Staff Spotlight: Tracy Zimmerman

Tracy Zimmerman
Meet Tracy Zimmerman, assistant to the department head and office supervisor for the Department of Biological Systems Engineering.
March 29, 2021

About Tracy

I was born and raised in Lincoln. I have the good fortune to come home every day to my husband Bob who is currently retired and keeps me apprised of his adventures with our local squirrel population. I have two grown children, one sassy granddaughter named Eve and usually three dogs, two Brittanys and one Pointer. We are currently low on Brittanys and down to one Pointer but hope to have a new puppy or two this year.

I received my degree in English from UNL in 1989 and pursued graduate school until I realized that it was not the best fit for me. I spent the next several years raising my children at home and working part time with my parents in their bookstore, Bluestem Books. That was a good fit as it enabled me to remain connected to adult company, ideas and creative energy that didn’t require cleaning up. The synergy between the creative energies of adults and children was a great blessing to me during this season. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was fundamental to the work I do now both professionally and personally.

What is your position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

I am the assistant to the department head and office supervisor for Biological Systems Engineering. I provide administrative support to our department head and supervise the department’s support staff. We are a very collaborate group, which means I receive the benefit of the staff supervising me as much as I do them.

What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

I returned to UNL five years ago because I was looking for opportunities to experience new challenges and growth. I was both a graduate and previous employee from many years ago, so I felt that I was returning to familiar territory. My first position was on UNL’s City Campus in the College of Engineering Dean’s Office as a program specialist. I supported the associate dean for Undergraduate Programs. Three years ago, I transitioned to Biological Systems Engineering. I have had the great fortune at UNL to be surrounded by people who recognized talents within me and purposely sought to develop my skills and my gifts. They personally invested in me. That has made all the difference.

What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?

I love the people. I am fortunate to work with incredibly talented and dedicated staff, faculty and students who are committed to improving the quality of our work and our environment. The question “Why?” is one of our favorites. They encourage and challenge me to do my best. A wonderfully synergistic department! I also love the opportunity to take classes, develop relationships with employees in other departments and attend talks and seminars.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Great question! That work is still ongoing. I will let you know when I get there.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

Most people don’t know that one of my greatest passions is trauma-related counseling and care. I volunteer within my church’s care ministry and have been working with a small group of folks regarding trauma care for the past four years. I am preparing to pursue a master’s degree in either community counseling or social work.

What is your life like outside of work?

My life outside of work is filled with the community of family, friends, dogs, nature, reading, writing and lots of pondering. I have many creative interests and love exploring art through fabric, paper, baking and writing. I like to tweak and transform things whether it’s a garden, fabric art or curriculum.