Staff Spotlight: Chelsea Fillippa
It was a leap of faith that brought Chelsea Fillippa to Duke. After being at her previous job for two years, the Pittsburgh native was ready for a change of scenery. “I came to Durham for a conference in May 2018 for my previous job and really enjoyed the area and people that I interacted with while I was here,” Fillippa said. “I went home from the conference and started researching jobs in the area. I already knew that I enjoyed working in the university environment and the Triangle area had three great universities to explore.” With her previous experience working at the University of Pittsburgh, she knew the Ph.D. Program Assistant position would be the perfect fit.
Fillippa began her position in the EcoTeach Center in July of 2018. The EcoTeach Center assists in optimizing student experiences by providing educational guidance and helping them navigate transitions within and beyond the department. Students can visit their respective program assistants to ask questions related to courses, program requirements and processes, EcoTeach-funded positions, and any university resources they may require.
As the Ph.D. Program Assistant, Fillippa works with Ph.D. students to make sure they are on track to successfully meet their milestone goals each year and receive their degrees in the end. She assists job market candidates in preparing for interviews and also help manage the payroll for all of the graduate students in the department. Fillippa loves the job because “Every day is different in this position. There are always new challenges to overcome and problems to solve.” One of her favorite parts of the work she does is the opportunity to interact with the students each day and help them achieve their goals.
In her spare time, Fillippa has been exploring her new home. “I moved to the area without knowing anyone so I usually spend my time trying to meet new people and exploring the area.” She’s spent her time hiking at the Eno River State Park and Umstead State Park, going to concerts, relaxing at the pool, and taking trips to the beach.
Fillippa is glad she took a chance when she decided to search for jobs in Durham, and the risk has paid off personally and professionally. “Everyone in the department has been very welcoming and I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with each day! The EcoTeach Center Staff work together each day to problem solve and create a welcoming environment for students and staff and it has been a rewarding experience to be part of that team.”