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April Croxton
Katie Valentine

April Croxton

Dr. April Croxton is an analyst with NOAA's Policy, Planning and Evaluation (PPE) office, but is currently on detail in Formulation and Congressional Analysis (FCA).   

What drew you to your current career or field?

I am transitioning career paths and am new to the policy and budget fields. I was a researcher in my previous career and had very little knowledge of the policy and budget side of science. As I matured as a researcher, I began to understand the importance of these two fields in order to truly communicate the science that I was conducting.

What projects or research are you working on now?

The congressional side of the Formulation and Congressional Analysis team is responsible for communicating the science of NOAA OAR to Capitol Hill. This involves responding to questions from the Hill, facilitating lab and program visits with Hill members, and facilitating the completion of documents and reports requested by Congress.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I still consider myself a newbie to my current field, but I enjoy the entire learning process. I’m able to put all of the pieces together from a researcher and administrative perspective. I am a lifelong student, and I learn something new every day in my current position. I also love that my duties vary day to day, and week to week. It never gets boring.

Who do you look to as a role model and why?

The elders in my family are my role models because of the wealth of historical knowledge that they possess. I am also inspired by the females in my profession who have endured many hardships, but have continued to succeed towards their goals.

What does success mean to you?

Success to me means happiness. I consider myself lucky that I am able to go to a job every day that I genuinely like, and worked hard to get.

What was the best advice ever given to you that helped you become successful?

The best advice that I received that has contributed to my success was from my high school counselor. I knew early on in my academic studies that I wanted to be a researcher, but my counselor cautioned me about specializing in one particular area. Many years later, I understand how important it is to have a broad understanding of many topical areas. This has really made me a more well-rounded individual.

What challenges have you faced as a woman in your career/field, or in general, and how have you overcome them?

In general, I have observed women facing isolation and/or lack of a community, not being heard, or just being ignored. Luckily for me I have been in environments where there was a diverse gender representation in my working groups. 

What’s been your favorite (or proudest) moment in your career so far? 

I am proud of myself for having the courage to try something new (a new career path), and to recognize that I was not growing anymore. Although it was a difficult move to make, I am proud of myself for taking control of my career.

What do you hope to accomplish in the future? What do you hope the future for women in science looks like?

I hope to continue to grow and develop my skills, and I hope to inspire other individuals who have similar interests. My hope for the future is that there is a healthy and balanced environment for women to grow and prosper in the science field.

Looking back, what would you tell yourself when you were 12 years old? Or what advice would you give to a woman just starting out in her career?

To my 12-year-old self I would say, "Be fearless. You can do whatever you put your mind to." I would also say the same thing to a woman starting out in her career. My journey, thus far, has not been easy, but I never forgot to stay positive and to look at the greater goal.

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