[Currents header

October 21, 1996

Spotlight on Staff: Jude Desmond

[Photo of Jude Desmond in front of her quilt] Geometric designs in vibrant tropical colors hang on the walls of the cubicle in the Registrar's Office where Jude Desmond works, recording student data. The designs are from the king-size quilt for which she won first prize in the Santa Cruz County Fair in September.

Desmond, who holds a B.A. in art from San Jose State University, began quilting with her coworkers at her previous job at the School of Art and Design at San Jose State. Joining the staff of the Registrar's Office at UCSC in January 1994, Desmond discovered that her new coworkers shared her interest in quilting.

When the staff of the Registrar's Office was trying to come up with the right good-bye gift in the spring of 1995 for departing registrar Jim Quann, Desmond became one of the leaders of a very successful quilting project that involved everyone in the office. "I love the people I work with," she says. "They are my closest friends."

Desmond's quilt was only one of her prize-winning entries at the county fair. She also won a first-prize ribbon for her poem "Armadillo," a work that took shape on her coffee break. "I write my poems on walks around the campus," she says.

Writing short stories and poetry has become the focus of Desmond's creative energy. While attending a campus workshop on advancing her career, she found there was a group of women with a similar desire to write. "I took the workshop not because I want to leave my job but because I wanted to make my job more interesting and pursue my outside interests," Desmond says.

They began meeting monthly as a staff women's writing support group, calling themselves A Musing Women. "Writing is something I'd like to stress in my life," she says, "and this group is for women who want a nurturing place to share their work."

Staff women interested in learning more about the group may contact Desmond at ext. 4976 or via e-mail at judereg@cats.

--Mary Ann Dewey