portrait of via baker

Interviewer: What is your name?

Via: Via Baker 

Interviewer: What is your position at CSA?

Via: Technology Services Manager

Interviewer: What does that position entail?

Via: A little bit of many different things, which suits me well. My primary responsibilities are most easily described as tech support and data management, but I also support other departments on an as-needed basis. There is never a dull day and always something new for me to learn!

Interviewer: How did you become a part of CSA?

Via: After spending about a decade in experimental archaeology and retail, I decided it was time for a change. I happened to know Teresa Roberts, and we found that I was a good fit for science and math alignment projects due to my archaeological training. Eventually, I became a regular employee in the Alignment department, and I moved to the Resource Manager position at the beginning of 2022.

Interviewer: What is the best part of your job?

Via: Fixing things, solving problems, and designing and building systems that make peoples’ jobs easier. I get an immense amount of satisfaction out of taking something that’s not working well (or sometimes not working at all!), figuring out what’s wrong, and turning it into something that works smoothly and efficiently.

Interviewer: What do you wish people knew about your work at CSA?

Via: That it exists! The Operations team has done a lot to improve our internal systems and processes, but we are always looking for ideas on how we can make things better.

Interviewer: What do you wish schools focused on more in terms of education and why? 

Via: I wish that schools focused more on 1) fostering a love of learning and genuine curiosity about the world, and 2) supporting students in developing the fundamental skills needed to satisfy that curiosity, including critical thinking and data analysis. I don’t think it matters whether that curiosity is expressed through becoming a plumber or a particle physicist; the important thing is that we foster its existence, because it is one of the fundamental parts of what makes us human.

Interviewer: What are three interesting facts about you?

Via: 1) I am absolutely fascinated by the chemistry of cooking, and love figuring out how to modify baking recipes to be wheat-free so that my partner can eat them. 2) I once collaborated with some of my experimental archaeology colleagues to steal Colin Renfrew’s chair at a conference party. The look of bafflement on his face was one of the highlights of my year in the UK. 3) I am a storm spotter and emergency management volunteer for my community (best described as being a “second responder”: we get called out when the first responders need extra support with things like traffic control around an emergency scene).

Click here to learn more about Via!

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