On the Job and Outside the Job, Remick-Simkins Keeps Mason Community Connected

Posted: April 16, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Catherine Ferraro

Stacey Remick-Simkins
Stacey Remick-Simkins
Mason Gazette photo

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in English from Mason in 1988 and taking some time off to travel and work in the private sector, Stacey Remick-Simkins returned to Mason and became a full-time employee in the English Department.

That was 13 years ago. Today, Remick-Simkins, program coordinator in the English Department, is responsible for a broad range of services in support of the undergraduate English program. And she can’t imagine working anywhere else.

“I love the sense of community that is present at Mason. Everyone who works here really cares about what happens in the community,” says Remick-Simkins. “Despite the budget constraints and other issues going on right now, the quality of the institution and its people outweigh any other benefits.”

Inspired by the team environment she shares with her colleagues, and always willing to go above and beyond her assigned job responsibilities, Remick-Simkins became one of the founding members of the Staff Senate, which had its beginnings in March 1998 as a series of brown-bag discussions about various employee issues. At that time, Remick-Simkins became part of the Staff Advisory Committee.

For the next several months, Remick-Simkins and other members of the committee worked with Mason President Alan Merten and other administrators to draft the bylaws and constitution for a proposed Staff Senate at Mason. She eventually served as the Staff Senate chairperson for four years. As chairperson, she worked to keep all staff informed about issues that directly affected them and communicated concerns to the administration.

“Although taking over as Staff Senate chair was like a second full-time job, it was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done,” says Remick-Simkins. “It was a great opportunity to form lasting relationships and collaborations with people from every level and discipline at the university.”

Responding to another need, Remick-Simkins initiated Mason Military Outreach (MMO) in 2005 after staff and students approached her with concerns about students in the military and students who were military veterans. Today, MMO offers support to members of the Mason community who are deployed, facing deployment, returning from deployment or have a family member or loved one who is in any of these situations.

MMO, coupled with Mason’s new Military and Veterans Office, better equips the university to address the needs of both students and faculty and staff, according to Remick-Simkins.

In the future, Remick-Simkins would like to expand MMO to include an educational arm that would bring in speakers from the university, Department of Veterans Affairs and other organizations that address issues facing military members and their families.

Remick-Simkins’ service to the university doesn’t end there. She is also a staff liaison to the Security Facilitation Action Work Group, an educational campaign headed by Sharon Bloomquist, graduate specialist, and Laura McCloskey, office manager, in the Department of History and Art History. The group helps faculty and staff members better understand security issues facing the university and how they get resolved.

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