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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Communication Studies secretary has double duty as student and staff member

Date: 05/10/2011

From hiring to scheduling classes to advising students, Christine Quay, the Department of Communication Studies' only secretary, handles just about every administrative duty for the department - all while attending the university as a part-time graduate student.

Communication Studies administrative assistant Christine Quay, center, is joined by NMSU President Barbara Couture, left, and Employee Council Chair Steve Loring, right, as well as her husband and daughter after Quay was presented with the first-ever A Mountain Service Award. (NMSU Photo)

"I take care of whatever needs to be done," Quay said. "I dabble in just about everything."

Employed nearly seven years with the department, Quay assists both students and faculty, coordinates special events within the department and mentors and supervises four student workers. Outside of work, she is an NMSU student seeking her master's in criminal justice.

"Chris is the person who keeps the department running, and always with a positive attitude," Department Head Anne Hubbell said.

Originally from New Jersey, Quay started work in New Mexico with the Las Cruces School District in July 2003, working with disabled students. She worked in a temporary position with the NMSU Financial Aide and Scholarship Services Office before joining the Department of Communication Studies.

"I really enjoy my job and working with students," Quay said. "I enjoy the diversity among students and learning about their different backgrounds and cultures. I assist them with everything from selecting classes to applying for graduation. I'm kind of like a mom. I really feel like they're all my kids."

After working for some time with the department, Quay enrolled as a student at the university. She received her bachelor's degree in criminal justice with high honors and has continued her education as a graduate student.

"I think working in this environment gave me that extra shove I needed to return to school," Quay said. "It's great to see both sides of the university from a student and staff perspective and it makes it easier to help and relate to students."

Quay was the recipient of the first NMSU Employee Council "A" Mountain Award, intended to honor exemplary, full-time regular staff employees. Recipients are chosen based on five criteria: innovation, responsiveness, service, spirit and teamwork. The award, which she received in April, is given to honor staff in the NMSU system, including off-campus facilities and community colleges. Quay was chosen from among 26 nominees.

"I am very honored to have received this award," Quay said. "I was so taken that those who nominated me took the time to send e-mails and write in; it's an awesome feeling. I'm glad to help out any way that I can."

Written by Donyelle Kesler.

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