Name: Eva Witesman
BYU employee since... Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landed his plane in the Hudson.
My job at BYU is... all about teaching the future leaders of government and nonprofit institutions how to make the best possible impact for good.
Currently I’m working on... a project that would help build a worldwide database of information about what works best in helping people by providing free impact evaluation tools to nonprofit, NGO and government organizations.
I’m currently reading... a book about fluid dynamics because I think we might be able to use some ideas from that field to innovate how we handle certain types of social services.
I get most excited about my work when... I can see real changes as a result. I work with government and nonprofit agencies, so when they do something new or better because of an idea or technique I shared, that feels pretty great.
Something deep in my soul sparked my interest in my field. It just never occurred to me to do anything but serve through government or nonprofit agencies. But my interest in learning how to improve the system was sparked by an excellent manager who revolutionized the work we were doing at a nonprofit where I worked. That inspired me to go back to graduate school to learn the tools and techniques he had been applying. And once I saw that we could continue to innovate in this way, I was hooked!
My favorite lecture to teach is... actually not a lecture at all. Generally, at some point in the semester, I cancel regular lectures so that I can consult one-on-one with teams of students who are seeking guidance about their work with the government and nonprofit agencies who partner with us. Working as a part of those teams is energizing and inspiring.
When I have 30 minutes of free-time, you can find me... chasing my children to give them hugs and smooches. Or in the garden. Usually both at the same time.
I chose to come to BYU because... my Heavenly Father asked me to. There have been a handful of truly, powerfully clear, revelatory moments in my life where His guidance was so strong and so apparent that the sensation was almost physical rather than spiritual. All of these have had to do either with my children or with my educational and professional path.
My favorite spot on campus is... probably yet to be discovered because I frequently work from home and when I am at work, I am either in the classroom or in my office consulting with students. I was never a student at BYU, so I don’t actually know the campus all that well. But I love little nooks and crannies that are filled with quiet nature where I can meditate. Right now, those places are at home rather than on campus. But perhaps one day when my kids are older, I will explore and find a place like that on campus too. I am open to suggestions…
Three things that are always found in my refrigerator are... spinach, yogurt and natural peanut butter. I don’t generally eat those three things together. Though sometimes in smoothies…
On Saturday mornings you’ll find me... in my fleecy pajamas. For as long as possible. Even in the summer.
My favorite TV show growing up was... Duck Tales. My little brother and sister and I would rush home from school to watch it. The best was when we made it home in time to catch the theme song so we could all sing along.