Jenny Williams is the research coordinator for the NIH-funded transgender health study led by Poteat. As the study moves through its initial planning and approval stages, Williams's work is centered around cementing the study protocol, organizing a community advisory board of trans women, and preparing to recruit participants.
Poteat and Williams only began working together in late 2018, but the two quickly developed a strong rapport.
"What really impressed me about Jenny is her personality," Poteat said. "She's very friendly, warm and engaging, and also very open."
"For all of us doing this work, we have to be open to learning from people who engage in research -- from our colleagues, from community members that are engaged in the research endeavor -- and be open to change," Poteat added. "I see that in Jenny. I also see a strong commitment to social justice and the desire to make a difference."
Williams, meanwhile, feels inspired to work with Poteat. "Tonia is one of those rare people that's extremely smart, but also extremely nice," she said. "You don't find that very often. She's also very good about including people at every level on the project and really respecting the ideas of people from all different backgrounds, and I think that makes her work stronger. ... She's really in tune with what it's like to be a care provider, and what it's like to be a researcher."
"The other thing that I really appreciate about her," Williams continued, "is that she stays very, very focused on social justice, on making lives better and holding people accountable for treating people the way they deserve to be treated. But she's able to work in a way that could change clinical practice, too. I think that is a very important combination."