Staff Spotlight: Gaye Bugenhagen (by Lucia Lykke)

Did you know that the newest employee in the sociology main office can run thirty to forty miles of hiking trails in one shot?

Pretty impressive, right? It’s even more impressive when you find out that she only picked up running after her third son was born. These are just a few of the interesting tidbits I learned about Gaye Bugenhagen, our new Director of Administrative Services, when I sat down with her recently for an interview. When I asked her for a “fun fact” about herself, she informed me that she is so boring that her son thinks she must be a secret agent… then casually let me know that she is an “ultra runner,” which means running thirty miles at a time, and has also completed a half Ironman triathlon. Clearly, I did not find this boring!

Gaye has been with our department since June. Before her current spot in the sociology department, she worked for the Center for Addictions, Personality, and Emotion Research (CAPER) in the psychology department. Gaye has a background in international business, and she’s in charge of all the financial stuff for our department, from payroll to grants (grad students, she’s the one to talk to if you’re trying to figure out how much money to ask for in a grant proposal!). She sees her role as dealing with all of the bureaucracy and financial lingo so that the sociologists can focus on methods and ideas when seeking funding. She praises our department for being welcoming and accommodating since she started, though she says she hasn’t yet learned enough about sociology to pick a favorite specialty area (I tried really hard to get her to pick one, but she was ever so diplomatic and declined to comment).

Gaye lives in Annapolis with her husband of 26 years. She has four children, three human and one canine: three sons (the oldest is a sophomore at Maryland!) and a rescue Lab named Cooper. Of course, we ended up spending much of our chat discussing dogs, so I can reveal to you that Cooper also enjoys trail running and watching The Dog Whisperer.

We are lucky to have Gaye here with us –she has lots of plans for how to contribute to our department behind the scenes over the next few years. Stop by and say hello, maybe get some running tips – just don’t ask for any Thanksgiving cooking advice. She told me that she has never cooked a turkey in her life and has no idea how. Join the club, Gaye. And welcome to sociology! 

Lucia is a 3rd Year Graduate Student

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