College students go about their days, every day, without a parental figure keeping them on task; however, for the various organizations on the second floor of the student center, Lisa Paige, helps to fill that gap as the students’ go-to for help.
Paige works with organizations such as Missouri Students Association, Department of Student Activities, Stripes, Truman’s Closet and Tiger Pantry. Working with student-based organizations includes constant communication with various college students, from checking out supplies, to keeping them responsible for their upcoming events, such as a concert or meetings for their organization. Paige is a parent away from home.
“I just like being here for the students if they need a motherly figure,” Paige said. “The first week I started, a grad assistant’s mom wasn’t picking up her phone. His corduroy pants were wrinkled and he didn’t know if he needed to iron or just dry them.”
Even though her job description didn’t include being a caring person, as it turns out, a steady supply of empathy is a must. She says often times she must set aside her feelings, and support the students.
“Anytime I talk with Lisa, whether it is about work stuff or personal stuff, she is always super positive,” Tyler Parton, DSA executive officer said. “She is always in a good mood and brightens up anyone’s day.”
Paige thinks the stereotypes about college students aren’t necessarily true. Some people believe students today only cry and whine, but she sees students as caring. She believes she works with the “cream of the crop.” Paige ignores the steroptypes and completes her administrative and motherly duties.
“I definitely think Lisa is a mom-away-from-home to everyone in the office,” Parton said. “She makes a point to get to know all the people that work with her, and I know that I could go to her for any questions or advice, either work or personal.”
Paige has worked at the University of Missouri for over 20 years, but she has been the administrative assistant for five years. Paige previously worked at University Hospital, but didn’t feel at home until she moved into her current position.
“I wish I would have worked here the entire time,” Paige said. “I love it here.”
Interacting with Paige and her everyday “mom” job, one might think she is an outspoken individual; however, the opposite is true.
“I get anxious around a lot of people,” Paige said. “I don’t like being the center of attention. I usually don’t speak first, but here it is so different. I just feel comfortable with the students.
Interactions with Paige become warm memories of learning experiences or simply smiles for the students to carry away with them.
“Once I accidentally waited until last minute to turn in some post-event paperwork,” Mary Evanoff, College Music Committee Executive said. “Part of it was misunderstanding on my part, but it was totally 100 percent my fault. When I went to file it for her and turn it in she was so nice and blamed herself, even though it was totally on me.”
Adjusting to college without the support systems of home can be difficult, but one can feel at home in the office of Lisa Paige.