If you’ve ever needed a brochure or poster printed at UVM, chances are Melissa Wright helped make it happen.
In her 17 years at UVM, the senior media technician at UVM Print & Mail has worked with a variety of departments, schools, and colleges across the University to oversee the layout of materials ranging from scholarship letters to Board of Trustees books, coursepacks and commencement material.
“I’m pretty much the quality control person who makes sure everything fits correctly on the printed piece,” says the Milton resident, who received vocational training in high school at the Center for Technical Training in Essex.
Her responsibilities include overseeing the layout of a piece before it goes to print, which can involve everything from checking files, making corrections, proofing and printing all the material while maintaining digital presses. Wright and the rest of the Print & Mail team also produce materials outside the University for other non-profit organizations such as Flynn Center for the Performing Arts.
“We’re so deadline-driven here, and it’s the fast pace that keeps things really exciting,” she says. “We also do a lot of customer service, and I enjoy hearing the feedback from the community, whether it’s good or bad.”
One of her favorite parts of the job is working with about a half-dozen students employed by Print & Mail through the Federal Work Study program. “I love to get to know the students and see what their interests are. It’s so much fun,” she says. “A lot of Work Study students stay in touch with us long after they graduate.”
Before joining UVM nearly 18 years ago, Wright worked for the Burlington Free Press as a web press operator and for Lane Press. Over the years, her professional skills needed to transition from composite film layout design and plating in the late 1980s to Quark in the 1990s to InDesign in the 2000s.
“Back then, as things were moving more and more to a digital format, I could see the writing on the wall that everything was getting automated,” she says. “Ultimately, I found the transition to digital layout and printing to be fascinating. But I also found that it was taking some of the art out of the process.”
While she has successfully advanced her digital skills, Wright says her greatest strengths come from the heart. “I’m more of a people person. Mentoring co-workers, helping out, and problem solving are when I’m at my best,” she says. “I’m never afraid to jump in, give something a try, and help out in any way I can.”
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