Colleagues describe senior administrative assistant as a ‘community builder’

Thursday, September 7, 2023
Sherri Cannon sits at a conference table at Paul College.

Sherri Cannon


To many of her colleagues, Sherri Cannon is the person behind the scenes making UNH's Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics run smoothly. However, it’s the ability to go beyond her role that makes her stand out.

Cannon, a senior administrative assistant in the dean’s office, was recently honored with the 2023 Paul College Dean’s Award of Excellence, given to a staff member in recognition of outstanding performance and distinguished service to Paul College.

Cannon joined Paul College in 2016 following her tenure as an executive assistant at a law firm. In her role, she is responsible for various administrative and operational tasks in the dean’s office, while working closely with event planning and marketing and communications.

“I’m a very big people person and I just like to be there when people need help,” Cannon says. “Winning the award is an honor and I hope to continue being that person for people.”

Cannon graduated from UNH in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and has always had an inherent love for the school. That fondness, along with her strong work ethic, and willingness to help others, were all highlighted by colleagues who nominated her for the award.

“Sherri gives the best of herself every day and extends her collaboration throughout the college, with other administrative assistants, chairs, faculty, staff and students,” Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Luciana Echazu wrote in her nomination letter. “She is always the first one to get in, and the last one to leave; and no matter how much she has on her plate, or how long the day will be, she always has a smile on her face.”

Diane Devine, senior lecturer of marketing, describes Cannon as a “community builder” who works well with students and plays an instrumental role in assisting with student-run events.

“She often has to help shepherd students in this role making sure that the event details are handled well and efficiently. She does this in a caring, respectful manner while coaching and encouraging them. This creates a very caring, collaborative community and one in which everyone feels valued,” Devine wrote in her nomination.

Working with students is one of the most fulfilling aspects of Cannon’s job. She has six student workers that she “adores.”

“I love hiring them when they are freshmen and having them throughout their four years and just seeing how they grow and open up and become adults,” she says.

Cannon describes herself as a lifelong learner, attributing her work ethic to her constant desire for personal growth and improvement.

Cannon credited the Paul College team for always lifting her up, saying that even on her busiest days, it’s still fun to come to work.

“It’s a real community here. I never expected to be this close with my teammates,” she says. “We just have a good working relationship where you can count on each other.”

Aaron Sanborn | Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics |