Secretary joins campus community

Nancy Parrish, secretary of human resources, surrounds her workplace with ceramic lighthouses.

Kristin Wilfing

Nancy Parrish, secretary of human resources, surrounds her workplace with ceramic lighthouses.

Stephenie Bergen

Her love of the ocean can be seen in the decorations around her desk. Lighthouses and seashells adorn her workspace.

Nancy Parrish, new secretary of human resources at Missouri Southern, has always loved the ocean.

In 2001, she visited the Gulf of Mexico and saw the ocean for the first time.

“I remember staring out into the water for a long time, trying to engrave the picture in my mind,” she said.

Parrish said she enjoys arts and crafts and collecting ceramic lighthouses.

A large lighthouse, about two feet tall, keeps watch over her desk.

“My biggest dream,” she said, “is to tour the east coast and see as many lighthouses as I can.”

Having grown up only six blocks from Oklahoma’s Grand Lake, Parrish spent most of her childhood on the water. Fishing is still one of her favorite activities.

Parrish was raised in the community of Bernice, Okla., which has a population of about 250 people.

The town is not large enough to have a high school, so she attended Vinita High School.

Drives into Joplin with her mother and grandmother were a regular occurrence for Parrish. The women enjoyed the variety of restaurants and shopping.

In 1997, Parrish moved to Joplin with her two daughters, Jessica and Sarah.

She wanted to be near her parents who had moved to the Joplin area a few years before. Parrish first became a secretary for Gunlock Heating & Air in 2002.

On Jan. 3, Parrish began her job at Southern. She said her new job has some challenges.

“I’ve had to get used to the size of Southern,” Parrish said. “The company I worked for before had only 15 people working there, and I always knew who everyone was and what they did.”

Parrish’s favorite aspect of her new job at Southern is the people.

“I really enjoy the friendly atmosphere at Missouri Southern,” she said.

Gabby Heth, senior English major and student helper in the human resources department, is glad Parrish chose to work at Southern.

“Nancy is a really great woman to work with,” Heth said. “She is a just a joy to have in the office.”