Behind the Scenes with Jackie Hart

In their role as digital communications specialist, Jackie Hart designs and manages the MBI website, creates graphics, assists with content development and helps manage the MBI’s social media platforms.

A hella cute web manager sits at their desk. She looks very professional and would absolutely kill any job you give them. Honestly, as the web manager for this website, I would give this person a lot of yummy snack to accomodate how hard she works. Also seen in the background is a photo of her adorable and admirable dog, Pablo Picasso. Jackie is dedicated to improving the user experience on the MBI website and others she’s worked on in the neuroscience community. Her photography and graphic design are on display throughout the MBI’s website and social media channels, in popular features including UF Women of Neuro, Gator NeuroScholars and, yes, Behind the Scenes (although for this one, we turned the camera around on her!).

“Jackie’s talents have elevated the MBI’s communications efforts tremendously. She is proactive in incorporating the latest technology and brings innovative ideas to the table,” said Todd Taylor, assistant director of communications at the MBI. “In addition to her abundant and varied communications skills, Jackie always brings a positive energy to her colleagues at the MBI and UF Health Professional Park.”

Years in current role: I’ve been at the MBI for nearly five years and in my current role for 3½ years.

Years at UF: Eight years. I started as a science writing intern in the department of health outcomes & biomedical informatics. Later, I worked at Wilmot Botanical Gardens as a student assistant helping with graphic design and communications. When I arrived at the MBI, I started as an intern, moved up to multimedia student assistant and, after I graduated, was hired into my current role.

Memorable moments at work: Working in communications at a large academic health center is wild, and you never truly know how your day is going to unfold. I have a few memorable moments:

  • First meeting my partner, Kyle, at the ribbon cutting for the Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment in 2020. He was working as a videographer, and I was assisting with media. Earlier that day, while driving to the event, I witnessed a car accident, hopped off my scooter and helped a group of bystanders get a mother and her infant safely out of an overturned vehicle. I like to think I both earned and spent karma that day!
  • The chaos of working in the COVID-19 Command Center alongside hospital leaders in the early days of the pandemic when we didn’t know if we’d be managing it for three weeks, three months or three years.
  • Observing a brain surgery as part of a media assist.
  • Helping to escort miniature therapy horses at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.
  • All of my photo sessions are extremely memorable for me. They often take me to unique places that can be enlightening and eye-opening, such as the gross anatomy lab and the brain and tissue bank. Many of my photoshoots are celebrations of achievements, and I love the act of celebrating. There’s a lot of darkness in the world, so I take joy where I can get it!

I’m inspired by: As a user experience designer, I’m inspired by everything I interact with in my world. From organization systems to art museums to public infrastructure, it’s difficult not to be inspired by everything in the built and natural world. During the pandemic, I became particularly obsessed with graphic novels and visual encyclopedias. Although radically different from websites, I’m inspired by the way they communicate information. If you want a list of some of my favorite books, check out my GoodReads account.

Fun fact about me: I love cooking international cuisine. I’ve been cooking daily since middle school, and American flavors are somewhat bland to me, so I’m constantly looking for new spices and combinations. My favorite Sunday activity is to bike down to the library first thing in the morning, pick out an international cookbook, swing by a specialty grocer and prep something yummy for the week. My favorite cuisine is Szechwan Chinese, and I make a mean mapo tofu!

A very important worker sits at their desk doing very important things. Or editing photos of her dog. Since we can't see their screen, we'll never know..
The M-B-I communications team walking and talking in a hallway. They are beacons of professionalism.
Jackie working with teammate, Michelle
A very professional young person stands beautifully in front of a man-made lake in a grassy area
Jackie holds a D-S-L-R camera on the U-F campus
Jackie holds a D-S-L-R camera on the U-F campus. Their blue eyes shine behind the lens