Katease Devaughn - Meeting Arranger to the Movers and Shakers
Video Conference Coordinator Katease DeVaughn arranges meetings with everyone from President Obama to Goddard’s Nobel Laureate.
Video Conference Coordinator
Organization She Works For:
Code 271, Technical Information Management Services Division, Management Operations Directorate
What is most interesting about your role here at Goddard?
I arrange, schedule, and provide technical support, including special security arrangements, for all video conferences on Center. I am the primary point of contact for NASA’s bridging services based at Marshall Space Flight Center and responsible for the main conference rooms in Building 8 and in other buildings on Center. Sometimes we have simultaneous videoconferences in different locations and I am responsible for ensuring that any technical issues are resolved.
What makes my job so interesting is that I am always dealing with different time zones, which can be 10 or 12 hours apart from ours. I also have to work with whatever different language my counterpart may be speaking, be it Russian, Hindi, or French. My counterpart may have a translator, but often I must simply listen very carefully. We have to learn to work as a team despite time differences, language barriers, and cultural backgrounds, which requires flexibility and patience. Each of us must adjust our work schedules to accommodate the meeting. I have arrived as early as 5:00 a.m. or stayed as late as 6:30 p.m. for our international videoconferences.
What was the most interesting videoconference you arranged?
That would have been between the White House, the Treasury Department, and Matthew Ritsko who had just won the 2011 White House SAVE Award for proposing to create a tool “lending library” for NASA flight projects in December 2011. This was the first time I interacted with personnel from the White House and they were very nice and extremely professional.
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Photo of Katease Devaughn in the video conferencing center. Credit: NASA/W. Hrybyk
Also, I arrange video conferences for Dr. John Mather, including his lectures to students in India on a recurring basis. Dr. Mather tailors his presentation to each event. It is always a learning experience for me when Dr. Mather visits and I look forward to his presentations. Even though I do not have a background in physics, Dr. Mather is such a good teacher that I learn something new from each of his lectures. He delivers his message in such an intriguing and seamless way that you want to hear more.
What lessons or words of wisdom would you pass along to somebody just starting their career at Goddard?
I have been here for three and a half years and I recommend that everyone take advantage of all the free seminars, webinars, and other educational opportunities available and relevant to your field.
What makes Goddard a great place to work?
I believe Goddard is overflowing with charismatic people, which is a rare commodity in the working environment. We are surrounded by a highly diverse group of personalities, but everyone is pleasant which makes my job easier.
Do you have a favorite book, magazine, movie, or TV show?
My favorite movie is “Titanic” because the special effects are astounding and I love the story line. My favorite book is Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” because it teaches you how to positively interact with people on various levels. I also like reality TV shows and my favorite is “Dancing with the Stars.” Reality TV shows are entertaining without the need to analyze every detail.
If you could meet and talk to anybody, living or dead, who would it be and what’s the first thing you’d ask them?
I would like to meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton because I am interested in knowing what motivated her to run for the White House. Perhaps one day we will have a woman president.
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Elizabeth M. Jarrell
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.