Giving Thanks to Those Who Serve Our Students

It is the week of Thanksgiving, so I wanted to take this opportunity to offer my thanks and appreciation. Stir in my vision to make this University a place where students are the center of the universe, and you have the perfect recipe for recognizing two special people who fulfill that vision every day.

Certainly, we have programs where talented faculty and staff focus on helping students stay on track so that they can graduate on time. We also have dedicated staff in our Division of Student Affairs who make sure students receive the support they need and provide opportunities for engagement that round out the KSU experience. And of course, many of our talented faculty not only work to help students in the classroom, but also serve as valuable advisors and mentors.

But sometimes the most valuable parts of the student experience come from the people who do things large and small to make students feel supported and comfortable at the university. I know and appreciate that there are many people — faculty and staff — on both campuses who go that extra mile each day to make students feel special, not because it’s in their job description, but because it’s who they are as part of the Owl family.

I think it is fitting that in this week of thanks, we recognize two special people from University Dining. James Hughes and Mary Simuel, known to all as Mr. James and Miss Mary, make it a point to get to know students and greet each by name. Mr. James is known to students for his stories and advice. He listens to them when they have a problem, and through his words and actions instills in students the idea of taking pride in one’s work. Miss Mary serves up more than just breakfast and lunch. She offers students a hearty dose of home with her welcoming smile and a hug.

Mr. James and Miss Mary are two people who, because of their own personal commitment to excellence, demonstrate the impact of putting our students first. They serve as a reminder to all of us that every interaction with students presents the opportunity to make their days at KSU that much better.

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I wish to offer my thanks to each of you who, like Mr. James and Miss Mary, are dedicated to serving our students and making Kennesaw State a truly welcoming University.

Pamela Whitten


Written By Whitten