“When a workplace supports a diverse team, it encourages a more free-flowing exchange of ideas and creativity. I think that is how great products get developed.”
Samantha Donisi joined the New Meridian team as the newest project management office (PMO) project manager in February of 2022 after working in higher education publishing and project management for the past 12 years.
Sam, as she prefers to be called, creates and manages schedules, contracts and invoices for various projects and works to operationalize and standardize processes as New Meridian rapidly grows. When she isn’t improving project workflow, you can find her dancing, playing with her dog Socrates, or cheering on her favorite football team, the Green Bay Packers. We sat down with Sam to discuss her connection to education, the value of equity, and what #MyNewMeridianWay means to her.
Before working at New Meridian, what connection did you have to education?
I’ve worked in higher education publishing for the past 12 years, most recently as an editor and project manager at McGraw Hill Education, where my focus was on developing algorithmic assessment content in engineering and physical science. I knew I wanted to remain in the education space while looking for an opportunity to expand my project management experience, and I was so excited to see that New Meridian strongly promotes equity in education as a core value. That is something very important to me.
What does equity in education mean to you?
Equity in education means that all students, regardless of background, deserve access to a high-quality education. It means that even topics deemed uncomfortable for some shouldn’t be ignored, and it means that every single student should receive the knowledge and tools they need to function in society and create the life they want for themselves.
“A willingness to listen and learn from a variety of viewpoints and backgrounds different than your own is how growth happens.”
Why do you believe quality assessments are a critical lever for expanding equity in education?
I am the daughter of two English teachers, and my dad worked for many years at the local alternative high school. I grew up hearing him speak of how bright and creative his students were and how much he lamented the lack of resources available to them and to him as their teacher. He spent a lot of his own money and time buying materials for his classroom and creating tests to support those materials. Unfortunately, I think this is still very much an issue today in some classrooms, even 20 years after my dad retired.
Beyond the mandated state tests, I’d like to think that if affordable, quality assessments were available to underfunded schools, more resources could be directed toward areas of need. My choice to work in the educational space as an adult stems from my desire to help contribute in a small way toward more equitable education for all students.
Which New Meridian value resonates most with you?
I really value how we seek diversity within our team and in our perspectives. A willingness to listen and learn from a variety of viewpoints and backgrounds different than your own is how growth happens. When a workplace supports a diverse team, it encourages a more free-flowing exchange of ideas and creativity. I think that is how great products get developed. That’s #MyNewMeridianWay.
Interested in seeing how New Meridian does things differently and in joining our dynamic team? Learn more about us and see our current job openings.
My New Meridian Way is a series designed to introduce our team of dedicated experts and tell their stories. Stay tuned to hear from more New Meridian staff members.