MOI is currently hiring for our Program Director position! In the interview below, our beloved Program Director of three years, Cross, looks back on their time at MOI, and gives some advice for interested candidates. Read the full position description and apply here.
How long have you been with Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute (MOI)?
I have been with the MOI crew for 3 adventurous years! During my time at MOI, it’s been incredible to see this small and mighty organization grow staff, programs, and impact. I’m thrilled that MOI and 826 National continue to deepen their collaboration and so excited to see the new, custom-designed MOI headquarters at 1915 East 22nd Street in Minneapolis. I will still be local and hope to get the first invitation to upcoming open houses!
What’s a proud moment you’ve had with MOI?
Narrowing down to one proud moment is too challenging! I think the peak highlight for me is seeing Young Authors’ Book Project writers receive their official copy in hand. Every student lights up with pride in that moment. I think the room literally brightens. It is a powerful thing to show students that you value their work enough to bind it into a book. We provide the frame, and they fill it with art. The moment they get that book in their hands – whether it is the Young Authors’ Book Project title, a field trip book, or a Writer’s Table chapbook– they see themselves as an artist, a writer. Hands down, that’s the proudest moment for me- the moment your project changes how a student sees themselves and understands their own agency.
What are you going to miss about MOI?
So many things! At the end of the day, I will miss the people I’ve gotten to grow and create with – especially the students. There are a handful of students and families who have been at MOI even longer than me. I have seen little siblings grow from newborns to toddlers, listened to students read through lost teeth, and watched middle schoolers grow into their feet. I am so happy that those students will have a new, beautiful space to keep growing and creating in.
What advice do you have for interested candidates?
My advice is to remember that MOI is dedicated to amplifying student voices– not modulating those voices. Trust what your students tell you, pay attention to who isn’t speaking, and keep the students you serve at the center of every decision. Expect to manage multiple work streams, set strategies, and lead a small team. You need to be able to tell the stories of your students compellingly in one moment and fish out the dinosaur toy clogging the toilet in the next with a genuine smile the whole time.
Cross has done it all at MOI with a smile on their face! While they can never be replaced, we are excited to welcome on a new team member who will help us grow our programming as we settle into our new location in South Minneapolis this fall. Do you have a passion for writing, youth development, and finding the lost ocean of Minnesota? If so, apply for our Program Director position today!