Internships take education beyond book learning to hands-on learning. Students get to put a skill or knowledge into practice ahead of their career journey — experience especially valuable for the UW Facilities interns who are graduating this year.
This article was updated on May 8 after it was announced that UW Facilities' Mike Morris won the DSA award for career achievement.
The UW's Distinguished Staff Award (DSA) is the University's highest staff honor, recognizing employees who exemplify excellence in collaboration, innovation, impact, career achievement, and diversity, equity and inclusion.
Congratulations to Mike Morris, Program Support Supervisor 2 with Maintenance & Construction, who has earned the DSA in the career achievement category. He and the other awardees will be honored at the Awards of Excellence ceremony at Meany Hall on Thursday, June 8.
Along with Mike, eight other individuals and two teams from UW Facilities were nominated for the DSA. We asked the UWF nominees to share a few insights about what they do and what inspires them. All interviews have been edited for length and clarity.
Melissa Brown, Transportation Demand Management Program Development Specialist, Transportation Services
Uma Dutt, Project Manager, Maintenance & Construction
UW Recycling Operations Team, Building Services Department: Franklin Becker, Chris Forbes, Hector Martell, Dean Seaman, David Speed, Mike Westerberg, Vinnie Yok
UW Tower Team, Building Services Department and Maintenance & Construction: Nate Cienfuegos, Adam Diriye, Square Donaldson, Alfonso Escobar, Steven Garcia, Asefash Gebrea, Peter Gorokhovskiy, Saba Hadgu, Tsege Hailu, Bart Hermes, Hayat Mohammed, Okyong Kim, Teresita Perry, Mark Pruitt, David Record, Jovanny Rivas, Mouang Saelee, Ivan Tupis
A lot has changed on the UW campus over the years. New buildings go up, old buildings get renovated and light rail tunnels down below. One thing remains constant: The cherry trees in the Quad bloom every March.
The UW campus is not only a home for higher learning, it’s also a home to wildlife. Rabbits, ducks, geese, deer, squirrels and more all enjoy the UW’s hundreds of acres of lawns, hidden gardens and green space. And then there are the coyotes.
If you’re walking on campus near the HUB or the Quad, you may do a double take at some of the fire hydrants. Painted in purple and gold, they might seem like a fun expression of school spirit. They’re also all painted the same shades, suggesting that one person or group is painting them all.
At the Nov. 16 graduation ceremony for Stepping Stones to Success, UW Facilities’ leadership development program for front-line staff, instructor Sarah Lewis-Assink joked, “The word ‘empathy’ has been used 14,546 times in this program.”
With Thanksgiving over, fall has given way to winter, as if on cue. The Puget Sound region has already seen snow, sleet, rain mixed with snow, hail and more — and the winter wonderland won’t end there. Experts are saying it’ll be another La Niña winter, which means wetter, colder weather predicted through February.
My name is Jacob Emmons and I am a metal tradesman at the UW. I’m part of a team in UW Facilities' Shop 16 that maintains and repairs equipment such as fans, pumps, water heaters and kitchen equipment. Most of our repairs are performed in the field or in our workshop located in the basement of Gould Hall.
After a blistering summer, fall temperatures have continued to break records. The Seattle area has seen the most ever October days over 70 degrees Fahrenheit and, with temperatures hitting 88 degrees on Oct. 16, the latest day ever in the year to go above 80 degrees.
With record-breaking heat waves and more 90-degree-plus days each summer, increasing temperatures are killing many of our region’s trees. Birch trees, prized for their silvery bark, are becoming more vulnerable to a destructive pest, altering our region’s streets, green spaces and landscapes — including the UW campus.
Amid the scramble to move out of the residence halls every June, waste reduction may be not at the top of most students’ priorities. That’s where UW Recycling steps in, helping students donate things as part of the annual Student Cleanup, Recycle and Moveout (SCRAM) program. In addition to diverting waste, the event aims to prevent illegal dumping and support the local community.
As the store for unwanted items from UW departments and medical facilities, UW Surplus sells everything from office chairs and athletic gear to DNA sequencers and a research vessel. COVID-19 moved sales online, but now the public store is open again to customers.
Congratulations to custodian Evalina Taganna Romano for being one of the winners of the UW Together We Will award for 2022. She and the other winners from across the University will be honored at the 52nd annual Awards of Excellence reception at Meany Hall on Thursday, June 9. The Together We Will Awards serve as a temporary replacement for the Distinguished Staff Award (DSA) program, which will be back next year.
When the University decided last summer to install portable air cleaners, or air purifiers, in small to medium-sized UW classrooms, labs, eating and work spaces, lunchrooms and just about everywhere people gather, Rod Worden, director of Maintenance & Construction for UW Facilities (UWF), gathered his team and began to plan.
In all, about 2,000 air purifiers would need ordering, unpacking, testing and documenting in a database so each could be tracked and maintained. They would then need to be delivered and installed to all three UW campuses (Seattle, Bothell, Tacoma) along with remote sites including Friday Harbor Labs, Olympic Natural Resources Center (Forks), classrooms and clinic spaces at Sand Point and beyond.
Editor’s note: UW Facilities counts on a number of student interns year round to contribute to our departmental success. This spring, Julie Ira interned with UW Recycling, and shares her experiences in this guest article. For more information about UW internships and positions, click here.
Windows and blinds so clean that they sparkle. Every upholstered seat in Meany Hall cleaned and disinfected. Stripped and waxed floors; fresh paint and new carpeting installed. These are the scenes across campus, from Architecture to Winkenwerder Halls and dozens of buildings in-between.
Patriotism. Comradery. Strength. Just some of the words that come to mind when we consider the meaning of Veterans Day. The 58 stately London plane sycamore trees that line Memorial Way to the flagpole were planted 100 years ago to honor UW students and faculty who died in World War I. Additional installations across campus honor those who served in other conflicts, and the University regularly honors distinguished alumni veterans.