Where are they now? An Interview with CDN Alumna, Lindsey Medalla

Contributor
2021 NextGen Fellow & Lindsey Medalla

Editor's Note: Our 2021 NextGen Fellows interviewed some of our CDN alumni. We will be featuring these interviews each month in 2022!

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

Lindsey Medalla: I went to the University of Rochester where I graduated with a degree in
Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Archeology, Technology, and Historical Structures in
2019. Currently, I am working as a systems engineer.

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Q:  Could you tell us more about your career and what you do in that role?

LM:  Working as a systems engineer within the federal government, I work on many different
tasks. These include project management of software development products and writing/updating
system requirements and specifications. Along with that, I have also done a lot of technical
writing with multiple official documents being published.

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"I really wanted more peer support and to not feel so alone with my diabetes."

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Q: What was your involvement with CDN in the past and are you still involved today?

LM: Before I went to college, I knew that CDN was something I wanted to be a part of.
In high school, I was the only person at my school that had type 1 diabetes. There was no one
there that I could relate to. I really wanted more peer support and to not feel so alone with my
diabetes.
So in an effort to connect with others who had diabetes, I started searching for
diabetes programs in universities. That is how I found the College Diabetes Network and
while applying to colleges, I kept a mental note of which ones had CDN Chapters. After joining a
CDN Chapter, I met many new friends. I would go on to take on many leadership positions, such as
president, during my time in CDN. I also had the chance to go on the College Diabetes
Network retreat where I met many others with type 1 diabetes, something I couldn’t do in
high school. Working with both my local Chapter and CDN national, I enjoyed my time while
connecting with others about diabetes. But after her graduation, I haven't interacted with CDN
much but I still look at the social media posts by CDN and often reflect on my time within the
network.

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"As for CDN affecting my professional career, I believe that it gave me opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise."

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Q: How did being in CDN affect you both personally and professionally?

LM: CDN gave me the chance to meet people not just around me but from across the
country
. Many of which I am still good friends with today. But it’s not just making friends,
CDN has taught me many things about diabetes. CDN discussed things that
wouldn’t be brought up at normal doctor’s appointments
such as diabetes advocacy, diabetes
burnout, and accommodations in college/workspace. As for CDN affecting my professional
career, I believe that it gave me opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise
. After my first
retreat, I was able to talk with professionals who worked in the diabetes industry. I had
a great conversation with someone who worked at Novo Nordisk about our mutual love for
theater. She introduced me to Marina, the founder of a non-profit organization called The
Betes Organization which creates theater programs to explore the mental/emotional side of living
with diabetes and other chronic illnesses. After a phone call with Marina, I was offered a
summer internship with the organization. I loved my time there and was offered to come back
the following summer. I learned so much from the internships and I credit CDN for
giving me the jump start needed for the opportunity.