Celebrating staff: Melissa Dhillon

Meet Melissa Dhillon, graduate program administrator in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Katie Willis - 9 September 2020

If you’ve been a student in the University of Alberta’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in the last nine years, chances are that you’ve met Melissa Dhillon. Since joining the department in 2011, Dhillon has served as both the undergraduate program administrator, and more recently, the graduate program administrator. Her favourite part of her job? Watching students achieve their goals. 

“My favorite thing is being able to help the students reach their full potential,” said Dhillon. “Seeing the students succeed and graduate is the most fulfilling feeling.”

The countless and invaluable contributions of staff make the world go round in the Faculty of Science, and we are thrilled to introduce you to Melissa Dhillon. Hear more about her work. 

Job title and area:

I am the graduate program administrator for the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

How long have you worked at the Faculty of Science?

I started in September of 2011 as the undergraduate program administrator in the department.

What is a typical day on campus like for you ?

I would say my days are anything but typical. What I do on a day-to-day basis is very much determined by what is needed by students or faculty at any given moment. If I had to sum up a typical day, it would consist of admissions, registration, student affairs, and academic policy.

How has your work changed during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The biggest change is not having face to face interactions with the students. This is such a crucial part of student services and I am learning new ways to give our students the same experience they would have received if we were on campus. I have also had to teach myself to be much more dependent on technology than I used to be.

What's the most common question people ask you about your job?

People ask me if I like what I do and my answer will always be yes! I absolutely love my work.

Favourite memory from work?

This is a difficult question because there are so many to choose from, but if I had to, I would say participating in the annual Open House. It is my favorite time of year.

Favourite thing about working at the Faculty of Science?

My favorite thing is being able to help the students reach their full potential. Knowing the students have successfully completed their program and convocated, is the most fulfilling part of my job.