Staff Award Winner Michelle Jones: The Ultimate Professional
By Ashley Kilday
Michelle Jones, an Administrative Assistant at UHD’s W.I. Dykes Library, received the Ultimate Professional Award, formerly known as the “Whistle While You Work Award.” She emerged as a shining star among the nominees, earning well-deserved recognition for her vital role at UHD.
When Michelle Jones joined UHD’s library team as an Administrative Assistant, she dived headfirst into the responsibilities that came her way. Although her day-to-day responsibilities, which include handling contracts, invoices, and requisitions, might differ from those traditionally thought of as “administrative,” Jones handles them with skill and enthusiasm. “I’m there to help,” she said. “If it’s cutting out something, ordering a flyer, I’m there. Just let me know what you need done.”
As the main Administrative Assistant for the entire library, Jones plays a pivotal role in ensuring a smooth operation behind the scenes. While her work primarily involves interacting with staff, Jones finds fulfillment in connecting with students during library outreach events.
“I enjoy interacting with students, teaching them more about the library and the different resources that we have here,” Jones said. “There are so many opportunities, like borrowing textbooks from our Course Reserves, which many students might not be aware of. I love being able to guide them and support their academic journey.”
Jones takes every chance to participate in outreach events, engaging with students and introducing them to the vast resources available at the library. From study rooms and computer labs on the fourth floor to the a treasure trove of collections and the circulation desk on the fifth floor, Jones enjoys revealing the hidden gems of the library. “Students might not know that we even have a fifth floor,” she said.
Her passion for networking and connecting with people led to Jones’ nomination for the Ultimate Professional Award by her supervisor, the department Business Administrator. The nomination came as a surprise to Jones, who admitted she didn’t expect to win, given the caliber of other nominees.
When asked why she thought she was nominated, Jones shared, “I feel like my supervisor nominated me because I’ve been insistent on getting out there, doing outreach events, and interacting with our staff. I enjoy networking and communicating and finding ways to better serve our UHD community.”
Her supervisor, Department Business Administrator Savannah Fields, agreed, adding, “I nominated Michelle because she goes above and beyond. She’s so invested in seeing students succeed, and she also keeps the Library running smoothly. We have a lot of open discussions that help make improvements to what we are working on or to how something is done or looks in the Library.”
Plans for the Future
Jones aspires to become a librarian by pursuing a Master of Library Science (MLS) degree. She aims to have more direct involvement with students, assisting them in accessing the library’s abundant resources and databases, in addition to supporting faculty and staff.
“I want to make a greater impact on our student population by providing more resources and instructional support,” she said.
“Michelle is a great employee, she cares about the work she puts out and always tries to give everything 110%. I couldn’t run my office without her,” said Fields.
The library staff at UHD and the students they serve are fortunate to have a dedicated and talented professional like Jones among them. With her bright demeanor, passion for outreach, and desire to make a difference, Jones continues to illuminate the way for those seeking knowledge and support at the W.I. Dykes Library.