Q&A with Administrative Coordinator Jana Richardson

Jana Richardson (left) and Ann Chanitz take part in a recent St. Louis Turkey Trot.

What is your role in the department, and how long have you been at WashU?

I support two programs in our department. Along with my wonderful co-worker Maria Harrington, I serve as an administrative coordinator for the Residency Program and work closely with Drs. Judith Lieu and Jason Rich and all the residents to ensure the quality of our program. I also provide administrative coordination for the NIH T32 research training grant, and work closely with Dr. Piccirillo to help ensure the success of the training program and collection of required data for NIH reporting. Before moving to Missouri six years ago, I lived in Portland, Oregon, and had a 20-year career in nonprofit management and fundraising.

Son Drew Sinha, Jana Richardson, and life partner Dhruba Sinha.

What do you like most about your work here?

The people. Definitely the people.

You are the Wellness Champion for the department. What interested you in taking on that role?

I am motivated for personal reasons. I am always striving to improve my health/weight, and I participated in one of the WashU-sponsored health & fitness challenges during my first year working here. I created a team and encouraged co-workers to get involved. Then when WashU established the Wellness Champion program a couple of years ago and was asking for volunteers from each department, I jumped at the chance to serve as a liaison. As such, I share/distribute information and resources produced by the WashU Wellness Program and encourage participation in the Wellness Challenges.  

photo of Jana with her art
Richardson amidst some of her multimedia artwork.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am a mixed media artist, which means I incorporate all kinds of materials into my artwork. I love color – lots of color. Occasionally I post my work on Instagram @jana.creative.endeavors.

I also love to travel. I took a 40-day trip around the world to celebrate my 40th birthday. I spent three weeks in India and absolutely fell in love with the people there. I’ve been back many times.

Most of my free time lately has been spent helping to prepare for our son’s wedding, which was June 26.

Do you have a favorite movie, book or quote, and why?

Richardson with a new friend, one of the monks at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India.

If I had to choose just one, I would say my favorite book is “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miguel Ruiz. It’s a simple book, but packs a lot of wisdom in just a few words. It’s a book I revisit often, to remind myself to: 1) be impeccable with your words; 2) don’t take anything personally; 3) don’t make assumptions; and 4) always do your best.

What would most surprise your colleagues to learn about you?

In October 2010 I ran the Columbia Gorge Marathon. It was my first and last marathon, but I got to scratch that one off the bucket list.