As part of a series of Q&As spotlighting a member of the Emerging Leaders, Sarah Ringold — practice administrator at Texas Children's Hospital and membership chair for the RYP advisory committee — talked about why she joined a young professionals group at the Baker Institute:
What drew you to the Baker Institute and the Emerging Leaders?
I graduated from the Jones School of Business in 2015 and was very focused on work for the first couple of years after school. Now that I'm more settled in my career, I'm excited about getting involved at Rice again. I'm hopeful that I can make a contribution to the Baker Institute and the Houston community as membership chair, in addition to getting to know the impressive RYP members and attending an amazing lineup of events.
How does your Emerging Leader membership benefit your job or career?
I work in hospital operations, so it's important that I have an understanding of health care policy and how changes to that policy might impact our patients. More than that, though, recent political events have reminded me of my responsibility to be informed about and engaged in local, state and federal public policy.
What has been your favorite program or event at the Baker Institute?
Jim Blackburn's talk on Houston's storm recovery efforts. It was both terrifying and motivating.
What do you feel is the number one policy issue of our time in the U.S.?
The widening gap between rich and poor, which is made worse by lack of access to high-quality health care and K-12 education.
What makes Houston such a great place for young professionals?
Houston has character. There are five-star restaurants next to condemned buildings, next to street art, next to live oak-lined streets. It's a dynamic, interesting environment. Houstonians embrace diversity, and they are industrious. After Harvey, it was socially unacceptable to not do something to help neighbors that had been affected by the storm. I can't think of another place where people would respond to a disaster with so much heart, and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
The Baker Institute Roundtable Young Professionals is a membership group dedicated to the institute’s mission of bridging the world of ideas and the world of action. Through a variety of social and informational events, the institute connects members to policy leaders while offering networking opportunities and engaging current and future supporters.
The Baker Institute Roundtable Young Professionals hosted a reception and lecture with Jim Blackburn, co-director of Rice University’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disaster (SSPEED) Center. Blackburn discussed long-term flood mitigation solutions for Houston based on SSPEED Center research on the region’s torrential rains.