Meet the Staff: Joyce Kuechler

Meet the Staff: Joyce Kuechler

More than 100 staff members work in the Division of the Humanities. We'll introduce you to our staff in this continuing series.

Joyce Kuechler
Associate Dean of Students for Student Affairs 
Dean of Students Office

What do you like most about your job?
I like the variety, the constant problem solving, and the human connections. I enjoy working with students and serving as their advocate. Graduate school is a stressful time in so many ways. If I can help alleviate a student’s anxiety and help them think through a situation or resolve an administrative obstacle they’ve hit, I take pride and satisfaction in that. I also really enjoy the people I work with. The Dean of Students team is a wonderful group of people, as are all of the department staff. I feel fortunate to work in a Division that believes in the value of humanistic inquiry, within an even larger institution as highly esteemed and regarded as the University of Chicago.

What was the last good book you read?
These are books that I read years ago, but both moved me so profoundly: Just Kids by Patti Smith and the collection of short stories No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July.

You might work with me if ...
… you need help with anything related to graduate student registration, divisional financial aid administration, divisional fellowship competitions, or convocation for all PhD and MA students in the Humanities Division. I serve as a resource to faculty and student affairs staff to help resolve student situations arising out of the administration of university and divisional student affairs policies. I also advise students on financial and personal issues. If you have a student who needs support navigating any sort of administrative issue, send them to me. If you have a student who needs help implementing accommodations they’ve obtained through the Student Disabilities office, send them to me. If you have a student who is considering taking a leave of absence, send them to me. If you have a student who received an external funding award, send them to me.

What is the weirdest job you’ve ever had
When I moved to Chicago, the first job I had was working as an imaging technician at the Art Institute of Chicago. I was responsible for photographing the museum’s entire collection of ancient Greek and Roman coins. It was an amazing opportunity, but it was also slightly eerie because my work station was set up in a locked storage vault within a gallery that was under reinstallation. So I was alone. Not only did this storage vault contain the collection I was working with, it also housed one of the two museum’s mummies. No windows. No nothing. Just me, ancient artifacts and human remains.

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January 30, 2020