Get to Know: Donnita Harris, Administrative Aide

Donnita Harris
Donnita Harris, Administrative Aide

Our School is grateful for talented and dedicated staff, who contribute greatly to our teaching and research excellence. This “Get to Know” series highlights our staff, sharing their friendly faces and stories of professional success.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a multitude of places, both in the U.S. and overseas. My father was in the Army, and we moved every two to three years. I was adopted from Vietnam at three months old when my father was stationed near the village of Phan Rang. My parents were unable to have children and chose to adopt to create a family. In my adult life, I have lived in several places, but I have a Midwest upbringing and sensibilities. I attended five high schools and graduated from Monticello High School.

What year did you begin working for the iSchool?

I started working at the iSchool in February 2020.

Where did you work prior to the iSchool?

Prior to joining the iSchool, I spent fourteen years working at Parkland College. I started as a secretary for a department chair in Fine and Applied Arts and was later promoted to administrative assistant to the dean of Arts and Sciences. 

What do you do at the School?

In my role as administrative aide, I split my time supporting Linda Smith, our interim executive associate dean, and working alongside the front office staff under Christine Hopper. I enjoy the variety of administrative duties that I am called to work on for both.

What do you like best about your job?

I like that every day can be different in terms of what faculty need and the tasks that make up my job. I like supporting faculty, my fellow staff members, and the dean. I am very happy and lucky to be working at the iSchool. We are located in the heart of campus, and the energy feeds me. I look forward to returning to work in person and being with the rest of the iSchool community.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

In my spare time, I like to write. I write short stories, journal entries, and letters. I prefer handwritten over electronic communication. I also vlog. I've vlogged on and off for years but never publicly shared my thoughts. Since working from home and spending this last year reflecting on my life and what is happening to the world, I've returned to vlogging to stay connected with others and my sanity. I also cook, spend time with my doggies, and keep in touch with my college-aged children.

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