If you venture into Pam Vlieger’s nook of the Zwemer basement, you’re sure to find a smile and greeting, a bit of music bopping out from the radio on the back counter and a piece of candy from the bowl on her desk as you go. But besides her warm personality, Vlieger’s expertise has illuminated the printing services office for years.
Every day, Vlieger can be found copying tests and booklets and fulfilling general classroom needs for various professors. Each morning, she handles UPS deliveries and distributes morning mail to faculty and staff. She works with graphics in Microsoft Publisher or Adobe Illustrator and scans materials to be converted to PDF.
But Pam has made this job into more than paper and text. She says, “My role is to be a servant here and to help people with their needs no matter how big or small.” She especially values her daily interactions with a variety of people. “A lot of the professors and staff, I don’t view as just professors and staff. They are my friends and colleagues. We laugh together and cry together. They are like an extended family to me.”
Though she mainly works with faculty, her services are also available to students. Vlieger says students are often unaware that they can utilize the printing services but she is more than willing to print color copies or make transparencies among other projects, especially if given at least a day to complete them.
With technology, Vlieger’s job has continually changed, specifically in the last 3-5 years. In years past, her office contained a giant press. Since then it has been replaced by electronics like copiers and scanners, and Vlieger says this has helped cut costs while making her work more efficient, clean and contained. “I do kind of like puzzles, so it keeps me interested in my job to figure out different ways to do things,” she says of learning new technology and methods.
But Vlieger has been more than printing extraordinaire at NWC over the years. After completing two years towards her degree in business administration, Vlieger began work in the admissions office doing clerical work in 1982. She then transferred to the printing office, her original goal, and began her first stint at the printing office that lasted about seven years. She then completed her degree and became manager of the bookstore for about five years. Now, back at the printing office, she is soon to reach her 30th year at NWC.
Wife to Harold, a Sioux county farmer and businessman for self-initiated Verity Farms, as well as mother to three and an avid cook and gardener, Vlieger has enjoyed being on ¾ time status for many of those years. This has enabled her to keep family as a priority. “That’s one of the reasons I’ve stayed so long. It’s very family friendly,” Vlieger says.