Long-time staff member retires from the Hill

Ometha Doss of Bowling Green retired from her job as a WKU Financial Aid Associate this past week. Doss worked at WKU for 22 years giving council and advice to students. “One of the things I enjoyed was rendering good customer service,” Doss said. Jeff Brown/HERALD

Nicole Ares

When Ometha Doss reflects on her 22 years of work at WKU, a children’s nursery rhyme comes to mind.

She views herself as the “The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe” because during her time on the Hill, “she has had so many children she didn’t know what to do.”

“Many times I’ve felt like that with the relationships I’ve made with students and staff on campus,” Doss said.

Aug. 20 was Doss’ last day in office working as a financial aid associate for the Student Financial Assistance office. However, her official first day of retirement will be Sept. 1.

Originally, her duties entailed giving basic assistance to students and parents as they came into the office. However, after a few years of experience, she began counseling and advising students herself.

“Sometimes you have a connection with people. If people feel good customer service, they’ll begin to ask for that particular person. I just feel good rendering good customer service,” Doss explained.

But Doss aimed to extend her work beyond customer service; she always tried to instill a hard work ethic and generosity in the students she met with.

“There are so many times I’ve told my students ‘your goal is to get that degree and try to make a difference for somebody,’” she explained. “That’s so important in life. If you can make a difference, then it’s going to make a difference in how you feel about yourself, too.”

While Doss will miss interacting with students and other departments on campus, she is still looking forward to retiring and spending quality time with her family.

“With all of the changes that are being implemented not only in my department, but also across campus, I feel like it’s my time and there comes a time when we all have to move on,” she said.

On her last day in office, Doss was overwhelmed with the recognition she received.

“It’s a good thing to know that you’ve made a difference or somebody remembers what you did,” she said.

Keira Martin, a WKU alumna from Louisville, waited on the Student Financial Assistance office main line to tell Doss goodbye and how she impacted her time on the Hill.

Martin said without Doss’ guidance she wouldn’t have been able to finish her bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

“Mrs. Doss actually cared about what my life would look like after college and how difficult it would be to pay back those student loans,” Martin explained. “She was always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that I always understood what I was getting myself into.”

But to Martin, Doss did more than act as a financial aid adviser, she acted as a “family away from home.”

“I love this lady like family, and we could all learn a thing or two from Mrs. Ometha,” she said. “Even now I hope that I can always count on her for advice.”

When Doss’ retirement was announced via faculty and staff email, many people responded expressing their appreciation for Doss’ work over the years.

Trish Jaggers, assistant professor of English, responded saying that Doss has been “invaluable” to her and students during her time at WKU.

“I’ve since lost count of the number of students I’ve sent to her for help,” Jaggers said in a faculty email. “Ometha would always get the job done — demystifying the mystery for them, too, and directing them to options they wouldn’t have otherwise known about.”

Doss reiterated how flattered she feels from the recognition she has received, including the faculty emails. She is happy to be leaving WKU on a positive note.

“It’s been quite rewarding working for WKU. I’m truly leaving with a satisfied mind and fulfilled heart,” she said.

Reporter Nicole Ares can be reached at 270-745-2655 and [email protected].