At around 2 a.m., when most students are packing up their homework from the night, Joyce Doziero takes her lunch break.
Doziero works in housekeeping, part of the facilities and maintenance department. Hardly seen by students, late-night workers like her clean up after thousands of students and staff, usually without much in return.
But for the last two weeks, every University facilities and maintenance employee was invited to take part in the 2008 GW Service Excellence Celebration, which included nine events spread over 12 days. The celebration includes brown bag lunches, service training exercises, a lavish award ceremony and multiple dinners for late-night and daytime workers.
While most Americans were reacting to the news that Barack Obama had been elected president early Wednesday morning, 50 night shift workers joined their peers at 1957 E St. for a 2 a.m. lunch. Despite tiredness from work, the workers joyously came together for a fried chicken meal with all the frills provided by the University.
“They serve us in so many different ways every day,” said Gina Hernandez – president of the resident fellow organization of facilities and maintenance department employees – stayed up late to serve food to the workers. “I think it is very special that we get to serve them.”
Thirty years of cleaning up after students has not dampened crew leader Doziero’s excitement over the honors that the University bestows on her and her fellow workers every year during the GW Service Excellence Celebration.
“They did this and they didn’t have to,” Doziero said of the lunch. “Being on campus is hard because not everyone is clean and we have a lot of messy work to do.”
Events like the celebration make GW unique, Doziero said.
“I feel very appreciated, I really do. There are a lot of companies out there that do not recognize the work that you do,” Doziero said. “GW really shows their appreciation by having this dinner for us.”
The seventh annual awards ceremony was held last Monday and is one of the largest events during the two week celebration.
“It is important to take the time and reflect on the kind of work we do and the kind of work the staff does,” said Jennifer Seile, co-chair of the service excellence planning committee.
This year’s winners were chosen from more than 450 nominees in eight different categories, including a Departmental Service Excellence Award, a Service Collaboration Award, a Staff Choice Award, a Faculty Choice Award, a Student Choice Award, a Parent Choice Award, an Alumni Choice Award and a Student Staff Award.
“I was incredibly touched. I worked very hard and I never expect any kind of recognition,” said Student Staff Award winner Lauren Orvis, a senior who works for Residential Property Management. “There are so many student staffers that work all over the University and they are just as deserving and it means a lot to me that I was highlighted.”
The Service Excellence Celebration ended with a brown bag lunch focused on sustainability within the University.
This article has been changed to reflect the following correction: (November 12, 2008)
The Hatchet erroneously reported that Student Staff Award winner Lauren Orvis works for GW Housing Programs. She is an employee of Residential Property Management.