Getting to Know Zoe Spearman

Project administrator in the dean’s office on marathons, pasta, and tadpoles

Zoe Spearman joined the Harvard Medical School Office of the Dean as a project administrator in September 2022. MyHMS talked with Spearman about her background, her interests, and working at HMS.

Zoe Spearman climbs inside a strangler fig tree
Spearman climbs inside a strangler fig tree in Costa Rica.

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MyHMS: What brought you to HMS?

Spearman: My team is what really brought me to HMS. I applied for the project administrator position in the Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine because I was interested in getting involved in higher education. However, I accepted the position because I enjoyed meeting my team during the interview process. I knew that this job would challenge me and that I would constantly be learning.

MyHMS: What did you do before you started working at HMS?

Spearman: Before I started working at HMS, I was a paraprofessional for one year at the Pierce School in Brookline, where I worked with first-graders in two vibrant classrooms. In the spring of 2021, I graduated from Occidental College, where I studied biology, with a concentration in environmental science.

MyHMS: What’s the most interesting or unusual job you’ve had?

Spearman: The most unusual job I have ever had was raising Isthmohyla pseudopuma tree frog tadpoles as a student researcher in Monteverde, Costa Rica. I hiked up a mountain and collected tadpoles from an ephemeral pool near the Continental Divide and raised them in low and high densities while analyzing their weight and body length. This climate study assessed the effects of the lifting cloud base on amphibians that are now being annexed into smaller areas.

two hands holding a very small frog
Spearman holding a tree frog during her time in Costa Rica.

MyHMS: How would you describe your new role to someone unfamiliar with what you do?

Spearman: I would say that I manage a wide array of projects and events for the Office of the Dean. Currently, I am becoming involved with climate and sustainability initiatives at HMS as well as supporting the Subcommittee on Artwork and Cultural Representations. I also work closely with the chief of staff and help to manage her calendar.

MyHMS: What do you like best about your job and working at HMS?

Spearman: My favorite part about working as a project administrator at HMS is that I am surrounded by people who love what they do and that I am always meeting new people. I am never bored, and I feel like a valued member of the HMS community.