Deb Wood, supervisor of the Print Shop, has seen a lot of changes at Hamilton in the last 40 years. She has worked for at least six different supervisors and under as many college presidents, but smiles when she says, “I’m still here!”
A big change over the years has been technology. She learned the printing trade here at the College after being offered the Print Shop supervisor position. The dark room is gone, along with the large process camera, chemicals and red lights, and she no longer runs the presses very often. But she does appreciate the use of computers and copiers for today’s printing and copying needs.
Another change is the many additions and demolitions of buildings on campus. And while the Print Shop has remained at the same location (basement of Commons) for as long as she’s worked here, Deb has experienced temporary moves — to the next room, to Bundy Dining Hall and to North Court (remember that building?), all while renovations and upgrades were being made.
Deb says that it’s pure luck that she entered the printing profession, because she had no experience before she came to Hamilton. She learned presswork by doing. After earning a two-year degree in liberal arts at Mohawk Valley Community College, Deb, like many young people, didn’t know what type of work she wanted to do. She worked at the local Holland Farms bakery and, in October 1973, came to Hamilton as a part-time employee in the Addressograph Department for Communications & Development. When a full-time position opened, she took over the job. And, when the supervisor of the Print Shop left, she was offered that position and has been in that role ever since.
While there is no typical day at the Print Shop, because she never knows what jobs will be coming in next, Deb does do some “regular” tasks — she starts up machines each morning, answers phones, completes paperwork and billing, runs the many “I need it now jobs,” assists customers and orders supplies, while supervising staff and student workers. She enjoys the variety of work and keeping busy. Deb says she doesn’t mind the steady pace of constant jobs in and changing mid-stream to help out customers.
Many of you may not know that Deb’s sister is Diane Brady in the Register’s Office. Diane has been here 40 years, too! Deb chuckles when she says people may not know that “I’m older than my sister, Diane!” She also said she misses the old days when people played pranks on each other. She remembers one April Fools’ Day when she found her car up on blocks after work. The culprits were hiding in the bushes and helped get the car back on the ground.
In addition to Diane, who Deb says “followed in my footsteps” because she started working here six months after Deb did, she has an older sister, Cathy, and a younger brother, Dick, who all live locally. She lives with her significant other, George Mair, in Clark Mills, and came to own a mini donkey (named Willie) by unusual circumstances. The donkey lives at Diane’s farm with three others (owned by Diane and her husband, Bill), and Deb says it has been “quite a learning experience.”
If she were not here at the Hamilton Print Shop, she’d be chasing NASCAR races or RVing across country to visit Alaska.
Stop in and say hello to Deb. She’s happy to show you pictures of the donkeys!