To balance work, family life and personal well-being during a pandemic is a seemingly impossible task. Ohio State alumna Shawntera Hardy, ’00, has found a strategy that works for her, and she employs a number of support systems to create harmony in her life.
Hardy celebrates people who have found or continue to search for solutions in today’s unforgiving environment. “We’re navigating so many different barriers, so many different systems and structures in our communities, so it’s just been amazing to see folks still progress forward,” she said.
Her family is dedicated to keeping each other grounded. After constant travel, Hardy and her husband have spent the last year deepening their journey together.
Additionally, twice a week, her extended family comes together virtually from across the country to support each other through what her brother titled Push-ups, Planks and Prayer (PPP). She describes these gatherings as “a time to move our bodies, our souls and our minds.”
“This crisis has brought about some amazing moments for my family. I will forever treasure the trials, celebrations and the lessons that I’ve learned,” Hardy said, a family resource management major.
Her family also sets aside time to share lessons about figures and events in Black history, naming the weekly discussion Black History Thursdays. Hardy encourages people to visit the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture as it offers impressive virtual tours and archives.
Hardy is the cofounder of tech company Civic Eagle, a venture-backed company that creates tools for various organizations that track, analyze and collaborate on state and federal public policy. “Our platform, Enview, allows you to see that bill going from introduction, all the way to the governor’s desk for signature, or from introduction in Congress, all the way to the president’s desk.”
Her company was a crucial tool during the pandemic when legislative processes became less accessible to the public. “It’s amazing for us to continue to grow and add value for such a time as this when everything has moved into the virtual space,” Hardy said.
Hardy’s passion for others does not end with her company. As a member of the Minnesota Public Radio Board, she is leading the effort to ensure the media company provides programming that speaks to the many narratives in the community.
She enjoys several radio shows, including “News with Angela Davis” and “Brains On!,” an educational podcast for children that supports youth’s potential to develop interests in scientific studies and current events.
As Hardy looks back on her time at Ohio State, she recognizes aspects of the university that still guide her today. Belonging to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority brought lifelong friends, unmatched support and lasting leadership skills.
Hardy also celebrates her professors and their guidance as she continues to incorporate their teaching of empathy into her daily work. She names Professor Emeritus Loren Geistfeld and Associate Professor Cathy Montalto as encouraging her to do research. As a result, Hardy’s research project won first place in her category in the annual Denman Undergraduate Research Forum.
“I am grateful that I had professors who really leaned in to not only see the potential in me but to harness it in a way that I never imagined,” she said.