As part of the College of Medicine’s Office for Diversity and Health Equity, administrative support assistant Carol Enoch supports the office’s mission of recruiting and retaining underrepresented and minority medical students at UF.
On any given day, Enoch achieves this by scheduling appointments for medical and undergraduate students, arranging travel for faculty and students, coordinating office events and maintaining office budgets. But at the heart of her work is making underrepresented and minority medical students feel at home when they get here.
“I always look forward to talking with the students,” said Enoch, who has lived in Gainesville since she was an infant. “The relationships we maintain here are extremely important. The students often come into our office looking for someone to talk to or a hug. They come and sit down, and if they’re having a bad day, they know we’re here for them. They trust us.”
The office also provides a physical space for the medical students to study, meet or just relax during a busy week of classes or hospital rotations.
“They come to utilize the space and can stay as long as they want,” said Enoch. “We tell them it’s okay to come in and talk about anything. They also have our phone numbers and we tell them to feel free to call us no matter what their question or concern is, and they do.”
Before joining the College of Medicine nearly two decades ago, Enoch worked in the Office of the Vice President for External Relations and the Division of Sponsored Programs in the Office of Research. She will be honored with other employees who celebrated 25 and 30 years of service in 2019 at an event hosted by the President’s Office next spring.
Enoch received her first “service pin” in 1993 and has enjoyed collecting them over the years. She stores all six of her pins, including the most recent addition to her collection—her 30-year pin—in a special keepsake box.
“I look at the pins as a symbol of dedication and commitment,” she said. “I look forward to every service increment of five years. I was over-the-top excited this year; the longevity is important to me.”
After the College of Medicine’s graduation each year, the Office for Diversity and Health Equity hosts a luncheon for the students they serve as well as their families—one of the highlights of the year. At this year’s event, nine underrepresented minority graduates were recognized and celebrated.
“The luncheon is a time for the students to reflect on their time here at UF and thank their family, the faculty and staff, and their classmates,” said Enoch. “It’s a very joyous occasion. We laugh and we cry.”
Pictured above: Enoch (at far left) with colleagues at last year’s graduation luncheon