Lori is the smiling face of Fanshawe
Credit: Rebecca Molly
Lori Hamilton greets everyone at Fanshawe’s Welcome Kiosk with a smile and warm hello.
Approximately 30 years ago, Hamilton began as a Graphic Design student at Fanshawe College. Following the completion of the program, Hamilton began working for the College. Over the past 26 years, she has spent her time in various faculties and departments at Fanshawe, such as Co-op and Career Services, Counselling and Accessibilities, Office of the Registrar, Daycare, and finally the Welcome Kiosk where she has resided since its opening eight years ago. At the Welcome Kiosk, Hamilton is responsible for answering any and all questions that are thrown at her by students on a regular basis, such as where is my classroom? What are some important dates to know? What are some of the college's policies and procedures? With a laugh, Hamilton commented that many times students will come by and say “This is random but...” or “You probably won't know this, but...”, and more times than not, Hamilton tends to know! She attributes her vast knowledge to the opportunities she has had within the school and various faculties and teams she has been a part of within the college environment.
As I sat with Hamilton through the interview, a variety of students approached the desk to simply chat and check in with her. It is clear that through her time at Fanshawe, she has built a positive rapport with many students, and is appreciated by them. One student commented that he calls Hamilton the “Yoda of the school” because she is so informative. After I observed her answer many different questions while I was there, I would have to agree!
When asked to comment on what she enjoys most about her role at Fanshawe, she couldn't help but smile when she thought about her daily interactions. Hamilton described the students at Fanshawe as “her family during the day, and sincerely appreciates the one-on-one interactions and the rapport she has an opportunity to build. Through these interactions, Hamilton said she feels like the Welcome Kiosk has “become a sense of community and comfort for students” and feels like it is a part of her job to create a familiar and comfortable place for students to go when needed.
Considering the amount of spontaneous student interaction with Hamilton, it was clear that she has made a home for herself behind that desk at Fanshawe. When asked what her favourite part of the job is, she commented that it is seeing the relief wash over students' faces when given an answer to their question or a small word of encouragement. Based upon my opportunity to observe Hamilton within her work environment, it is clear that she is the perfect woman for this job. From her warm smile to her outgoing personality and relaxing demeanour, she seems to have an answer for everything, and who wouldn't like a woman who has all the answers!
I am sure that many of you have borrowed Hamilton's stapler from time to time, or stopped to pick her brain about an aspect of Fanshawe, but I encourage you to go back and dive into a conversation with her. I guarantee that you won't regret the 10 minutes out of your day that it took, and I can assure you that those 10-minute conversations is what makes Hamilton's time at Fanshawe so fulfilling and enjoyable. From the faculty to the staff and students at Fanshawe, I want to thank Hamilton for greeting each and every person in the college with a smile, and making them feel like they belong and can succeed within the college environment — you are truly an unsung hero!