1. Kansas State University
  2. »K-State Research and Extension
  3. »KSRE Tuesday Letter
  4. »What a Journey!

KSRE Tuesday Letter

Other publications

K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

December 21, 2021

What a Journey!

Submitted by Lisa Heller

Lisa Heller will retire from K-State on December 23 after 35 years, most of that time working for K-State Research and Extension. She said that among all of the jobs she has held on the Manhattan campus, “coming to extension has been the best experience.” In this short note, she reflects on some of her experiences and what K-State Research and Extension means to her.

As I look back on my 35 years at K-State, it is amazing to me to think that three-fourths of that time – about 10,070 days – have been with K-State Research and Extension. I currently work in the KSRE bookstore in Umberger Hall. I remember many fun times, challenging times and everything in between.

Some of my friends’ impressions of extension when I first started with this part of the organization were not at all what I found K-State Research and Extension to actually be. I like to be around people, and what I found to be the truth is that K-State Research and Extension is a lot about people helping people.

In my job as office specialist in the KSRE bookstore, I’ve been able to be a part of that network. Much of the information that is created by scientists and specialists and faculty and other staff is eventually passed through our bookstore or print shop and on to the state’s extension offices or through numerous public channels.

I never really thought about how I was part of that important network until just recently. It takes all of us doing our jobs well to make this large organization serve the people of Kansas.

Being a part of this team has taught me skills that I have used beyond the workplace. My relationships on a personal level are in a better place than they were, thanks to some of the things I’ve learned from many of you.

I’ve also come to realize that being a part of a large KSRE community is more than just sharing credit. A team effort takes compromise. When you are on a team you have to at times lead, follow, and more often than not, meet in the middle. My wish for everyone here is that you all continue to have success, to feel fulfilled in all you do, and to have nothing but pleasant experiences as extension employees.

In the past, some of you have questioned my sanity; I’m wondering about it too! I love to laugh and have good rapport with others. I would have to thank my mother for that trait, she always told me to treat others how you want to be treated.

That is another endearing part of K-State Research and Extension. In my experience, we have managed to blend many personalities into efficient-running teams. I think that is probably due to the fact that, ultimately, we all share the same goal: To serve others and to help others get information or help or resources that help them live better lives.

With all of that being said, I am retiring at the end of December. It’s been a pleasure working here, and I will genuinely miss it. I’m going to miss all of you. You’ve been a part of my life for a long time. I’ve already packed memories of fun, laughs and friendships into my heart to take with me: and I’m deeply grateful for those.

I take with me fond memories, valuable skills and a hope to one day leave an impression on others similar to the one you all have left on me. Thank you.