SSC Staff Spotlight: Cherie Hill

Cherie Hill started working in the Seed Science Center (SSC) front office in April 2010, transferring from another department within Iowa State University (ISU).  Since that day, she has become almost indispensable to the everyday operation of the Seed Lab.

“Cherie is a walking encyclopedia of our customers and the contacts for our customers,” said Mike Stahr, Seed Lab Manager.  “She knows many, many seed fungi, bacteria and viruses not in a testing sense, but connecting scientific names with common names and how long it takes to do the testing.”

At heart, Cherie is a farmer’s wife who has been married to Marlin Hill for nearly 50 years.  But most of her work history was in the medical field prior to coming to Iowa State.  She will tell you she started out knowing nothing about seed and disease testing.  But what she does know is how to talk to people and how to treat them like family.

“I enjoy building a warm family type relationship with our customers,” Cherie said. “Watching my student workers grow into productive professionals, knowing working in the front office helped mold them into successful people.”

Cherie is so popular among customers, students and fellow workers she has been invited to many weddings, births, funerals, and other celebrations.

“She is super personable,” Mike Stahr said. “She cares to know about us and our customers, sending gifts to new parents, wishing a happy birthday and so on.”

Cherie, who grew up in the area of Jewell, Iowa says while she may only hold a high school diploma, but she has a master’s degree in common sense and hard work.  Those who work with her would certainly agree!

When she isn’t keeping the Seed Lab running in tip top condition, she enjoys gardening, running and winning 5K races, attending baseball games and her five grandchildren. 

“But I am most proud of the two wonderful children I have raised,” Cherie said. “Both are educators with master’s degrees. They are the biggest and best achievement in my life!”

Cherie looks forward to retiring soon and says the one thing she would change would be that she had been employed at the Seed Lab for her whole working career.

“We are all slowly retiring. Each one that has retired has taken bit of me with them,” Cherie said. “I will miss my “work family” when I too join the ranks of the retired.”