Editor’s Note — This is part of a Women’s History Month series featuring women who make a positive impact on the campus community through their work as office/service employees. The Women of Service series is organized by the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women. Stories will run in Nebraska Today through March 30.
Wherever she ventures — be it processing purchases on campus, cruising on her motorcycle across Lincoln, or traveling the world with her husband — Nebraska’s Pat Wemhoff makes a positive influence.
Wemhoff, a finance coordinator in the Natural Resources Business Center, has served in a variety of roles in her 22 years with the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She started in Biochemistry Hall on East Campus (a building that no longer stands) and said she has “worked with the best staff possible” in the School of Natural Resources, Nebraska Forest Service, Nebraska LEAD, Arboretum and Department of Statistics.
Her dedication to supporting faculty and staff along the way has endeared her to colleagues.
“Pat is one of the friendliest people I know,” said Kyle Bogus, business manager of the Natural Resources Business Center. “She always comes to work with a smile and happily greets others as they arrive.
“She also takes it upon herself to provide exceptional service and shows great leadership.”
Wemhoff has helped further efficiency in the business center by creating tutorials and informational guides that serve as references for employees. And, when other departments and units across campus need help, Wemhoff has been among the first to step forward to lend a hand.
“Pat’s joyful personality and tireless work ethic have made a tremendous impact on our university over the years,” Bogus said. “She has earned the trust and respect of colleagues and professionals alike — and we all look to her for her knowledge.”
The Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women reached out to get to know Wemhoff and learn more about her dedication to students, faculty and staff at Nebraska U. Her interview follows.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up on Long Island, New York. I am married, have a daughter here in Lincoln, a son in Boston, and a soon-to-be 4-year-old grandson who lights up my life. I love spending time with my family and friends. I am a detail-oriented person who thinks outside of the box, and I have a mind that never stops working.
What do you look forward to when you come to work?
When I come to work, I look forward to the daily challenges. I appreciate that while working in my department, I have been given the opportunity to grow in a way that brings out my strengths. I also love communicating and interacting with my co-workers, customers and other department contacts across campus.
What is your favorite memory at the university?
I have many great memories from working at UNL. The best memories are the experiences with people.
When I started in catering, not only did I feel like my coworkers were family, but I also had the opportunity to work with many students, several who were from other countries.
While working in the business center I also have had the opportunity to work with many grad students. I love visiting with them and helping them with their projects. I am always sad when they leave but I know they are headed onto their own new adventures.
Along with all the wonderful students, I also cherish all the great people I have had the opportunity to work with and get to know. I can honestly say that a lot of friendships have come from working here. There are a lot of wonderful people doing a lot of great things on campus.
What is your life like outside of work?
Two of the most important things to me are family and friends — and my days are more special when I get to see or talk to them. I am very lucky to have my daughter and her family living close to me. My grandson brings me such joy, and just looking at his picture makes me smile. With my son in Boston, I look forward to visiting him.
Even though I haven’t been to many places, I love to travel. My husband and I look forward to planning more trips.
Moving to the Midwest from the East Coast I was always called a “City Girl.” It’s been fun getting my feet wet working on our large garden. I even learned how to drive a small tractor.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
Most people do not know that I enjoy riding on a motorcycle with my husband. When I met him six years ago, I didn’t think it would work out because he loved motorcycles and I was always (and still am) the mom who worries. There was no way one of my kids were going to ride on one.
Fast forward to now. I love the open feeling of riding, looking up at the open sky, and hearing the everyday sounds that are so vibrant.
I wanted to try riding on my own, but my comfort level led me to getting a three-wheeled motorcycle instead of a traditional one. I look forward to riding around town. So, look out, here I come!