In observance of Women’s History Month, Nebraska Today has partnered with the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women to feature female office/service staff who go above and beyond in their work at Dear Old Nebraska U. This Women of Service series will run in Nebraska Today through March 31.
The series continues today with Jennifer Greenlee, an office associate with Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication. She was nominated by coworkers Christina Franklin and Gina Matkin.
In her work, Greenlee assists students, faculty and staff in the department. She’s also a community builder, working to tear down barriers between offices.
“Jennifer goes beyond just doing her job and is an integral part of our department’s culture, making each person from faculty to undergraduate students feel they belong,” said Matkin, a professor of agricultural leadership, education and communication. “She encourages us all to make friends with the staff from other departments as well as the custodial staff (all of whom she knows by name). This creates greater cohesion between the offices which can sometimes feel siloed in some buildings
“Jennifer is a glue that holds us together but she is also a shining example of making each person feel uniquely seen and heard.”
Greenlee sat down with the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women to discuss what inspires her on and off campus.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I work closely with five student employees in ALEC, our graduate programs, website, career development events, and I support everyone in the department. I am the chair of the ALEC Social Committee and have been told I have a Ph.D. in all things social. I am currently serving as the corresponding secretary of University of Nebraska Office Professionals Association, and I am running for president-elect.
How long have you been at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln?
What do you look forward to when you come to work?
I really enjoy the students. I supervise our student employees and it gives me great joy to see them grow and learn new skills that will further their career. We have our student employees for four years in our department. In those four years I learn so much from them, and they help me keep up on what is current in the world and what matters the most for them.
I enjoy learning new skills for my job through the professional development that is offered to us through UNOPA. I have a great department head, Mark Balschweid, who is very supportive of all professional development.
And, I enjoy getting to know our graduate students and watching them develop into the leaders of their profession.
What is your favorite memory at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln?
Earning and receiving my professional standards program certification at the National Association of Educational Office Professionals 2022 conference. I was bound and determined to finish that process after battling breast cancer in 2016. My office colleague, Christina Franklin, gave me the courage to travel to that conference for the first time. Even though I had earned it in 2018, I had never felt so proud as the night I received it.
What is your life like outside of work?
I’ve been married to my best friend for 26 years and have two sons who I help navigate life. We’ve gotten one through college and out on his own. My other son is going to college now and is working on getting into the medical program at Southeast Community College. That makes my mom heart very large. On a non-work level, my marriage and my boys are my greatest achievement. I am a gardener and I love creating things from sewing, soaps and anything else I can create. I just got a Cricut for Christmas so my list of crafts has gotten bigger.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I was a cosmetologist for 18 years before I went back to college to do what I do now for the university. My husband plays the drums and is painfully trying to teach me. I have a lot to learn. Music plays a big role in our house. We love all kinds of music.