One the happiest places at George Fox University is the information window, behind which sits Barbi Doran. She is the Information Services Coordinator and has been a bright contribution to the GFU family for seven years. Barbi is always ready with a smile to answer the phone and to greet anyone who has a question as if they are the most important person in the world.
“One of my favorite aspects of my job is getting to work with people, students, coworkers, and visitors,” said Barbi Doran. “I just love helping people and being a resource for them, and I get to do that all day long.”
Before being hired in February of 2008, Barbi worked for the university as a temporary information coordinator who was on call. She worked at that position for about a year, until the person who had held the permanent position moved to the Portland campus. When this happened, she applied for the job and was hired.
“It’s OK to have too much fun!”
“I love my job so much!” said Barbi. “I throw myself an ‘I love my job anniversary party’, every year on the anniversary of my hire date, and I’ve done that every year since I was hired.”
Her parties include lots of chocolate, fruit, cake, cookies, and prize drawings. “I try to have as many prizes as years that I’ve been here,” she said.
Barbi also keeps a running list of all of the funny switchboard calls that she receives throughout the year, types them up and then sends them out so that people can read them and get a laugh.
“This year I asked students and employees to write down what they like about their job, then I compiled all the answers. When I sent out ‘thanks for coming to my party’ emails, I followed up with the list of what others had said that they liked about their jobs,” said Barbi. “I think it encourages people and when they read over the list they can be like, you know what? I love that about my job too!’ It’s an acknowledgement and an encouragement, and it’s fun!”
A typical day for Barbi includes working on several projects at a time.
“I try to have things that don’t have a tight deadline, because you never know who’s going to call or who’s going to walk in the door and need help,” she said.
She relies on sticky notes to stay organized and never throws one away until she has handled the task. Barbi also utilizes the calendar on her computer that pops up with reminders of when it’s time to complete something, even small things.
“I am thrilled when students share their lives with me and I get to pray with them on the phone or in person,” said Barbi. “If I have a student who has a test or an important interview and I’m praying for them, I just put it in my calendar and then it just pops up on my computer, ‘pray for this person.’ It’s a good reminder and is very helpful.”
Barbi makes the students of GFU– “her kids,” as she fondly refers to them–a priority not only at work, but outside of it as well.
“I’m a big Bruins fan, and I love basketball, so I really love supporting my kids. Oftentimes when we are at the games, especially an away game, someone will ask, ‘Oh, which one is your kid?’ I always answer, ‘They’re all my kids!’”
Barbie is also excited about the addition of the Bruins football team.
“I have to be careful, [when cheering], because I don’t understand all the calls in football yet, but I’ve found that if I just yell, ‘Go Bruins!’ no matter what’s going on out on the field, it’s a good cheer,” she said.
In her free time, Barbi also loves to go shopping, and calls it her down time. Garage saleing is another of her favorite pastimes. “Although in Oregon it’s not a year round pastime,” she laughed. “But for sure in the summer, every Saturday I’m out.”
When asked what motivates her, Barbi answered, “My heart is to serve, and I believe that if we love God, then his love flows through us and out to others. Like on my own, I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t serve and be and do, but when I open myself up to God’s love and allow myself to be a conduit of his love through me, then that’s how I can do what I can do. ‘Cause it’s never in my strength; I’d run out.”
Barbi loves interacting with students, helping students, being a resource for students, and praying for students.
“I love it when students come up and share their lives with me,” Barbi smiled. “So stop by, I would love to get to know more students and help them in any way I can, and it doesn’t matter the question or need, I am happy to help. Oh and I always have chocolate at my desk too!”
Barbi hard at work!