NIH Training Center Receptionist Miranda Giaquinta on the Front Line of Courtesy and Efficiency


Miranda’s friendliness was palpable through the phone when she said, “I love helping people-- going above and beyond. Googling something if I don’t know the answer. Checking our Learning Management System (LMS) that helps students register for classes. I am dedicated to the job.”


And that she is. For almost a year, this DSFederal Receptionist/Training Associate has assisted students of all stripes, and has served as the self-proclaimed “Grand Central Station” at NIHTC: greeting visitors, giving directions, sharing course information, answering registration and food inquiries, and managing emails! Add to this her daily duties of preparing classrooms for instruction, then breaking them down and shutting off equipment when work is done, and it could make one’s head spin.


Now that the hands-on component of her duties have been curtailed by the Covid-19 crisis, she missed the day-to-day interaction with her coworkers. “I prefer to work in an office, but the transition has been pretty easy,” she said. “I miss being around my coworkers and the students, but I still answer their phone calls. They’re asking questions about whether or not classes are cancelled or rescheduled. The classes are still being held but now they are held virtually.”


How did she find herself doing such special work? “I’ve always had a need to help people,” said Miranda. “I’m a giver. I’ve been in hospitality since I was 15. My first job was working in the kitchen of the nursing home across the street from where we lived.”

From there, Miranda worked in the restaurant industry, then later moved on to office work, in which she prepared purchase orders, learned accounting skills, and worked on office coordination-- all of which prepared her for the important role she presently plays.

“I love having a purpose and feeling accomplished. I keep a list and make sure I complete even the smallest of tasks. Each day I keep up with the team through Instant Messaging and texting or on the phone.”


And when she has a need for face-to-face contact? “I’ve stayed inside, but each evening, my husband and I take a forty-five minute walk.”


As we all look forward to the impending relaxation of social distancing restrictions, we are grateful to our team members who model optimism even during these trying times. Thank you, Miranda, for reminding us that a smile, an evening walk, and helping others are little ways to make the world a better place!