Q: When did you
join the staff at Wesleyan and why?
A: I joined the
staff in the fall of 2000 looking for a career change. A very good friend
was on staff here and spoke so highly about working at Wesleyan. I was
searching for almost a year, looking for a position where each day would be
different – working a diverse schedule, meeting new people, taking on new
tasks and challenges. This newly created position with University Lectures
seemed like the perfect fit.
What were you doing before you came to Wesleyan?
My last job wasn't very exciting. I was the office manager for a local
orthodontist. But the one before that was great. I handled all human
resources, payroll and office management for The Tournament Players Club at
River Highlands, which meant my employer was the PGA Tour. That was cool.
Q: How do you
and Jean Shaw, the University Lectures coordinator, work together?
A: Jean Shaw
and I have worked wonderfully well as a two-person team. We handle the
logistics for a number of endowed lectures, from their inceptions to their
completion. We also assist faculty when they are applying for and receiving
funding from the Edward W. Snowdon Fund. These Snowdon supported lectures
are more numerous and we do everything from advising to organizing the
lecture events and setting up small dinners to working with the graphic
designer on advertising and posters. We also assist or manage individual
lecture budgets and attend the events we help sponsor.
Q: What do you
like most about your job?
A: I’d say the
diversity of skills used and the exposure and opportunity of working with
and getting to know such a large number of faculty and staff.
Q: I understand
working with lectures isn't the only thing you do at Wesleyan.
A: The major
part of my job is working with Lectures, but one-quarter of my time is
connected with Reunion and Commencement. This part of my job is to
coordinate and streamline the payment process for all R and C invoices and
help to track all expenses. In addition, I have taken on assisting the
Marshal of the Faculty for commencement. These come at the perfect time,
when logistical work on lectures quiets down in the spring and early summer,
so it rounds out my work schedule in a nice way.
Q: Do you
attend lectures your department put on?
A: Yes, we
attend every lecture, activity and performance, whether it be an endowed
lecture, such as the Hugo L. Black or Raymond E. Baldwin events where we are
totally involved, or be it a lecture, event or residency organized by an
academic department, including all events funded through the Snowdon grant
Q: What would
be an example?
A: A great
example of this is the current series of 19 events spanning three semesters
that the Center for Film Studies has organized in conjunction with different
academic departments. We also work closely with faculty, like Anne Greene,
to help support her major Writing Program lectures each year, the Annie
Sonnenblick Lecture and the Joan Jakobson evening.
Q: What have
been some of your favorite presenters or lectures?
A: It’s hard to
say. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing people over the past four
years. Our first Snowdon Fellow was Steven J. Gould who was remarkable. I
actually had the chance to accompany him on a private tour of Dinosaur State
Park in Rocky Hill. It was amazing. But I’d have to say my favorite lecture
each year is the Sturm lecture. Kathryn Johnston, of the Astronomy
Department, brings in terrific speakers and for me, the topics are
fascinating as each lecture explores an area of astronomy that is far beyond
our world but so relevant to our lives on earth.
generally presents the lectures? Professors? Visitors? Are there certain
topics they address?
A: The lectures
that we support and are involved with are always given by visitors. They are
often professors from other universities, but can be dignitaries, judges,
authors, dancers, college presidents, movie directors, journalists or
clergymen. For Snowdon funding, a faculty member writes a proposal with a
specific speaker, or speakers, and topic in mind. Snowdon supported events
are required to have participation from multiple departments, so the topics
can range as wide as your imagination will take it.
Q: What would I
find you doing on a weekend?
A: You can find
me most Sunday mornings sitting in my three-season room with a cup of coffee
and the newspaper. Over the past few years, my husband, Allen and I have
been busy with a series of redecorating projects at home and this seems to
be a never-ending process. One room triggers another. I enjoy the decorating
process, searching for just the right fabric or accessory. My degree was in
textiles and marketing so I love the hunt for a bargain and have a feel for
what works and what doesn’t.
Q: That sounds
like a fun, but inexhaustible project. Do you have other hobbies?
A: I like to
cook and I sew and I used to play a bit of tennis. I really enjoy going to
the movies and eating late dinners afterwards, so Allen and I will do one or
both on most weekends. Our closest friends include people I grew up with and
even though they live in New Jersey or New York, we often meet up for an
afternoon or dinner. Every few months we try and get into New York. I just
love the theater and the energy of the city.
Q: Where did
you meet your husband? Do you have any kids, and if so, what do they do for
A: I met Allen
when we were both at UConn. We’ve been married for 32 years and have two
sons. Allen has spent his career in labor and industrial relations with
Pratt and Whitney, which afforded me the opportunity to stay at home with
our kids while they were growing up. Stuart, our oldest, has been married
for three years, works as a financial advisor and lives just outside the
city. Our daughter-in-law, Meredith, is the general manager of the Jean
Cocteau Repertory Company. Andrew, our younger son, lives and works in New
York. He is an interactive Web designer, loves to travel and is focusing his
time and energies promoting Seven Ender, a rock band that he fronts.