Poole Staff Spotlight: Meet Maggie Merry
By Caroline Barnhill
Maggie Merry came to NC State with more than two decades of higher education experience working in various finance and business roles at The Ohio State University. After spending nearly five years working as the chief administration officer at the university’s College of Pharmacy, she found a new home in the Poole College of Management in 2019.
Today, as assistant dean of finance and administration, Merry supervises the offices of finance, human resources and facilities, among others, but it’s the people, she says, that make Poole such a special place.
Q&A with Maggie Merry
Tell us about your role within Poole College’s Office of Business Services.
In my current role as the college’s assistant dean of finance and administration, I oversee the divisions of finance, human resources, facilities, strategic business intelligence and support operations. Prior to this position, I held a similar role in the College of Pharmacy at Ohio State University, where I was employed for 23 years, starting as a student worker and working my way up!
What is a project in your current role you are most proud of?
I am most proud of my work with the Poole Pack Development Series. During my interview, it was clear that Poole employees wanted more professional development, and at that time, a “culture of constant improvement” was also one of our strategic goals. These two things balanced hand-in-hand, so I proposed developing a program that would utilize our own faculty, plus other speakers, to provide professional development. I then teamed up with Tayah Butler, Poole College’s assistant dean of diversity, equity and inclusion, to add the important DEI work she leads as part of the series. I am exceptionally proud of the AACSB Innovations that Inspire award that we won for the college.
What is the most memorable Poole event you have attended?
The most memorable event would definitely be the first winter social I attended – it was so much fun! The best part was when a colleague bet that I couldn’t get Dean Buckless to dance … and, of course, I accepted the challenge. Moments after I got him to the dance floor, line dance music started, and he was stuck in the middle of the floor, dancing right along with us. Many of us still laugh and smile about that.
Why do you love Poole College?
Our people, hands down. We have some of the hardest-working and most innovative faculty, staff and students. In recent years, the college has grown so fast that it’s often hard to make connections across groups, but we continue to work to develop opportunities to collaborate and build relationships. I am also blessed to have the best team ever! We’ve grown into a really cohesive group that works hard but also likes to have fun.
Tell us more about your life outside of Poole College.
I’ve been married to my husband, Paul, for 18 years, and we have three adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Annie (10), Oliver (6) and Kiera (2). Many people in the college know Kiera because she loves to participate in Zoom calls. My husband and I love to play board games – like Terraforming Mars, The Crew and Lords of Waterdeep, and video games – including recent favorites Terraria, Cozy Grove and Diablo. We love to have game nights and still meet up with some of our friends from Ohio to have game weekends. If anyone in the college is interested, let me know! Our Ohio friends also visit each year for the Carolina Renaissance Festival – it’s something we always did in Ohio, and it’s great to be able to continue the tradition here in North Carolina. My mom lives in North Myrtle Beach, so we typically travel there one or two weekends a month. I also love to cook and enjoy making pasta from scratch, slow-cooked beef, short ribs and many other dishes.
My Poole colleagues might not know…
I auditioned for MasterChef and made it through to one of the cooking rounds, but ultimately got cut because I wasn’t interesting enough – although my dish was! Several years ago, two of my dogs, Bailey and Sophie, placed eighth in the country in their divisions of national dog agility competitions. When I’m working remotely on Zoom, you can see a collection of ribbons and plaques that we earned. And finally, I have seven tattoos. I got my first one at age 21 and six more since I turned 40. I decided I was old enough not to care and wanted to express my authentic self!