Patricia Hendrix Is the May Employee of the Month

Posted: May 1, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ryann Doyle

Patricia Hendrix
Patricia Hendrix
Creative Services Photo

Position at Mason: Administrative assistant to the Mathematical Sciences Department chair, Klaus Fischer

Years at Mason: 11 years

What her job entails: Hendrix organizes and prioritizes, and takes care of human resources, the budget, and travel and grant management for the Mathematical Sciences Department. Each of those priorities also has dozens of sub-priorities. Then, there are always “other duties as assigned.”

“Basically, I’m a ‘jill’ of all trades. While I keep the department chair’s calendar and take care of what he needs to make his job run more smoothly, such as travel arrangements, I also assist the professors in the department with their travel arrangements and ensure that deserving students, both graduate and undergraduate, receive department financial support,” says Hendrix.

Her favorite thing about her job: She enjoys the atmosphere, her co-workers and the department faculty, as well as the students. “My boss, Dr. Fischer, is very understanding and kind. He empowers me and gives me the confidence and desire to be the best that I can be,” says Hendrix.

Life before Mason: Hendrix has a broad work history. She has owned her own aesthetic business, sold display real estate advertisements for a local newspaper, managed a homeowners’ association, and worked in various administrative jobs as a Department of the Army civilian in Germany.

Her best memory at Mason: “Hands down, Mason’s magic carpet ride to the Final Four. It’s amazing that we were able to accomplish our day-to-day activities with all the excitement around us,” says Hendrix.

What she does in her free time:Hendrix enjoys gardening, attending performances at the Center for the Arts and visiting with her friends.

Her personal motto: “I will treat everyone I meet today the way I would like to be treated, and I will do my best to make sure that whatever I do is done as correctly and thoroughly as possible,” says Hendrix.

Something others may not know about her: Hendrix was born in Alexandria, La., but as an “army brat” she grew up in places all over the United States and Europe, where she started grade school and graduated from high school. Before coming to this area 30 years ago, she was a Department of the Army civilian working in the small town of Worms in central Germany. She now lives in Springfield, Va., with her husband, son, two dogs and five cats.

How she feels about being Employee of the Month: “I am truly honored by the recognition this award brings me; recognition that also belongs to the many, many dedicated people in my department, college and across Mason who I now work with and have worked with in the past who have made this possible,” says Hendrix.

What others say about her:

“It would be enough to nominate Pat for Secretary of the Month just based on her great help and competence in assisting me. But as a new secretary in a department that is highly congenial and very ‘people oriented,’ Pat had to quickly acquire the knowledge base for helping students with questions, directing them to the appropriate professor or the proper paper form and occasionally listening to their complaints. This is very much different from working in an office that has little contact with students. Pat very quickly became of great help in the general office and soon became integrated into the life of the department. On her own, she has taken on the role of departmental photographer and assembled a notebook of the Math Department memories.”

—Klaus Fischer, professor and chair, Department of Mathematical Sciences

“I have worked closely with Pat ever since she joined the department. She has never failed to be efficient and conscientious in anything I have asked her to do. She is also unfailingly patient in the face of constantly changing circumstances.”

—David Walnut, professor, Mathematical Sciences

“From the very beginning, Patricia offered us a helping hand in hiring administrative staff by advertising it through e-works on the Mason web site. After the assistant to the chair, Dr. Maryanne Ozernoy, had been hired, Patricia provided hands-on mentoring to her. She spent endless hours of her own time tasking Maryanne on the ropes of the sophisticated administrative Mason system and office regulation. Mason has a very friendly network of capable administrative staff, but Patricia, or as employees of our office affectionately call her, Pat, certainly stands out as a top skilled professional with an enormously generous heart.”

—Robert Ehrlich, professor and chair, Physics and Astronomy

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