In my younger days, I was a well-known library patron. It earned me certain privileges: I never needed to bring my library card, and I had my own box behind the checkout desk to store all of my interlibrary loan requests. Growing up, my parents encouraged me to explore my interests, hoping that by the time I began applying to colleges, I’d have a career path in mind. My mother figured that the library was the best place to cultivate an interest in learning. She was right.
Some weeks, I was there every day, discovering new worlds in fiction and exploring nonfiction by making my way through the Dewey decimal system. While my friends found the answers to their homework just a click away, my first impulse was the reference section of the library. At one point, I could recite the Dewey call number for each American war and could even tell you where to find information on most mammals. During the summers, instead of vacationing on Cape Cod like many of my friends, I spent my time discovering exotic new locations by perusing the library’s travel section.
By the time I was in high school, I couldn’t imagine life without being involved in the world of books. Naturally, my first job was as a library page. Going forward, publishing seemed the best opportunity to stay close to my passion, so that was my compass in the college-seeking process.
While at Emerson College earning my bachelor of fine arts in Writing, Literature & Publishing with a minor in science, I began interning at PSG. It was the perfect place to combine my interest in publishing with my love of pedagogy. I had also been aware of educational industry news from my time in high school spent as the student representative to my town’s school committee. Spending my days writing blog posts on issues relating to educational publishing, proofreading math assessment items and working with members of our sales team on acquiring new work seemed too good to be true. I couldn’t imagine parting with the PSG team after my internship, and I guess they felt the same about me; while I finished my degree, I found myself balancing a part-time job at PSG as an editorial assistant and later as an assistant project manager. Two years after my internship, I became a junior project manager.
At PSG, I’ve had the opportunity to work on numerous projects, including Spanish translations, teacher training manuals, math and science textbook series, and assessment items aligned to TEKS, CCSS and NGSS. PSG is my dream job because it reminds me of being at the library. Every day, I immerse myself in something new and face what seems a limitless opportunity to learn new skills, subject matter and techniques.
I’ve always had a near-obsessive need for organization—one look at my closet is proof enough. As a project manager, my organizational skills are well received, and not just because I use pleasing palettes when I color-code spreadsheets. My inbox holds over 50 folders, most of which are project specific. I keep numerous schedules, one internal and external for each project, and even have a massive combined schedule to keep track of overlapping deadlines. Also known for being a meticulous timekeeper, I track my entire day in 15-minute intervals. This has especially proved handy when I don another role at PSG: the internship coordinator.
Outside of PSG, I volunteer as a director for The Scholarship Foundation of Wakefield (TSF of Wakefield), one of the nation’s largest private scholarship organizations, and I have recently become a Wakefield adult mentor (WAM), working with elementary school children. I am a certified lifeguard and taught swimming lessons to kids aged nine months to fourteen years at the Boys & Girls Club of Woburn, where I was on staff for over six years.
I still retain my status as one of my hometown’s most well-known library patrons, stopping by the library at least a few days a week. And my tastes are as eclectic as ever.
Little Known Facts About Alyssa
In the winter of 2013–14, Alyssa developed cold urticaria, an allergy to cold temperatures. It has not proven very advantageous in the New England climate beyond being excused from shoveling snow.
Alyssa is also known as the office ninja for her tendency to (unintentionally) sneak up on people. It is not a new practice: Alyssa’s ninja skills were once tested while cat sitting when she scaled the side of a house to climb in a window after being locked out.