These days, Barbara Noble has a greater understanding for the “cycle of life.” She observes it in her own backyard, a menagerie of ducks, dogs, chickens and other creatures, and in her life on campus as well. Once a UCI student – she received her degree in psychology in 1980 – Noble now works on campus as director of student services in the Department of Education helping today’s students become teachers. Someday, she knows, they’ll help students too. The cycle continues.

“I love working with students,” she says. And her dedication shows.

Eight years ago, Noble began working in the education department as an academic counselor to future teachers. In her current role, she recruits students to enroll in the one-year teaching credential program, handles admissions and scheduling, and mentors counselors, supporting the department’s mission to train teachers.

“I do a little bit of everything,” Noble says. “I always enjoy finding ways to help students better accomplish their career goals.”

She’s there whenever students have special needs – whether they’re struggling with financial or family problems, academics, or filling their degree requirements.

“Barbara cares deeply about UCI students,” says Deborah Vandell, chair of education. “This quality, combined with her deep knowledge of the state’s requirements for a teaching credential and UC’s requirements for undergraduate and graduate degrees, make her a wonderful student services manager.”

During her 17 years on staff, Noble has held various positions on campus, working in the registrar’s office, police department, physical sciences and academic advising. No matter where she goes, though, helping students remains a constant.

“Barbara is aware that one leads by example,” says Susan Meyers, director of the education department’s Multiple Subject Credential Program. “She’s developed strong leadership, managerial and interpersonal skills that combine to make her a valued and trusted colleague.”

Throughout her career, her supervisors have accommodated changes in her life to keep her working, offering flexible schedules years ago when she was raising three children, and again two years ago, when she and her husband moved to a tiny town in Northern California called Rescue.

Noble works on campus eight consecutive working days, then flies home for a four-day respite. In her office, the only sign of her life in Rescue are framed photographs of donkeys and ducks.

“While I’m down here, I live in Tustin with my parents,” she says. “It sounds crazy, but it works for me. It’s a dream come true.”