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 Marilyn Johnson, graduate program coordinator for the Department of Mathematics. She was nominated by seven members of the department, including Jordan Crawford, Jim Lewis, Sara McKnight, Petronela Radu, Richard Rebarber, Alexandr Seceleanu and Kathryn Van Etten.
Johnson, who retired March 2, worked within the University of Nebraska system for 33 years — 30 years at UNL and 27 years in the Department of Mathematics. Her primary duties in the department have been as graduate secretary and supporting external grants submitted by faculty.
“Marilyn’s contributions to the Department of Mathematics have been monumental, through the large volume of work and exceptional service that she provided,” Radu said. “Thousands of graduate students have called our department home due to her careful advising, discipline that she instilled, dedication to a job that she loves.
“While she is a skilled and warm communicator, she is also effective in making sure hundreds of forms are filed on time every year, even when everyone seems short on time. The underpinnings of a smooth running program rely on great organizational skills, connecting students with resources, finding prompt solutions to issues that may come up. Marilyn’s professionalism, interpersonal skills and problem-solving abilities prove that she is very deserving of the award.”
Johnson 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 grew up in central Nebraska and have spent the majority of my life in Lincoln. I have two adult children and two grandchildren. My son and his family are in Phoenix. My daughter and her family are in southeast Nebraska.
How long have you been at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln?
I have been in the NU system for 33 years. Thirty of those years have been at UNL. All but three of the years at UNL, I have been with the Department of Mathematics.
What do you look forward to when you come to work?
When I come to work I look forward to helping the graduate students and faculty with whatever requests they have. No two days are the same in my position.
What is your favorite memory at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln?
My favorite memory and something that I will take with me into retirement is all of the friends that I have made over the years.
What is your life like outside of work?
Outside of work I like to spend time with my family. I am an avid quilter, so I spend many hours at my sewing machine.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
The one thing that people don’t know about me is that I had originally intended to be an elementary teacher.