After serving Western and the Communication Studies department for over two decades, Department Manager Ann Reynolds will log off for the last time on Friday, Aug. 7.
Reynolds first came to Western as a student; as an undergrad, she dreamed of becoming a junior high science teacher. Reality, however, found this wouldn’t be a good fit for her.
Reynolds changed direction, graduating with her bachelor’s degree in the then-combined psychology and sociology major. The department manager position that she held for 23 years fell quickly into place after her graduation when Reynolds responded to a job offer in 1998.
“The attributes that I thought I did not have for a junior high school teacher… I found that I had attributes that really helped me become a good resource for college students. The best part of my job is the interactions with the students,” Reynolds said.
When she met the department chair and current department manager, they decided she’d be an excellent fit, and the rest is history. Reynolds is well known throughout the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, earning an award for excellence in student service from the National Society for Leadership and Success in 2018.
“Ann has been a beacon of assistance for students in the department. She has solved problems large and small and turned anxiety into hope and accomplishment. A large part of our students success is due to the efforts that Ann has put towards their interests as a group and for countless individuals,” said Communication Studies Professor Steven Woods, who is also chair of the department.
Over the years, Reynolds has seen many changes occur in her college and across campus.
“In order to get into the Registrar's system, as we do today easily with Banner, we had a credit card-like device that would spin numbers and generate an access code. Very few processes relied on email,” Reynolds said. "The old electronic access program in place when I first took the job would be like antiquated sci-fi today."
Reynolds is mother to four children, all of whom live in the Pacific Northwest. She’s colloquially known to them as “I-5 Grammy,” Reynolds said. She says she’s not a big traveler, but she does love road tripping. After her last day at Western, Reynolds said she hopes to continue exploring the Pacific Northwest.
“We will miss her contributions greatly, but wish her the best as she transitions to a new phase of her life,” Woods said.