December 2018: Anna Belle Hall, Staff
This month, we recognize Anna Belle Jones for her invaluable contributions to the Vassar community. Cecilia met with her over coffee to chat about her work and experiences. Anna Belle Jones has been at Vassar for 29 years, and has had a huge impact on all the students she's met, even though most people don't get to see her in action. For example, after the recent fire in Noyes, Dean Carlos Alamo had this to say: “Ms. Jones was one of the first administrators on the scene to help assess the impact of the fire and assist our students. Specifically, she did an incredible job in the coordination and marshaling of college resources to develop a swift and humane response. Ms. Jones’s expertise and student-centered approach helped to minimize the impact of what was a truly challenging event. The college is fortunate to have someone like her here with us!”
Anna Belle started out at Vassar as a cleaner, and then as a residential desk attendant. When I asked her what's one thing she wished people knew about her work, Anna Belle said she wanted us to know that "my work is important, and that I do my work from the heart... I never say, 'that's not my job.' I find a way to help someone, or I find the person who will do it." She attributes this in part to her positive rapport with people who work in Facilities Operations, some of whom she's been working with for decades.
She comes from a large family, and has two adult daughters, both of whom she put through college. She spoke proudly about this, and the fact that she's "the only one of the ResLife staff without a college degree. And I’m okay with that. I had to make sure my children got one. I’m perfectly happy with where I am, and who I am."
In a few years, Anna Belle will retire, and she's looking forward to the extra time to knit and sew. She said, "I want to take my mother to places that she wants to go, like her childhood home."