PSD Spotlight: Jolene Hanchar

April 21, 2021


Jolene Hanchar

PSD’s April spotlight is Jolene Hanchar, Department Administrator for the Department of the Geophysical Sciences. Jolene has been with UChicago for 20 years, since 2001.

Jolene was nominated for a “Bridge-builder Award” at the 2020 PSD Staff Awards, recognizing her as a staff person who maintains strong relationships across teams, promoting collaboration and transparency to achieve the best outcome. A bridge-builder is someone others look up to and who is consistently reliable and dedicated to their unit.

A member of the PSD community had this to say:

“Communication is Jolene's strong suit. She is able to effectively and clearly speak to both large ideas and small details with faculty, other staff, students, visitors, and all who enter her sphere.

When I think about how I would like to be perceived as a staff member within the GeoSci Department and PSD, I would hope it is as Jolene is perceived: hard-working, dedicated, loyal, an excellent communicator, intelligent, and a great supporter.”

We interviewed Jolene about her interests and experiences below.

Where are you from?

I grew up in Hammond, Indiana. I consider Northwest Indiana and Chicago my home.    

What do you enjoy about being a part of the PSD community?

I enjoy being part of the PSD community because of all of the amazing people that I am surrounded by. Over the years, the PSD community has become sort of a second family and has made work feel less like work.  

Tell us a bit about you.

I started working at the University of Chicago on September 10, 2001. After 17 years of commuting to work, my family moved just south of campus, but that hasn't been very useful over the past year. I have many hobbies, some of which include birding, knitting, gardening, baking, and sewing. I've appreciated the additional time spent with my family over the pandemic, and have jumped on the sourdough bandwagon pretty hardcore. I've made and shared many, many loaves with family, friends, and colleagues over the past year and it's been a kind of therapy for me.       

Who inspires you?

I don't know... How about David Lynch? 

What is the most interesting thing that you are working on right now?

My current project that I personally find the most interesting, or maybe exciting is a better word, is planning and starting my garden for this year. Watching all of my seedlings grow gives me hope for the warm weather to come.

What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?

To me, diversity is recognizing and acknowledging the uniqueness of every individual, and inclusion is celebrating that which makes each of us unique.

What have you seen lately that made you smile?

My kid. Every day.

Related News

PSD Spotlights