Face in the Crowd

On the second floor of Fowler, immediately to the left, right in front of Dr. David Black’s office sits Heather Norcini. A cup of candy, some pens, a computer monitor and some file folders line her workspace as the phone rings.

“Good afternoon, Office of the President, this is Heather, how may I help you?” she cheerfully greets the caller on the other end.

While Norcini has found her place among the Eastern staff as the Executive Assistant to the President, she originally began her career in the business field.

As an Eastern student from 1985 to 1989, Norcini studied Elementary Education with a minor in communication studies. At the same time, she worked as a baby sitter for a couple– a graphic designer and a photographer. After building a good reputation with the family she baby-sat for, the wife asked Norcini to help her start a graphic design firm. Norcini advanced to the position of office manager and, having learned from the company’s accountant, she ended up keeping the company’s books.

While Norcini never officially studied for a career in the financial field, neither she nor her husband went into their intended fields of education after graduating.

“The job market was pretty saturated when we graduated,” Norcini said.

So she managed offices and did books for several different businesses while her husband did landscaping and other work as a handyman. Eventually, they decided to open their own

handyman/landscaping business.

When Norcini started at Eastern in 2008, the economy began to shift, and two of the three business owners that she worked for closed shop. She started working in Plant Operations as a secretary, but eventually she found another opening as a receptionist in the Eagle Learning Center.

“Plant Ops was a wonderful place to begin for me, but I wanted to learn more about Eastern as a whole,” Norcini said. “It was hard to leave, but it was nice to meet new people.”

Her work in ELC did not go unnoticed, as she was later approached by Dr. Black and his former assistant Alina Bice about becoming his new executive assistant while Bice took maternity leave. Norcini gladly accepted the position.

As for job challenges, Norcini says there has only been the self-imposed one to keep a clean desk. Enforcing her own hours, sometimes she works beyond her scheduled time in order to stay well prepared.

“Everyone’s so kind and full of grace that it’s hard not to like my job,” Norcini said.

From being a student at Eastern to working here as an adult, Norcini has had no regrets with all of her experiences with the school. “I love Eastern,” she said. “It’s my happy place.”

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