Meet Angela Meldonian, the Associate Director of the University Center.
What does an average day look like working in the UC? What are your day to day responsibilities?
No day is the same! Some days I may be in meetings all day long and try to sneak in a quick lunch break. Some days I may have more time to spend in my office to work on catching up with emails and projects. When my schedule allows more time in the office, then I also get a chance to take breaks and check in our dining operations, the University Center Information Desk, and Warhawk Alley. I need a good balance of both types of days to be productive in my daily tasks. Relationship building is important to me so I do my best to check in with staff, faculty, students, and guests when I adventure around campus.
Typical day-to-day responsibilities include working with students, attending planning meetings, answering emails, building connections, and then whatever else may come my way that day! Dining related tasks typically keep me the busiest!
What does being a UC employee mean to you?
One of my favorite parts of working in the University Center is getting to know our student employees. Without them we could not provide the outstanding services we strive to provide. I enjoy watching the “Eureka Moment” happen for a student when they are working on a project or using their critical thinking skills to solve a problem! I have had so many conversations with students that have made me laugh, made me cry, made me feel proud, and mainly to know I made a difference in their college experience.
What has been the most memorable/unusual day working in the UC?
This is a tough one. I am going to say the most memorable and unusual day of working in the UC was the night of the Purple and White Gala that celebrated the 150thyears of UW-Whitewater. I was part of the planning committee that had met and planned the event for over a year. I was so nervous on the day of the event. You only celebrate 150 years once! The UC was transformed into this beautiful event space. The food was excellent, the speaker was engaging, the music was awesome, and the whole night was enjoyed by all. Now with any event comes some challenges. This is what makes the night so memorable! First, in the Hamilton Room, one of the stage doors popped open so I had squatted like a duck while someone was speaking to go close it. Second, I heard through my earpiece that there was an issue with the power point presentation just as the keynote speaker was about to take the stage. I think I was sweating pretty good at that point. No fear! It worked in time! A truly memorable experience I was glad to be a part of!
What is one piece of advice you can give to current UWW students?
Challenge yourself as often as possible. If you get a chance to travel take it! If you get an opportunity to try something out of your comfort zone, go for it! Everyday challenge yourself to learn something new! These challenges will help you grow and create new opportunities you never expected!
What is an accomplishment that you are most proud of?
The redesign of the furniture in Warhawk Alley and the continued improvements are definitely notable accomplishments. This was a collaborative effort of many stakeholders across campus to make this happen! When I started five years ago this was one of my first tasks. It took three years to make happen. We were not happy with what was being presented to us so we really pushed to get what we wanted for the space so we could make it as inclusive as possible for all our guests. Students asked to see more purple, so we are continually finding ways to add Warhawk Pride into the space!
What is your favorite item in your office/desk? Is there a story behind it?
Have you seen my office? If not, come visit me! It is filled with so many fun things and each with a story! However, I do have two favorite items and both have to deal with travel! A few years ago, I attend the ACUI (Association of College Union International) Annual Conference in New Orleans. I love to get out and explore new cities. I walked by this piece of artwork on the street at least three or four times. It is a map of the world made out of beads collected from Mardi Gras parades. I finally stopped to talk with artist. She gave me her business card. I kept walking. Later looked at the card and she was from Waukesha, WI! So of course, I went back the next day and bought the piece to help support an artist from Wisconsin! I once had a coworker tell me that she tries to buy a piece of art from every place she travels. I really loved that idea and now I try to do the same!
Last summer at the Wisconsin State Fair, I bought a giant magnetic map art piece of the United States. There are currently magnetic pins that indicate all the places I have traveled. It is a great conversation piece when people stop in my office. I love learning more about people and their travels. I have not had the opportunity to travel out of the United States much but it is on my bucket list!