Liz Dagnall, administrative assistant for the Susan B. and William K. Wasch Center for Retired Faculty, oversees the logistical aspects of the center's events.
Q: Liz, what attracted you to Wesleyan and the Wasch Center for Retired Faculty?
A: I so enjoy working in higher ed, Wesleyan seemed like a good place to start. When I learned about the position at the Wasch Center, I immediately thought it would be a good fit since I worked closely with faculty in my last job.
Q: Please describe your role as an administrative assistant.
A: The days can vary greatly. Lately I’ve been busy preparing for the upcoming semester for WILL (the Wesleyan Institute for Lifetime Learning). This entails overseeing the printing and mailing of brochures and managing course enrollments. We’ve also just begun this semester’s Afternoon Lecture Series and will soon resume our Tuesday Film Series. Some days I focus specifically on operations, making sure that all general office business is up to date. There are 13 retired members of the faculty who have offices in the Center, and I work with many of them on a regular basis, supporting their use of technology and providing general support. The physical space of the Center has a welcoming and homey feel to it, and as such, I have some “home-keeping” responsibilities as well… caring for plants, overseeing the kitchen, etc.
Q: The Wasch Center provides a shared intellectual and social community where retirees may continue their engagement with teaching and scholarly activities. What is your role in helping plan Wasch Center programs and special events? Do you attend the events as well?
A: I take care of the logistical aspects of our events, which is one of the responsibilities of the job I most enjoy, and I attend when I can.
Q: What are a few examples of upcoming events, and who generally attend them?
A: We always have a full house for our Afternoon Lecture Series, and we are featuring a variety of lecture topics this semester. Our retired faculty attend regularly, often with their spouses. The audience is a mix of students, faculty, and staff and neighbors and community members.
Q: Who are the key people that you work with in the center?
A: I work closely with the center’s director, Karl Scheibe. And I work with others in the center as projects and requests dictate. I’ve loved getting to know our faculty.
Q: Prior to Wesleyan, what were you doing? How was the transition?
A: Prior to Wesleyan, I was special assistant to the provost at Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass. My husband and I relocated to this area about a year ago, and after we settled, I spent some time being a stay-at-home-mom. Then, a few months ago, I decided I was ready for some part-time work, and our little one certainly seemed ready to be out in the world and around other children. The transition at Wesleyan has gone really well. And the transition in general has been fun. Every day is an adventure when you have a toddler!
Q: Are you also involved in coordinating events or classes for the Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning?
A: Yes, there are many logistical details for both the weekly class and our day-long Saturday Institute that I help to coordinate.
Q: I understand your husband works for Wesleyan’s Dining Services?
A: Yes, my husband Brian is the Executive Chef with Bon Appetit.
Q: What are you hobbies and interests?
A: Outside of work, it’s all about spending time with my family. I love to cook, read and be outdoors. I’m also a Boston sports fanatic. And in the warmer months I try to play tennis at least a couple of times a week.