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‘Behind the Screens: The People of OIT’ is a series that features the people working hard behind the scenes to make OIT run.

Position: Administrative Services Manager

Time spent with OIT: 10 months

When you come to the Power House for an event, whether for a monthly All OIT meeting or the Hump Day doughnuts, Jamie Palmer will be there—bustling about and ensuring the space is prepared. She’s there five days a week, always working to keep the Power House running smoothly while making everyone in the building feel welcome and valued.

What she does for OIT:
As the Administrative Services Manager, Jamie manages the administrative assistant team, which consists of Chris Hughes and Gwen Waller, while also serving as the building manager for the Power House. In the latter role, Jamie’s day-to-day responsibilities can consist of assisting with events, overseeing renovations, offering building tours, restocking supplies, and filing maintenance orders.

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Jamie hands a student a cup of popcorn at Duke Tech Week.

In her role, Jamie also handles operations and logistics for OIT, which she describes as a catch-all area. This includes helping with upfit work at both the Power House and the Kangaroo building, working with FMD, doing budget work for the Power House, serving as the EMS liaison, handling vendor contacts, and serving as the ITAC stenographer. Reporting directly to OIT Human Resources, she works closely with the team and assists as needed.

What she enjoys about working in OIT:
Jamie is very personable, making it no surprise that one of her favorite parts of working in OIT is meeting everyone. Although she works in a role that interfaces with so many people, Jamie has a special fondness for her direct team.

“They are great to work with,” Jamie said. “They are so knowledgeable, and it’s fun to show up to work.”

What she hopes to accomplish within OIT:
As part of a team that does a lot of work behind the scenes, Jamie hopes to impact OIT by making sure that the importance of the support work that her colleagues do is recognized.

“In particular, what my team does might not be visible or show, but it can be the backbone to getting the job done,” Jamie said. “I want to ensure they’re acknowledged and that their work is seen.”

Advice she would give to those new to OIT:
“Don’t be afraid to be yourself, and make sure your voice is heard,” Jamie said. “Sometimes in a larger organization it can be easy to let other voices be heard, but everyone should be able to show up and bring their intelligence and drive and not be afraid to do that.”

A fun fact about Jamie:
Jamie has a passion for theater and grew up performing in plays and musicals. In college, she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater and went on to direct plays professionally in Dallas for many years. Although she has since followed a different career path, Jamie still enjoys writing her own plays. More recently, Bring on the Rain, a radio play written by Jamie, was featured in the 2022 NC Radio Play Festival.

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Jamie with the cast and crew of Atomic Cave Girls of Island Zero, a play she directed in Dallas, TX.
Jamie with the cast and crew of Atomic Cave Girls of Island Zero, a play she directed in Dallas, TX.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who she’s listening to:
Jamie enjoys listening to a wide array of musicians, but only one holds the spot of her favorite artist: Elvis Costello.

“His musical influence started in the 70s, and he’s changed his artistic vision many times over the years,” Jamie said. “His writing is smart, and he’s just really cool.”

Jamie has had the opportunity to see Costello perform a few times, and she is excited to see him perform again this month at the Durham Performing Arts Center.

What she’s doing when she’s not at work:
Although Jamie leads a busy lifestyle now, her schedule is about to get a lot fuller. When students resume classes for the spring semester, Jamie will be right there with them as she begins Duke’s Graduate of Liberal Studies program. While it is slightly nerve-wracking for her to go back to school, especially with her son and stepson also being in college, she is excited to continue her educational journey.

Aside from preparing for her courses and catching Elvis Costello performances, Jamie enjoys attending theater shows, listening to her other favorite musicians like the Old 97’s, and writing her own plays.

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Know someone in OIT with a story worth sharing? Nominate them (or yourself!) by emailing kaylee.wilkinson@duke.edu.