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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


The Park Avenue Super-viser

Alex Kulpinski
Alex Kulpinski / Arizona Daily Wildcat Barbara Ebeling works as a supervisor at the Park Avenue Market in the Park Student Union on Monday.

Barb Ebeling has stepped out of her job description as a supervisor in the Park Student Union to provide students with an ear for listening to their problems or a shoulder to lean on.

“I try to do anything that I can to help students out, that wouldn’t put a burden on me,” Ebeling said. “That is just who I am and it makes me feel good to know I can help a student out.”

Ebeling received a degree in electronics and computer engineering from the International Telephone and Telegraph Technical Institute. Throughout high school, Ebeling demonstrated strength in studying mathematics, but soon lost interest in the field. She followed a new path away from the rigorous life of studying, and discovered a useful skill within herself — the ability to easily socialize and converse with customers.

“I just started talking to the students and let them know they can come and talk to me, whether it is about the store or away from the store,” Ebeling said. “With a lot of students being away from home, that mother and father figure isn’t there with them every day, and I try to help out in that.”

Ebeling has gone to students many times to let them know she is there for them and can help with anything, whether it’s providing them with tools to solve their problems, giving them more shifts at work or even giving them rides to and from campus.

“If your paycheck is not big enough for you to pay your bills and buy food, then I try to help them out even if it’s just by bringing macaroni and cheese,” she said.

Samantha Gardner, a library science graduate student and one of Ebeling’s employees, said that Ebeling is “a very nice and sweet woman” by making sure that her employees get to know her, and while all of her employees are working, Ebeling is also working.

“She’s not just sitting in the back as a boss,” Gardner said.

Ebeling is also there for her student employees far beyond the realm of work.

“When I had personal financial issues, Ebeling went above and beyond to help me out,” said Elisabeth Stromback, an undeclared sophomore and one of her student employees. “With everything Ebeling has to deal with, her work and personal life, she did more than she had to by looking for services that were of a help in my situation, and helped me come up with a plan for myself to solve my problem.”

Ebeling began working in the Park Student Union as a lead in 2008 and then gradually became the supervisor of Park Avenue Market, a new store that opened this semester on the bottom floor of the PSU. The most challenging part for Ebeling was telling people what to do, she said — it was hard for her to come to terms with the idea that she is the boss.

“I definitely feel it’s not just a manager and a co-worker relationship,” said Jsanae Davis, a sophomore studying political science and philosophy. “She is very sweet and understanding of other students’ personal problems.”

Ebeling is a very caring person who was always making sure that her employees and customers were doing well, Stomback said.
“She (Ebeling) will do anything to help you,” Stomback added. “She is a very strong woman and I hope one day I, myself and others would be more like her.”

In her free time, Ebeling likes to spend time biking with her son or walking her dogs. At all other times, however, she is managing the market to ensure that students are given the best customer service and healthy products to keep them going throughout the day.

“I am a mother of three boys, so everyone that comes in here are like my own children,” Ebeling said.

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