN PERNA, QIP RESEARCH ASSOCIATE AND ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEMS COORDINATOR

Caitlin Perna, Research Associate and Administrative Systems Coordinator for QIP, considers herself a “Jill of all trades” when it comes to her work for the company.

Her responsibilities include organizing internal events, such as staff retreats; running QIP’s quarterly staff meetings; managing QIP’s teleconference systems; and managing Asana, the web/mobile application the company uses for project management.

“I'm a very hard worker and I like a lot of variety, so I can't just be doing the same thing every day,” Caitlin said.

Planning events is one of her favorite parts of her job.

“I always like planning breakout stuff, fun games, and things for us to do to remember that we're not just coworkers, we're also humans that want to belong and feel good,” she said. “I really enjoy adding that element into what we do.”

Caitlin considers boosting morale and bringing people together within the company an integral part of her job.

She has seen her role change and expand since she started at QIP in March 2019. Now, in addition to her administrative work, she is part of QIP’s team that supports the National Forum on Education Statistics, managing the website changes and member listservs, as well as communicating with members about important federal releases.

“It's not very often that you work for a company where they see your value and your skill set, and then they actually offer you the tools to be able to do that,” Caitlin said.

She said support from her supervisors is one of the major benefits of working at QIP.

“Everybody is always open to suggestions and new things, trying to recalibrate, hearing that feedback, and then actually putting it into action,” she said.

As a mother of two, one of whom is autistic, autism advocacy has become important to Caitlin. She said there are many misconceptions about autistic people in our society.

“They’re very capable people,” she said. “I think that it's more of society needing to be more open and accepting about people's different abilities as opposed to the other way around.”

Caitlin also recently took up basket weaving. Her grandmother was of the Cahuilla tribe, part of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians in Southern California.

“I'm becoming more educated in our family's history and picking up some cultural practices to remember her and to learn more about my ancestry,” she said.

Caitlin’s work experience includes account management at a software company and operations management for a sports merchandise company. She earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing, with a minor in international business, from Virginia Tech.

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