"Students Greatest Reward" Says Excellence Award Winner
By Dave Moore, ECS
January 30, 2008
Lisa Nugent photo
Every workplace should be lucky enough to employ a special person who serves as the "glue" holding the daily life of the office together. Someone who remembers birthdays and greets her coworkers each day with a smile of genuine interest.
Linda Scogin, senior administrative assistant in the Department of Natural Resources, is just such a person. Aside from being the administrative "glue" of her department, Scogin is a highly trusted colleague who works directly with the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA) associate dean, the Graduate School, the University Honors Program, and the Office of the Registrar. She manages the office, maintains student records, assists with research relating to departmental reviews, and finds time to take invigorating walks during her lunch breaks.
"What I like best about my job is the diversity of things I do each day," says Scogin, who has worked in COLSA at UNH for the better part of 20 years. "My favorite part of working at a university is helping the students. They are so appreciative of everything you do for them. This is my greatest reward."
By any measure, Scogin does quite a bit for them.
In a given year, the department enrolls 65 students in the natural resources graduate program, and more than 200 undergraduate students in its environmental conservation studies, environmental sciences, forestry, and wildlife ecology programs. The responsibility of maintaining student records and assigning academic advisors allows Scogin to serve as a contact person for students and faculty, providing support from freshman orientation to graduation.
Helping all of these students each semester is a monumental task. Requirements and prerequisites must be taken into account; faculty approvals must be obtained, coordinating registration for students attending the EcoQuest program in New Zealand, Honors requirements, or any of a hundred other twists and turns of daily student life.
While every student has a faculty advisor to help plan and guide the academic experience, Scogin is charged with keeping track of their academic records throughout their four or more years at UNH. To assist herself and her colleagues with doing so, Scogin developed a database that contains the complete academic record of every student in the department. Maintained by Scogin with spot-on accuracy and timeliness, the database helps everybody do their jobs better.
"Linda helps us recognize and avoid problems before they arise," says one faculty member. "But when a challenge does arise, she is always focused on finding the solution and then being the one who follows through."
Students know if they cannot find the chair or their advisor, Scogin is the "go to" person. Scogin works tirelessly to foster and maintain the strong sense of community among students, faculty, and staff. Said one prior department chair of Scogin: "My job as chair is made easier by a terrific administrative team under Linda's very capable direction."