Employee has enjoyed 3 decades with theater


Photo courtesy of Joy Ajello

Joy Ajello (right) plays Auntie Em in AACC’s 1984 production of “The Wizard of Oz.”

Sarah Noble , Club Editor

Joy Ajello has been operating the box office at Kauffman Theater in the Student Union building since 1984.

Ajello has been involved with AACC since she was a high school sophomore in 1968. She participated in workshops here sponsored through her high school’s thespian society.

“I love her,” said third-year theater major Sydney Biuk. “She’s sweet, amazing, and will always do things at the drop of a dime.”

When Ajello became a full-time student at AACC in 1984, professor Robert Kauffman—for whom the Kauffman Theater was named—asked her to take over the box office for the drama club, which ran it at the time.

Since then, she has handled all ticket sales for performing arts shows, orchestra and concert bands.

“[The people who work in the box office] are very knowledgeable and they always [have] pointed me in the right direction,” Breanna Shackleford, a third-year culinary major, said.

Ajello said she enjoys being part of the events on campus, including plays, concerts and operas.

“There’s so much stuff that happens over here that people don’t know about,” Ajello said. “A lot of students take classes here and then they run away.”

Ajello said some campus buildings are much different now from how they used to be.

“When I started out, the library building was everything,” said Ajello. “It was [the] administration [building], student union and the library.”

Ajello said the first floor of the library once held the bookstore, vending machines and tables.

“And now look at it,” said Ajello.

The first floor now includes the reference desk, Student Success Services and the Writing Center.

Even after 32 years at AACC, Ajello said she has no plans to retire.