Southern’s Unsung Hero: Judy Behler


Melissa Nunez – General Assignment Reporter

In 1999, in a small office inside the Granoff Health and Services building, was where Judy Behler, Southern telephone operator, made her start as a full-time switchboard operator. From there, she moved to the Facilities Operations building and, while she spoke to many of the students and staff, Behler said she was merely a voice over the phone. It was not until five years ago, her move to the Information Desk inside the Adanti Student Center was where real connections began.

“We had a couple student workers over the years where we were located before, but if they were not a student worker with us, then we really did not see them because there was not really a connection to be made for the students where we were located,” said Behler. “So it has been a big plus being over here, to make the connection with students and also with faculty and staff. To put a face to the name.”

Behler said she thinks the move from the Facilities Operations building to the Student Center was so that the help desk staff could become more visible, to create a place where students and staff could put a face to their solutions and to become a source for guidance.

Behler said she starts her day before 7 a.m., opening the Adanti Student Center for faculty and staff, then prints out daily schedules for upcoming events, unlocks numerous doors inside the building, as well as ensures phone lines to the help desk are open by 8 a.m. If it is a warm day, she will also unlock the patio doors leading to the outside dining and leisure area.

Behler said she has also assisted with the check-in process during new student orientation and has appreciated getting to meet students as they enroll into the university. She also serves on the Customer Service Committee, where they strive to provide a friendlier service for students and staff.

“We recognize there are some areas that are a little bit rough around the edges and there are quite a few staff members that are trying, for the students, to make it a better, friendlier experience,”  said Behler.

Behler said whether she is training student workers, giving out directions to a building on campus, providing a professor’s phone number or email address, or assisting in finding students’ lost items brought to the information desk, she tries to help students in any way she can.

“There are some students that I have connected with that come up [and] ask questions,” said Behler, “and continue to say that we are very helpful here at the information desk.”

Behler said she even attends some of the girls’ soccer games to support the students who come by every day just to say hello and that she is grateful for having the opportunity to be able to recognize them.

Behler added that she often gives former student workers references for jobs and continues to connect, chat, and say, “happy birthday,’ to alum over Facebook. The connections she has made with students spans beyond graduation and becomes long-lasting.

Photo Credit: Melissa Nunez – General Assignment Reporter

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