Melody Ratzlaff will retire at the end of this year with hopes to travel.
Assistant registrar Melody Ratzlaff has been working with students for 11 years, but after this semester is done she will retire with hopes of a change of scenery. Ratzlaff was part of the first graduating class at Seward along with Associate Dean of Educational Services Dale Reed and cashier Betty Glenn. Registrar Donetta Dreitz has worked with Ratzlaff and has taken notice of her work ethic and ability to interact with students. “She is extremely thorough, accurate and organized,” Dreitz said. “I’m really going to miss her because of her cleanliness and work ethic but I’ll have her on speed dial even though she’ll probably hang up when she sees my number.” Institutional research and data analyst Teresa Wehmeier, who also works in the registrar’s office with Ratzlaff, recalls a particular time when they went on a business trip. “The most memorable work related memory was a trip we took to Las Vegas for a business trip. In the evenings, she loved to gamble,” Wehmeier said. “One night she didn’t get in before I went to bed, but the next morning she popped right out of bed when she heard me. I knew she must have won big to be up so early, and she did. She was only up early because she wanted to show me the tax form she had to fill out.” Wehmeier will miss knowing that Ratzlaff will be here to help with problems, or simply having somebody to talk to. “Knowing that Melody is always on top of any problem that may arise, and that she will take care of it promptly – I am really going to miss that about her. Personally, I will miss the times we spent outside, visiting and laughing while I smoked a cigarette, and she blocked the sun from my eyes,” Wehimer said. One of the most challenging times for Ratzlaff was when the college decided to start using the Banner computer information system in 2001. “One of the challenges was the Banner system, which is our student information system, and just learning how to figure it out and make it better for us,” Ratzlaff said. Some of her favorite memories include being a booster parent for the softball players. “My husband and I used to be booster parents for the softball girls. My niece was actually one of the first Canadian students to come to school here. But, overall we really enjoyed having the chance to be booster parents and meeting students,” Ratzlaff said. After Ratzlaff retires, she hopes to be able to travel around the country and spend more time with family. “If the gas prices go down, my husband and I want to travel,” Ratzlaff said. “We have a granddaughter in Stillwater, Okla., and we want to be closer to her.” Ratzlaff said she and her husband enjoy sightseeing, and plan to visit several states and state parks. “We want to go to Glacier National Park, the Canadian Rockies, southern Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. My husband wants to see the Sequoias,” Ratzlaff said. “It’s kind of our bucket list, but we just really enjoy getting out there and taking in the scenery.”