What do you do and what is most interesting about your role here at Goddard? What is the most exciting part about your job?
I play the role of internal researcher in the Organizational Capability Office. I come up with studies and analyses of human capital programs and make recommendations about the way we do our work.
The most exciting part of my job is when I have the opportunity to explain my research to an audience that is not familiar with Industrial Organizational Psychology. I feed off the opportunity to influence and guide important decisions, and back recommendations up with supporting research.
Why did you choose your profession?
I’ve always been interested in human behavior and, more specifically, how and why people make decisions.
What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done at Goddard?
Photo of Benjamin Slade. Credit: Jesse von Fange
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Ben Slade catches a score for Clemson University against the University of Georgia in a recent ultimate game. Credit: Jesse von Fange
Do you have a mentor or are you a mentor? If so, please tell us the most important advice you gave or learned?
Laura Cochran in human capital is my mentor. When Laura initially hired me as a summer intern, she connected me with the right people and opportunities to gain a full-time position. What makes Laura different from the types of mentors I’ve had is that she’s done a great job at helping me meet people that are asking similar questions. Without her, I would have struggled to find an appropriate context for my work, and had a much harder time making connections with colleagues at other NASA centers.
If you weren’t in your current profession, what would you be doing?
I probably would be living in a university town as a professor teaching psychology, statistics or business courses and coaching ultimate in my spare time. I’d also like to try my hand as a landlord, renting out 3 or 4 homes to students.
Is there something surprising about your background that people do not generally know?
I’m a huge fan of ultimate Frisbee® and have been involved in the sport as a player, coach, and organizer for almost 10 years. After my college playing career ended, I had the opportunity to oversee the recruitment, selection, and training of over 75 players on Clemson’s men’s ultimate teams. I loved serving as a mentor