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graduation cap with words 'hello world'
Employee & team features
May 19, 2023 • Misty Shock Rule

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.

group of people standing in two rows
Employee & team features
April 19, 2023 • Misty Shock Rule

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
  • James Hardwick, Motor Equipment Mechanic, Transportation Services
  • Alan Horne, Power Plant Mechanic Lead, CEU&O
  • Cindy Magruder, Project Integrator Manager, Asset Management
  • Stephanie Parker, Executive Assistant to the Vice President
  • Mark Pekarek, Senior Project Manager, Maintenance & Construction
  • Steven Vasquez, Sheet Metal Mechanic Lead, 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
man in a cherry picker examines the branch of a cherry tree against the background of a building in the Quad
Employee & team features
March 16, 2023 • Misty Shock Rule

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. 

coyote walking on UW campus near Denny Hall
News & updates
February 08, 2023 • Misty Shock Rule

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. 

purple and gold fire hydrant
News & updates
January 24, 2023 • Misty Shock Rule

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.

two pictures, one on top of the other, of two different groups of people, one group holding certificates
Employee & team features
December 07, 2022 • Misty Shock Rule

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.”

snow plow clears snow in front of Suzzallo library
News & updates
November 30, 2022 • Misty Shock Rule

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.

Two men standing in front of pipes and equipment
Employee & team features
November 08, 2022 • Jacob Emmons

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.

sunflare seen through trees with people walking by
October 24, 2022 • Misty Shock Rule

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. 

signs saying 'tree work ahead' and 'tree removal notice'
October 10, 2022 • Misty Shock Rule

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.

woman packing up item to put in a bin
News & updates
September 09, 2022 • Misty Shock Rule

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. 

woman holding baby goats in a warehouse
News & updates
August 18, 2022 • Misty Shock Rule

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.

photos of together we will award nominees
Employee & team features, News & updates
May 26, 2022 • Bettina Jones

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.

boilers one and two from inside uw steam power plant
Employee & team features, Sustainability
April 13, 2022 • Daimon Eklund
Closeup of cherry blossoms
News & updates, Sustainability
April 01, 2022 • UW Facilities
Snow-covered bench in Winter 2021
News & updates
November 23, 2021 • Nancy Gardner
"Property of UW Facilities" sticker on an air purifier
News & updates
November 10, 2021 • Nancy Gardner

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.

Natural stone step pathway
Employee & team features, News & updates
October 13, 2021 • Nancy Gardner
Orange construction sign
May 25, 2021 • Nancy Gardner
UW Recycling logo
May 04, 2021 • UW Facilities

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.  

Poison dart frog at Woodland Park Zoo
April 12, 2021 • Nancy Gardner
Gloved hand wiping a door handle
News & updates
March 29, 2021 • Nancy Gardner

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.

UW Surplus logo
News & updates
March 08, 2021 • Nancy Gardner
Saluting sillouette against an American flag background
Employee & team features, News & updates
November 03, 2020 • Nancy Gardner

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.

London plane trees

London plane trees along Memorial Way.

Hans Rosling pictured at Time Gala
News & updates
October 14, 2020 • Nancy Gardner

It’s been said, “If you build it, they will come.”

But what if you’re in the middle of a pandemic? How do construction projects continue safely? What if you’re constructing a building for some of the very people who are fighting that pandemic?