Lab supervisor moving into teaching position
Students who regularly receive writing help from OCCC Communications Lab Supervisor Tonya Kymes will soon have to find a new person to help them overcome writing challenges.
Kymes will leave the lab July 30 to take an English teaching position at the college.
She said she took over the lab, which is located in the Main Building near the OCCC Coffee Shop, two years ago and transformed it into a friendlier environment.
Kymes said she will miss working with the staff and students.
“If you can leave with things being better because you were there, that is really all you can hope for,” she said.
Kymes said one of her greatest accomplishments while supervisor has been creating a pleasant environment in the lab.
“This lab is not intimidating at all,” she said.
Kymes said the lab is a friendly place where students can come visit as well as receive assistance.
“We like to say we are family,” she said. “If a student forms a friendship with a tutor, in addition to their academic relationship, more often than not that student will be more successful.”
Kymes said she also is pleased that she assisted in making her staff feel like part of the college.
She said she feels like she helped make her staff into teachers and gave them the skills to teach and tutor writing.
“I love that I have increased their professionalism,” Kymes said.
“I smile big when I think about that.”
She said she often tries to make her staff laugh because it tends to ease certain situations and just makes life better, she said.
“I love my job,” Kymes said.
Dayshawn Burns, psychology major, said the Communications Lab staff is helpful and very friendly.
“(They give) a lot of feedback on papers and help with different ideas on how to write,” Burns said.
Lab staff members said they have mixed emotions as Kymes finishes out her last few weeks.
Lab Assistant Brandon Isaak said Kymes made the lab a better place to work.
Lydia Rucker, lab assistant, agrees with Isaak.
“She lets us be ourselves and supports our ideas,” Rucker said.
The college has not found a replacement for the lab supervisor job, Kymes said.
She said she is on a search committee and hopes to have the position filled by the end of the summer.
Until a person is hired, her staff will fill in. Kymes said she hopes to train the new director and said she wants to find someone whose personality meshes with the lab and staff.