Aug. 28, 2015 – Amanda Parker, who started at the Law Center as a work study student assistant in 2003 and now shepherds nine professors as an executive secretary, is the winner of the 2015 Staff Excellence Award.
Professor Jacqueline Weaver nominated Parker for the honor which is awarded for “exemplary contributions to the University.”
The winner, a Katy native and 2010 graduate of UH with a degree in political science, is considering grad school, but has not decided on a field. “Faculty here has asked me, ‘When are you going to law school?’ and I am thinking about it,” she said, “especially considering how long I’ve worked here and the things I’ve picked up along the way.”
Meanwhile she plans to continue working in the first floor TU-II faculty suite where she handles class preparation, including copying, compiling e-mail lists, recording attendance, and making class handouts and PowerPoints. She also keeps track of faculty schedules, arranges lunches and small group gatherings, orders books and supplies, makes travel arrangements, and files reimbursement requests. In her spare time, she helps professors research, edit, and format articles and books for publication.
The 30-year-old globetrotter has a goal of traveling around the world and visiting at least 100 countries and all 50 states in the union. Her passion for travel led to a two-year break from the Law Center to teach English in Osaka, Japan. Her students ranged from year-old babies to adults learning college-level business and conversational English. Within the year she plans to visit Singapore, Japan, and South Korea.
Currently sporting shockingly red hair, Parker explains: “When I’m about to travel I tend to try and stand out a little with some kind of crazy hair color – I’ve been fuchsia, powder blue, moss green, purple, burgundy, blond, and brunette, so I figured I’d give Raggedy Ann-red a go!”
Wherever Parker goes – and she now has a bit more spending money as the Excellence Award carries a prize of $1,000 – she plans to return to the Law Center, at least for the foreseeable future.
“I have worked with some incredible faculty members over the years, who have given me guidance not just for my job, but in life – for which I am eternally grateful,” she said. “My Law Center family has given me a lot of support and friendship over the years, and really, it is very hard to see myself working elsewhere – even within UH. I love it too much here!”