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My Job: Judy Smith

The longtime employee is a master translator between campus customers and reprographics designers.
People  |  Jul 15, 2014  |  By Paige Frank
Judy Smith, reprographics sales and promotion representative. (Aaron Mayes/UNLV Photo Services)

If you've ever flipped through a UNLV catalog or admired one of the university's glossy brochures, odds are that sales and promotion representative Judy Smith played a part in getting it into your hands. For 11 years, Smith has put her background in graphic design, typesetting, and printing to work for the reprographics and design services department, the campus print shop. As the classified staff representative on the advisory committee for the presidential search, Smith also will play a role in selecting the university's next leader.


What's your job, in a nutshell?

I talk to people on the phone and do job intake. I review what our clients are trying to have done and make sure that our shop has the instructions they need to do the job. I basically do translation. Then I check if the right paper is available and that the job is directed to the correct machine. If we determine that the job can't be done in-house, I gather bids from our vendors and manage the off-campus printing. I may sit up front, but I'm not the receptionist.

What would make your day perfect?

For someone to do my filing.

What's the toughest challenge about your job?

The most difficult thing about the next few years is going to be finding someone to train as my replacement, since I'm looking at retirement in 2016. I'm sure there's a really smart person out there that can pick this job up in a heartbeat. I just have to find them!

What makes you successful at your job?

I care about my customers. And I show up every day. Someone has to be here to greet people, to make them feel like they're the only customer we have. Saving people money is important, too. The fact that I have a graphics background is very helpful. I started out as a typesetter and graphic artist years ago. Everything I've learned about the printing press, printing concepts, how paper works, my graphics background -- it all comes together to help me do what I do. You have to know about print to give people what they want.

What's the quirkiest tool of your trade?

My proportion wheel. It looks like a slide rule except it's round.

What's the story behind your favorite tchotchke in your workspace?

My sister sent me a hula doll from Hawaii. I have no desire to go there, but she did. Most people take vacations and send me tacky postcards that I post on my overhead (bin). That way I get the benefit without the expense.

What's your afternoon pick-me-up?

Online bingo and a piece of fruit.

If you weren't working here, what would you be doing?

Probably welding giant sculptures in my yard. I really want to learn how to use an acetylene torch. I've always seen myself in my old age standing in my yard making weird sculptures. When I was younger I thought I was going to be an artist in a garret in San Francisco.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I was a medic in the Air Force during the Vietnam War era.

How can others on campus make your job easier?

Give me a phone call to let me know what's coming our way. I work with a great team. Everyone is a self-starter, working together to meet the challenges that the campus sends our way. Just give us a heads up.