Eddie Quiles is the Senior Administrative Assistant for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (OEDI). A former history teacher, who transitioned to Yale 12 years ago and who grew up in Bridgeport, CT, Quiles first arrived at Yale School of Nursing (YSN) two years ago. He also served as a staff co-chair of the IDEAS (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Action, Solutions) Council for the 2020-2021 academic school year.
Could you describe what a typical day is like for you?
There are four of us on the team, which allows everyone to be immersed in everything that is going on. My focus is on supporting the team and executing the day-to-day functions of the office. I schedule and set up ODEI trainings and information sessions, schedule onboarding meetings for new employees, and I also work on communications and messaging. Additionally, I have been asked to manage the development of programs for ODEI.
What resonated with you about joining the ODEI team?
Before YSN I was in the interim employment pool and worked at the Yale School of Medicine on grants that helped inner city school districts achieve higher graduation rates through various programming and trainings. It helped me realize that my skillset works well in higher education and student affairs, so that really helped ODEI stand out for me.
When the IDEAS Council came around, I got excited. That was also the impetus of gaining a deeper understanding of what DEI work looks like and the challenges associated with it. I got to know Dr. LaRon Nelson, PhD, RN, FNP, FNAP, FNYAM, FAAN through IDEAS and he encouraged me to explore the ODEI opportunity. A big part of what resonates for me is that on this team, I think I have the ability to grow within the position and not just play this specific role. I know I can continue moving forward in my career.
Do you have a favorite project that you’ve been involved with since starting at YSN?
I love being involved in programming. Our Fall Fest in October was one of the first we hosted and it was a rare opportunity to bring all the community stakeholders together. I love being a part of creating culture and new traditions at YSN, and we hope to make the Fall Fest an annual event.
What do you find inspiring about working at YSN?
In many ways, there has been a major shift to my path in life since I’ve been here. It was a career restart for me after previously being the Program Manager/Research Assistant for the Yale University GEAR UP Partnership Project with the Bridgeport Public School District, and now I have a 14-month-old daughter at home along with my 12-year-old daughter and soon to be adopted 11-year-old son. My family moved out of the city into a new home in an area that is the classic New England suburbs. I see YSN as the starting point: I’ve made some big transitions during my time here.
I also really appreciate the people here. There are many different folks with a wide variety of lived experiences on campus. The student body comes from different career tracks that might not be based in health care, and our faculty and staff also have a wide range of experience. The more we tap into the great ideas that come from all these sources, the more we can enhance what we’re doing here.