Denise Norris Reflects on Her Time at FSCJ

By Brenda Zelaya

Working since 2003 at FSCJ has been highly positive and satisfying for Library Learning Commons (LLC) Associate Dean Denise Norris. In her time here, she’s been part of renovation projects that have filled her with great satisfaction and memories. Even though her last day is June 30, what remains in her mind is the opportunity of being able to work with great faculty members at Florida State College at Jacksonville. “I have learned a lot during my years at FSCJ,” said Norris.

Before working in the Library Learning Commons of FSCJ, Norris always had strong connections to academia. Growing up in a small city in West Virginia named Hurricane, she began life interested in books. Her family consisted of teachers and librarians who influenced her from a young age to follow the path of combining education and books as her major focus. “ I am probably one of the few people who can say that I was working in a library before I was born,” said Norris.

As an only child, Norris always had the support of her family. Her motivators–such as her mother and father–wanted Norris to be a professional and to find her true passion. With this support, and her own dedication Norris has been able to obtain higher education diplomas and currently studies in a graduate program at Florida State University. “ From a very young age, my family was always very much in favor of education,” she said.

Getting an education has opened many doors for Norris. In her student life experience, she encountered great mentors which gave her advice that she still considers important. Now, she encourages students to ask questions, obtain information and stay connected with the people who make a positive impact in life. “There are still so many good people in this world. If there is a field that you are interested in or want to do, go out and talk to people who are doing it,” said Norris.

As mentioned before, Norris is going to be leaving her job at FSCJ at the end of this month. After learning of this decision, Norris now plans to continue studying for her doctorate and working on other projects. Other members of FSCJ are also grateful to have worked with Norris. “She [Norris] is a hard worker, organized and loves attention to detail,” said Dr. Margarita Cabral-Malay, South Campus president.

Cabral-Malay believes Norris has left an important legacy through her work with the team who redesigned the LLC, and the team responsible for the implementation of the Collaborative Collection Review.

Although she must now leave due to changes within the LLC, Norris finds FSCJ an important and worthwhile experience in her life. She has been able to be part of projects and to meet great faculty members–many of which she now considers friends. Norris has impacted many faculty members at this college, and many will remember her hard work. Her journey continues with positive plans.

Correction 7/1/15: This article previously cited the restructuring of FSCJ’s student service departments as a reason for Denise Norris’ contract non-renewal.  We’ve since been made aware of the fact that her position at the college was not within student services. Changes within the structuring of the LLC are not related to student services. 

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