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Northwestern University

Farewell to Longtime Staff

Retiring staff members Paula Blaskovits and Hannah Maendel share their favorite memories of working for the College

The Weinberg Staff Advisory Board would like to send a congratulatory farewell and give recognition to two long-time Weinberg staff members who are retiring from Northwestern after many years of exceptional service.

Paula Blaskovits

Paula BlaskovitsAfter 25 years, Paula Blaskovits, business administrator for the Department of History, will retire from Northwestern at the end of the academic year. Paula has been working for the department and Weinberg College since Sept. 4, 1990.  Paula has many, many memories from her time at Northwestern and in the Department of History. Even though it was difficult to name only a few, Paula shared her fondest memories of working at Northwestern:

When I was hired, my hire interview was with the then-chair, Professor T. W. Heyck, in August 1990.  He first discussed my experience working in District 112 in Highland Park as the school secretary at both Lincoln and Ravinia schools and what my job entailed. After that, though (and that was only about 15 minutes), he asked me about my extracurricular activities and the volunteer work I was doing at my children’s parochial school, St. Hilary in Chicago.   I think we connected really closely, and it began my journey in History and a very close relationship with Professor Heyck. He was a dear man and is sorely missed. 

From the very beginning, when I started in the history department, even though I was hired as a receptionist, within two months I became secretary to the chair and moved within History to seek internal promotions. The faculty in the Department of History have always been hugely supportive of me and have become my second family, so I have never had the desire to move to another position within the University.   

Lastly, I’d have to say the most fun I’ve had working in the department was helping to plan the T.W. Heyck Lectures in British and Irish history. The first lecture featured Sen. George J. Mitchell in February 2000; the second featured speaker Garrett FitzGerald, the former prime minister of Ireland, in April 2001; and the third featured Bertie Ahern, An Taoiseach (prime minister) of the Irish Republic in March 2002. These events not only taught me how to deal with a donor but how to manage a huge event with major security issues. 

After retirement, Paula plans to spend more time with her family and grandchildren; to go on more vacations; to enjoy sleeping in (she won’t need an alarm clock anymore!); and to catch up on the many things she has left on the ongoing “to-do list.”

Hannah Maendel

Hannah MaendelAfter just over 25 years, Hannah Maendel retired from Northwestern and Weinberg College at the beginning of spring quarter.

She started her Northwestern career in Human Resources/Payroll in 1991. In 1997, she moved to Weinberg College as the expediter.  In 2008, she moved to the Office of the Dean at Weinberg College and continued to work there until March 2013. Hannah retired as the financial assistant in Life Sciences, where she had worked for the past two years. 

During her tenure, Hannah was named Employee of the Year in 2000 and Mentor of the Year in 2006. Hannah has enjoyed the wonderful experiences she has had at Northwestern and in Weinberg College.  She shares with us her fondest memories.

I have had a ball working with so many lovely people. Those many and varied personalities made my work life very interesting.

I remember a history professor who was having a large conference and many guest speakers. He wanted to give each speaker a check the night they spoke. The BA and I spent the better part of the evening putting the paperwork in order and cutting checks. We managed to get everything done.

Julia Harris of Sociology always had to contend with a bundle of reimbursements, just as the fiscal year was ending. I went over to her office and approved one after another as fast as Julia could enter them.

In Classics, six students had taken a trip together and one paid for some of the lodging, another paid for some of the meals, another paid for the rental car and we were left having to figure out who to reimburse what and how to split all the expenses evenly. It took a spreadsheet to figure it out.

In my first position, I had to file my supervisor's paperwork and microfilm using the Dewey Decimal System because a prior secretary had been a librarian and created the filing system. I didn't know the Dewey Decimal System from Adam and soon learned. Neither did my boss.

Life is a whirlwind of wonderful experiences, and I certainly had my share at Northwestern University.

During her retirement, Hannah plans to spend time visiting her family in The Netherlands, Maine, Georgia, Tennessee and North Dakota. In addition to traveling, she hopes to work again part-time.

Congratulations to Paula and Hannah on all of their accomplishments! Join us in wishing each of them a healthy and joyful retirement.

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