Five years ago, Joanne Agunday moved to the United States from the Philippines. Two years later, she started at NEOMED as an on-call assessment assistant in Academic Services. Fast forward to 2020, she now serves as its assistant director of testing services. Learn more about the bubbly Agunday.
Tell us about your role as Academic Services’ assistant director of testing services.
JA: This role involves a lot of administration. We deploy all of the exams for first-, second- and third-year pharmacy and medicine students. I run exams and exam reports, and I process the majority of the exam scores and final grades for those students. Terri Robinson, Ph.D., likes to call me the brain of testing.
During students’ first-year orientation, we’re some of the first people they meet on campus. We conduct orientation with the new students to give them a better feel of what testing at NEOMED will look like.
Let’s take a few steps back. What originally brought you to NEOMED?
JA: When I first moved to the U.S. [five years ago], I was following my mom as she reunited with the love of her life. My mom started dating my now, stepdad when she was 18 and fate brought them back together 26 years later.
Three years ago, my grandma, Mary Kay Shipp, an office assistant in the Department of Internal Medicine, notified me about a job opening and I was thrilled to submit an application, as I heard great things about NEOMED. I was very fortunate to be hired in Academic Services.
When I started here as an on-call assessment assistant, it was very new to me. I had never worked in higher education before. I had the opportunity to take that position and as it turned out, I liked the job and the people I work with very much.
Then I was given the opportunity to transition to a part-time role, which was great because I got to work more hours. Last year, in May 2019, I transitioned to a full-time role – which I’m extremely grateful for. I’ve learned a lot. It’s a challenge – every day is a challenge – there’s always something new. And just a few months back, in April of this year, I was given the opportunity to take on more responsibilities and take the lead of testing services as its assistant director.
It is a huge transition, but I am grateful for all the support I have been provided with. NEOMED has the most amazing faculty and staff.
What do you look forward to during your time to come at NEOMED?
JA: With this job, I’m really looking forward to further developing myself and earning respect from the faculty and staff. I hope to grow in this career. I’m very much open to accepting new challenges in which I can progress and utilize my skills better.