Education and Development
Carl Vinson Institute of Government
DEPARTMENT DESCRIPTION: “The Carl Vinson Institute of Government works with government officials throughout the state. We also have an international division that sends our people to countries like the Ukraine where democracy is being established. Another department is communications, which develops textbooks for Georgia middle school students.”
JOB RESPONSIBILITIES: “I work with 10 faculty members and schedule them for training classes all over the state doing our management development program, which has been in existence for 21 years. It teaches managers and supervisors from state, city and county governments how to be managers and supervisors. These training classes or retreats take place in city and county governments. Elected or appointed officials might not know how to manage or lead or even conduct meetings. So we help with that.”
A TYPICAL DAY: “It varies in the process of scheduling which can get complicated-the scheduling process, material preparation for the classes, coordinating all aspects and-once I get the paperwork back-invoices and evaluations to gauge how we are doing.
“These training sessions that happen all over the state include governmental training for newly elected legislators and even mayors.
“We help on a personal basis too. Someone called one of the instructors recently to say thanks for saving my marriage. In interpersonal relations you have to listen and have patience, all of these things that are important in a marriage, too.”
YEARS IN CURRENT POSITION: Five.
MOST REWARDING PART OF MY JOB: “Being a part of and helping governmental individuals and the state of Georgia. Also, the people that I work with are phenomenal.”
MOST CHALLENGING PART OF MY JOB: “The most challenging part but also most rewarding is the scheduling itself. I have 10 people to work with all over the state, and it is a challenge to get everything coordinated and run smoothly. It is not easy. . . keeping it all coordinated and pulling it off so it appears seamless.”
OTHER UGA EXPERIENCE: “I have only worked here at the institute. My husband, Jim, and I moved here in 1992 from Indiana.”
IF I WASN’T DOING THIS JOB, I WOULD MOST LIKE TO: “Travel. I went to China last year for two weeks, and I loved the history involved-especially seeing the Great Wall of China. I have been to Italy, walking the streets in Rome where Caesar walked. I do not know where I am traveling to this year. We are working on that.”
THE PEOPLE I MOST ADMIRE: “My Mom and Dad, Wilma and John Ragin.
“My mom has degenerative hips so she is pretty much in a wheelchair. Her spirit and outlook are amazing.
“In general, I also admire any kind of true leader who is not self serving. In particular, I admire my co-workers because they support me with any ideas that I have.
“I have to stress how much I enjoy working here and the people with whom I work. It is a pleasure to come in to work every day. When you work other jobs-like I have in the 30 years that I have worked and some have been bummer jobs-you appreciate the good ones. No matter what the challenges are, I enjoy coming into work everyday because I have a team to back me up.”
OFF-THE-JOB INTERESTS: “Traveling photography, gardening and reading.
“My husband and I are big UGA fans. We have barely any connections to UGA-we do not have any children who went here and we did not graduate from here-but we follow men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball, gymnastics and soccer. We are big on sports.”
FAVORITE BOOKS: “I like James Michener-Alaska and Hawaii are great stories, and I just finished Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven; that was good.”
THE ISSUE THAT CONCERNS ME MOST ABOUT THE WORLD TODAY: “Education. There are still people who cannot read, and we assume it is a God-given right. Also, ignorance breeds a lot of the unrest and bigotries that go on.”