School of Biological and Population Health Sciences Administrative Assistant Mendy Gayler came to the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State in 2001 as an office specialist. She previously worked as a personal lines assistant underwriter and personal lines rater at Valley Insurance in Albany. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore.
What does your job as an administrative assistant entail?
“A little bit of everything – scheduling classes, assisting with faculty hires, assisting with the Promotion & Tenure process, providing students with overrides for classes, scheduling meetings, making purchases for the school, processing travel reimbursements and sometimes unjamming the photocopier or teaching someone how to fax.”
What do you wish others knew about your job?
“That when I say ‘no’ it isn’t usually my decision. There are policies and procedures that I have to follow.”
What do you enjoy most about your job?
“Hands down, the fact that I get to work with undergrads, graduates, staff and faculty.
Everyone is at a different chapter in their life, but they are all doing new and exciting things, whether it is their first term in college, they are earning their PhD or receive a new grant. It’s all life changing, and I get to be a part of the excitement and sometimes remove some of the frustration that comes along with it.”
What is the best advice you ever received, and who gave it?
“The advice that I refer to the most was from a high school teacher. ‘People are inherently good.’ I try to remember this in all situations. It reminds me to step back and look from a different perspective.”
What advice would you like to give to students and young alums?
“In life, just ask the question. The answer might be ‘no,’ but it could be ‘yes.’ Don’t miss out because you were afraid of asking.”
What is one surprising thing about you that not many people know?
“I don’t like peanut butter. I don’t think this is such a big thing, however. Whenever I tell people, they respond with ‘How can you not like PB’ or ‘Are you crazy?’ So I guess this is pretty surprising.”
What are your favorite activities outside of work?
“Spending time with family and friends, canning, cooking, baking, camping and volunteering.”