Campus Closeup: Kelly Doré

For some departments, the advent of summer means a less hectic pace or an opportunity to focus on major projects that get pushed aside by the daily demands of the academic year. But for the orientation staff, including Kelly Doré (Academic and Career Advisement Center), this is the peak season of activity.

There are nine orientation sessions from May through July: five for new freshmen; one for commuter students; and three for transfers. With an average of 600 student and parent attendees at each session, a highly coordinated effort is required. Doré plays a major role in that as principal secretary.

“I register students and parents and work with various departments to organize and reserve all things necessary for our program to run efficiently and effectively,” she said. “The part that I think most people might not understand is the problem solving. I am often the first person contacted by students, parents and members of our campus community when issues arise.”

One of these occasional glitches surfaced at the time of this interview. An incoming freshman who was scheduled to attend a session that began on a Monday, didn’t show up until 6 a.m. Wednesday—the session’s final day.

Having to shuffle and accommodate such cases on the fly is a challenge of Doré’s position. But it is far outweighed by her favorite part of the job: interacting with those interested in joining the NMU community.

“I work a lot with parents and I really enjoy that,” Doré added. “Some are nervous, some are crying because they’re sad their child is leaving for college. But there’s also excitement and it’s fresh every year because there’s a new group going through the same process.

“Because I do a lot of my work over the phone, many parents only hear my voice; they don’t see me. Some have made a special effort to stop up to the office to put a face with my name and thank me for helping them. That makes me feel good. I’ve even had parents keep in touch after orientation. A mother from Green Bay has done that. She was very happy with our orientation and she updates me on how much her daughter loves it up here.”

In her sixth year at NMU, Doré previously worked for the NMU Foundation and the Seaborg Center. Her busy orientation schedule doesn’t afford her as much opportunity to take vacation time during the summer months, but she spends many weekends four-wheeling and relaxing at her family’s camp near Munising. Doré is an Illinois native. While living in Milwaukee years ago, she met her husband, Steve, while vacationing in the Marquette area and relocated to join him here. They have two sons: André, 14; and Luke, 12.

She also enjoys walking and a variety of seasonal sports such as downhill skiing, snowmobiling and skimming a lake’s surface on a Jet Ski. Someday she hopes to find herself surrounded by water in the Florida Keys—her dream destination. “I’m not sure why; I’ve just always wanted to go there.”

If she makes the trip, you can bet Doré will schedule it around the orientation sessions held over the summer and just before the fall and winter semesters.


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Updated: June 22, 2009

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