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People of SGCI: Nayiri Mullinix

Nayiri Mullinix

Community Engagement & Exchange Coordinator, SGCI
University of Michigan

What is your role within SGCI and what do you do?

I am the Community Engagement and Exchange (CEE) Coordinator for SGCI. I work closely with SGCI Associate Director and CEE service area lead Katherine Lawrence to promote the services offered by SGCI with an ultimate goal of building and fostering the science gateway community. We do this in a variety of ways, including maintaining a broad online presence, writing blog posts and case studies about our work, offering resources that can benefit the gateway community, organizing both virtual and face-to-face events, and more. We are currently working on organizing the Gateways 2017 conference happening in Ann Arbor, MI October 23-25 (registration closes October 12!) People should always feel free to contact me if they ever have any questions or suggestions related to events, communications, webinar topics, news to share with the community, etc. I can be reached at or you are always welcome to write to me directly at

How did you come to be a part of SGCI, and why were you intrigued by the opportunity?


My career path has felt like a meandering quest to fulfill my many passions as well as some of my creative pursuits. I have worked in radio journalism, as an elementary school teacher and, most recently, a program coordinator at the University of Michigan Center for Southeast Asian Studies. These positions are very different from one another, indeed, but also share common aspects that are at the core of what inspires me: writing, community, learning, culture, and sharing resources and ideas, to name a few. As I’ve followed my nose through some career changes, it has become more and more evident that I have a penchant for connecting people. Being SGCI's Community Engagement and Exchange Coordinator intrigued me because it offered the opportunity to seamlessly weave many of my inspirations while also allowing me to connect people with one another.

What is the most challenging part of your work for SGCI?

As someone who likes to be around and with people, probably the most challenging part of my work for SGCI is that this is mostly a virtual community. It’s vibrant and exciting virtually, so I can only imagine how vibrant and exciting it would be if we could all work in the same building.

How else are you involved in the technology or gateway community?

My role with SGCI is the only involvement I have with the technology and gateway communities.

What do you most like to do in your free time?

As one might imagine, there are some passions and creative pursuits that simply cannot be met from 9-5. I spend a great deal of time reading to stay current on new discoveries and to know what’s going on in the world. Having spent nearly two decades working at record stores (usually as a 2nd job or while I was in school pursuing degrees), it’s evident that music plays an integral role in my life. I am especially interested in exploring music from lesser known regions -- Cambodian Cassette Archives? Yes, please! I like spending time creating in what I call my “making stuff” room, which now doubles as my office, and I enjoy photography. For me, an ideal day ends with snuggles from my insanely tiny, adorable, and furry dog, Albi, and a tasty meal accompanied by a nice bottle of wine with my husband, Tadd.

If you were a superhero, what superpower would you have?

I believe that a little bit of empathy can go a long way, so I would like to have a zapper that could instantly make a person experience the world from another person’s perspective.