When people ask me what I like about my job, my first response is always: “the people!” Prior to taking the role of interim vice chancellor, I was assistant vice chancellor for PD&C. One of my favorite annual events was the RL-2 Halloween costume contest (which sadly I never won).
While overseeing all our units over the past eight months, I have gotten to hear about some of the other fun traditions our teams have, and I’ve even been invited to participate in some of them:
Our EH&S group has a fiercely competitive chili cook-off at the beginning of the year, the winner of which gets serious bragging rights and their name added to a custom trophy.
Our HR team had a caramel apple decorating contest in the fall.
Our accounting team has competitive golf outings where staff organically separate into one of two teams: Team Aleve vs. Team Young Guns.
I have to admit my favorite traditions are the ones that involve food, but all of these events are wonderful because they build a sense of community. It’s great to see our teams celebrating and enjoying time together outside work, and I am proud that our units have integrated fun celebrations into the year.
I’m sure I’ve missed some of our units’ extracurricular activities, but it’s important to remember that we also have several annual I&S-wide events:
Volunteer Day of Service
Winter Appreciation Luncheon
Employee Appreciation Summer BBQ
There is a strong sense of community and celebration within the I&S organization. It’s great to see you connect with each other outside of the workplace, and I am proud of our teams for cultivating inclusiveness.
With gratitude for all you do,
Chris Ewing, interim vice chancellor for infrastructure and sustainability
News and Notes
2023 South West Transit Association (SWTA) Annual Conference & Expo
CU Boulder’s 100% battery electric New Flyer 40’ Excelsior Buff Bus made a big splash at the South West Transit Association’s (SWTA) Annual Conference that was held at the Gaylord of the Rockies Conference Center in Aurora, CO. One of the only in-operation buses at the event, CU Boulder’s Buff Bus was there to showcase the New Flyer’s 40-foot battery electric bus line and CU Boulder’s sustainable efforts towards our 2050 carbon neutrality goal.
Reminder – leave sweeps coming on July 1, 2023
Just a reminder to all staff to double check your leave balances now, and make plans to use any hours of vacation time over the maximum allowable accrual time before the July 1 leave sweep deadline. As always, vacation leave requests are subject to the approval of your supervisor; don’t wait until June to put in your leave requests. If you have any questions regarding leave, please contact your supervisor, Christina Sumaya-Orozco or Tanya Patzer.
Juneteenth floating holiday for FY23
In 2023 Juneteenth will again be requested/taken as a floating holiday. Leave-eligible employees will need to request and use the eight hours of leave (prorated for part-time staff) on or before June 30, 2023.
For staff using FAMIS: request in advance, as you do for a vacation day, by entering the leave type “POD” in the FAMIS self-service portal (leave requests).
For staff using MyLeave: request in advance, as you do for a vacation day, by entering the earnings code “Personal Observance Day” in MyLeave.
Employee Spotlight - Danielle Siegel-Romero - Operations Control Center (OCC) Dispatcher
How long have you been working at CU? I’ve been working the weekend graves shift at the OCC since 2009.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? Outside of work, I’m busy with my kids and husband – sports, gardening, camping – we like the outdoors.
Tell us something that might surprise us about you. I’m raising a blended family of 6 kids – his, hers, ours, adopted, special needs – ranging in ages 7 – 25. Four are at home.
What do you love about CU Boulder? The beautiful campus.
What is your favorite type of music? Alternative.
Recycling tip of the month
Tuning up your sorting game
Properly sorting recyclables is key to a successful waste diversion program. On-campus recycling is hand-sorted by hard-working CU Environmental Center students, so please take the time to avoid contaminating the recycle bin with trash and/or compost by sorting conscientiously.
Compostable items that wind up in the landfill anaerobically convert to methane—one of the most destructive greenhouse gasses. We need to be diligent about finding ways to separate compost from other waste to make sure it ends up in a compost bin.
Once the fundamentals are understood, living a zero waste lifestyle is a relatively simple way to demonstrate your commitment to a sustainable future. Our friends and partners at the Environmental Center offer a wealth of resources you can peruse.
