When it comes to running an academic department, no day is the same for the administrative assistants and coordinators that maintain the office and serve as a jack-of-all-trades for faculty and students.
No matter the department, there is an administrative assistant or coordinator working to help the department run smoothly.
Art and Design Coordinator Hazel Augustin has been at UIndy for five years. Augustin’s duties are numerous and constantly changing, encompassing everything from emails, to faculty relations, to setting up artwork around the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, to helping students, to placing orders and more.
“There is no normal day in the art department… I don’t just sit behind a computer and type all day. I am all over the place. I basically do everything the art department needs,” Augustin said.
Across campus in Martin Hall, as the administrative assistant for the Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics and Earth Space Science Department, Lisa Battiato has held similar responsibilities for the 14 years she has been at UIndy.
“Every day is different. The same things I do every day all come along with surprises,” she said.
Battiato is currently working to get things ready for the banquet held on April 12th by her department. She’s in charge of getting RSVPs, inviting parents and getting awards ready.
She is also handling her normal duties such as budget and course management, tracking majors, dealing with alumni, major changing, handling adjunct faculty contracts, helping out professors who are not computer savvy, taking care of communication and processing scholarship funds.
Both Augustin and Battiato take pride in how they have decorated their offices with their own personal touches. Over the years, their offices have become a part of who they are and the impression they hope to give to others who stop in for a visit.
“My office is kind of like a jungle… I love gardening, [and] I put in all of the plants to give it more of a welcoming feeling,” Battiato said. “This is my home away from home.”
Augustin’s office is filled with ceramics, some of which are the property of the department, but most were she made herself.
“I want to continue with my clay… I would like to get to a point where I could actually profit off of it,” Augustin said.
The one thing that seems to drive these coordinators to put forth so much effort in their jobs is their love for the university and the students, according to Battiato and Augustin.
Both enjoy how closely they get to work with students on a daily basis.
“Everyone has welcomed me and been very helpful. It’s a community… I don’t have much family out here [in Indiana], so basically this is my family,” Augustin said. “I hope to retire from here. I’m happy with where I’m at. I’ve formed such great relationships here; this will be my last job.”
Staying in touch with former students is a perk that Battiato loves. She stays in contact with former students from over the years either on Facebook or by seeing them at university and alumni events.
“There is just a lot of involvement with our students, which is very cool… We’re [UIndy] small enough to have a family setting and for faculty and students to really be close,” Battiato said.
While neither coordinator plans to leave anytime soon, they do have dreams for the future.
“I strive to better myself. At one point, I was going to go back to school, but I decided to wait until my kids were done with college,” Battiato said. “You’re never too old to learn.”