January 15, 2021

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff:

I write to inform you that, after 32 years of exemplary service to William Paterson, Executive Assistant to the President Rachel Rodriguez has decided to retire at the end of this month in order to spend more time with her family. With her extensive institutional knowledge, Rachel has been an invaluable resource for me from the moment I joined William Paterson. For virtually any question I had about the University – from its history and organization, to who was who on campus, to where to get a good cup of coffee – Rachel had the answer.  
It is a testament to her capability and skill that Rachel began her William Paterson career as a Senior Clerk Typist to the Office Manager of Physical Plant Operations and departs as the first Latina or person of color to hold the title of Executive Assistant to the President at William Paterson. It is a demanding role that requires the right blend of professional and interpersonal skills, which Rachel possesses in abundance. 
Rachel combined professionalism and ability with an easygoing demeanor and great sense of humor. She has been a wonderful, supportive colleague to all who have had the pleasure of working directly with her, and a friendly and helpful presence to all who have interacted with her when dealing with my Office. She will be missed. We are fortunate, however, that Sherry Washington of my office will be assuming Rachel’s role. Since joining William Paterson last year as an Administrative Assistant, Sherry has proved herself to be a valued and highly capable member of my staff. I am grateful to Rachel for taking the time to work with Sherry to ensure a smooth transition before her departure.
We will come together at a time when we are able to celebrate Rachel in person. In the meantime, please join me in thanking her for her service to William Paterson and wishing her all the best in the next phase of her life.
Richard J. Helldobler, PhD