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Week of March 7, 2011

Staff Spotlight

The art of cooking, graphic design and painting inspire U-M operations analyst 


Judy Dooley is a true artist at heart.

“I find serenity in the act of creating art,” says Dooley, an operations analyst for the Stephen M. Ross School of Business Division of Executive Education. “I enjoy film and digital photography, jewelry-making, sculpting and fiber arts, and graphic design.”

Photo by Scott Soderberg, U-M Photo Services.

The Mount Clemens native grew up in Ann Arbor and first studied graphic design and photography at Michigan State University. She ultimately finished her degree summa cum laude from Eastern Michigan University.

Dooley first picked up painting in her teens, using acrylic paints in portraits and decorative art, then later ventured into oil painting. But her discovery of watercolor was the most influential. “I switched my major to watercolor right then and there,” she says.

Now at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, Dooley combines her love of art with her career at U-M. “I am the ‘data queen’ for executive education,” she says.

Dooley’s tasks range from IT support to Web coding and graphic design to helping manage the Executive Education public-facing website. “Now and then I make illustrations and even humorous digital pictures for the executive programs,” she says.

“I like coming up with complex queries and elegant reporting solutions,” Dooley says. She even created and maintains a SharePoint intranet site for her department. “(It houses) all of our digital resources to make it easy for our staff to get the information they need.”

For Dooley, the biggest perk of her job is knowing that she is challenging herself while also helping make her coworkers’ jobs easier. “I just love being a resource for others,” she says.

She keeps busy by playing the viola in the Dexter Community Orchestra and raising her two daughters. Aged 20 and 16 years old, both girls take after their mom. “They are both very talented artists,” Dooley says.

Dooley also hones her talents in the kitchen. After her husband was released from in-patient hospital treatment for an extended illness, Dooley took a cue from the film “Julie and Julia” to help him recover. “We are cooking our way through a new cookbook,” she says. “I thought my husband would pooh-pooh the idea. The man has never cooked a thing in his life. But, to my surprise, he said, ‘yes.’”

Her husband’s enthusiasm inspired Dooley to keep an online blog — aptly titled “Dooley and Doolia” — to document all of the trials, tribulations and successes in the kitchen. “I thought it would be a really good way to document our progress,” she says of the blog, available at mblog.lib.umich.edu/DooleyAndDoolia. Among their recent culinary accomplishments? “Shrimp scampi, coconut cake and mushroom soup.”

Despite some setbacks, she manages to keep her cool. “One night while cooking, we completely ruined the chicken,” she says of a scene that could have been taken from the movie in which the character cooking her way through Julia Child’s book burned food she was preparing for a special guest.

“But we cleaned it up, and we started over.

“We found that even in a stressful situation, we could support each other instead of getting upset. Now that’s a great example of the healing aspect of this project.”


The weekly Spotlight features staff members at the university. To nominate a candidate, please contact the Record staff at urecord@umich.edu.

 

STAFF SPOTLIGHT

Judy Dooley, operations analyst, Division of Executive Education, on challenging herself at work: “I like coming up with complex queries and elegant reporting solutions. ... I just love being a resource for others.”

EVENTS

Making Democracy Work: Slovakia in the Last Decade, a panel featuring past and present Slovak Ambassadors to the United States including Ronald Weiser, 4 p.m. March 15, Palmer Commons Forum Hall.

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