By ETR | November 22, 2019
Angela Cesaro likes problem-solving. “I’m a puzzle person. I like to take things apart, see how they work, put them back together.” But with product management, “there’s no picture on the box that tells you what you’re supposed to do—it’s a lot of hard, creative work to figure it all out.” As the Director of Product Development at ETR, Angela regularly works on puzzles large and small.
She likes the fact that while the overall process of creating a website or application follows a standard pathway, every project is different. Angela enjoys the variety of tasks that come across her desk. “I’m doing everything from building something huge in scale—like the HealthSmart website—to working on a small app-based program geared toward a very specific, local population. And no matter what the scale or focus of the project, we emphasize building inclusive, equitable platforms responsive to everyone’s needs.”
After college, Angela worked briefly in finance then got a job producing digital content at a regional newspaper in NJ. Helping to get information out to the world was gratifying. Following the newspaper, “I got a job at Scientific American, which fed my passion for science,” she explains. Her boss was very engaged with STEM education, launching Bring Science Home—a webpage that provides instructions for science experiments that young people can explore with their families using common household items.
Today at ETR, “I get to add in my passion for meaning in a whole new way. Working on something like HealthSmart, which is designed to offer children and youth effective, equitable health education—this aligns perfectly with my interests and skills.” Angela can get behind all of ETR’s science-based initiatives—and she does so daily. After spending the last year redeveloping the structure and infrastructure of ETR’s digital tools, Angela is eager to collaborate with ETR’s project and initiative leaders to build the right technology for their programs. “I’m excited about the different populations—tribal communities, LGBTQ communities, getting into international work,” she explains. “Each audience has different expectations and needs, and the tone will be different for each one.”
Angela is also pleased to support ETR’s work addressing equity and inclusion in STEM . “In the tech world, if you’re different from the standard model, you deal with all these ‘isms.’ If you’re young, or you’re a woman, or you’re gender non-conforming or a person of color—any of these can make it difficult to be taken seriously. I’ve had some negative experiences around equity, and I am particularly motivated in my work at ETR to do what I can to improve the path for those behind me.” Angela looks forward to building up a diverse Digital Products team as the work continues to grow.
Angela also sees ETR’s recent merger with the YTH Initiative as a great move in the right direction. The opportunity to incorporate Youth Centered Health Design—along with young peoples’ thinking and talent—into ETR’s work makes Angela optimistic about the future of the field.
There is pride in Angela’s voice when she talks about the opportunity to contribute to ETR’s mission. “I like mentoring people,” she says, “and I don’t know any better way to do that at scale than working at a non-profit.”