Margaret Ream Named November Employee of the Month

Posted: November 3, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

Margaret Ream
Margaret Ream
Creative Services photo

“I want to be someone people want to work with,” says Margaret Ream, Mason’s Employee of the Month for November, reflecting about her attitude on the job. Judging by her colleagues’ comments, that’s something she’s definitely accomplished.

Ream, administrative assistant in the College of Health and Human Services, works directly with Robin Remsburg, director of the School of Nursing, but she provides support to the entire school’s faculty.

“Her welcoming smile and calm yet professional demeanor greets students and faculty alike,” says Joyce Hahn, coordinator of the nursing administration master’s track. “The enthusiasm she puts forth daily for each and every encounter, project or crisis never falters.”

Indeed, Ream says that in her daily work, “I try to be as cheerful as I can. I know that the work needs to be done, so I just put my nose to the grindstone and get it done. I just do it.”

Ream’s work includes a host of responsibilities, including monitoring the budget, ordering supplies, processing paperwork for new hires and providing fiscal services. “I also got to work with the Student Nurses Association — I really liked that. Our students are really great.”

A self-defined “people-person,” Ream says she most enjoys the public relations part of her job, dealing with both the “inside” and “outside” communities. Still, she says she was “stunned” and “at a loss for words” when she learned she was Employee of the Month.

“I feel honored by the people who nominated me, and I thank them for thinking that highly of me to nominate me.”

Ream joined Mason nearly five years ago after relocating with her husband from the San Francisco Bay area, where she had been an executive assistant for a large health care service provider. When she first came to Mason, she worked with Christena Langley, Remsburg’s predecessor, and has experienced her unit’s restructuring.

“Margaret has been the backbone of the faculty and staff during the transition from a college to a school,” says instructor Ana Stoehr. “She is always willing to help each faculty member, staff and student who asks for her assistance.”

“I have seen firsthand how she handles ‘hurry up’ deadlines in the midst of drop-in visits with multiple requests from students, faculty, administrators, etc.,” says Assistant Dean Kathleen Gaffney about Ream. “She consistently shows interest in each individual, one-at-a-time, giving her full attention, expressing genuine concern and still meeting important deadlines. It is not an easy job. She is the first line of communication many folks have with the School of Nursing. Her friendly, professional style enhances positive relationships with all of our stakeholders.”

Asked how she became such a good multi-tasker, Ream says, “I think I’ve improved with age. When I was younger I wanted everything to be perfect. I still want to be perfect, but I know that I’m not. I don’t stay up all night worrying about things. I just make the best of it.”

In her free time, Ream travels to visit family, including her grown son who lives in Denver. She joined a running club in July after a long absence from running and recently ran her first 5K since returning to the sport. With her husband, she likes to hike and visit the museums in Washington, D.C.

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