Artist in Residence, HIV Scotland
April 2018 – Present
As Artist in Residence for the Edinburgh-based policy charity, HIV Scotland, I am responsible for using creativity and storytelling to help the organization influence policy and engage the community. Learn more about the Positive Stories Project here: https://www.positivestories.scot/
- Organizing a series of creative writing workshops and mentorship program for people affected by HIV.
- Working one-on-one with new writers to develop their ideas and create a piece ready for publication.
- Editing a literary anthology of poetry and stories that reshape the narrative of HIV.
- Collaborating with community organizations, such as local LGBT groups, university societies, other HIV charities, academics, and health clinics.
- Planning public events at local book festivals, including Book Week Scotland and Glasgow’s Aye Write! Festival.
- Hosting a public reading party and launch event for World AIDS Day 2018.
Doctoral Researcher, The University of Glasgow
September 2016 – Present
I am a fully-funded Creative Writing doctoral researcher at the University of Glasgow. My thesis, a historical fantasy novel and a collection of poetry and essays, explores the purpose of grief and suffering while touching on the issues of mental health, domestic abuse, and family. As part of my PhD studies I have:
- Taught a 9-week creative writing course for new writers at the University of Glasgow.
- Conducted poetry workshops with refugees and several public workshops on the topics of fear and myth.
- Organized writing workshops with survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.
- Presented at numerous conferences, including Glasgow International Fantasy Conversations, University of Edinburgh Fantasy and Folklore Conference, and St Andrew’s Literature and Video Games Conference.
- Published my critical and creative writing (see https://angiespoto.com/).
- Won the Gillian Purvis New Writing Award for excellence in creative writing.
Web Designer, Maryhill Mobile Children’s Services
January 2018 – March 2018
Applying UX strategies and design principals, I created a functional and on-brand website for the Scottish social enterprise Maryhill Mobile Children’s Services. https://www.mmcs.org.uk/
- Familiarized myself with the organization’s culture, vision, and goals to develop a website re-design strategy.
- Applied user experience (UX) tools such as roadmaps, user profiles, and wireframes and mockups to design a functional website customized to the needs of the organization’s service users.
- Conducted user and compatibility testing to ensure the website was user-friendly.
- Designed and built the website using the Wix website platform.
- Conducted a social media audit and implemented a new company-wide social media strategy.
Researcher, Digital Creativity Labs
July 2017 – September 2017
I received a summer school scholarship to conduct a funded research project at the University of York’s Digital Creativity Labs. The project mapped the design space of how humans and AI collaborate in a creative endeavor. Explore these unique AI systems on the project’s website: http://mici.codingconduct.cc/
- Developed a definition and mapping criteria for the emerging field of Mixed Initiative Creative Interfaces (MICI), AI systems that creatively collaborate with humans.
- Conducted a systematic literature review of existing MICI literature.
- Wrote and distributed surveys sent to industry professionals and academics for the accumulation of new MICI systems.
- Conducted research on AI, creativity, and human-computer interaction.
- Built a website to house our newly-created database of MICI systems: http://mici.codingconduct.cc/
- Presented findings before university leadership.
Implementation Services (Project Manager), Epic
July 2012 – January 2014
I began my career at Epic working with hospitals in Illinois and Texas on the installation of their patient access and kiosk modules.
Application Coordinator for Edward Hospital & Health Services
Naperville, Illinois USA
- Managed a team of 8 application analysts throughout the implementation, focusing on the scheduling and admission modules.
- Communicated with departments and clinics to identify essential visit types, blocks and pools necessary for streamlined template built.
- Assisted with build of scheduling templates, including go-live support that required on-the-spot template troubleshooting and system fixes.
- Conducted template built workshops with end-users and assisted end-user trainers.
- Provided go-live support to numerous clinics around the country to expand scheduling software experience and used this knowledge to aid in Edward’s scheduling optimization efforts.
- Led the project’s Reporting Team and conducted data analysis, report build, testing and training, specializing in patient movement, registration, and scheduling report build and testing.
Implementation Director for Children’s Medical Center of Dallas
Dallas, Texas USA
- Managed the pilot implementation of ambulatory check-in kiosks.
- Monitored budget for all installing applications.
- Conducted formal progress reports and budget meetings with client leadership.
- Liaised across patient access, clinical, and billing teams to streamline the kiosk workflow.
Implementation Services (Project Manager), Epic
January 2014 – July 2015
After relocating to the Dutch office, I joined the project management team for the joint software installation of two academic medical centers in Amsterdam. Additionally, I was the director of the team responsible for building a Dutch-specific foundational software to be delivered to all Dutch customers at the start of each install.
Implementation Director for the Nederlandsfundamentsysteem (NFS)
- Managed a team of 30 to create a foundational system as a basis for all Netherlands Epic customers.
- Conveyed complicated technical processes in sales documentation, PowerPoint presentations, and customer communications.
- Wrote and managed project plan to guide current and future implementations.
- Conducted office-wide initiative to increase clinical content in the NFS to benefit current and installing customers while promoting future sales.
Application Coordinator for AMC & Vrij Medical Center
- Managed a team of 8 application analysts for the admission and registration modules.
- Trained new project managers and assisted with the scheduling software implementation throughout the project.
- Coordinated the implementation of cross-functional areas such as patient movement and inpatient scheduling.
- Modified the software to suit the needs of the Dutch market, particularly addressing the uniqueness of a joint installation between two academic medical centers.
Writing Center Tutor
January 2009 – December 2011
Alongside my undergraduate studies at Lake Forest College, I worked as a tutor in the Writing Center. I specialized in working with English as a Second Language (ESL) students.
