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‘Take Five’ with Norma Evans

Even when Norma Evans puts you on hold, you still feel like you have her full attention. The switchboard operator and senior program assistant in the office of business services at the Hamilton campus has been stationed in the campus mail/information center for nearly 20 years.

Her friendly southern drawl can warm up any day, even those cold winter days like the one in January when The Miami Report placed a call to Hamilton’s 785-3000 general number. “Good morning. Miami Hamilton. Can I help you?” Norma asked in her cheerful voice that hints at the smile always on her face.

How do you keep that smile after 20 years?

“That’s easy. I love my job! I love it back here,” she said referring to her workstation — a little room with faculty/staff mail slots surrounding her and a wide front window open to the main hallway of the first floor in Mosler Hall. Most of the day, you will see one or several faculty, staff members or students leaning on the ledge talking to Norma about their day, their problems and their successes.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

“I enjoy trying to help people and find solutions to their problems. I really like talking to people.”

What type of questions do you get during the day?

“Oh, on snowy days like today, students want to know if classes have been canceled. Of course, I always refer them to our weather line, but they still call. I give a lot of directions to our campus and to classrooms. Many people want to know how big our campus is, if we have a bookstore that sells Miami sweatshirts and T-shirts and whether or not our academic programs are nationally accredited. Which they are. Every once in a while, I get that phone call from a student wanting to leave a message for a professor, but not knowing the professor’s name.”

Do you know everyone on campus?

“Oh, no. I know most people, but unfortunately not everyone. I know most of the people who are here during the day, but some of our instructors are only here on campus in the evenings. I don’t know a lot of them. Sometimes I may work an evening and then I get to meet new people.”

You have a not-so-secret second personality, who is she?

“You mean Cleo? When my children were younger, I would dress up for Halloween. I saved the outfit for Cleo the Clown. It just seemed only fitting that Cleo would come out of the closet every Halloween. Everybody looks forward to it every year.” (Norma visits with CampusKids on the Hamilton campus, students, faculty and staff. On her days off, Norma and Cleo visit nursing homes in Hamilton.)

Date Published: 01/25/2007
Volume: 26   Number: 13

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