Spotlight on Emily Hagan-Howe ’15

Meet UVM Career Center’s fantabulous Marketing Manager, Emily Hagan-Howe, who works passionately behind the scenes as part of our Operations Team. Her creativity and vision with digital and social media communications keep UVM students and alums well-connected to our career-oriented resources. In fact, her encouragement and talent have been instrumental in helping the Health Professions Interest Group (HPIG) successfully launch The Steady Pulse.  

Emily (she/her & they/them) is pictured above with her wife, Christa Hagan-Howe (she/her), a Diversity Educator in the Center for Cultural Pluralism at UVM. The precious bundle in Em’s arms is Rowan, whom they welcomed to the world on 11/11/20! The family’s recent experience at UVM Medical Center has inspired Emily to share some of her own words of wisdom with all of you who aspire to become health professionals.  

We met the most amazing UVM Medical Center nurses, midwives, LNAs, fetal medicine doctors, medical students, residents, physician assistants, anesthesiologists, and lactation consultants during our time at the hospital. Their collaboration was amazing to watch– so many different skill sets and training backgrounds coming together to keep us safe, educate us about newborns, and ultimately take care of our family. I was deeply moved by the authenticity of our interactions and their genuine care for all three members of our family – throughout our labor, delivery, and recovery process, and during our son’s brief stay at the NICU. Their commitment to celebrating the shape of our family as a queer couple was also significant and helped me feel at ease as the non-gestational parent of our child. 

I share this both to underscore that we were connected to many kinds of providers each of whom played a key role in our care, and to encourage current students and recent alums to celebrate the interconnectedness of different careers in healthcare. And please know the world of a difference that your smile, patience, and transparency can make. I also hope to encourage UVM students to be brave in their clinicals; have the courage to ask questions, make a mistake and then ask how to do it better next time if appropriate, and get to know your patients if they seem open to chatting!  

A Proud Catamount: 

As an undergrad, Emily earned dual degrees (BS, Education; BA, History) and was an Honors College Scholar. A memorable course was American Sign Language, where the kinesthetic style of learning and physicality and beauty of the language inspired (and continues to inspire) her. Emily’s experience as a TA for a D1 course informed her thesis, which centered on peer social justice education.   

Service and social justice defined her engagement as an undergrad, particularly through involvement with Alternative Spring Break and Alpha Phi Omega (co-ed service fraternity). As a junior, she was the recipient of the Vermont Campus Compact Engaged Student Award. Participation in the Examining White Identity Retreat as an undergrad was transformative for Emily, and after graduation, she transitioned from participant to retreat organizer and facilitator. Emily shares, “Unpacking my racial identity as a white person and working towards anti-racism through dialogue, reflection, and action has been critical to my own growth, and facilitating those experiences for our students has been so meaningful to me.” 

Emily has worked as a UVM staff member ever since graduating in 2015. Her first role was as the office manager for UVM’s Office of Student & Community Relations, using her people-skills to help build community between off-campus students and their neighbors. She appreciates OSCR’s embrace of restorative practices.  We at the Career Center feel incredibly fortunate that Emily joined our team in 2018 where she adds value to every aspect of our work.  Emily is also a part-time student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration (HESA) program, working toward her M.Ed. in Higher Education. 

Life Outside of Work   

Emily loves to craft, working mainly on textile and fiber arts projects (hand quilting, knitting, embroidery). She listens to a wide diversity of podcasts.  Hanging with her wife and the family pup, Annabelle, is a constant source of joy. Of course, right now, new parenthood – despite its inevitable sleep deprivation – is transforming her daily life in exciting ways. Somehow, she found the time to offer these reflections about her son and the goals she has for herself in this new role: 

am so in awe of this tiny human and his resilience. As a parent, I hope that I can create an environment in which he has the freedom to explore the world and who he is, express himself and his own ideas, and build a community of love and support through connections with friends and family. In time, I hope to teach him about the power of vulnerability, the importance of speaking his truth, and the awe-inspiring courage it takes to be intentional in giving and receiving love.”  

Supporting Pre-Health Students/Alums  

Although not a healthcare professional herself, Emily has a pretty clear vision of what it takes to be one and the importance of being an excellent one.  Her grandmother was a social worker in the Rhode Island State government who championed healthcare policy for older adults; both Emily’s and Christa’s moms are nurse practitioners, and her mom continues to practice as a cardiology NP, caring for patients on an inpatient cardiology service in Rhode Island. Emily’s brother earned an MD/PhD in May from UT Houston and is now a psychiatry resident at Brown University.  

Emily is deeply committed to supporting all UVM students/alums as they seek out paths to impactful careers, and she is eager to continue to support UVM’s pre-health community.  The HPIG community is lucky to have her on our team. 

Congratulations, Emily & Christa on the birth of your beautiful son! 

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