Dawn Palmer

Dawn Palmer and daughter in front of a Jeep.

Dawn Palmer

Administrative Specialist – Office of the Dean of Students

Ideation – Learner – Restorative – Analytical – Intellection

Dawn was nominated by a colleague, who had the following to say:

Dawn is an exceptional colleague. She works tirelessly to support students, faculty and staff who interact with the Office of the Dean of Students and the University. Given that many calls are forwarded from other offices to ours, Dawn has to have a thorough knowledge of how UGA works and where to refer concerns. She never hesitates to take initiative and/or problem solve, and always pitches in and helps cover work when we are experiencing staff transitions. Dawn builds excellent working relationships with students and consistently exhibits the division’s purpose of "for the students" with everyone she encounters.

Are you from Georgia? If not, where are you from? (i.e., where do you call “home”?)

I grew up in Chicago, then went to college and started my career in central Illinois, but have been in Georgia since 2006 so this is home now.

How long have you worked at UGA?

I have worked at UGA since August 2016. 

What is your favorite UGA tradition?

I love attending Gymdogs meets with my daughter. It is important to me for her to see a women’s sporting event given the same energy and excitement as football. 

What does a “day in the life” look like for you at work?

I spend a lot of time in the “One” programs – OneSource, OneUSGConnect, OneSolution – and wondering why there are three “One” programs. I am arranging and rearranging Bill McDonald’s calendar daily and working on a variety of administrative and writing based tasks to support his role as Dean of Students. 

What are three things you love most about your job?

Supervising student assistants, coordinating special events, and driving giant Jeeps in the Homecoming parade. 

Who do you look up to/ admire?

All the working moms.

What are things that you do for fun/hobbies?

My family is completing our second go at the “52 Hike Challenge.” We do our best to get out once a week for a hike either locally or at a state park. I am a Girl Scout troop leader and I enjoy the events and activities I get to participate in with my daughter and the rest of the girls. Come see me in February if you need cookies.

What might be something that you would like other staff to know about your job?

Somehow the word has gotten around that “if you don’t know who to call at Georgia, call the DOS office.” As such, we interact with a broader audience than just students. We speak to alumni, community members, staff, and faculty on a daily basis. 

What might be some ways that staff could collaborate or partner with you?

The ODOS loves to expose students to unique opportunities on campus. Let me know if you’ve got an idea!  

What advice would you have for new staff joining UGA Student Affairs?

Pick up the phone! Sometimes it’s easier to discuss something over the phone rather than having a lengthy email exchange.  

What is your favorite spot on campus or in Athens?

I love the State Botanical Garden’s wooded trails and flower gardens.

What is the coolest thing you have ever done and why?

When living in Illinois, I bought an old Volvo on eBay to use a body panel for repair to the old Volvo I already owned. I flew to D.C. to pick it up and then drove it back home.

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