The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University



    Sitting behind a desk cluttered with a desktop computer, an office phone, a desk-sized printer and a large number of files and data, it is noticeable that she has more than enough work to do. With much patience and kindness, she assists those who walk into the office with a look of concern.

    Her colleagues address her with comfort and respect, some students call on her in a formal matter while others refer to her as if she was the neighborhood candy lady, ‘Miss Zena’. When all the while, she is simply Zena Ezeb, the administrative assistant in the division of humanities at Dillard University.

    A mother of two women, a New Orleans native and a member of staff at Dillard for over 20 years, Zena Ezeb is one of the biggest helps that the Cook building and the division of humanities has. Through her, things get done in an orderly matter and many are affected by her work.

    “I make sure that the office is right and in order, assist the professors and deans, help with the students, make sure all the classrooms are running and supplied, troubleshoot when necessary, and open and close the office,” said Ezeb.

    The Cook Center is one of the buildings under construction while students, faculty and staff enter through it daily from dawn and past dusk. From establishing business-related decisions to helping a student with their needs, Ezeb describes her work as a good, fun learning experience among a great environment with a lot of personalities.

    “I enjoy it [pressure of work]. I like a challenge and working under adverse conditions because I like the ending when everything is back together and everyone is working under one accord.”

    Since Oct 2, 1986, Ezeb has worked in other fields and offices throughout Dillard University. Her experience include working with the development and administration program, endowed professors of African World Studies and English, the honors program, the division of social sciences and academic affairs. Now, as the school endures a reduced number of offices and occupations, she has landed in the hands of humanities.

    “The division of humanities is so different,” said Ezeb. “The different majors, areas and people excite me because the young people show so much talent as well as the professors and it’s a nice connection.”

    Everyday professors and students look toward “Miss Zena” to aid them with the many challenges they face throughout the school year. Some describe as a person who gets things done, one can rely on and who is accountable. Ezeb said she feels that her knowledge and years of experience is a great thing that affects the division.”She’s her from the time we’re open until the time we’re closed. She’s committed,” said Mark Raymond, a division of humanities faculty member.

    In the small but comfortable office that she works in, she is embraced with the environment of work-study students, fast-paced faculty and many visitors and guests who wonder into the workplace with a questioning nature. One work-study student said that soul and style of Ezeb influences her to do a good job.

    Natalie Cooley, a junior public health major from Jackson, Miss. said, “She allows us [work-study student] to help with the basic receptionist duties, gives us a lot of advice and tell us a lot about the university.”

    Ezeb is no stranger to aiding students with advice and guidance as she deals with her two daughters. Coping with the death of her mother, one of the biggest impacts in her life, she sees many of her goals accomplished as her children, India and Ariel, take big steps in life. Her oldest, India, recently graduated from Dillard with the class of 2006.

    “Everything has its impact at times, good and bad, but in the morning I get up and come to work with the right attitude.”

    There is not much that Ezeb isn’t aware of at the university. She could inform one about most of the programs and events that run through Dillard’s academic system. With much pride in her job, she takes the most influence and inspiration from the students.

    “The students are the main reason I’m here. The students I’ve seen come, go, return and make something out of themselves in their field. It was then and it is now.”

    As the many different undergraduates encourage and uplift the position of Ezeb, she too, looks toward education to complete her success. Attending the Verbatim Academy of Court Reporting, she said she wants to finish what she started at this New Orleans school. She wants to work on her own as a freelance court reporter.

    If she could do her job differently, Ezeb said she would do everything the exact same way.

    “I would, though, add my ability to be more involved in everything that goes on. I don’t get to partake in activities and events, but I do get to see students make it out of her.”

    The work of Zena Ezeb is seen not only in the Cook Center, but also from other people who happen to notice her good working skills.

    “When I see her, she’s always working hard and it affects because I am determined to work just as hard as her,” said Joyai Williams, a junior mass communications major from Detroit, Mich.

    Friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and inquisitive: These words best describe an administrative assistant who is dedicated to getting the job done. Dillard University’s cup is running over with educated and devoted staff and one woman in particular holds the beauty, attitude, strength, soul and support that are needed. Zena Ezeb is in fact that woman.

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