Next in our line-up of Staff Snapshots is our Strategic Technical Associate, Scott Movens!
So let’s begin, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Sure thing! I’m originally from Cleveland, Ohio, which is actually a pretty awesome place despite what everyone thinks. No, I don’t care too much that Lebron James left except for a few tears every night, and yes, I’ve seen the 30 Rock episode. I went to school at Emory University and majored in International Politics and Religion, focusing mostly on cognitive science of religion and religious violence. Now I pretty much just try to take advantage of everything DC has to offer, bake ridiculous amounts of artisan bread, make cheese, and cook way too much food.
Yum. We’ll note, for the record, that you do share, and generously. Besides cooking and enjoying the city, what brought you to the DC Metro Area?
I actually came to DC to work for a lobbying firm, but that ended up not really being my thing and I pretty much hated it. I really loved being in DC, though, so I decided I definitely wanted to stay in the area and find another job here.
True, Capitol Hill can definitely be…a different world. So is that what brought you to Saylor?
Well, yes. After I decided that schmoozing politicians and government officials all day wasn’t my dream job, I saw a job posting to be a research assistant at Saylor. To be completely honest, I never really thought that I would pursue a career in education, but I was taking a few online courses at the time and loved them so I thought I’d give it a shot. I ended up loving it and becoming extremely interested in the Ed Tech space, so it was a perfect match.
We’re also glad that you ended up here! What’s your typical day like?
I’m the Strategic Technical Associate at Saylor, which essentially means that I’m in charge of all of the technology-related projects we have going on here. A typical day involves thinking of cool new technologies that we can take advantage of to create better courses, figuring out how to best adapt our current technologies to our needs, and implementing them accordingly. I’m sure everyone will hear about some great projects we have going on soon enough! I’m probably not allowed to give out any inside information, so I definitely can’t say that we’re planning on creating a much more engaging and interactive website and releasing an innovative mobile app in the coming months.
So we’ve got a few secrets, to be revealed soon. Way to keep a lid on it! While the public waits, any courses that you would like to recommend?
Definitely CS101. I took that course when I first started doing tech projects for the Saylor Foundation a while ago, so it has a special place in my heart.
Shall we move onto the fun questions? We picked a couple techy ones just for you.
If you were sent to live on a space station for three months and were only allowed to bring three personal items with you, what would they be?
Hmmm, this is a tough one. First would be a laptop, as apparently they have internet in space and I listen to music for probably 12 hours a day, so that’s definitely necessary. Then I could also take Saylor courses, obviously. I’m just going to go ahead and assume that a fully stocked kitchen and everything to make it function in space counts as one personal item, so that’s number two — with ingredients for anything I want to make included. Lastly, I’d probably bring a corgi, because they’re awesome. And no, I don’t own one yet, but I’d get one to bring to space.
The first corgi in space? It has a nice ring to it. Would you be willing to squeeze a particular book or movie into that rocketship?
I just re-watched the best movie ever made for about the 40th time – Synecdoche, New York – so definitely that. It’s insanely creative and original and is both the funniest and most depressing move ever. Literally every minute of the movie adds meaning to the film and I learn something new every time I watch it. If you ask anyone who knows me they’ll tell you I have an unhealthy obsession with this movie, but it’s justified! It’s on plenty of critics’ top 10 movie ever lists, I swear!
We’ll take your word for it! Is there a certain meal that you prefer to cook?
This is impossible to decide as I pretty much blend them all together, although not by choice. I usually end up making about seven times as much food as I need for dinner, along with three extra loaves of bread, so I end up eating whatever I make for every meal for the next week or so. This last week was seafood soup and crusty sourdough bread and baguettes for 12 straight meals, but it was delicious so I can’t complain.
And, last but not least, what’s your message to the people?
You’re all awesome.