FAU Broward Campuses - Staff Spotlight

Thomasina Grissett

Saturday, Apr 01, 2023
Thomasina Grissett

Testing Assistant | Testing and Certification Center

Thomasina Grissett might be the first person you see when you walk into the Testing and Certification Center at Florida Atlantic’s Davie Campus. Two things are for certain, she will greet you with a smile and she will make sure you feel comfortable and at ease during your exam. For 25 years, Thomasina has been proctoring exams at different testing centers across Florida.

Born in Oak Grove, Florida and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Thomasina later moved back to Florida and has stayed here for the last 30 years. She started proctoring in 1998, and eventually it became a career of a lifetime. She joined the team at FAU Davie Campus in February of 2018. Thomasina describes herself as a social butterfly. "No matter who you are, if I see you in the hallway or see you walk past me in an elevator, I'm saying hello, good morning. How are you?" Thomasina said.

As the testing assistant, she helps with all testing activities, such as, test administration, scoring, results reporting, and any other departmental support. But it’s her knack for helping students relieve their crippling testing anxiety makes Thomasina so memorable. She always advises testing candidates to, "leave the anxiety in the hallway and do not bring it in the testing room." And to "come prepared and come early for your testing session," to help ease some of the testing anxiety." But when the pressure is too high for some, and they come in crying, she takes a few extra minutes to calm them down, giving them a much-needed pep talk to boost their confidence before entering the exam room.

"I try to be that breath of fresh air for them. You know, give them a good Owl Flight!" Thomasina said.

Many different people come in and out of the testing rooms, each one with their own sets of needs. Thomasina makes sure that they have everything they need to not only be successful, but to make their experience as comfortable as possible. Associate Director of Broward Testing and Certification, Shireen Lalla, describes Thomasina as having a vibrant personality and a huge heart.

"Thomasina is patient and kind to all testing candidates. She has a natural ability to make those around her feel valued and cared for. She has strong communication skills and keen emotional intelligence to navigate all the situations that occur in the testing center with all the different constituents that we serve," Shireen said.

During COVID, FAU's testing center was the only testing center available. She recalls how people hid in their homes for a while but now that the world is opening back up again, she’s there to welcome everyone back with a smile.

"My word is I'm still smiling. Yeah, that's it. I'm still smiling," she said.

Thomasina loves working at FAU and is a proud Owl. She and her husband (who works at FAU’s Boca Raton campus) have been cheering on the men’s basketball team as they dance their way through the March Madness brackets. Outside of work you can find her gardening, spending quality time with her 5 children and 5 grandchildren. Her passion for community work keeps her active and engaged in what is happening around her. She spends most weekends delivering food and other resources to those in need. Thomasina is also a walking encyclopedia for fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Her colleagues and friends stop her in the hallways all the time for recommendations to cure simple ailments – and she always seems to have the answer!