Stahly answers calls as ‘voice of the University’

Telephone switchboard operator Janie Stahly is a new face on the La Verne campus after previously working part time as an operator at the Claremont Colleges. Stahly is also currently enrolled in the University's CAPA program, majoring in organizational management. / photo by Scott Harvey
Telephone switchboard operator Janie Stahly is a new face on the La Verne campus after previously working part time as an operator at the Claremont Colleges. Stahly is also currently enrolled in the University’s CAPA program, majoring in organizational management. / photo by Scott Harvey

by Nune Gazdhyan
Staff Writer

A cheerful greeting awaits for all who call the University of La Verne switchboard. The greeting voice belongs to Janie Stahly, chief telephone operator. Stahly is the newest member of the Telecommunications Department, and began working at ULV on Aug. 3.

“She is the voice of the University,” said Clark Hitt, supervisor of switchboard and mail services.

Stahly works 40 hours weekly, which is used to answer the switchboard, to direct people to the right departments and individuals and to look up unlisted phone numbers.

“I heard about this job through word of mouth … everybody is really nice [at ULV]. People watch out for you,” said Stahly.

Stahly is also enrolled in the Campus Accelerated Program for Adults (CAPA) at the University. She is majoring in organizational management.

Previously, she held three different jobs. She was a substitute switchboard operator/receptionist at Lockheed Martin, an aerospace engineering company; she operated the switchboard part time at the Claremont Colleges; and she was a merchandiser at Gibson Cards, a greeting card corporation.

Stahly is a mother of four and lives in Pomona. She has lived in Pomona for 18 years, but was born and raised in West Covina.

She has two sons, Scott 23, Adam 12, and two daughters, Trisha, 17 and Melissa, 15. She is also a grandmother. Her oldest son, Scott, is a coach at Damien High School; her oldest daughter, Trisha, will be attending ULV next year. Stahly is in the process of helping her daughter with the paper work and the entire application process.

Aside from her long work hours, Stahly still manages to find time to be an active participant in her children’s lives. She is on numerous committees to help raise funds for their extra-curricular activities such as the annual banquet that her daughter’s water polo team hosts. She also makes time to attend to her daughter’s water polo games and still finds time to be on a co-ed baseball team herself on Sundays.

She likes being at La Verne because of the small-town feel and the diversity of the student population. Her positive attitude helps her get through the challenges that come with operating the switchboard.

“Finding that unlisted phone number can sometimes be a challenge,” said Stahly.

Stahly must perform two tasks at once. This involves being on the phone and operating a computer to look up phone numbers. She must also make sure that she does not misdirect or mislead people.

“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to do it, but you’re always busy,” said Stahly.

Shelley Larsen, assistant to Dr. Len Hightower, executive assistant to the president, works in the same office with Stahly.

“Janie fits right in. She’s cheerful and helpful. I’m glad to have her here,” said Larsen.

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