Geri Spotlight: Paula Jennifer Sison and Ryan McMahan

The Geriatrics Spotlight initiative fosters community building within the Division, especially during this age of hybrid/remote work where it can be challenging to find ways to interact with colleagues outside of your immediate teams. This is a way for Division members to learn more about all the wonderful work we’re doing!

This week, we get to know our division members, Paula Jennifer Sison and Ryan McMahan.

Paula Jennifer Sison
Paula Jennifer Sison
Role: Senior Admin Coordinator
Joined Division: 2018
Work site: Mission Bay and from home in San Francisco, CA
Email: [email protected]

Interviewed by Ryan McMahan over Zoom.

About Paula’s Role/Ongoing Projects
Paula is dedicated to the onboarding of new hires, finding joy in this role as it allows her the initial opportunity to meet and provide valuable information about the division to newcomers. Throughout the onboarding process, she engages in discussions about the division's culture and mission, offering new hires insights into the functioning of the entire UCSF. The Geriatrics department is likened to the Disneyland of UCSF, characterized by a friendly and approachable atmosphere. This year, Paula will take on a more active role in organizing division events.

Paula's favorite part of her role is the opportunity to meet new people. Additionally, she takes pleasure in keeping up with the Gerinews, finding pride in staying informed about the activities and accomplishments of her colleagues.

What is a professional goal you would like to accomplish by the end of this year?
Paula's professional objective is to assist Karen in identifying "the missing piece" within the administrative team. They are actively seeking one additional professional specializing in administration and finance to contribute to the Division's financial responsibilities.

More about Paula
What’s one “fun fact” about you that not many people know? (e.g., hidden talent)
Paula is an actor who studied acting for four years in San Francisco. She likes to do comedy and drama roles, with a special love for playing quirky characters.

What is the best advice you've ever heard?
“Prioritize your peace of mind.”

Who is someone you admire, and why?
Paula deeply admires her mother, Rosalia, not only for enduring life's challenges but also for consistently offering unconditional love and a sense of humor.

What are some causes you care about?
Paula is passionate about mental health.

What would your back-up career be?
Paula would be a content creator!

Ryan McMahan
Ryan McMahan
Role: Clinical Fellow in Geriatrics and Palliative Care
Joined Division: 2010
Work site: Parnassus, Mission Bay, ZSFG, SFVAHCS, Center for Geriatric Care & Jewish Home, and from home in San Francisco, CA
Email: [email protected]

Interviewed by Paula Jennifer Sison over Zoom.

About Ryan’s Role/Ongoing Projects
Ryan is presently involved in a research project exploring the connection between anxiety and depression and their impact on engagement in advance care planning. This initiative aims to address a gap in knowledge within the research field regarding the effects of mental health on older adults dealing with serious chronic illnesses.

Ryan particularly enjoys the diversity in his role, which involves a blend of clinical work, acquiring medical knowledge, and treating older adults. Additionally, he finds fulfillment in exploring research topics and collaborating with world-class researchers in the field.

What is a professional goal you would like to accomplish by the end of this year?
Ryan's professional goal is to work on putting together his first small grant (GEMSSTAR).

More about Ryan
What are you happiest doing in your free time?
Ryan finds joy in attending live concerts, with a recent highlight being a chamber music performance at the Legion of Honor. He is eagerly anticipating an upcoming concert by RADMUSEUM, a Korean R&B singer.

What is the best advice you've ever heard?
“People could advise you about how to achieve your goals, but the only path will be your own.”

What would your back-up career be?
Ryan would be a K-pop music producer, leveraging his extensive knowledge of 90's hip-hop music to create impressive beats for the K-pop genre.