Get to know Alisha Gourdine and Lavarrick Townes

Left to Right: Alisha Gourdine and Lavarrick Townes

Get to Know Alisha Gourdine, 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Scholar

What is your current role at MUSC? How long have you been with the enterprise?

I am a Program Coordinator for the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Division. I have been with MUSC for 4 years (as of 4/20/19).

How has your participation in the Center for Transformation and Change Master Class program impacted/shaped your development as a leader?

Being in leadership requires constant growth and development. This class has given me the knowledge and insight of how to professionally and appropriately approach potentially confrontational subjects or situations. Education uncovers ignorance and allows us to unveil areas of improvement and potential growth. I am now able to recognize where and how I can be impactful within the MUSC community. It is easy to undervalue yourself when being a part of such a large entity. There is so much that can be done, and one person can’t do it all. But now as a change agent, I can see how my small efforts can have a large impact. I now have the education to be the drop that causes the ripple effect in the still water.

What do the words ‘transformation’ and ‘growth’ mean to you?

Transformation and growth mean to mature physically, mentally, and emotionally. Physically being able to have the courage to stand up for what you believe is right. Mentally having inward reflections and changing thoughts that were based upon unconscious bias or stereotypical information. Uncovering the root of emotions that have caused abnormal or extreme reactions.

Outside of work, what are some of your interests/hobbies and how have the skills gained from the CTC Master Class been utilized in your personal life?

I love working with teenagers and young children within my church and community. This class has shown me how to present diverse points of view, educate children on how something can be different and not wrong, and continue to encourage showing love no matter what another person believes.

Get to Know Lavarrick Townes, 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Scholar

What is your current role at MUSC? How long have you been with the enterprise?

I currently work in Information Solutions as an Electronic Medical Records Specialist. I have been with MUSC since January 2013.

How has your participation in the Center for Transformation and Change Master Class program impacted/shaped your development as a leader?

Participating in the Center for Transformation and Change Master Class not only challenged me to become a better leader, but a better person. This master class brought awareness to the vastness and diverseness of this organizations population. With that being said, it is important that every one of these populations be heard, represented, respected and accepted; not just tolerated. One valuable tool I learned was identifying marginalized vs. privileged identities/culture; and being cognizant of how these dynamics could manifest in this organization. After this master class, I am more sensitive, aware and engaged to the needs of others with the hopes of serving them and my community more effectively.

What do the words ‘transformation’ and ‘growth’ mean to you?

The word transformation for me means to evolve or permanently change from one “state of being” to another. In this case, transformation for me is about moving to a higher level of consciousness, awareness and/or thought; no longer thinking the same way (before this experience) . A butterfly can’t morph back into a caterpillar….and…the butterfly will have new perspectives from the sky that the caterpillar didn’t have before.

The word growth means to expand or enlarge. Growth for me means using the tools, knowledge and understanding that I have learned from this masterclass and applying it to my everyday life as well as teaching others, so they can teach someone else.

Outside of work, what are some of your interests/hobbies and how have the skills gained from the CTC Master Class been utilized in your personal life?

Some of my interests include writing, music and photography. This class greatly impacted how I interact with all individuals. I used to enjoy sarcastic banter but after the teaching on micro-aggressions, my world was turned upside down. Now I think about every word before it escapes my mouth. I also use Intent vs. Impact when making real life decisions. I am grateful for everything that I have learned in the class but I can truly say that this awareness and consciousness will certainly affect all aspects of your life. There is no off button.