If you work in IT, you know: Yes, many of our colleagues love Star Wars. And yes, maybe we can all get a little nerdy about things like API connections or the latest gadgets on the market. But go beyond work identities, and you can find some remarkable and completely unexpected personalities and achievements.
In this series, we uncover those stories. Identity is something fluid, shifting, always adapting in the moment, but continuity between work, play, and our most cherished goals is critical to who we are. Here, we offer a look at the powerful and complex nature of identity—from the extraordinary to the everyday.
The Offensive Lineman
A few days before the start of Princeton University Football’s 2015 season, Mason Darrow, a 6’5” 285 pound offensive lineman from Illinois, asked his head coach if they could meet. Despite all the media attention that resulted from his coming out, Mason never felt his identity as a gay man had anything to do with his identity as a football player.
Adjoa was 22 when a friend sent her an article about asexual identity that had been pinned to a college dorm bulletin board, thinking that Adjoa would identify with the posting and that it might be helpful to her.
Cameron grew up as a thrill-seeking surfer and skater in Central California with a penchant for partying. That all changed in September 2001, when, after a night of drinking, he passed out on railway tracks.
Rahaf Khatib was born in Damascus, Syria, emigrating as an infant to Dearborn, Michigan with her mother in 1983 because her father was in a Ph.D. program in Detroit. She wanted to do something to “contribute to the world”, but raising kids was a full-time job. But when she discovered that a local gym offered daycare, she felt ready to take on more.
Despite being an attorney in Chicago Bears country, Ryan has no hesitation in declaring himself an intense Green Bay Packers superfan. Like any good missionary, he took his faith with him when he left home in 2004.
The 64-year-old grandmother of one and tenured professor in Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Work recalls playing dress-up as a child and dutifully subverting her strict Catholic school’s dress code.
Elena Seiple is the only woman in the world who can claim the identity of IFBB professional bodybuilder, Elite powerlifter, and professional strongwoman. She’s also director of IT security at the largest hospitality and entertainment company in Las Vegas.
Alvin Huff spends many solitary hours in his studio, turning fiber, wood, and molten metal into stunning works of art. During the day, he solves IT problems for the students, faculty, and staff of Arizona State University.
Packy never intended to be a ‘computer guy.’ His grandfather had worked at Con Edison in New York City and his mother was one of the first systems analysts for the US Navy; Packy was determined that he would do something to fuel his creative passions instead.
Brittany never appreciated being dragged to her sister’s high school basketball games. She was in middle school at the time, a self-described ‘math-nerd’ with no interest in basketball she’d sit on the bleachers, with her head in her books.
When Aimee sits down at her desk and starts programming, few people would suspect where her problem-solving skills come from. She’d tell them it’s all thanks to her 4:30 AM workout, but it’s no ordinary run to the gym.
It was late spring 2015, he was a senior in college and had been procrastinating on studying for a final exam in organic chemistry, when he daydreamed about how much he loved watching the ESPN coverage of the Nathan’s July 4 hot dog eating championship on Coney Island.
Okta is the foundation for secure connections between people and technology. By harnessing the power of the cloud, Okta allows people to access applications on any device at any time, while still enforcing strong security protections.