Staff Spotlight – Nicole Murph ’04

Nicole Murph ‘04
Nicole Murph ‘04

What’s your role at the university?
Sr. Administrative Coordinator, Art and Art History

How long have you been at LMU?
Five years this October.

What do you enjoy most about your role at the university?
I enjoy that I can have the opportunity to continue to learn and explore. I also enjoy getting involved. For example, helping/mentoring students, taking part in projects, etc.

Favorite movie?
I love movies so it’s not easy for me to choose one favorite movie. Two films that come to my mind are one of my favorites: L.A. Confidential and Charade (Grant/Hepburn version).

What would be the title of your autobiography?
Keep Moving Forward

If you could enjoy dinner and conversation with anyone in history, who would it be and why?
Frances Perkins. The first female Secretary of Labor. She was a part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s cabinet during the 1930s and 1940s. She was a progressive who was grassroots advocating for a host of issues such as workers’ rights, health and safety laws, women’s rights, etc. As Secretary of Labor, she was involved in developing and implementing programs such as Social Security. A lot of protections and safety nets that we have now, and continue to fight for, she was on the front lines advocating during the first half of the 20th century.

When you’re away from work, what is your favorite thing to do? 
I love to explore Los Angeles via train and document my experiences and observations through writing and photography.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that others may not know. 
Before coming back to LMU, I was one of the long-term unemployed (three years) during the Great Recession. It was a tough time looking for work, where one entry level job opening had over 250 applicants, ranging from recent college grads to folks in their fifties competing for that position. I searched for work every day, went on multiple job interviews, networked, volunteered, interned, took on contract work, etc. The safety nets that we have – and are currently fighting for – such as unemployment insurance and welfare, helped keep me and my family’s heads above water, but we still struggled financially.

One of the ways we made ends meet and helped to keep a roof over our heads was we scoured and collected cans and bottles to help us buy the basics such as food and gas. While doing so, we met and spoke with some of the homeless. We listened to them talk about their experiences and how they became homeless. I l earned the homeless have their own community and internal systems that are competitive, protective, and territorial. Now back in the work force full-time, my experiences have come through on many levels, especially helping students. For example, when it comes to searching for a job, what I ultimately tell them is to keep moving forward. It’s not to say they won’t stumble and fall and feel beaten at times. When I was unemployed, I got depressed, experienced anxiety attacks, felt beaten (mentally, spiritually, physically), but I still got back on the horse and kept moving forward.

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