A day in the life of Trish, Mercyhurst's greeter and switchboard operator

Walking through the main lobby of Old Main, being greeted with a beautiful smile and a “have a nice day” is priceless. Receiving this blessing every day from a lovely lady is the best in one’s routine.

Patricia Jaskiewicz, best known as Trish, brightens the day of students, faculty and others visiting campus with her radiant smile and sweet words.

Also, when someone needs help in being redirected through the phone she is more than willing to assist.

People stop by her desk for advice or even to let her know how their day or week has been so far. Jaskiewicz is open to listen to stories that students have to tell. She gives them advice and lets them know when they need some rest from all the stress of schoolwork. You can also observe how her phone never stops ringing and how she is more than willing to help people be redirected to the person they desire to speak with.

Behind the desk, you find a lovely lady coming from a beautiful family. She and her husband will be celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary on May 19. They have three children, Lindsey, Jacob and Jordan. They also have a cat named Cheddar. Jaskiewicz has been part of Mercyhurst for 11 years now and what she loves the most about her job is seeing, talking and helping all the students.

“I enjoy making all visitors feel welcome and comfortable. I also enjoy meeting and greeting everyone who walks through the doors at Mercyhurst University. I have met people from all over the world and from all walks of life,” Jaskiewicz said.

If someone needs help on anything regarding campus or other aspects that are not even related to Mercyhurst, she is the one to rely on. What a better feeling than knowing that someone is there for you in the good and the bad times?

Jaskiewicz has been known to get many interesting calls from parents who are worried about their students and need guidance. In circumstances like this, she informs parents about the shuttle services Mercyhurst offers, Campus Ministry, the Health Center and many other services that are offered by Mercyhurst, that parents are either not aware of or forgot about.

Jaskiewicz receives phone calls frequently, but there was one that she will never forget, and certainly made her laugh.

She said that a woman called asking for the “whatcha ma call it” department, they both burst into laughter, and Jaskiewicz replied if what she wanted was Student Financial Services. She was right. Her guess came up fast and accurate because she had received a lot of calls that day directed to Financial Services. Jaskiewicz will never forget this call that made both of them to burst into laughter.

Jaskiewicz claimed that the day students’ bills are sent out is one of the busiest days. She also said that the most frequent questions are: what hotel to stay in, directions to campus from the highway and where is a good restaurant. Other people also call asking where the athletic fields are located and where to park.

Jaskiewicz expressed that the calls she hates the most are when people just hang up on her without saying sorry or that they had dialed the wrong number.

Another interesting conversation over the phone was with a woman that Jaskiewicz could tell was elderly. She called asking for Syracuse University’s phone number. It was weird that someone would call Mercyhurst for the number of Syracuse University, but what Jaskiewicz deduced was that she might have thought that they have a list of all universities and their phone numbers. She looked it up for the woman and helped her. She has such a warm heart that she was not going to be mean and not help the lady that seemed to be of an older age.

Her motivation toward helping other people is admirable. She enjoys helping people find their way around campus. Jaskiewicz directs many students to classrooms, advisors, Student Financial Services and the Registrar’s Office, just to mention a few of the most common ones. Prospective students and their parents are also fortunate to be assisted and welcomed by her lovely smile. She directs them to the Admissions Department when they come for appointments and welcomes visitors who do not have appointments to tour the campus and encourage them to stop by the bookstore for a cup of coffee and a souvenir.

When people come to campus and are received by a nice person such as Jaskiewicz, they leave campus with the good impression of how people are treated on campus by staff. With this treatment parents feel more confident about the place they are leaving their children.

“I look forward to coming to work every day and seeing our students,” Jaskiewicz said.

She also said how she loved hearing about their weekend, their classes, their plans for the week and their current jobs as well as job offers for graduating students.

“It is so much fun talking with the students,” Jaskiewicz said.

She enjoys encouraging students through exams and big projects, as well as a lot of homework assignments. She provides relief and support to students when they feel overwhelmed when they find themselves stressed and consumed by the school hassles.

She is a helping hand when students are not feeling well emotionally and lets them know they need some rest and have some fun to alleviate the stress they have. Her smile and warm and supporting words help students get through a hard day or week.

Next time you walk by Old Main, make sure you stop by and say hello to Jaskiewicz and be blessed by her lovely smile, and know for sure she is a helping hand when you most need it.