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The Office of Human Resources is honored to celebrate over 250 UNC-Chapel Hill employees who have recently completed 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 and 60 years of service with the state of North Carolina at the Service Recognition Breakfast on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at Carolina Club.

Among those honored will be Ellen Cheek, who has completed 60 years of service with the state, and Gail Moriarty, who has completed 50 years. We learned a bit more about Ellen and Gail, their time at UNC, and who they are when they’re not on campus.


ellen cheek

Ellen Cheek, Administrative Support Associate, Training Registrar for UNC TEACCH Autism Program – 60 Years of Service

What is your position at UNC?

During the summers, while in college, I began working at UNC first as a typist in the School of Journalism, and then in the Registrar’s Office hand registering freshmen. Later, I worked in the Student Aid Office. After this, I became full-time in the Department of Psychiatry. The first of these roles was an Office Manager in Child Psychiatry, then in Research Psychiatry, and lastly in Division TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication handicapped Children).

I retired as Business Manager of TEACCH and returned as the Office Manager of Supported Employment. I am still working for TEACCH, now known as UNC TEACCH Autism Program, as an Administrative Support Associate, Training Registrar.

What is your favorite part of working in your role at UNC?

I truly enjoy getting to meet people from all over the world that attend the trainings presented by TEACCH.

Do you have a favorite memory, story or anecdote from your time at Carolina that you’d like to share with us?

A favorite memory is being surprised by my family and colleagues when presented with a Lifetime of Service Award by TEACCH. They truly made me feel valued for being  a part of the TEACCH program. I have many stories worthy of belly laughs and tears, but this is definitely a favorite memory.

What is something about your job at UNC that most people might not know?

In many positions, employees never have an opportunity to interact with those that are served by their department. At TEACCH, interaction with those we serve is a part of my job, and creates an atmosphere of team work within our departmental community.

Do you have a favorite location on or around campus here in Chapel Hill? Tell us about it.

My parents had such a fondness for the history of the University that I grew up with stories of outdoor concerts, student and community gatherings and graduations. I attended elementary and high school on Franklin Street where University Plaza, now known as Carolina Square, is located. We walked downtown and ate lunch interlaced with students and professors. Memorial Hall was where [Chapel Hill High School] held their Baccalaureate Service.

Where are you from originally? What do you love about calling North Carolina home?

I am a Tar Heel Born, and a Tar Heel Bred. I am a Chapel Hillian. Aside from college dormitories and one summer spent in Massachusetts, I have lived on the same hill in the Mount Carmel Baptist Church community which 4 generations of my family has called home. I love the fact that this state goes from mountains to piedmont and to coast, not to mention Tar Heel Basketball.

When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?

I enjoy spending time with my husband of 62 years and with our 2 girls and their families. I also have the pleasure of watching my four grandchildren grow into magnificent adults. I enjoy being involved with my church family, playing the organ for church and helping others whenever I see a need. Past time is visiting with my siblings, their families, my husband’s families and our friends, taking short excursions, watching and feeding birds, tending flowers and our 19-year-old cat plus three others that have adopted us.

Do you have any “fun facts” or hidden talents that your UNC colleagues may not know about?

While a governess in Massachusetts, I accompanied the cook from next door, Zee, to Harlem, NY and played the piano while she sang at a club and restaurant.

What is your secret to longevity here at UNC? What advice would you give to others who would like to make it to this milestone that you’ve achieved?

The secret to my longevity is I have embraced my role in helping my departments achieve their goals. I love working with innovators, and being around young people. My advice would be to be devoted to your role within the University, because there are no small players on this team.

If you could switch jobs with another staff member at UNC for a day, who would it be? Why?

Well, if I can’t be the Chancellor, I suppose I would want Al Jeter’s job. He is the Surplus Property Officer. He seems to have a good time with the customers, and I imagine he gets first pick of the “stuff”!


gail moriarty

Gail Moriarty, Business Services Coordinator, Eshelman School of Pharmacy – 50 Years of Service

What is your position at UNC?

Business Services Coordinator at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

What is your favorite part of working in your role at UNC?

The daily interactions with the faculty, staff and students who come from a variety of locations and bring varied history and experiences to the campus.

Do you have a favorite memory, story or anecdote from your time at Carolina that you’d like to share with us?

The first dean with whom I worked always thought I was from Richmond, Virginia….not Richmond County, North Carolina. He always asked how things were in Virginia.

What is something about your job at UNC that most people might not know?

This is only the second position I have held at UNC with both being at the School of Pharmacy.

Do you have a favorite location on or around campus here in Chapel Hill? Tell us about it.

The Morehead Planetarium is a favorite. It is amazing that some of our astronauts trained there.

Where are you from originally? What do you love about calling North Carolina home?

Hamlet, North Carolina. The wonderful people and the ideal climate.

When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?

Cooking, gardening, reading and spending time with family.

Do you have any “fun facts” or hidden talents that your UNC colleagues may not know about?

I am collector of thimbles.

What is your secret to longevity here at UNC? What advice would you give to others who would like to make it to this milestone that you’ve achieved?

Rather than change departments, I have been able to take on new challenges and develop different skill sets within the same department. I would advise others to find a position they like and look for growth opportunities.

If you could switch jobs with another staff member at UNC for a day, who would it be? Why?

The basketball coach responsible for arranging the logistics for the team for travel, meals, lodging.  It would be interesting to see how all of the pieces come together before the team takes the floor.

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