Erin (Berry) Konecki ’04 knows that the path to one’s destination is not always a straight line. As an active student at SUA, Erin played soccer and was a member of the cross-country team. As a young person, she had no idea that her life path would leave her with a slew of letters behind her name.
Erin’s journey started when she was at the beside of her dying grandmother and saw the challenges of caring for a loved one. She felt if she could handle caring for someone so close to her heart, she could give that same care and concern to a stranger. Erin earned her degree in nursing, becoming a Registered Nurse early in her career. Her first experiences in health care included working in rehabilitation and on a medical-surgical floor. Wanting to be better equipped to handle emergency situations, she obtained an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification, assisted on fly-alongs with LifeFlight, and worked as an Emergency Room Nurse at University of Toledo Medical College. Upon completion of her EMT certification, Erin joined North Central Emergency Medical Service as a Mobile Intensive Care Unit nurse and an EMT.
Erin later earned a master’s degree in public health and focused largely on disaster management and emergency preparedness. As a lifelong learner, Erin then entered Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) Basic Academy. After a brief but noteworthy stint as a safety and health specialist, she became the Deputy Director of Wood County Emergency Management Agency. Most recently, she completed the FEMA Advanced Academy and became an Ohio Certified Emergency Manager. During this busy period, Erin was also growing her family with her husband, Luke.
Erin offers her fellow alumnae career advice: being in a position where males are typically the majority, she recognizes that bias and stereotypes regarding women are real—but she said building bridges with constituents, building a personal brand, realizing that getting a little uncomfortable can be valuable, staying true to one’s values, and knowing that persistence and patience will pay off are the most important lessons to keep in mind. Erin pursued education that originally allowed her to care for others in an individual capacity, but she now serves the community at large. Erin Konecki, MPH, BSN, RN, EMT, OCEM, works in the community where her impact is undeniable.
- Making an Impact