Some know her as the friendly face you see when you first enter Brick City, some know her as a helpful academic advisor, and some know her as the ‘Master of Disaster’ (a name given to her by faculty). Rae Ann Rockwell is all of these things and more.
Rae Ann’s official title is Academic Administrative Assistant II, and you can find her in the main office of the Art + Design Department. “You wouldn’t think of an office job as being anything other than pushing paperwork and answering the phone,” shares Rae Ann, “but Brick City and the Art + Design Department have needs well beyond traditional academic departments.”
Day-to-day life for Rae Ann involves managing those who come in and out of the front office, answering phone calls and emails, as well as hiring and managing the schedules of student employees. She serves as the human relations specialist as well and oversees student and non-student part-time workers within the department. Rae Ann posts job openings, organizes hiring, and manages student worker payroll allocations. This year, she is supervising 28 student employees and one graduate assistant.
“I help manage the flow of the front office, which is very different now,” Rae Ann explains, “Before COVID, we would have anywhere from three to six people at any given time checking out keys to studios, [or] needing to find their advisor’s office or contact information.” Her desk is the information hub of the department, for she develops promotional signage, coordinates course surveys, manages student encumbrances and holds, and collects faculty office hours and contact info for students when needed. Not only that, but Rae Ann also updates the department webpage and develops the department’s digital resources.
Rae Ann could also be described as the ‘Facilities Maven’. She manages copies, mailings, promotions, and deliveries for the entire department. The physical entity that is Brick City is also taken care of by Rae Ann since she manages security and door access and directs necessary cleaning and repairs within the departmental facilities.
Beyond managing the organized chaos of a bustling office, she also advises students minoring in Art + Design, assigns students to their advisors, aids in degree audit management, and updates the office with art pieces created by faculty. Rae Ann is also a certified Master Advisor .
Currently, Rae Ann is also a student at Missouri State, taking classes in Art and Museum Studies. She has worked as an administrative assistant in other places, but this position is especially significant seeing as she is able to experience the interactions of an office, while being a student herself.
Rae Ann had always planned on moving to Colorado to be closer to her son; “I wouldn’t allow myself to make any deep roots here in Missouri,” she explains. But plans changed, as they do, and this summer, she bought her “forever home” here in Springfield.
Rae Ann helps make Brick City a great place to learn and work for all her colleagues in the Art + Design Department and the students who study there.