Meet Liz Kaselitz, Pip & Grow Advisor
Posted by: November 6, 2017 Safe SleepPublished on:
Liz is one of the amazing, brilliant women who helps guide Pip & Grow as a member of our advisory committee. She’s a research rock-star and badass mother of two glorious girls. Liz tested one of the first Smitten prototypes with her youngest daughter, helping to refine and improve the Smitten experience. She’s an invaluable member of our education and research team. We love Liz and think you will, too.
What do you do for a living?
I work on a research project that maps where and why moms and babies are dying or nearly dying in rural northern Ghana. The “where” is determined by geocoding the locations of these events, and the “why” includes the physical cause of death or severe illness, as well as social and cultural contributors (access to care, care-seeking behaviors, women’s ability to make their own healthcare decisions, etc.). We then provide the information we gather back to the hardest hit communities along with small grants for them to create their own solutions.
What do you love most about the work you do?
The work that I do forces me to learn and grow everyday. It consistently reminds me that I don’t have all the answers and I really don’t even know half the story. I feel very fortunate to have work that challenges me to be better and do better.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
Oh boy. There are many unique challenges to project management across borders, time zones, and cultures. I’d say the hardest part is technology – it seems to fail us more often than it helps us. There are some phone conversations where my Ghanaian colleagues and I say, “are you there?” at least 50 times.
What brings you joy?
My family. And reading. And binge-watching tv. And ice cream cake.
What’s your superpower?
Everyone has always thought that I’m older than I am. I hope that isn’t because of premature wrinkles but instead because I’m a bit like a wise, old owl. So if that is a superpower, I have it. I can also touch my tongue to my nose.
What drew you to become a Pip & Grow advisor?
Wonderful women who also make me think and grow and be better.
What do you tell yourself when mom-guilt takes over?
Mom guilt is such a party pooper. My friends really help to keep me grounded and to reinforce that I’m doing a good job despite what I tell myself.
On what occasion do you lie to your children?
Uh-oh… this question gives me mom guilt. Should it be just one occasion? Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy immediately come to mind but I’m just getting started…
What’s your top mom-fail moment?
I threatened to cancel my birthday cake because of bad behavior. My daughter misunderstood and thought I was cancelling her birthday and absolutely lost her mind. LOST HER MIND. She was completely heartbroken and needed reassurance for days that she was still going to have a birthday. I felt pretty bad about that one.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Honestly, at this stage of my life I’d watch more Netflix or just stare at the wall without anyone talking to me or needing me. At a different point in my life when my kids are a bit older, I’d say get my PhD.
What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?
I have a Kindle but I do prefer reading books made of paper.
What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?
Ideally, nothing because I loathe public speaking. If I was forced into it, I could talk about preparing for international travel for a while.
What fad or trend do you hope comes back?
Those banana hairclips sure seem easy…
If you could make a 20 second phone call to yourself at any point in your life present or future, when would you call and what would you say?
I’d call once a day from now until my kids leave for college and say “chill out, you are going to miss these moments later”.
What’s one personal “rule” that you never break?
I really, really try to honor my commitments. I wouldn’t say it is a rule and it is not something that I never break, but I do really try.
What’s the best thing you got from your parents?
An understanding of the importance of having good people in your life and nurturing relationships.