Support Staff Spotlight: Regina Tyree
By Hope Roberts, Contributing Writer
Many know her simply as “Regina” or even just a smiling face on the way into Servo, but Regina Tyree has worked for dining services at Gettysburg College since February of 2012.
Regina said her favorite part of the job is definitely the students, but she has not always felt this way. Regina admits that when she first started at the college, she often struggled to connect with the kids in a way deeper than superficial chit-chat. As time passed, she realized that, with a bit of patience and a lot of good humor, she was able to create strong bonds with many of the students.
“If you get to know them, they’ll make the effort to get to know you,” Regina said, smiling, “so it’s bittersweet every year when graduation comes around.”
She fondly remembers a student who graduated two years ago, with whom she formed a lasting friendship.
“We found comfort in our conversations,” she said of the girl, who ultimately gifted her graduation stole to Regina.
She says the girl struggled with many of the problems that her own daughter faced as a teenager and college student, and she felt good knowing she could provide guidance and support. She mentioned that she remains in touch with the student through Facebook, adding, “It’s nice to know she’s doing well.”
Outside of her work at the college, Regina, an avid thrift shopper, likes to scour shelves for interesting vintage items to collect and enjoys spending time with her family. Regina has been able to connect with students who have family members with special needs, as she has a daughter with special needs herself, and she is always happy just to be a listening ear.
Over the years, she has also noticed how the student demographics have changed.
“When I first got here, it seemed like every kid was from Pennsylvania and New Jersey,” she noted, “but now it seems like we have kids from every background– from all over the place.”
Regina has not only been able to observe the growth of the college community, but also that of the local area. As a lifelong resident and an alumna of Gettysburg Area High School, she has watched the town expand and change as the Gettysburg College enrollment numbers rose simultaneously in the 1990s and 2000s.
“Ten years ago there were empty classrooms!” she said of the local high school. “The whole town has really grown. When I was a kid, the area near the Dairy Queen was just a field. Not so much anymore!”
She laughed, “It’s just amazing how it’s evolved.”
During the summer, Regina dislikes how quiet the campus gets, despite the various camps and conferences that go on.
“It’s exciting when you all come back!” she said.
While it is clear that Regina loves the college community, it is also evident that the college loves her back. This March, Regina was awarded two certificates of recognition from The Women’s Center, The Office of Multicultural Engagement, and The Collective here on campus– one for being nominated as a “Hidden Figure” and another for a “Woman of Distinction.”
Regina’s smiling face and good nature are undoubtedly appreciated, and she is glad she has been able to bond with so many students.
“No matter what kind of day you’re having, Regina can always make you smile” said Ali Nettles, ‘21. When asked her favorite aspect of working at Gettysburg, Regina is quick to answer. “It’s the kids,” she says, smiling, “they make it worthwhile.”