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Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


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FHWA Works: Employee Spotlight - Stephanie Stoermer

Photo of Stephanie Stoermer

Full Name: Stephanie Stoermer
Title: Environmental Program Specialist/Archaeologist
Division/Department: Environment, Air Quality & Realty Technical Services Team, Resource Center

  1. What is your current position and how long have you been in this role?
    Environmental Program Specialist. I came to the Resource Center in 2006 from the California Division. I joined FHWA in 1999 as a mid-career hire.

  2. What is your typical workday like?
    I always try to get an early start—especially if I am traveling. I try to make a list at the end of the day of tasks that need to be accomplished the next day so I’ll be prepared. Even with that to-do list, I’ve learned that I’ll probably still need to multi-task due to the number of projects I’m involved with across the country. My mantra is: Always expect the unexpected and find a way to deal with it.

  3. What has been your biggest accomplishment over the last year?
    Successfully transitioning to full-time remote work (FTRW). FTRW requires both self-discipline and flexibility, however I believe I am more productive—and more accessible to my customers—because I can hit the ground running every morning.

  4. Prior to working at FHWA, what was the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had?
    I’ve had several unusual and interesting jobs, so it’s difficult to pick just one. Perhaps my most memorable “job” was during my graduate school days. I worked as an archaeological research assistant on an extended archaeological project on San Clemente Island off the coast of California. Civilian access to San Clemente Island is very restricted because it belongs to Navy so being there was unique experience. Officially, the island is now uninhabited but Native Americans—the precursors of the Gabrielino/Tongva people—likely lived there at least 10,000 years ago. Trying to survive in such a harsh environment shaped Native lifeways and beliefs—it made them tough and resilient. And living alone in a tent for six weeks at a time, going into the field before daybreak and then working into the evening on my master’s thesis helped make me more resilient—so I often felt a kinship to the island’s original inhabitants. That sense of kinship undoubtedly led me to the work that I do now—working to foster long-term and productive relationships with Tribes.

  5. What are your hobbies in your spare time?
    Researching unique and often esoteric topics, as well as writing, photography and creating mixed-media artwork. I also collect—and use—vintage typewriters.

  6. What is one of the biggest lessons you have learned in your career to get you where you are today?
    Don’t be afraid to try something new or step outside your comfort zone. Every day provides an opportunity to learn as well as an opportunity to share knowledge with others—take advantage of it.

  7. Who do you admire in the transportation field and why?
    Tough question—I could name numerous individuals I admire in transportation or transportation-related fields. I’d have to say that the folks I most admire are the ones who are committed to maintaining and improving our transportation networks because they realized early in their careers that transportation literally keeps America going. Without such individuals, and their tireless efforts, our nation would grind to a halt rather quickly.

  8. Complete this sentence: "People would be surprised if they knew..."
    ...That I was an extra in an Academy Award-winning film!

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Page last modified on November 13, 2018
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