TAMEST Staff Profile: Crystal Tucker, Information Systems Manager
Crystal Tucker has been with the organization for more than 15 years. Starting in 2008 as an Administrative Associate, she now serves as Information Systems Manager and works behind the scenes to ensure TAMEST’s website and databases run smoothly.
Crystal says she has always been interested in numbers and analytics from an early age. She grew up in a small Texas town and took every math class her high school offered and competed in math and science competitions across the state.
She moved to Austin for college, where she attended St. Edward’s University. She says it was an internship in college that helped solidify her future in nonprofit work and gave her a passion to give back to a mission she believes in.
TAMEST connected with Crystal to learn more about her work for TAMEST and how its mission has inspired her for the past 15 years.
Why did you decide to work for TAMEST?
I interned at a nonprofit in college, and it was a transformative experience. I admired the team’s dedication to fulfilling the organization’s mission, and I realized how much I valued doing meaningful work. My past work experience included working in small team environments, and I learned early on that I thrive in this environment. When I interviewed with the TAMEST staff, I knew this organization was the right fit for me.
In addition, I was attracted to the mission of TAMEST bringing together the brightest minds in medicine, engineering, science and technology to foster collaboration, and to advance research, innovation and business in Texas. I was excited about working with Nobel Laureates and members of the National Academies and promoting the organization.
You’ve worn a lot of hats over the years. How did you end up managing our websites and Databases?
TAMEST was a young organization when I started in 2008, so there were a lot of possibilities for growth. I was the Administrative Associate for the first three years and supported the Executive Director with board and committee management, events and programs.
I was interested in maintaining our website, so I helped with updates and adding new content. When I was promoted to the communications department as the first Communications and Marketing Manager in 2011, website management became my responsibility, and I worked with our Communications Director and website developers to expand and improve TAMEST’s online presence.
In addition, I was instrumental in creating TAMEST’s first printed and online newsletters. I’ve served as our email marketing tool administrator since the beginning, but my job duties have changed over time. I started out creating and sending emails and maintaining our lists and later set up new email marketing tools that better fit TAMEST’s needs.
What does your job entail?
In my role as the Information Systems Manager, I collaborate with everyone on the team. As the database administrator, I train and support staff, customize our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, update records, generate reports, create dashboards and maintain our lists. I track affiliations, memberships, committees, award recipients, protégés, donations, event registrations and other pertinent data. As the email marketing tool administrator, I compile and maintain email lists.
As the website administrator, I train and support staff as well as update and create content. I work closely with the communications team to ensure our content reflects the TAMEST brand. In addition, I manage our event management system, setting up event registration pages and overseeing and processing registrations. I also serve as the primary contact for connecting with support teams to troubleshoot and resolve system issues that arise.
What do you love about your job?
I love that managing technology involves a high attention to detail and problem solving. Technology is always changing and presents unique challenges, which requires me to adapt frequently. I enjoy the variety my position entails and the opportunities to create and streamline processes for my role.
Have you always been interested in technology?
I haven’t always been interested in technology, but I have a passion for learning and have always been analytically focused. Implementing new technology or maintaining existing technology involves curiosity and a willingness to learn and solve problems. While technology can be challenging at times, those challenges push me to grow and develop new skills.
Moving to a CRM system in 2010 led me down a path I had never considered. The system was complex, and my analytical side wanted to understand the platform and the relationships between the data so I could maximize the system’s capabilities. That’s the moment I realized technology would be part of my career path.
What has inspired you to work at TAMEST for the past 15 years?
Over the past 15 years, I’ve seen TAMEST grow and evolve in many ways, and it’s been exciting to see it all happen and be a part of it. I’ve met so many wonderful people and have made lifelong friends.
I feel valued as a team member and know my teammates appreciate my contributions. As a small team, we can only achieve TAMEST’s goals when we work together, so we rely on each other for support and feedback as we strive to elevate Texas as a research destination.
What makes you passionate about your work?
Seeing how many talented researchers live and work in Texas is inspiring. I admire their passion and drive to do research in medicine, engineering, science and technology to better the lives of Texans and others around the world. It’s been a pleasure and honor working with the research community across the state.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, baking, traveling, reading and listening to podcasts. I love being out in nature; botanical gardens and parks are among my favorite places.