Patricia Storer PAT (Professional, Administrative, and Technical Staff) Award
Director of Curriculum Support
When Mary Campbell took her first position at Plymouth State in 1974 as the secretary for the director of graduate studies, she had no previous experience working in an academic setting. “I think because I had such a wonderful supervisor to begin with,” says Campbell, “I just loved what truly became an academic community for me.”
Since then, Campbell’s career at PSU has evolved dramatically. In 1979, she and then-associate dean Lawrence Douglas created the Office of Undergraduate Studies. “We were given the assignment of handling the academic part of the undergraduate students’ experience here,” Campbell recalls. In 1983, she served as an educational assistant and in 1988 she was promoted to assistant director of Undergraduate Studies. In 1992, after earning her master of education degree, she was promoted to her current position as the director of Curriculum Support. Her responsibilities include academic advising, administrative coordination of the University general education program, service on numerous committees, providing information to transfer students, and coordinating PSU’s academic catalog.
The most rewarding moments of her career have come from working with students. “I used to teach Introduction to the Academic Community, a course that was required of all transfer students who had less than 24 credits,” says Campbell. “In one of my classes I encountered a student who loved soccer. When he came to me the next semester in academic difficulty, I offered to attend one of his soccer games if he would promise to pay more attention to his academics.
“Because I reached out to one student, he started to spread the word and it grew from that. Now I have an agreement with the coaches where in some cases I am officially the student’s advisor; in other cases I am just there to support them in any way I can but because of that, working with that one student and attending that first soccer game, I have gotten to know some wonderful students I probably wouldn’t have known otherwise.”
Campbell’s dedication to students and their wellbeing doesn’t end when they graduate. She remains in contact with many former students, who enjoy keeping her apprised of their lives and careers post-PSU. Such connections make what she does “so much more than a job to me,” she says.
While Campbell has received numerous honors over the years, including PSU’s Distinguished Professional, Administrative, and Technical (PAT) Staff Award, receiving the Patricia Storer PAT Award is especially meaningful to her. The award, which honors those who are dedicated to improving quality of life in the local community and at Plymouth State University, is named in recognition of her dear friend and former colleague Patricia Storer, who passed away in 2008. “I am honored to be given an award named after such an exemplary person,” says Campbell.
“I look at what I do as an opportunity to serve,” says Campbell. “No matter what our role is within the University, we all have the opportunity to serve our students. And that’s critically important to me.”
— Riane Herlihy ’09