Mary Foulk is the administrative assistant for the Center for Community Engagement (CCE). She is responsible for supporting the center’s professional staff: faculty director, director of the Landis Center, community partnership coordinator, and America Reads coordinator. Her daily routine involves maintaining a positive outlook within the center and ensuring the efficient operation of our offices, which includes such duties as organizing and maintaining our filing system, replying to general information requests with accurate information, fielding telephone calls, scheduling meetings, greeting and assisting students and other visitors, developing weekly schedules for transportation, coordinating van key distribution and returns, managing purchasing and travel arrangement requests, and maintaining accurate and confidential records.
Just after she started the job in 2014, she also took on the insurmountable task of managing the CCE background-check process—a set of tasks that have continued to challenge the center’s operation since the state and federal laws began to be implemented. Because of the amount of work involved with the background-check process, a position was carved out, now filled by Sarah Morgan. Because of the execution of these many tasks as well as the sense of place that Mary has brought to the center, I would like to nominate Mary for unsung hero recognition.
From a general work ethic perspective, there is no task that is ever too small or too large for Mary. She continues to serve our staff as well as our students, partners, faculty, and administrators in an efficient, effective, professional, and positive manner each and every day—without failure. She seamlessly takes on new unexpected program tasks and challenges, and she is extremely well regarded and appreciated by all of the Landis/MOSAIC student leaders and other students who depend on her for purchasing, scheduling, transportation, clearances, general questions, and the many other logistics that she handles for them. Mary exudes dedication and a true passion for what she does in all contexts. Her attention to detail and her proactivity are invaluable assets to our organization as are her character and integrity.
Beyond handling the many responsibilities of her position with excellence, her relationship with students stands out as unique and special. Other folks in a similar position might show up on time, take care of the phone, manage the files, and check out at 5 p.m. Mary does all of this and more. She truly cares about each of our students. She notices when one has a bad day, checks in on them, and offers support as necessary. She goes above and beyond to let them know she’s there for them to help in any way. She celebrates their successes and recognizes them for all the hard work and dedication they put into our programs.
It’s not just our observations of her kindness; her desk is often littered with thank-you notes or special tokens given to her by grateful students. Many students see Mary every day when they pick up their van keys or drop off a form. I can’t imagine a better “face” of the Center for Community Engagement. I believe Mary Foulk is the perfect example of a hard-working, selfless, caring member of the Lafayette community.