News by Topic

Click on a topic below to see the latest headline

Customize "My Headlines" by Topic

Choose the topics of most interest to you to follow under "My Headlines".

Subscribe

Sign up for newsletters, news feeds, social media and other news sources.

Resources for News Media

Are you a reporter working on a story? Here's where you find help from Duke.

Executive Assistant Grows Award-Winning Garden

Executive Assistant Grows Award-Winning Garden

Pat Marson's garden was one of eight in the Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour

Editor's Note: The Blue Devil of the Week highlights a different Duke employee each week. Visit the archives for more articles.

Pat Marson
Pat Marson's garden includes chickens as well as plants. Her garden was one of eight chosen for the 2012 Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour. Photo courtesy of Pat Marson.

Durham, NC -

Name: Pat Marson

Position: Executive assistant to Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president of administration

Years at Duke: 11

What I do at Duke: I do whatever it takes to keep things running smoothly for Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president of administration. I've worked for him for three years now, and I love it. Before that, I worked for the president of the Duke Health System, and in Duke Hospital Patient Resource Management, and for Myrna Adams, Duke's first vice president for institutional equity, so I've seen a lot of Duke.

What I love about Duke: The people. I meet new people all the time, from all over the place, and they are all so nice. It is interesting to see so many people from different cultures all working together to make Duke a better place.

When I'm not at work I like to: Garden. This year, our garden was one of the eight gardens chosen for the 2012 Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour. That had been on my 'bucket list' of things I wanted to do for years. My garden has vegetables, flowers, perennials, annuals, a water garden, a chicken coop, even a toad house. It's a little self-contained urban dream. It takes a lot of work each weekend, but my husband and I love it. My husband says I should get a bumper sticker that says 'my second vehicle is a wheelbarrow.'

To start a conversation with me, someone should ask about: My family. My husband John and I are both Canadian. We moved to North Carolina in 1988, and while our daughters were both born in Canada, they are now dual Canadian/U.S. citizens. Our first grandchild, Fiona Mae Fistner, was born  in August, and I love it.

Something most people don't know about me: My father built a houseboat, and we lived on it on the Rideau River in Ontario, Canada, for three summers when I was young. I still love the water, and my husband and I go kayaking as often as we can. It is so calming. When I paddle, every bit of stress goes out my fingertips into the water.

My first ever paid job: I was a waitress in a little restaurant called The Miss Richmond in Richmond, Ontario. My first tip was 25 cents, and I thought it was grand.

Best advice I ever received: Every night at dinner my father would say to us 'what did you do nice for somebody today?'  I think of that a lot, and I try to be kind to people.

A memorable moment at Duke: The Night of Duke Stars, when I celebrated my 10-year anniversary. Even though there were lots of people there, I didn't feel like just a number. I felt valued, and everyone I talked to that evening seemed so enthusiastic about working at Duke. There was a lot of pride in the room that evening.

We encourage Duke faculty, staff and students to share ideas, collaborate and discuss issues on Duke Today. To post a comment, you must log-in with your Duke NetID and password. Any comments or materials that are inappropriate, disrespectful or violate Duke policies will be deleted. These may include statements or materials that:

  • promote commercial enterprises;
  • sell, or solicit offers to sell, goods or services for personal gain;
  • promote a political candidate or political party; or
  • violate policies regarding personal, proprietary or protected health information.

For more information, visit our guidelines for posting content.

Comments

You are not logged in. Please log in to leave a comment. Comments are restricted to faculty, staff, and students.

Comments

Just lovely, and obviously an award well deserved!

© 2014 Office of Communication Services
705 Broad Street, Box 90496, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 681-4533; FAX: (919) 681-7926

Submit A Story Idea

We value your suggestions and feedback. Got an idea for a story, video or photo you would like to see in Duke Today?

Submit a Story Idea