From assisting the dean to managing day-to-day operations in the college’s main office, Melissa Lopez, who goes by “Melly”, juggles many tasks to keep the college on track. Learn more about Lopez and her role as executive assistant to the dean.
How did you come into your role in the college?
As a psychology student at Bronx Community College, I was often in the Social Sciences Department between classes, helping professors and advising students as an unofficial peer advisor. I was there so much, they offered me a job as an office assistant. Upon graduation, I was quickly promoted to executive assistant. My passion for higher education grew and I continued my education to earn my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. During my master’s program, we found out that our family was growing by one more and we knew in our hearts that New York was not where we wanted to plant roots. We decided Orlando was the place we wanted to call home, especially since we had family down here. We moved in 2017 and I was fortunate enough to land a job at UCF with the College of Medicine. Although my time there was short, I became well-adapted to its systems and processes. Out of pure luck, I received an email that the College of Health Professions and Sciences was searching for an experienced EA. I was familiar with UCF and loved all it had to offer, so I applied for the job and have been here since November 2019.
What do you do in your current role here at CHPS?
I dabble in a little bit of everything. I refer to myself as the “office ninja” as most of the magic I do is behind the scenes. No two days are the same for me. I am often the first point of contact for our external constituents and staff who just need to work out a kink in their workflow. I enjoy serving as the chair of the CHPS Staff Enrichment Task Force— some call it the fun committee. The staff is near and dear to my heart. I pride myself in leading a charge that cultivates a culture that embodies collegiality, gratitude, and fun.
What makes you most excited regarding the future of CHPS?
As a new college, I am most excited for the journey CHPS is on to execute our strategic plan. As we continue transforming healthcare and improving lives, I do not doubt that CHPS will be a premier college.
What is the most satisfying aspect of your role?
While my expertise lies in coordinating and leading administrative functions that drive operational excellence and efficiency, at the core of who I am, both professionally and personally, I am a people pleaser. I thrive when my contributions help execute the desired outcome, and CHPS has an endless list of projects and initiatives that I have had the privilege of contributing to its fruition.
When you are not working, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
As an EA to an extremely busy dean, and a mom of two very active boys, it is rare that I have free time for just myself. Every weekend you can find me on a field with a Dunkin’ Donuts iced caramel latte and a sign cheering on my boys at their games. On the rare occasion that I do have time just for me, you can find me binge-watching the trendiest Netflix shows or harassing my husband into doing small DIY projects in our new home.
What is a fun fact about you that most people may not know?
I am an extreme couponer. I LOVE to get the most bang for my buck and it has allowed me to create a mini stockpile of essential items that I use for both my family and to give back to local pantries in need.