Meet Our Staff: Elizabeth Nash, Socio-Emotional Learning Fellow

To round out our last two weeks of Play, we are bringing you our next "Meet Our Staff" post. Introducing Elizabeth Nash; our Socio-Emotional Learning Fellow and Play coordinator extraordinaire! Elizabeth joined the Brookside team in January 2017, and brings a vintage style and artistic flair that is all her own!

Elizabeth is a fellow with the NEEA program, a branch of AmeriCorps that is focused on providing parent and student support to organizations on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis. After completing her bachelor's degree at Indiana University, Elizabeth moved to Indianapolis and received her master's degree in Museum Studies from IUPUI. She loves living and working on the Near Eastside, and seeks to use her love of the arts to create positive change in the community.

At Play, you might find her creating art pieces with the students or chatting with them about their  day. Keep reading to find out more about our most creative staff member!

 Elizabeth's best friend is a dog named Muggsy.

Elizabeth's best friend is a dog named Muggsy.

1.     Where did you grow up? I grew up in Granger, Indiana, just outside of South Bend. We are known for Notre Dame and the Studebakers (Never heard of ‘em? Yeah, me neither, but I toured their mansion every year in history class).

2.     What is your role at Brookside Community Play? I am the Socio-Emotional Learning Fellow. I use trauma-informed care and childhood development tactics to serve our kiddos during programming.

3.     What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most? I enjoy being a part of growth in a child, even on the smallest scale. Getting to know the kids and working with them and their families to figure out how our program can best serve them is exciting for me.

4.     What do you find most challenging about your job? Every day presents a new challenge. Problem solving is the name of the game and is oftentimes the most challenging part. Finding what works for each kid on an individual level takes a lot of trial and error.

5.     Describe what you were like in elementary school. I was a shy kid that eventually became friends with just about everyone, even the middle-aged women that I took art classes with after school.

6.     What is your favorite sport? Basketball is the only sport I can watch and understand. I can also shoot a pretty mean layup.

7.     What is your favorite activity to do locally? On the weekends, you can usually find me enjoying the local music and arts scene. PSA: CCIC now does First Fridays and it’s the bomb!

8.     If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Macaroni and Cheese. Don’t believe it’s a color? Look it up! It also happens to be the name of my favorite pasta dish…

9.     What is your favorite childhood memory? Exploring Lake Michigan beaches with my mom and going on “dates” with my dad in the summer. Time alone with my parents was a rarity, but I’ll never forget how special it made me feel.

10.  Do you collect anything? Antiques and vintage clothing, none of which are useful at Play.

11.  If you had to describe yourself as an animal, which one would you be? A sloth. They have compartmentalized stomachs and so do I; I have a food stomach and a dessert stomach (which is never full).

12.  If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Avocado toast. It combines all of my favorite things: avocados, bread, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of olive oil.

13.  What is your favorite family tradition? “The Elves.” My mom would get too excited around Christmas time and leave my sisters and me little gifts around the house. Once or twice a year, we would come home from school to find our bedroom windows opened just a bit and she would say, “Hmm, maybe the elves paid you a visit!” Then, we would have to search the house for a little surprise (usually candy or pajamas).

14.  What do you enjoy most about working on the Near Eastside? I enjoy the people that live here more than anything else. We may not have much, but we’ve got pride and dedication and those two qualities can go a long way.

15.  What was your favorite toy as a kid? My puffalump doll that I called “phow-fuff”: http://www.thisoldtoy.com/fisher-price/dept-2-dolls-stuffed-animals/d-puffalump-purrtender/A-puff-index.html

16.  If you could have any superpower, which would you choose? I would fly so that I could travel anywhere in the world and not have to worry about expensive plane tickets.

17.  What was your childhood nickname? Ebiff, the only pronunciation of my name that I could manage until about age 4.

18.  Can you play any instruments? Not a single one, even though I dream of being in a band on a daily basis.

19.  What is your favorite outdoor activity? I love to take my dog on hikes. He may be small, but he sure can master a trail!

20.  Share a personal fact that no one would ever guess about you. I come from a really large family. My dad has 12 siblings and my mom has 7.

Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth, or Ebiff, as the Play team likes to call her! 

In honor of Elizabeth, we are going go go make ourselves some avocado toast and plan a trip go antiquing! Stay tuned for our last "Meet Our Staff Post" featuring the newest member of our team. We can't wait to share it with you!