Job Title: Administrative assistant to the endowed chairs in the College of Liberal Arts
Years at RIT: 27
What I like best about working at RIT: When students come back to visit me and tell me how much they appreciate me. That means I made an impact in their lives.
If you subscribe to RIT-Staff, you’re probably familiar with Cassandra Shellman’s name.
As the administrative assistant to the endowed chairs in the College of Liberal Arts, she sends out more than 100 announcements each year letting people know about upcoming performances, speakers and conferences on campus.
But she does more than that. She sends out invitations to events and conferences; accepts registrations; arranges transportation, meals and hotels for speakers; and makes sure the venue is prepared properly.
“I do all the support work,” she said. “But one perk is sometimes I get to meet famous people.”
It can be a hectic job. Sometimes conferences overlap. Often there are special requests she needs to address for accessibility, travel or dietary concerns.
“I know I’ve done everything correctly when people walk in to a perfect event,” she said. “By the time they get there, it is perfect. But they don’t know what happens in the background.”
Shellman, who has held a few positions in the College of Liberal Arts over the years, has earned two RIT degrees—a bachelor’s in applied arts and sciences in 1998 and a master’s in human resource development in 2002. She has three children and five grandchildren.
Benjamin Lawrance, Hon. Barber B. Conable Jr. Endowed Chair of International and Global Studies, calls Shellman a “one-stop travel agent” who deftly handles his schedule.
“Cass is a joy to work with and is extremely responsive to our needs,” he said. “She is a key reason for the success of my events. I don’t know how I’d function without her.”
Jonathan Schroeder, the William A. Kern Professor in Communications, called her “utterly reliable, cheerful and hard working.”
And Wade Robison, the Ezra A. Hale Professor in Applied Economics, said Shellman is known for her sense of humor, wonderful personality, her willingness to help and constant smile.
“We endowed chairs think she is a treasure,” he said.