SNU custodians: Our interview with Melody Harding

Melody Harding (right) poses with provost Dr. Mary Jones. Photo provided by Melody Harding.

Ronna Fisher, Assistant Editor

They tell you hello every time they see you, they keep our campus pretty and clean, and they love getting to know you. Now get to know you friendly SNU Custodians.

     The Echo (TE): Tell me a little bit about yourself.

     Melody Harding: Well, I’m Melody Harding, and I grew up in South Africa as a missionary kid. I moved there when I was almost three. I graduated from Mid-America Nazarene University in 1989 with an associate of arts. I have four children . . . I came to work at SNU in 2006, and cleaned the religion building and the third floor of Hatley for four years, and then I was in Bracken and then covered several other buildings. I have been in the library since October 2011. I am also the substitute mail person. I graduated from SNU with a bachelor of science in organizational leadership on December 8, 2012. I actually got my diploma in August of 2012. And, I am now in the masters program pursuing a master of science in management, and I’m due to graduate with that in 2014. My daughter Cherokee will be graduating at the same time with her bachelor’s degree.

     TE: What do you like about working at SNU?

     Harding: The Christian community.

     TE: What is the most interesting thing you have found or seen while working at SNU?

Harding: We were cleaning the dorm, and I found a ring with Jeremiah 19:11 on it. So, I took it to Student Development and told them if no one claimed it could I have it, and they gave it to me. It was right when I needed it, because I was going through a really hard time. So, it was just perfect.

      TE: So, I heard that your parents lived in a house where the religion building now stands?

     Harding: They moved two weeks just before I was born. So, that’s why it was very interesting that when I came to SNU I worked in the religion building. And, the other thing about the religion building is, I was going through my divorce when I was working there, and the professors and Lorie were my support.

  TE: So, you recently graduated, and now you are getting your masters. What has that experience been like as a single mom who is also working full time?

   Harding: It has been very tiring. Because it’s like having three full time jobs: school, work, and mother.

     TE: What brought you to SNU in the first place?

         Harding: Well, I was working at a Christian school when we moved here, and I didn’t get a paid salary. It was just my children’s tuition that I was working for. So, then, when my marriage broke up I had to get a job that paid cash, so I first went to work at a daycare for a few months, but you don’t get any benefits at a daycare, like sick leave for one. And, my friend Jan Chafey, who was working in the English department at the time, suggested the job.

          TE: Outside of work, school, and kids, what do you like to do when you have free time? What are your interests or hobbies?

   Harding: Reading, photography, and spending time with friends.

      TE: What do you like to read?

   Harding: I love to read Karen Kingsbury books and Francine Rivers.

    TE: Do you have any advice or tips for making it through college?

     Harding: Doing all your reading.

    TE: Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

    Harding: Well, there’s Jeremiah 29:11 and Psalms 61:1-2, “Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

What do you think?