UIC Business Black History Month Spotlight: Brittany Barton

Recent graduate Brittany Barton (Master of Science in Marketing ’18) is not your typical business student. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Psychology and Spanish from Loyola University New Orleans, the Baton Rouge native started her career in education – primarily in the education and training fields within the nonprofit sector. “I kind of just fell into this work,” she recollects. Her introduction into the industry started through working with Autistic children and teens, teaching her students social and emotional awareness, as well as sexual health. “It is so important for our students to know to take care of themselves, mentally and physically.” After spending five years of this work, she then transitioned into a position at the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago where she continued her work in youth sexual health education and violence prevention. Her main focus was to educate youth on their mental health and emotional wellness. “For me, this work is very energizing and fulfilling, which is why I pursued further education and opportunities in this field.”

Upon gaining additional work experience and realizing her passion, she enrolled in the Social Justice and Community Development program at Loyola University Chicago, earning her Master of Arts degree in 2012. After graduating from Loyola, Brittany continued her work in wellness and education at the Midwest AIDS Training + Education Center (MATEC), housed here at the University of Illinois at Chicago. MATEC is a federally-funded training center, providing AIDS and HIV clinical training and support to health care professionals. “My job was to provide training and counseling for healthcare providers to support individuals living with HIV/AIDS.” Through her work at MATEC, where she is still currently employed, she is able to provide support and empower individuals charged with the important task of providing care for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Brittany’s expansive work in the nonprofit, education, and healthcare space has not stopped her from pursuing other passion projects. In 2015, she self-published a children’s book entitled, Keeping A Monster Out, which earned a Top 5 Amazon Kindle Best Seller spot in February of 2016. When asked what inspired her to pen a children’s novel, she replied, “I love children and writing, so why not? It was a no-brainer.” It has always been a dream of Brittany’s to write at least one book. “If I can write one book, I will have the confidence to write another.” Keeping a Monster Out can be purchased on Amazon, under the pen name, Miss B., a title she so affectionately acquired as a Chicago Public School teacher.

Brittany previously did contractual work where she traveled across the country to speak about anti-bullying. As time went on, she realized that she didn’t possess any marketing skills, which she believed would be beneficial in increasing her reach as a public speaker. Thus, she enrolled in the Master of Marketing program here at UIC. As a recent graduate, it’s natural to wonder what’s next for “Miss B.” She recently was invited to speak at “Girls Who Brunch” – a women’s empowerment event held in the south suburbs. The event, focused on empowering young women of color, hosted speakers from various backgrounds and included different workshops that Brittany believed to be “so critical for our young women.” Her ultimate career goal is to do more motivational speaking and workshops surrounding health, wellness, and happiness. “My mission is to encourage people to be healthy and happy; through my hands with my writing and through my mouth by motivational speaking.”