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'Bearcat for Life' Is Newest Staff Member in Women's Studies

Administrative assistant Molly Schmidt cherishes memories and contacts created in A&S and across campus.

Date: 3/10/2008
By: Britt Kennerly
Phone: (513) 556-8577
Photos By: Melanie Cannon
Molly Schmidt has "pretty much determined" that she'll be a Bearcat for life.

That's handy, since as the new administrative assistant for the Department of Women's  Studies, she can draw heavily from experiences and contacts forged in the College of Arts and Sciences and across the UC campus.

The ideas and work being pursued within the women's studies department is great, says  Schmidt, a 2005 communication graduate who brings "an open mind and a willingness to help wherever needed" to the job.

Molly Schmidt, administrative assistant for the Department of Women's Studies, is a 2005 A&S graduate.

"I still have a lot to learn about the workings of the department, but I'm very happy so  far," she says. "Their relationships with other organizations within the community are  phenomenal."

A lifelong Cincinnati resident, Schmidt grew up on the city's west side and graduated from Oak Hills High School in 2000. Just two weeks after commencement, she started classes and began working on campus, too.

"UC was always in the running when I was considering colleges, as I've been a Bearcat fan my entire life," Schmidt says. "My stepfather is an alumnus and by the time my senior year of high school rolled around, I had two cousins attending UC."

While an undergraduate, she worked in several departments on campus and "really enjoyed working with other students."

"By the time I graduated, my friends asked if there was anyone on campus I didn't know,"  she recalls. "To this day I still have people come up to me who remember me from my days in the market at the bookstore."

Originally an electronic media major at CCM, Schmidt says she soon realized that "being a film director was a great dream, but not a very realistic one" for her.

"I ended up changing my major and after taking several classes in organizational  communication I became very interested in public relations," she notes.

"I'm currently considering going back to school to get my public relations certificate  which was not available when I was a student.  My BA in communication has really helped my writing. So much of communication is writing, but it also helped me to hone my interpersonal skills and be more aware of nonverbal communication that may be taking place around me."

Communication is important within her family, too. Schmidt's mother and stepfather, she  says, "definitely played a huge role in my future."

"My mom, Chris Sullivan, has been a huge influence on my life," she says. "When I was  younger she decided to go back to school to get her BA from the College of Mount St. Joseph on the weekends, all while working full time and taking care of me! When Steve came into the picture he and my mom supported me in every way. I was lucky to have them finance my college education."

She also, Schmidt stresses, had a very strong support network in the Department of Communication.

"There were some times that I was struggling, but in making a point to sit down and talk to some of my professors, they helped me to work through it," she says. "I really enjoyed the classes I took with Dr. M.J. Woeste, Dr. Maribeth Metzler and Dr. Steve Depoe. I actually find myself referencing these classes in my everyday conversations! I think another reason I was drawn back to UC is that I wanted to help out students like the staff members who were there to help me when I was in the role."

Networking matters, she adds.

"It's great to keep in touch with your professors because you never know when they might be able to help with a recommendation letter or even help you get into a class," Schmidt says. 
"If you donít make it a point to visit them during their office hours, you limit your chances that they will be able to help you in the future because they won't know anything about you other than you sat in the third row from the window."

Schmidt encourages students to get to know their peers, too: Among her many campus employee contacts are former classmates.

"Who knows, that person you made friends with in one of your freshman classes could end up helping you find a job someday," she says.

And about that Bearcat passion? Just ask!

"I have to tell the truth. I'm kind of a geek about the Bearcats athletic teams. I have been this way since before I was even a student!" says Schmidt, also a fan of rollercoasters, hanging out with friends and summer cookouts.

"I'm particularly excited about the Bearcats football team, and for the record, I liked them before it was cool. This past season I attended all but one home game, and that was only because I was attending an out-of-town wedding. I even traveled down to Birmingham, Ala., to watch the Cats play in the Bowl! You could find me wearing my 'I Love Bionic Ben' shirt and yelling at people for not cheering loudly enough."

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