On July 23, four Harvard Law School staff shared their ideas on how to build a better community as part of Harvard Law School’s “Staff Thinks Big.” The event was part of Harvard Law School’s “Thinks Big” series, inspired by the global TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) talks and modeled after the university’s “Harvard Thinks Big.”
Sponsored by HLS’s Joint Council, this year’s talks centered on themes of sports, leadership, creativity and physical exercise. Fran McCrossan, Derek Davis, Adrian Velazquez and Anita Patel, shared their passions outside of the workplace.
Fran McCrossan, dean of administration at Harvard Law School and an avid baseball fan, spoke about his experience coaching the Irish National Baseball Team. McCrossan, a longtime affiliate of the Slocum Baseball Club in Rhode Island, merged his love for baseball and his Irish heritage to help promote the sport of baseball in Ireland. The story of the team is captured in John Fitzgerald’s documentary film “The Emerald Diamond – The True Story of Ireland’s National Baseball Team.”
Derek Davis, executive director of Harvard Law School’s Program on the Legal Profession, spoke about his passion for comic book art and shared his encyclopedic knowledge of the history of comics. In his spare time, he creates his own comic book art, painting large, colorful canvases of comic book heroes. When he is not working or painting, he is also a volunteer in several area organizations, including the Board of Overseers of Boston University and the Board of Trustees of Cambridge College.
Adrian Velazquez, a project coordinator at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health, Law and Policy, spoke about the importance of leadership and civic engagement. Passionate about community involvement, Velazquez is currently Director of Special Projects at Massachusetts Democratic Party . He has held positions at the LASPAU, was appointed as a human rights commissioner by the city of Cambridge, has worked on many political campaigns, and is a founding member and co-chair of the Massachusetts Latino Democratic Caucus. In his talk, he shared his interest in advocacy work and organizing communities for political action.
Anita Patel, a web applications developer for the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, spoke about her love for fitness and teaching group exercise programs. When she is not working at the Berkman Center, she teaches Zumba, a Latin-themed dance program, as well as Bali X, a Bollywood-themed dance program, at the Harvard gyms. Patel demonstrated Zumba moves and invited her colleagues to try a class.