For Kim Paige, the culture of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering is at the root of everything. Culture impacts the Department’s most critical asset — people — as well as the organization’s productivity, progress, and service.
In fact, she likens it to an ecosystem: a delicately balanced, intricately interconnected network grounded in a community of people working together toward a common goal. As she put it, “Respectful engagement across our diverse and unique contributions, collaboration, and connecting values, beliefs, and attitudes fuel our culture.”
If those relationships and contributions are fuel, then Paige is one of the catalysts that helps those elements ignite to form one of the nation’s most-respected biomedical engineering programs — perhaps a key reason she has won a 2021 Culture Champion Award from the Georgia Tech College of Engineering.
“Coulter BME is very lucky to have Kim as part of our community. Her commitment to students, staff, and faculty culture has been outstanding for the many years she has been a member of our Department,” said Machelle Pardue, interim Wallace H. Coulter Department Chair. “Kim has been a staunch advocate for staff, and we are grateful — and so much the better — for her efforts to make sure staff perspectives are heard.”
Paige, who works as the Department’s educational outreach manager and retention advisor, won the Culture Champion Award on the strength of nominations from colleagues. They highlighted her efforts to engage and connect staff and faculty members as well as her vision for uniting the entire Coulter Department.
“She has tirelessly worked to help create a departmental culture that is welcoming to, and supportive of, our diverse student body,” one nominator wrote. “This takes a village to accomplish, [and] Kim has proactively engaged both faculty and staff to help with that mission.”
Paige said she is proud to use her voice and her actions to represent Coulter BME and foster cohesiveness — especially as staff and faculty reestablish connections stretched by the pandemic. She said she’s working to deepen the unity in the Department, building a culture of true inclusivity, belongingness, engagement — and pride in the Department’s work.
“I want to come into the place I spend a good amount of time and feel like I’m contributing to and exemplifying greatness,” Paige said. “I genuinely have a heart for people and progress; that’s why I care.”