Brandon Boger to retire at the end of March
Our friend and colleague Brandon Boger will be retiring from his position as director, Special Projects (formerly assistant vice chancellor, EH&S) at the end of March.
Brandon has held several positions within EH&S: hazardous materials specialist, manager, associate director, interim director, director and AVC. He has faced and conquered a lot of challenges. In addition to chemical spills, fires, and floods, those challenges included working on budget requests for funding for EHS programs to meet the demands of continuous growth and expansion of research and creating new programs to address occupational health and safety for all campus constituents.
He is leaving this department a lot better than when he started, the mark of true success and leadership!
February 2023 Constellation Award – CBS SRS Back-to-school Expo Team – nominated by Jessica Bradley
The I&S Employee Recognition Committee is proud to award an I&S Constellation Award to Claudia Lopez, Jarod Davies, Alan Slinkard, Rocio Mongragon, Rubi Andazola, Byung Choe, Alex Acosta, Brenda Chavez and Barry Sparks – congratulations! These individuals were nominated by Jessica Bradley for the following reasons: I would like to nominate this group within Campus Building Services for their voluntary participation in the SRS back-to-school expo. They went above and beyond and provided some wonderful, prideful responses about how our work group contributes to fulfilling the mission and vision of I&S from their perspectives. I was very proud of their responses and how dedicated they are to their work. Some of them also helped with planning and prep for the expo and several participated at the expo as well. Thank you all!
February 2023 Constellation Award – Team 9 Floor Crew (CBS) – nominated by Carolyn Nalezny
Sincere gratitude goes out to Team 9 Floor Crew! Both the team leads, Jay and Scott are always very professional, flexible and collaborative when it comes to having the floors in the ITLL refinished! This summer their team went above and beyond! Not only did they take all floors in the ITLL down to base, they were detailed in their workmanship. Jay and Scott met with our Director and discussed the expectations of the project and they delivered! Thank you for all the hard work!
February 2023 Constellation Award – John Kline and Craig Perez (Elevators/Fire Alarms Shop) – nominated by Zac Niehues
These two did a great job responding to all of the frozen sprinkler pipes across campus during December and over the holidays. They were quick to respond, identify issues, and make repairs where possible. As a team they prioritized work and had good communication with me on the progress. This was very helpful in coordinating with all the different groups working on the campus response. Thanks, guys!
February 2023 Constellation Award – Chris Maestas and Team 1 (CBS) – nominated by John Henderson and Cherie Summers (Engineering)
Kudos to our Custodial Supervisor Chris Maestas and his team at the Engineering Center. They are truly Custodians of this building and work hard to keep it running! Not only are they diligent in their daily tasks, but Chris is also proactive about reporting issues before they become a problem. We had a large flood in our ECEE wing before the holidays last year, and Chris was the first person to contact me. The wing lost power, so the company that called in to mitigate the damage could not run their equipment. Chris and his team quickly stepped in with their battery-powered water pickup machines until power was restored. When I got to the building that day, I found his team spread out in all areas of the wing picking up water and collecting debris such as ceiling tiles destroyed in the flood. Keep in mind, they were doing this in standing water, with very little light or heat. I truly believe their efforts saved us from further property damage that day. They even go above and beyond in some of their daily duties, like shoveling and deicing the entryways. On snowy days, Chris updates me on their efforts and leaves the deicer out for me to use after they leave for the day. When Chris is short-staffed, he comes in early to pick up the slack and even takes the time to report any security concerns he finds early in the morning. Our building is a safer place to be due to his efforts. My heartfelt thanks to Chris and his team for all they do!