- Taught 8 students/week how to improve their writing skills and gain critical thinking abilities.
- Established writing goals for recurring clients and provided them with writing resources and techniques.
- Evaluated students’ progress with client reports used to monitor recurring clients’ goals and skill development.
Co-Founder, The Uncovered Artistry Project
May 2010 – August 2015
In my third year of undergraduate studies, I was awarded a start-up grant from Projects for Peace to create a company that promoted peace. The $10,000-grant allowed me and my co-founder to establish a nonprofit business that supported the creativity and small businesses of domestic and sexual abuse survivors.
- Received $10,000 grant to create an online nonprofit boutique that financially and emotionally empowered domestic abuse survivors by providing them with an outlet to sell their creative work.
- Developed company brand, increased sales, and built connections with the community.
- Wrote and edited creative copy that effectively informed customers of the company’s mission and promoted the boutique.
- Created publicity strategies, wrote press releases, and designed and maintained a blog, Twitter, and Facebook page.
- Communicated with suppliers, 12+ domestic abuse artisans, 50+ abuse shelters and charities, and customers.
Volunteer, Uncovered Artistry CIC
July 2016 – Present
After moving to Scotland to pursue higher education, I was no longer able to run the Uncovered Artistry Project, a nonprofit I founded in 2010 that sold the artistic work of domestic and sexual abuse survivors online. Rather than allow the company’s vision to fade, I agreed to allow a small team of volunteers in Scotland to create Uncovered Artistry CIC, a Scottish-based nonprofit that celebrates the creativity of abuse survivors by holding community workshops and events. Today, I volunteer with Uncovered Artistry CIC, performing various supportive duties, such as:
- Designing, building, and maintaining the company’s website and social media platforms.
- Providing editorial guidance on the production of a collection of poetry and stories by abuse survivors.
- Assisting with administrative duties, such as record-keeping and event planning.
Spaces of Belonging Poetry Workshops
I conducted a walking poetry workshop at the University of Glasgow with refugees in coordination with a local integration network and the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities. More about the project: “Spaces of Belonging aims to give postgraduate students in the arts and humanities across universities in Scotland the opportunity to gain ‘hands on’ experience of organising and carrying out public engagement work by running public poetry workshops in association with the Maryhill Integration Network in Glasgow and The Welcoming in Edinburgh. These community groups engage with people from migrant, refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds. Engaging primarily with themes of space, belonging and identity, these walking poetry workshops will utilise the research specialisms of students whilst enabling them to develop a range of skills.”
Shetland Create Literary Anthology
As part of my Master’s Degree in Creative Writing, I conducted an independent editorial project; Shetland Create is a literary anthology of poetry, stories, and essays on the theme of ‘home’. The work in the anthology is inspired by the gorgeous landscape of the Shetland Islands. I edited, designed, and produced the book, which is available online and in print. I also organized reading parties in Shetland and Glasgow.
I volunteer with the Scottish non-profit, Uncovered Artistry, and provide support for the running of their Uncovered Voices project. The project, which began in 2017 with a series of creative writing workshops for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse and will culminate in the publication of a literary anthology in autumn 2018, aims to raise awareness about sexual and domestic abuse; help survivors learn to express feelings and trauma through art; and ultimately create a multi-faceted portrait of abuse against both men and women in Scotland today.
The Positive Stories Project
As Artist in Residence with the Edinburgh charity HIV Scotland, I started and managed the Positive Stories Project, a creative writing project that aims to reshape the narrative of HIV through storytelling. The Project consists of: a series of creative writing workshops for people living with HIV, a mentorship program that pairs people living with HIV with professional writers, and a published book where those affected by HIV can share their stories with the world. This project is the first of its kind in Scotland, giving those affected by HIV a chance to work directly with professional writers to better tell their stories. In addition to mentoring new writers and editing the anthology, I organized numerous events for the project, including a public workshop and reading during Book Week Scotland in November 2018, a public launch event in December 2018, and writing festival events throughout 2019.
PhD Creative Writing, The University of Glasgow
2016 – 2019
During my studies, I worked several jobs at the university, including:
- Event Planner for the Creative Conversations speaker series; Creative Conversations is a popular free literary speaker series that brings renowned Scottish artists to campus to chat informally with the public. I worked as the series’ first intern, where I liaised with visiting authors, created promotional materials, ran the social media accounts, and established administrative protocols.
- Student Support Assistant for the English for Academic Study Unit; I provided support for the student engagement officer to organize cultural events around Scotland for international students. I also ran the unit’s Chat Clubs, where I met informally with students who were learning English. I provided administrative support for the office and created promotional materials while managing the social media accounts.
Masters Creative Writing, The University of Glasgow
2015 – 2016
Bachelor of Arts, English (Writing) and Business, Lake Forest College
2008 – 2012
During my studies, I worked several jobs, including:
- Assistant to the Director of the university’s press &Now books; I worked closely with the director to proofread submissions, provide editorial support, liaise with authors, and contribute to editorial decisions.
- Web Editorial Intern for the local magazine Today’s Chicago Woman; I wrote original web content, incorporated SEO strategies, and provided editorial support.
- Research Assistant as part of the Richter Research Scholar program; I conducted a research project on the depictions of women across various translations and adaptions of Beowulf.
- Co-Founder and Project for Peace grant recipient for the charity Uncovered Artistry; in my third year of studies, I won a grant to start a charity that supported the creativity and small businesses of domestic and sexual abuse survivors.
- Writing Center Tutor; I met with students one-on-one to improve their writing and establish year-long writing goals.