Campus Closeup: Alice DePue
NMU students and employees aren't always "at their best" when they confront Alice Depue (Health Center). As a registered nurse, Depue has provided care to those who need it for 25 years.
“What I do here is basically office nursing," she said. "I take patients back into the examination rooms, evaluate what they’re having problems with, and get them ready to see the physician. I also do many allergy shots and immunizations because of NMU’s measles policy,” she said.
The allergies of the summer season along with the colds and flu of the winter season keep the Health Center busy all year long, but students and faculty are only able to utilize its services until 5 p.m. “It wasn’t always that way,” said Depue. “When I started here, the Health Center was open 24 hours a day. I worked from four until midnight.”
Depue was thankful for the flexible hours since she had small children at home at the time. “NMU accomodated working and raising a family at the same time, and I will always be grateful for that,” she said. “This job has been very good to me.”
Now that her children are grown, Depue’s time is all for herself. She can be found either relaxing with a good book or working on her house. “It’s an old house, so now that I’m close to retirement, I can start dedicating more time to refinishing it,” she said.
When she retires in a few years, Depue has no major plans lined up. “All I really want to do is more of what I already love doing. I plan to get some more quilting and sewing done; those are my two main hobbies. Going south for the winter is also on my list. I would love to do that.”
Despite the number of sick and injured people in her work environment, Depue and the rest of the Health Center staff find ways to keep each other laughing. One source is a book of funny symptoms and ailments that people have reported over the years. “People have used quirky ways to describe to us what’s wrong with them, and they were just so amusing that we had to write them down. We now have quite a collection,” she said.
Depue has stayed with NMU for so many years because of the closeness she feels to the students. “I feel like a mother to a lot of the kids here, so I enjoy providing TLC for them when they need it the most.”
Campus Closeup is a new feature of the NMU faculty-staff newsletter. It profiles individual employees, offering a glimpse of their professional responsibilities and personal interests.