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Meet a USAC Member: Sarah Poteete

Posted by on Thursday, March 30, 2023 in Meet a USAC Member.

Sarah PoteeteWhat department do you work in and what is your job title?

I work in Development and Alumni Relations, specifically for the Law School. My title is Associate Director of Alumni Relations and Stewardship.

How long have you been a Vanderbilt employee?

I started at Vanderbilt January of 2013. 10 years flew by!

What has been your career journey to lead you to where you are today?

I began this particular trajectory (there have been a few) at UNC-Chapel Hill, working as an assistant for the University Librarian. The Director of Library Development approached me with a chance to be the donor relations coordinator, and the rest is history!

What do you enjoy most about Vanderbilt?

How caring the staff, faculty and students are towards one another, and how brilliantly we approach challenges. I’m happy that the collaborative approach is really encouraged here.

How long have you been a part of USAC and how has it impacted you?

I’ve been a member of USAC for two years. It’s really given me an opportunity to meet colleagues across campus, and to try address issues that affect us all.

What is the greatest bit of advice a parent or mentor has given you?

“Just pause.” Something I’m really terrible at, but it’s a good idea to slow down, think it through….

What do you enjoy doing to relieve stress?

I relieve stress by being outside as much as possible. Walking, just sitting on my stoop, gardening. I also love to get things done on my to-do lists!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was very young, I wanted to be the person that drove the smaller garbage truck around, collected the trash, and drove it to the bigger garbage truck for compacting. At least that’s how trash was collected in my neighborhood at the time, and I was completely enamored with the idea of driving the little vehicle. After some years went by, I wanted to be (and went to school to be) an archaeologist, and then a museum curator. I finally decided that I love donor and alumni engagement, and here we are!

If you could visit any country with no budget, where would you visit?

No budget? And I have to pick one?! OK: New Zealand. Seems cool.

What is your favorite type of music?

Not Kidz Bop.

What has been your favorite vacation you have ever been on?

Went to Ireland on my honeymoon about 10 years ago, all around the island. While the food was terrible, the whiskey and company were exquisite.

What are you most proud of in your life thus far?

That I’m still laughing, and my daughter laughs a lot, too. I’m also proud that I model community involvement for her—and USAC certainly gives me a great opportunity to be involved with one of my communities!

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

I love kayaking. And yes, I swim in Percy Priest Lake.

What skill or talent would you most like to learn?

To really crochet like my grandmother did—not just chain stiches, but really intricate patterns. It’s not going so well.

If you had an extra hour each day, how would you spend it?

So long as that wasn’t considered time I had to work: Sitting around chit chatting! Or going to more community meetings, like housing, land use, school board, Metro Council…there is so much going on in Nashville!