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Charlene Butler - Living, Learning, and Helping Others to Succeed
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To IT Project Manager, Charlene T. Butler, living is all about continuously learning and encouraging middle school girls to learn through Goddard’s SISTER Program.

Name: Charlene Butler
Title: Information Technology (IT) Project Manager
Formal Job Classification: IT Project Manager
Organization: Code 740, Program Integration and Management Division, Information Technology and Communications Directorate

What do you do and what is most interesting about your role here at Goddard? How do you help support Goddard’s mission?

As an IT Project Manager, I am in charge of the Data at Rest (DAR) Encryption project. DAR encryption software protects the agency’s sensitive information on laptop and desktop machines. I often lead meetings to make sure that we are on track and are addressing any issues. I also give presentations to center management and to various stakeholders.

What makes a good leader?

I’m fortunate to work with a lot of very good people. I think that leading by example makes a good leader. I feel that the leader is part of the team as well and that we are all working towards a common goal. I also believe that communication is extremely important. If we have issues, I bring the appropriate persons together to work through them. Issues and challenges are not bad, but it is important to work together to understand them and then come up with a solution to address them.
Photo of Charlene Butler› Larger image
Photo of Charlene Butler at Goddard. Credit: NASA/W. Hrybyk

What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done as part of your job at Goddard?

By far the coolest thing I do here is participate in Goddard’s outreach programs. As part of Goddard’s Black History and Engineering Week Program, I helped a group of about 50 middle school students build Mars rovers. I also participate in Goddard’s Summer Institute in Science, Technology, Engineering and Research (SISTER) Program, which involves about thirty middle school girls who come to Goddard for a week and meet with different people including our scientists, engineers and senior managers. While at Goddard, I teach them how to create a webpage using HyperText Markup Language (HTML) code. I enjoy sharing a little bit of the information technology that supports the Goddard mission. The content of their webpage is about what they want to do in the future and how they plan to get there.

What makes Goddard a great place to work?

I love the freedom to continuously learn. Goddard helped me obtain my college degrees. My associate and bachelor degrees are in information systems management and my master’s is in management. I have also broadened my experience by working in other organizations on short-term work assignments. There’s an abundance of free, on-center training. I highly recommend that all Goddard employees make time to research and take advantage of the educational opportunities that are available. Living and growing is all about continuously learning. Once you stop learning, you begin to die.

If you weren’t in your current profession, what would you be doing?

I would want to invest in the younger generations because they will have a tremendous impact on what life will be like in the future. I want to help prepare them for their future endeavors. I want share the lessons that I have learned in life that has helped to make me a better person. In addition, I want them to understand the importance of education and continuous learning. So, I definitely would want to work in a career where I could interact and support the younger generations.

Do you have a favorite way or place to kick back, relax, or have fun?

I love to worship God through liturgical dance, which enhances a praise or worship song by adding movement and expressions to convey the message in the song. Our dance group ministers messages to edify the congregation.

Are you a reader?

Yes, I love to read. I like reading religious books, like Joyce Myer’s books. I also like reading “Did You Know” books to learn about new things. My favorite poem is: “Good, better, best. Never let it rest, until you’re good is better, and your better is best.”

There is always something more we can learn to become a better person so strive to become the best you that you can be.

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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD