Note: The Brock Employee Feature is a Q&A-style series that aims to highlight those who contribute to the University’s positive working environment and make a difference in the campus community. The full series is available on The Brock News. Employees interested in being featured are asked to fill out an online form.
Tabitha Lewis (BEd ’19) considers herself a creative person who enjoys learning. She’s a visual artist, singer and hobby interior designer.
As Supervisor for the Brock University Library’s Makerspace, she creates unique opportunities for discovery and learning using new and emerging technologies, such as audio production, photo/video production, 3D prototyping, virtual reality, robotics and digital prototyping.
What do you like about your role?
I like that there is always room for me to learn something new while sharing in people’s excitement as they discover the possibilities that exist in the Makerspace. I love the ‘wow moments’ as students, employees or community members learn a new skill, tap into their creative abilities or get excited about the variety of technologies in the space.
Share your Brock career story.
I’ve worked at Brock for about seven years. I started as a student contract worker in the Library Systems department and came on board at the right time. The department had just purchased a 3D printer and needed more time to test it out, so I offered to take the lead on that. Before my contract ended, I presented a value proposition to the University Librarian to convince them to hire me as a full-time Makerspace Technician/Manager. That position eventually came to be, and I got to utilize a lot of my previous experiences, education and skills to push forward Makerspace initiatives by collaborating with technology enthusiasts across campus to help shape the maker culture at Brock. Shortly after being hired, Brock applied for funding to enhance research and innovation on campus, which included the idea of a Makerspace. The Makerspace is now a large, collaborative space in the heart of the University in Rankin Family Pavilion and is part of Brock LINC.
What do you like about working at Brock?
I enjoy being really close to home and being surrounded by many talented and dedicated staff across the campus.
How would others describe you?
Others have described me as talented, boring (lol) and quiet, but I’m mostly known for my art and my singing.
What do you do for fun? What are your interests and hobbies?
For fun, I design home interiors using CAD software and my hobbies and interests mostly involve visual or musical arts. My visual art is currently part of an exhibition that aims to explore a new understanding of what it means to be Black and Canadian from the perspective of a group of artists.
What are you most proud of?
Designing and renovating my house with very little experience. Home renovations have been a consistent side project. Flooring, drywall, plumbing — you name it, I’ve probably done it.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I’ve sung in a global choir in Taiwan.
Do you volunteer with any community organizations?
I volunteer with the Niagara Artists Centre as a board member and I am part of an advisory committee for Rodman Hall.
What do you do for self-care to maintain positive mental health?
In order to preserve my mental health, I take time to design or build or fix things around the house. I also try to take every Sunday to do something nice for myself.
How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?
I try to keep a healthy work-life balance by turning off my notifications for work when I’m done with work, and when at work, I try to take my breaks.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Quietly quit going above and beyond for people who don’t appreciate what you have to offer,” by Nedra Tawwab.