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Pam levitates Leavenworth

By Riley Cartwright
On March 21, 2018

Pam Alexander prepares snacks for Leavenworth faculty and staff. Photo by Riley Cartwright.

Pam Alexander has been working as the staff assistant in Leavenworth since September 2016 and she said she’s there to support all of the students and professors who need her help in the building.

But those students and faculty she speaks of say she often goes above and beyond what she is asked to do.

“She is always figuring out ideas to make our, the faculty’s, lives more fun and happy. She spoils us to death with wonderful treats, birthday cakes, special bars, yummy fruit, peanut, no peanut, savory treats and much more,” said Ana Alfaro-Alexander, the Modern Foreign Language program coordinator.

But Alexander is humble and seems to shun any form of attention when talking about what she does for her colleagues.

“To me it’s just doing what I can in any manner to help out,” Alexander said.

Her latest contribution to the faculty has been her “Levitate Leavenworth” idea. With anxiety and emotions running high due to the university’s restructure plan, she thought of a way to relieve this new stress.

“After talking with everyone each day, I could tell this was taking a toll. What can I do? I thought,” she said.

Each week through the end of the semester she has planned a new and fun way of brightening up people’s mood, ranging from special food days to a contest with a fun prize.

“Just this past Tuesday I went to the faculty lounge and thought I had arrived at a cocktail party,” Alfaro-Alexander said.

Other faculty noticed too.

“She has levitated our moods, she has levitated our spirits, she has levitated just our will to work!” said Sanjukta Gosh, professor of communication. “Pam is the best thing that has happened to Leavenworth in a longtime!”

Alexander said she’s just happy her idea seems to be working.

“People have been very appreciative and have said that it has really made a difference,” she said.

And she doesn’t stop with just food; she also doubles as Leavenworth’s interior designer.

With the budget being as tight as it is, Alexander has needed to get creative to pull off some of her good deeds. Over the past couple years, she has worked her magic and gotten free furniture for the Leavenworth hallways, making it a much more welcoming place.

She has even reached out to local businesses to sponsor some of the food she brings in. Third Place Pizzeria is donating the pizzas for this week’s event. She said the owner was more than happy to be a part of this because it is making a difference in the community by giving back a little bit.

And when she can’t find a sponsor she doesn’t hesitate to pay out of pocket.

“She’s a great secretary of course. But even more, Pam is a kind and compassionate soul, a calm and comforting confidant, a jack-of-all-trades and a hell of a cook,” said Paul Derby, professor of sociology, social work and criminal justice.

Work study student Maria Jackson also talked up her boss, praising her “Levitate Leavenworth” efforts, but saying she’s so much more that that.

“Any time I have financial aid or class questions, she always helps me find who I need to talk to and a couple times she has called staff members for me,” she said.

With Levitate Leavenworth, Jackson said she has taken a stressful situation “and made something awesome out of it.”

“I love working with her,” she said.

When Bob Gershon, a long-time communication professor at Castleton, retired last year, she was the one to make the cake celebrating his dedication to the university.

“Pam Alexander is a ray of sunshine. We are truly fortunate to have Pam in the Leavenworth family,” Derby said.

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