Spotlight on Staff: Lonnie Shodeen

What did you do before working at NJC? 

In my pre-family days I was a computer programmer turned systems analyst for Stanislaus County (California) working with the district attorney’s office and the jails (booking/release) system. Post family, I worked 13 years as a school secretary at a private Christian school (pre-K to eighth grade) in Modesto, California.

Lonnie Shodeen

What is your job title?

I have three: Executive Assistant; Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees; Notary Public

What are your duties at the NJC?

Administrative support to the NJC president―which has almost no boundaries. Historical, protocol and procedure information plus logistical, clerical and hospitality organization for the Board of Trustees meetings and events. For seven years I also had the Reno hospitality duties: course catering, course dinner-event planning, and negotiating NJC hotel amenities and rates for faculty and participant judges. Peripherally, I liaise with custodial services and University of Nevada, Reno maintenance to keep the building clean and shipshape. Oh … and I plan the annual holiday party for staff.

What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of working at the NJC?

Trying to make everyone’s experience at the NJC pleasant―co-workers, participants, faculty, trustees and guests.

What aspect of working at NJC do you enjoy most?

Meeting a wide variety of people from across the country and even around the world and making them feel welcome. I am also impressed with the educational creativity I see in action by co-workers and faculty. I have learned sooooo much!

What do you find most rewarding about working at NJC?

In some small and obscure way, I contribute to the improvement of justice for the citizens of America.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you at NJC?

A few months after I moved from being a course administrator to the executive assistant, all staff were invited/urged to take a two-hour writing class from Professor Ron Hofer. One of his primary points was to keep a sentence simple and concise and use small, easy-to-understand words. Former Academic Director Robin Wosje and I hatched an idea to give Prof. Hofer a certificate of appreciation for taking extra time to teach this class for NJC staff. We worded and bordered the certificate with every highfalutin extraneous adverb and adjective we could imagine. He roared with laughter as he read it out loud to the class and says that it stills hangs pretentiously on his office wall.

What does The National Judicial College mean to you?

It means that I can keep a roof over my head and wine in the rack! But more than that, its mission of advancing justice and the rule of law through judicial/justice system education is a noble and worthy cause. I am honored to contribute.

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