September 16, 2020

CSSAC chair Q&A: Sara Mellady

Sara Mellady at Unfinished Block P sculpture Sara Mellady, CSSAC chair for 2020-21. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood)

Sara Mellady took office Sept. 1 as the 2020-21 chair of the Clerical and Support Staff Advisory Committee. Here, she answers questions from Purdue Today about her plans in leading CSSAC.

How long, and in what positions, have you worked at Purdue?

I have been with the University for a year and a half, all working as senior administrative assistant in the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering (RCHE). Prior to coming to Purdue, I worked in the automobile insurance industry for 13 years.

Why did you decide to become involved in CSSAC? In what capacity/on which committees have you served?

I became involved in CSSAC as a way to meet people across the campus, increase my understanding of the interworkings of the University, and explore ways to volunteer and give back to the Purdue community.

Since my time on CSSAC, I have served on the following committees: CSSAC Professional Development Committee, Spring Fling Committee, and Employee Engagement Survey Team.

What did you learn as vice chair or as a committee member that will assist you as chair this year?

Interestingly enough, I was not vice chair. Our vice chair left the University shortly before they were to transition to chair. I was then nominated and voted in as the 2020-21 chair. While I am lacking a year of planning as vice chair, I do have many years of experience in leading and serving. Jeremy Wampler, our previous chair, has helped me tremendously by sharing his knowledge and experience. My current vice chair, Brock Turner, has also been exceedingly helpful in my transition to the role of chair.

What will CSSAC be working on during the upcoming academic year?

Our hope over the next year is to help boost employee morale, increase service staff participation in professional development opportunities, and increase communication from CSSAC to campus and vice versa. I see this year as being an opportunity to rebuild the CSSAC platform under current campus conditions to best serve our staff.

What are your own goals as the chair of CSSAC? What do you hope to have contributed as chair to CSSAC and the University once your term ends?

My personal goal for CSSAC this year is to increase and improve communication. It is a virtual world now. We are missing the human connection we get through physical interactions. In order to bridge that gap, we need to increase our communication. It is sometimes difficult to know who your CSSAC representatives are when we are all on campus and even more challenging when half of the staff is working remotely. I want to ensure that while all of us may not be on campus, we are accessible and excited to both assist and celebrate our co-workers.

What would you like faculty and staff to know about CSSAC?

CSSAC is an advisory group that was established in 1965 for all service workers on campus. Our job is to be the voice of concerns, suggestions, and advice from all service staff and partner with the University to foster solutions. We are happy to hear any questions or concerns and look forward to addressing them with you.

How can faculty/staff get involved with CSSAC?

A great way to get involved with CSSAC is to request a CSSAC presentation for your area. This presentation provides insight into who we are and what we do while also allowing you to meet CSSAC representatives. You can also get involved by communicating with us in person, via websiteemail, or Facebook and Twitter, and/or by applying for membership next year.

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