By ELIZABETH SCHAFER, Associate Editor
If you’re ever on the Pickard campus, you may run into a redhead (or blonde, depending on her mood) with glasses and sassy high heels. You’re thinking, “Who’s that?” and you should be.
It’s Melissa Rohen and she is someone you want and need to know. She is the Pickard campus Library & Learning Services Assistant. “I provide students with general assistance — answering questions, helping with and assisting with library duties,” she explained. “I also provide students with research techniques and developing research skills, also help in finding sources to locate articles.”
Rohen has gotten students out of a jam multiple times. One honestly can’t imagine how helpful and intelligent she is. Not only does the woman know how to dress and have a great sense of humor, she also will gladly give you information on anything that you are inquiring about. Book banning articles? Got them! The early beginnings of Michigan as a state? Yup, she’ll find those too.
“I do have an intern, Alexa Newell, who is also around to assist with questions, research, and CIS tutoring,” Rohen said.
Students also may have seen Rohen in classrooms assisting instructors as needed. “I provide in-class and one-on-one tutorials about utilizing the LLS services, and I help students with research and citations,” she said, explaining her role. “If I am unable to answer a student’s question, I can steer them towards someone who will be able to.”
Sure, MMCC provides a valid search engine and source locator on the college website, which is easy enough to use to find your own citation and research articles. (Although Rohen says one of the most frequently asked questions by students is, “How do I access the database?”) However, it’s like Rohen can access the inner bowels of the database, finding obscure articles and maybe that last critical reference or citation students may need for their paper.
The other main question she’s asked is, “Where’s the stairs?” Since her move from the Writing and Reading Center to the old bookstore location on the Pickard Campus, she has really made her new digs look legitimately anew, and her own.
“Personality galore” best describes Rohen, though I was a little intimidated at first by her honest approach. Yet students should never hesitate to approach her.
Obtaining her degree in liberal arts from Mid Michigan Community College and her bachelor’s in English Language from South New Hampshire University, she is currently working on her master’s in English and creative writing with a specialization in fiction at Southern New Hampshire University through their distance education program.
On a personal note, Rohen makes amazing cupcakes. “I run a small cupcakery out of my kitchen and do take orders. I have been known to bring some in for students from time to time. I make any flavor combination, though my best-sellers are Sallies (named after MMCC English instructor Sallie Butler) — they are triple lemon.”
I suggest getting on the good side of Rohen, just for the cupcakes. Maybe she will make one for me with bacon, or some sort of pork fat, and tequila. (hint, hint)
Rohen was born in San Antonio, Texas, moved a lot as a child before settling in Evart, MI, marrying her high school sweetheart, James. They now have two boys, James V, 13, and Nolan, 10, whom I expect will be exceptional researchers. The Rohen family also has a Boxer/Staffordshire puppy named Barbosa.
“I find my job incredibly rewarding,” Rohen said. “Everyday I am given the opportunity to help students become successful in their academic career. It always feels nice when past students come in to visit and tell me how well they have been doing after graduation.”
Rohen has style, class, and mad skills on the research front. I guarantee I will be one of those students who remembers the help she gave and utilize the skills she taught me in the future.
This last piece of advice from her is most important: “The main thing I would say to a student is, ‘Don’t be afraid to ask for help.’ There are a multitude of services there to help with all aspects of student success from tutoring, to writing help, to test proctoring, to advising. If you need help, just ask. It’s our job to help you succeed.”