Amy Owens considers herself fortunate in many respects. She’s got a great job that she loves to do here at UAB. And she’s got the family support that enables her to both enjoy and flourish in her position as Campus and Community Services specialist in the UAB Department of International Scholar & Student Services.

Amy Owens, center, has many responsibilities in her position as Campus and Community Services specialist in the UAB Department of International Scholar Student Services, and she always performs her tasks with enthusiasm and passion.

For example, every summer Owens’ parents open the doors of their home in Athens to 16 international students whom she brings for an overnight retreat. It’s a chance to show the students some Southern hospitality – and give them a chance to enjoy the lake.

“My parents love it,” Owens says. “They even drive down for events we have here during the year.”

Owens’ dedication to her students and fellow co-workers are just two of the reasons she was selected as the December 2006 Employee of the Month.

But to Owens, this award is a family affair.

She credits her husband Bo for a big part of her career success. He is supportive of Owens and the many programs she is responsible for generating for the international students throughout the year. In fact, Owens says it’s not uncommon for her husband to show up in the evenings and on weekends to help her out. He’ll even tag along on field trips from time to time.

“Most of what I do I can involve my husband, which is nice,” Owens says. “He really enjoys it.”

Owens is certainly highly thought of by her students and colleagues, both as a person and for the job she performs. Among the events she organizes for international students are: Conversational English Classes, Friendship Partner Program, Free Friday Lunches, International Women’s Group, Fall BBQ and Children’s Festival, Thanksgiving Dinner, International Food Fair, Spring Fling and International Culture Camp.
And that’s just a small sampling of her responsibilities.

“The best word I can use to describe Amy is vivacious,” says Lisa Townsend, associate director of International Scholar and Student Services (ISSS). “Amy is energetic, highly organized, and just bubbling full of creative ideas. She has a work ethic that exemplifies the model employee. Amy puts much time and care into making sure the details are not overlooked in all aspects of her programming for international students, scholars and their families.

“Amy’s positive attitude has motivated our students to reach new heights with the programs in which they are involved.”

Nicholas Rogers is an office services specialist who has been working in the ISSS office for 15 years, and he says he’s never seen anyone with more desire to achieve the best informative, beneficial and entertaining programming for international students than Owens.

“Amy approaches every programming initiative and the promulgation of current programming with reliability, professionalism and organization — all the while constantly displaying courteousness, consideration, charm, grace, dignity and respect to our international students,” Rogers says. “She brings a freshness and vitality that encompasses all tasks she pursues in her daily interactions.”

Owens says the thing about her job she likes the most is the diverse population with which she works.

“I just love that I get to experience the world every day – it brings the rest of the world closer to me by working with the international students,” she says. “I’m so much more aware of what’s happening in the rest of the world because of my interaction with them.”

As for the employee of the month recognition, Owens says she is grateful and humbled by her selection.

“It’s a nice reminder of the impact we can have on students and their experience here, and it reminds me why I do what I do,” she says. “I chose a career in student affairs because I enjoy helping people. I enjoy working with students. They keep me young. The recognition is a reminder why I get up every day and come to work.”