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Pam Lazarakis (2010)

When I was a college student a few decades ago, I was uneasy about what kind of life that would exist for me after college.  I wasn’t sure if I could find a job.  After all, I was an English major. I loved to talk about fiction and verse, but I did not think that would impress too many employers.  When I visited the Career Center to get some advice about my job search, I knew that I could probably strike up some small talk about baseball, but did not think anyone would be interested in discussing early New England history and poetry.
 
However, if you enter the Career Services Center at Gordon College and visit with its director, you can talk about baseball and history, and poetry.  You see, the director of our Career Services is a devout Red Sox fan and a descendent of Simon Bradstreet, governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, who was married to early New England’s greatest poet, Anne Bradstreet.  
 
In fact, she can talk about lots of things, since she has a wide range of interests. She is a great cook who loves Coca Cola.  She is a fan of Andrea Bocelli and classical music.  She is a very skillful knitter who can untangle the web of social systems.  And she loves people, among whom she counts her dog Mannie.  She listens so well to students’ stories because she is eager to discover how to help them.
 
As director of the Career Services Center, she has developed programs in one-on-one counseling, job fairs, graduate school fairs, and alumni networks. She has re-engineered the Coop Advisory Board so that board members do mock interviews, review resumes and coach students. Through her research with internet sources, she educates students about thousands of job opportunities.
 
By temperament, she is gracious, mild-mannered, and modest, but in her quietly diligent way she has been relentless in her efforts to teach students about vocations, careers and graduate school.  As her supervisor Barry Loy observes, “she is a faithful person whom I depend on daily.  And she never disappoints.”
 
Looking for a job or a vocation after college can be a tough season. "If we had no winter,” the poet Anne Bradstreet once wrote, “the spring would not be so pleasant.”  So let me offer a world of encouragement as our own winter fades and we think of springtime possibilities.  If you don’t know Pam Lazarakis, stop by the Career Services Office and learn how she can help you envision possibilities for your own future.  And while you are there, be sure to congratulate her for receiving one of this year’s Provost’s Awards.

April 12, 2010