Dalila Brooks - Talks the Talk and Walks the Walk
Creative Services Branch Manager Dalila Brooks may not always wear designer shoes, but she has walked in the shoes of the designers on her team.
Name: Dalila Brooks
Title: Creative Services Branch Manager
Formal Job Classification: Same
Organization: Code 271, Technical Information Management Services Branch, Management Operations Division
What do you do and what is most interesting about your role here at Goddard? How do you help support Goddard’s mission?
Specifically, I manage the Center’s creative services group, the audio visual services team, and management services support. Our goal is to tell Goddard’s stories by translating complicated scientific or technical information into information, both oral and visual, that is easily understood by the general public. I am a manager but view myself as a facilitator of people. I work with people, identify their strengths, and help them develop and support each other.
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Dalila Brooks outside the office where she works at Goddard. Credit: NASA/W. Hrybyk
I have a BA in psychology, an MA in digital art, and have studied film directing so my background allows me to relate to my team. I have been in their shoes, so I’m able to help them move forward in a way that will benefit their project and their personal growth.
Often, people who visit our designers’ suite wonder why it is so dark. Many of us prefer to work in the dark to avoid glare. Everyone has their own way of getting motivated which is why our designers’ suite looks unusual. Our people get inspired by surrounding themselves with things that they love which is why you may see Star Wars paraphernalia as well as Snoopy and Indiana Jones® posters in our work area.
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Dalila Brooks with some of the "i am goddard" team. Dalila is on the far right. Credit: W. Hrybyk
|What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done as part of your job at Goddard?|
Without a doubt, the coolest project I have worked on is the ongoing “i am goddard” campaign. It’s a celebration of the many individual contributions that make Goddard successful. The best part was the development phase where practically everyone on our team worked together offering unique ideas, which is exactly what this project is all about.
If you were featured on “i am goddard,” what thought would you like to have in your feature?
It’s important to recognize that everyone can make a difference at Goddard. When you treat others the way you want to be treated, you become a responsible part of the environment that you’ve helped to foster and one based on mutual respect and acceptance of diverse contributions. By stretching your knowledge, skills, and personal networks, you will not only
share the information you’ve learned, but also provide helpful perspectives to others. By being open about your career goals and telling everyone your strengths and interests, you will feel good about what you contribute. Anybody can be a leader no matter what position you hold. Simply being open minded and having consideration will allow you to lead by example.
As someone who has been here four years, what lessons or words of wisdom would you pass along to somebody just starting their career at Goddard?
I would tell new hires, or anyone for that matter, to transcend traditional thought. Once you come up with a creative idea, keep letting everyone know about it. Believe in your idea and don’t give up. Be open to listening to other perspectives; hear their ideas and ask questions. Sometimes soft voices offer valuable perspectives. Sometimes merging two very different voices makes the best solution. That’s creativity.
Is there something surprising about you, your hobbies, interests, activities outside of work that people do not generally know?
I love cycling. Some years ago, I biked 330 miles in four days in an AIDS charity event. That was a super intense combination of biking, camping, and perseverance.
Do you have a favorite way or place to kick back, relax, or have fun?
For me, relaxing means spending time near water or trees with a view of the sky. I love hearing nature’s song and story..
Is there someplace in the world that you want to visit or someplace you have been and want to go back?
I feel like I’ve been everywhere already. I recently visited family in London and then attended an International Women’s Conference in India.
› More Conversations With Goddard profiles
Elizabeth M. Jarrell
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.