Those on campus may have noticed a new employee working hard in the halls of McNeill, Eck, and Heimerman. Masha Moore joined the Newman family in early January 2017 as a part-time associate within the Housekeeping Department — and employment in the Wichita community is something she has been looking forward to for some time now.
Before her job at Newman, Moore spent the length of her days working on different contract jobs within the Work Activity program at Starkey, Inc., a local non-profit organization helping individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities live and work more independently. She is also part of the Community Living program at Starkey, living in one of the many group homes they provide for individuals.
Her dreams and goals are the same as any other Wichitan — to be an active part of the community, working and making a difference in the city she calls home.
Born in Russia, Moore was adopted by an American family and moved to the states when she was 3 years old. She attended high school in Goddard, Kan. before she joined the Starkey program in 2012. She was very excited when she was called in for an interview at Newman. Regarding the interview process, she said, "I wasn’t nervous," adding that she was happy to do much of the talking during the interview, asking a variety of questions. "I don’t like to just sit there and not talk."
She calls her job at Newman a "good fit" and said she is very happy to be on the campus. "It’s going really good," she said. "There haven’t been any issues. Newman is a very mellow and pleasant place to work."
Moore also stated that working more independently in this job makes her feel good about herself, adding, "I feel really calm when I'm here."
Moore was also impressed by how quickly staff and faculty learned her name. One of those individuals is School of Business Administrative Assistant Meredith Dwyer. Moore said she has enjoyed getting to know Dwyer, emphasizing how accommodating and kind she has been. Moore also noted that Dwyer was one of the first to take the time to learn her name. "Masha is the Russian version of Maria," she said. "Maria is really my name, but I like to go by Masha."
Dwyer reciprocated the feeling and said, "She is very efficient and sweet, very well-mannered. I'm really happy that Newman has partnered with Starkey." Dwyer worked at an agency similar to Starkey in the past and said she knows how important it is to the individuals receiving services to be able to feel a sense of value and accomplishment and to have the opportunity to work in the community.
Moore still begins each of her days at Starkey, doing contract work that's available between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. She then hops on a Starkey bus and heads to the Newman campus. She spends the rest of her day working diligently on her housekeeping duties after checking in with her supervisor, Scott Stardy.
Starkey Community Employment Specialist Brindi Stables helped Moore get acclimated in her new role at Newman for the first two weeks of her employment. Some individuals will work with the job coach longer than others before going solo. In Moore's case, Stables said there wasn't much to worry about since "she really did a great job learning everything so quickly."
Moore looks forward to improving at her job. "I'm all about doing it the right way," she said. "Not getting it wrong and having to do it over."
She said she looks forward to coming to work at Newman during the day and hopes to stay for a long time. "I really like it here. I like the people that I interact with every day."