Meet a USAC Member: Shahpar Kamtarin
What department do you work in and what is your job title?
I am the Coordinator of Public Services at Peabody Library.
How long have you been a Vanderbilt employee?
I have been at Vanderbilt since just over 9 years.
What has been your career journey to lead you to where you are today?
I’m a trained Printed textiles designer and was a professor teaching Textiles for fashion in England for over 14 years as well as freelance designing for British, European & Australian companies while teaching. After our move to USA, 19 years ago, I decided on a change of career that allowed me to be with and settle our children in their school and activities here, so by chance I started working in a public library and my love of academia led me naturally to Vanderbilt and an academic library.
What do you enjoy most about Vanderbilt? (i.e. missions, benefits, views of sustainability, community, etc.)?
My colleagues, many of whom have become good friends. I work in the best library on campus, and we are not just a team but a family.
What is the greatest bit of advice a parent or mentor has given you?
Trust in God and be kind to all and give grace, you never know what others are going through.
What is one important skill every person should have?
Tolerance for others
What is the best perk you have ever had at a job?
When I worked as a professor in England, I got to have long holidays and particularly long summer breaks to spend with my children.
Do you feel like you have a good work/life balance?
I try, though, during this pandemic, I’ve spent far too much time on work. My new year’s resolution is to take better care and live for more in the moment.
What do you enjoy doing to relieve stress?
I’ve gotten into crocheting, and I love it! In fact, I’m going to try to start a crochet club of some sort on campus. It’s a great way to destress and craft something to gift to others.
Are you more productive at night or in the morning? Do you think it is possible to change and get used to a new schedule?
I can be either, depending on what I need to do.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an architect, until I discovered and fell in love with printed textiles in my art class.
If you could visit any country with no budget, where would you visit?
South Korea. I am fascinated with the history and culture, particularly the Joseon Dynasty.
What is your favorite type of music?
I love most genres, though good techno dance music can be very uplifting! I never thought I’d like country or rap till I moved to the US, so for me it’s the song rather than genre.
What has been your favorite vacation you have ever been on?
As a member of the Baha’i faith, my religious holy sites are mostly in Haifa and Acre in Israel. Visiting there was the most spiritually uplifting and heartwarming experience of my life. I also loved visiting Jerusalem and the other religious holy sites while there.
What are you most proud of in your life thus far?
Surviving and being able to make it through enormous challenges in life and not becoming bitter and still feeling grateful.
Name two things you consider yourself to be good at?
Being a caring friend and uplifting others.
What is your favorite outdoor activity?
I used to run and have completed 23 half marathons and a full, sadly due to a back injury I can no longer run but love walking.
What is something on your bucket list?
To travel to as many countries as money, time and health allows. I’ve so far made it to 12.
What skill or talent would you most like to learn?
To speak Spanish & Mandarin.
If you had an extra hour each day, how would you spend it?
With my family and dogs.