Tag Archive for: new staff


Julie Helmandollar with her favorite book, Hamlet

Julie Helmandollar has lived an incredible life. She graduated high school with an associate’s degree at age 16. She is now 22 and already has worked as an English professor, taught beginning professors how to teach, and is now the coordinator for SOU’s Tutoring Center, an integral part of the Learning Commons at Hannon Library.

Helmandollar is ready for the new job. “This is kind of my dream job and my dream location,” she explains. “I have a lot of family history and interest in Ashland and the area.” With roots in Ashland extending back to the pioneer era, the Ashland area is close to her heart. Her great-great grandmother’s family traveled the Oregon Trail and settled in Ashland. “So we have family tombstones in the graveyard, and I had a great-great uncle that taught at the university.”

As someone that is finishing up her master thesis in English literature, it’s exciting for her to be in the middle of the culture of Ashland. Helmandollar says, “I’m a big book fanatic, so my perfect day is sitting down with a big book.” She continued, “I specialized in Renaissance literature and drama, which is partially why I’m tied to Ashland.”

Her inner bookworm is thrilled to be at Hannon Library. As her mother put it, “after hours you can play with all the books in the library.”

Julie is truly a motivated, fun, and inspirational worker, and we’re just as thrilled to have her with us.

By Alex Mesadieu


Bill Bateman lays out his cards, ready to perform a trick.

Bill Bateman is a magician, emcee, entertainer, and now the new Instructional Coordinator at SOU’s Center for Instructional Support, located at Hannon Library.

Bateman has a long background in a diverse range of professions, but he’s particularly enjoying his welcome here at Southern Oregon University. He comments, “I have not met anyone here who does not seem energetic, competent, caring. Working with these two,” referring to CIS staff Vicki Suter and Hart Wilson, “all the BS that goes with working a new job has just gone out of the way.”

Bateman explained how goofy and unique working at CIS can be. He told us that he and his co-workers use sock puppets occasionally to break the ice and release stress. Overall, Bateman has had positive experiences in Ashland. Bateman says, “I have a strong background in media: radio, television, film, I had a theatre company that I ran for a number of years in Portland. So the fact that this is a theatre and entertainment oriented community here is like yessss.”

Media and magic have long been a part of Bateman’s life. He says you can learn a lot about people based on their reactions to simple magic tricks. He says, “I’ve had people get angry, I’ve had people get offended, I’ve had one person say I was the devil.” Bateman uses his experience with magic to improve his work, explaining, “Generally within the first few minutes you form an opinion of someone whether you’re aware of it or not. I’m told most job interviews are done within the first 30 to 45 seconds. There’s this tipping point type quality to magic; magic requires you do the same things as you do as the Moodle guy, or the trainer, or the faculty member, to get the attention and trust of a class.”

Although Bateman has not performed magic for everyone at Hannon yet, he has done a little bit for students, who mostly respond positively. For Bateman, “Connecting to people is a basic necessity. A human need. You can die of loneliness; it’s a disease, I mean—look it up.”

He continues, “By talking to somebody, by interacting with them, by working through a situation where I’m able to catch their attention to astonish them…it’s a good way to reach people, it’s a good way to establish a one to one connection, and once you have made that connection then you’re ready to begin working.”

As a former employee of multiple universities, Bateman comes to SOU with a fresh perspective from a lifetime of experience. We at Hannon Library are excited to add him to our team.

By Alex Mesadieu