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I Spy Someone making a difference.

Chaucey Ispy

'A single Rose can be my garden...'

by Corrie Lee Lacey Bookmark and Share
Rosemary Barra
Rosemary Barra

When Rosemary Barra came in for her interview for the administrative assistant position, she was greeted with “Oh, it’s Rose!” After six years in Charlotte, N.C., Barra had finally returned to Coastal Carolina University, her alma mater and the place she calls home.

Although Barra was born in Long Island, N.Y., she considers Conway her hometown. Before graduating from CCU as an English major, she was a student worker in the Department of English as well as a lifeguard. After graduating, she moved to Charlotte and taught at a private school. Six years later, she moved back to Conway to be with her family.

Barra, administrative assistant in the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, manages financial transactions for the Dean’s Office and other departments. She was previously an administrative assistant in the Department of English. Rose also volunteers her time by serving on various University committees, such as the Big Read and Celebration of Inquiry. She is also an adviser for Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society.

“I love my job,” said Barra. “This is where I feel the most comfortable. This is an amazing university.” And the campus community feels the same way about her.

“Rose is a very patient and helpful person to work with,” said Lisa Bair, administrative specialist in the Department of English. “She will always stop what she is doing to help a coworker. She knows what she is doing in her job and if she does not know the answer, she will find out and always follows up. She comes to work with a smile on her face every day and is a pleasure to work with.”

Other staff members agree.

“From the very first interview I conducted with Rose as a candidate for my assistant, I was impressed by her work experience, attitude, enthusiasm for Coastal and her fabulous organizational skills,” said Laura Barr, administrative coordinator in the Dean’s Office. “Rose is one of the hardest working staff in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and very knowledgeable about the policies and procedures for both our College and the University as a whole. Her work ethic is impeccable, and she is a true team player.”

Dan Ennis, professor and chair of the English department, describes Rose as “determined, hard working, whip-smart and personable.”

“In the two years she was my admin, she was the most essential person in the department,” said Ennis. “She arrives early, stays late, and is optimistic but tenacious when confronted with a crisis. She makes others look good by working behind the scenes. She’s so intuitive that she senses what is needed before anyone else can formulate a request and is halfway to a solution before a problem is fully apparent. CCU needs more Roses.”

Rose lives in Conway with boyfriend Scott Pleasant, lecturer of English at CCU. In addition to spending time with her five-pound miniature pincher, Diana, Rose enjoys reading, working out, knitting, scrapbooking, and she especially enjoys listening to Virtue Trap, Coastal’s faculty rock band, perform. Barra is a Carolina Panthers fan and enjoys hosting football parties and attending minor league hockey games. She is also a aunt six times over so she loves playing with her nieces and nephews,who age from nine months to age 10.

Related Photos

Rosemary Barra Katy Turner, left, is a student intern who works with Rosemary Barra in the Edwards College. Student intern Katy Turner, left, Rosemary Barra and Kate Cyr, president of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society, which Barra advises. Rose with Diana, her miniature pincher. Rose and her sister-in-law Beth in Kanasawa, Japan. Barra in her role as adviser to Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society. The group hosts a fundraiser softball game every spring to raise funds for the Paul Rice Poetry Broadside Series. "The game is played by English Department faculty and students against the Academic Center," says Rose. "While the game is going on, I’m usually soliciting donations and cheerleading! We have a great time."
 Barra with nephew Lex in October 2008.
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