As a sidebar to the documentary film, we are featuring web profiles of federal employees who also do something creative on the side. Meet CDC employee and photographer/writer Rebecca Myers
Which federal agency or department do you work for?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). I translate complex science into language people can use and understand. I teach scientists how to write for their audience and purpose. I help CDC staff tell their success stories and teach field staff how to take better photos, so we can show the story of our work.
What is your creative outlet?
Photography, writing, and storytelling.
Do you consider this a hobby or a second career?
Creativity is a serious, passionate lifetime skill I invest in. I just recently earned my MFA in creative nonfiction writing—how to tell true stories in an engaging way. I wrote and published several award-winning essays (not related to work), and I’m now in the process of trying to get a book published.
Why is your creative outlet important to you?
My parents had the vision to raise their children surrounded in the creative outlets of art, music, reading, travel, nature, and science. It’s a way of life to imagine and to create, and a high form of intelligence. Creativity is the core nature of humanity and culture. We do better work when we use our creativity.
How do you feel your creative outlet contributes to your federal work and vice versa?
Whatever creative course I take, I seek to use in developing materials and share what I’ve learned with my CDC colleagues. Creativity is a huge part of my CDC work. I enjoy giving back—using, sharing, and mentoring my creative skills at work and seeing those skills develop in my colleagues and make better products. I teach clear communication, story writing, and photography at CDC. I use storytelling to elicit success stories about our work. I also developed a photography club among our field staff, so we can show our stories about public health in action and give the face of public health—the humanity of our work and why it matters. We now have a library of excellent photos for our fact sheets, website, videos, and other materials, and we contribute to CDC’s Public Health Image Library.
If you are an employee of the federal government but spend your evenings or weekends doing something something creative (whether as a second career or as a strong hobby) and would like to be featured on our Meet the Creatives section of this website, tell us a little bit about your story.