Behind the work that takes place in labs, offices and classrooms across Case Western Reserve University’s campus, there are more than 3,000 staff members helping to make it happen. Whether it’s connecting students with opportunities to help them succeed or making sure common spaces are clean and safe, staff members are integral to achieving the university’s mission. In honor of Employee Appreciation Day, celebrated at the university March 10, we’re showing our gratitude by highlighting just a few of the outstanding staff members at CWRU.
When School of Law alumni Khouloude Abboud (LAW ’20) and Harry Quast (LAW ’20) got married earlier this year, a familiar face from their alma mater was in attendance—that of Campus Security Officer Chiara Seldon.
Seldon—affectionately known as Ms. Pat—greets nearly everyone who walks through the doors of Gund Hall, and as her invitation to this wedding might suggest, her work makes an impact. Beyond her duties keeping all who enter the building safe and healthy, she’s established herself as a listening ear, allowing her to develop strong bonds with students such as Abboud and Quast.
“[They] are two of the best law students I have known,” said Seldon, who witnessed the pair’s relationship begin during their time at the law school. “I consider them one of the sweetest couples. Witnessing their union, I love them as if they are my own.”
Seldon’s met many students since she first began working at Case Western Reserve in 2016, but she has been serving the campus community even longer. In 2009, she became a clerk attendant for Standard Parking and a security guard with OSS Security. She was routinely approached to work in public safety with CWRU Police Department—eventually accepting the position with the law school.
Now, seven years in, the law school community can’t imagine life without Seldon. Read on to learn more about her.
1. What is a typical day like for you?
Every day is different; the best part about my position is that I have the opportunity to meet new people every day and positively impact new lives, whether assisting our guests to the law clinics or meeting prospective law students as they visit the law building for the first time. The law building is like a home away from home for our current students and staff. Therefore, I work to ensure that everyone who enters the building will have a beautiful and pleasant day. But most importantly, I enjoy spending time with my husband, William, and my family’s support over the years.
2. What’s your favorite thing about working at CWRU?
First and foremost, the law students are so kind and respectful toward me each day. Even though I love seeing students happy to take winter or spring break, I miss them dearly when they are not here. It has been so rewarding to see my students thrive in law school and go on to lead rewarding careers.
Learning about their cultures, interest in arts and cultural upbringings brings me much joy. I love encouraging students to pursue their passions by supporting them when they can not visit family because they are too far away from home. Most students over the years have called me the “mother of law students” because I pray for students’ success and do anything that I can to help make their time at law school go as smoothly as possible.
3. What’s your best memory at CWRU?
One of my fondest memories will always be when my God opened up the door for me to work at the law building.
It is always great to witness my students graduating because they finally made it through and are headed toward their next journey. One of the staple moments that confirmed my impact on the law school community was receiving the 2022 Black Law Student Association Community Builder Award. I have received tremendous support from my supervisors, Mr. Johnstone, Mr. Marty and Ms. Melissa, which is true in how they treat employees well to serve Case Western Reserve University better.
4. How do you build connections with those you encounter at the law school?
As a people person, I find joy in always smiling and greeting people through intentional connections. Everyone that enters the law school building, no matter their nationality or lifestyle, is welcomed and compliments me on the importance of my presence daily for their development. I genuinely love people and am confident my kindness is shared amongst members of the law school.
5. What was it like being invited to and attending the wedding of former students?
The wedding experience was like a fairy tale, extraordinary in every way because they were the prince and the princess. The wedding gown was gorgeous! The Lebanese dancers were an incredible part of the occasion. Witnessing their love for each other was breathtaking, with a beautiful spirit to behold. Now they are one as Mr. and Mrs. Harry Quast; I truly enjoyed the wedding.