Erica Hernandez Is July Employee of the Month

Posted: July 2, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ryann Doyle

Name: Erica Hernandez

Current position: Administrative Assistant to the University Scholars Office

What she does: Erica, along with the University Scholars staff, helps to provide enriched and dynamic educational, intellectual, cultural and social programs for scholars. “My contributions to this mission are to develop and coordinate programs and activities such as scholars orientation, fall and spring retreats, cultural events and town hall meetings to help students achieve their goals and aspirations.” Erica also determines student staffing requirements, conducts interviews and oversees the training and schedules of new student employees.

What she enjoys most about her job: Erica says she enjoys the opportunity to work with distinguished colleagues and with the students and their families. “In the scholars office, we enjoy working as a team, and this environment brings out the best of our abilities, skills and knowledge. I have to tell you that this working environment encourages us to wake up with a big smile every morning, come to work and give our best every day.”

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The most enjoyable part of Hernandez’s job is working with students and their families.
Photo by Evan Cantwell

Life before Mason: Erica worked in managerial and corporate settings for 14 years. She joined Mason in 2005. “I originally came to Mason to continue my studies and realized working at Mason would be my most logical employment option. I am incredibly blessed to get such an exciting job in which I can learn, be challenged, feel encouraged, and that I really enjoy.”

Best memory at Mason: One of Erica’s best memories is from this past spring when one of the scholars in her program, Mona Singh, became a Truman Scholarship Award recipient. “I assisted in coordinating a reception for her and her family in recognition of such a prestigious achievement. It was my pleasure to have an opportunity to share with her and her family this important occasion.”

Greatest accomplishment: “To be given the opportunity to contribute my abilities and skills to the growth of the Scholars Program in an effort to provide students with the best experience at Mason.”

What she does for fun: Erica likes activities that challenge her. “I enjoy working on five-thousand-piece puzzles that have one color with different shades. I like to read in my free time as well. Some of my favorite books have been ‘Clan of the Cave Bear’ and ‘World on Fire.’ I also love to spend time with my family.”

Personal Motto: “Try to do your best every day because you never know what the future might bring.”

Something people may not know about her: “I love to work with publications, whether it is magazines, brochures or even road signs. I love to think of different colors, shapes, designs and patterns that will make something eye-catching and interesting to people.”

What she is doing this summer: Summertime does not mean time off for Erica. “For me, summer is time for concentrating on my classes and, at the office, providing a great orientation experience for new students and making sure everything is ready for the scholars for the fall semester.”

What others say about her:

“Erica has been vital to our efforts to develop an engaging, exciting and educational four-year program for students that are members of the University Scholars community. …This year we had a 96 percent increase in the pool of students that were eligible to compete for the George Mason University Scholars scholarship. Despite this intense time, Erica remained energetic, very positive and effective, and continued to deliver excellent service to our currently enrolled students and other offices on campus. She has truly exceeded expectations consistently, and her work always carries a touch of excellence. It’s easy to notice the degree to which she is committed to being an excellent employee for Mason and representing the university very well to the public.”

—Erek Perry, director of the University Scholars Program

“Ms. Hernandez has displayed a rare combination of intelligence, design flair, problem-solving skills, dedication, organization and compassion. [She] is also a very warm, compassionate person who is a pleasure to work with. For example, when someone in our office was upset because her house has just been burglarized, Erica bought a gift and a card for her on behalf of our office to cheer her up. She is also very patient and professional. I have witnessed how she maintains composure under pressure while organizing events to ensure that they run smoothly. She is upbeat and positive and has contributed a great deal to my program, our office and to George Mason University.”

—Deirdre Moloney, coordinator for postgraduate fellowships and scholarships

“Erica is the ‘door’ to the Scholars Program, and students, administrators and parents go to her with all types of questions and requests. Erica has outstanding customer services skills; while she is caring and respectful, she is extremely efficient and knows the university well. As a result, parents enjoy interacting with her, students love and respect her, and other offices on campus like working with her because of her professionalism and high standards. In her interactions with the members of the other units that are under Student Academic Affairs, she is extremely respectful. She is always willing to help, and she is a wonderful team player. In addition, Erica has an easygoing personality, and it is always pleasant to have her around.”

—Dolores Gomez-Moran, ombudsman for Student Academic Affairs

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