January 2023 Star Award – Osei Simmons (Distribution Services) – nominated by Dara Schenck
Osei and I began working at the Distribution Center around the same time, and since our first day he has demonstrated steadfast willingness, professionalism, and care that make him not only a reliable coworker but really just a delight to be around. As someone who answers the phone and speaks with staff and faculty often, I have heard many compliments given to Osei and everyone in property services about their good customer service and attention to safety while on jobs. Yesterday, a faculty member reached out regarding a laser cutter being delivered to a lab on campus. The faculty member put simply, "Osei looked like he was running the whole show!" They then went on to talk about how Osei answered questions and was very supportive to his fellow teammates. Osei is one of the many gems at the distribution center that anticipates the needs of customers, coworkers, and everyone in between, and that's what makes him a bona fide star!
December 2022 Star Award – Tanya Patzer (I&S Human Resources) – nominated by Scott Redder
Tanya has always done an amazing job supporting all of the Facilities Staff. Lately she has gone above and beyond. Not only has she continued to do her own job well, she has been very involved in the AssetWorks deployment as well as covering vacancies in her department. She does this with a very positive attitude, and a light-hearted nature. She is professional, prompt and detail-focused. Well done, Tanya!
December 2022 Star Award – Dena Heisner (PD&C) – nominated by Mike Turman
Dena continues to do an exceptional job within our department. She is an integral team member on the Hellems renovation and continues to make improvements for PD&C with employee onboarding and development of the project delivery guide. In November 2022, she did an exceptional job leading Josh and David through our onboarding program and introduction series with the PD&C and I&S teams.
Safety Hatter Chatter
For the safety of our campus community, please avoid driving on campus during class change periods. Commit to safety by never texting or using your phone while driving, and speak up when you see others distracted. #justdrive
Safety shoe truck coming to GROC March 21
The work wear safety shoe truck will be on campus at the GROC parking lot on March 21. If your work shoes need replacement please plan to stop by:
Tuesday, March 21, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Please download/print the safety shoe voucher (requires login to SharePoint), get it signed by your supervisor and bring it to the shoe truck with you. All the safety shoes available in the truck will be ANSI certified. More information on the FM Safety Shoe program is available on our FM Safety SharePoint site.
February safety award winners
Christian Parker (Outdoor Services) – nominated by Vince Aquino
Christian has brought numerous safety issues to light in recent months, including the open space under the Hale building, various window well access and ladder safety issues, damaged trees and downed branches and limbs, security camera needs in the GROC building due to non-authorized people entering the facility, and other issues. Christian was thorough and helpful in identifying, communicating and solving these situations. Her observant nature and her willingness to engage in the improvement process is valuable to our work group. Additionally, Christian is also currently a member of our OS Safety Committee and she is always prepared for the meetings, and is engaged in ideas and discussions to improve safety for the Grounds teams. She deserves an acknowledgement for these efforts. Myself and others in FM certainly appreciate her work.
Daren Brown (Pipe Shop), John Humphrey (Fire Alarms Shop) and Erik Jesinski (Structural Trades Shop) – nominated by Adrian Garcia
The evening of February 1 a vent stopped working and caused a flood in the stairwell of engineering. Luckily the flood was in the basement and caused very minimal building damage. However, a large portion of water leaked outside into the courtyard setting up a potential disaster for this high traffic pedestrian walkway. The crew who responded to the flood quickly put up danger tape around columns to divert pedestrian traffic away from the quickly forming ice rink. Daren located ice melt and we were able to throw ice melt all over the slick sidewalk. The next morning, I went down to check on the sidewalk and was able to take down the danger tape once it was determined to be back to safe conditions.
FM Safety Committee Updates
The FM safety committee meets the third Tuesday of every month to discuss general safety concerns, review safety reports, on-the-job injuries and recommend training needs and resources. If you are interested in attending a meeting or bringing an issue or idea that is safety related, reach out to our Safety Specialist Don Fitzpatrick.
Exploring with ISIEC
Transforming Gender Conference
The Transforming Gender Conference will take place in person over the March 18–19 weekend in the Koelbel Building at CU Boulder. The annual conference—free and open to students, staff, faculty and community members—includes talks and forums and works to raise awareness about issues and identities in the transgender community.
The theme of the 2023 conference is “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!” Sessions include presentations related to youth advocacy, medical transition, queering biology, education for mental health providers, questions and answers for parents and families, and other topics.